Sunday, July 06, 2008

The Mentality Of Five Hundred

I think that sometimes this season ... especially this season ... people have a tendency to wonder which win "gets the ball rolling". Is this the win that gets it going? Is it this one? Or is it this one? I'm not going to expect this win to be "the one". If anybody on the 25 man roster expects this to be "the one" then guess what, it isn't going to be. It's part of the reason that this club could forever be trapped in the mentality of .500.

"All right, that was huge ... now we can relax", they'll say. "Hopefully, this will be the one that gets us going", they'll cliche. But cliche's range from the ones they'll throw out to keep from giving away too much to the media, and the ones they'll use to give themselves a soft landing. I don't know what's being thrown out there, but these 2008 Mets can't expect one win to turn into eight.

Last night was huge. Finally, the Mets steal victory from the jaws of defeat instead of the other way around against the Phillies bullpen. You mean that the Mets didn't have another defeat that resembles the climactic scene in Rambo where Shane Victorino or Tad Iguchi bursts through the door and shoot up the place? Yes, that's exactly what I'm telling you. It happened. And as a result, the Mets have managed to split two games with the Phillies in which Chris Aguila started in left field. Feels good. But how many times have the Mets had a good win and then been down 3-0 in the first inning the next day? And if momentum truly is the next day's starting pitcher, tell me who takes the hill for the Mets today ...

Damn right, uh-oh.

So if you're a Met and you want a win to feel good, then stop thinking about that win and go get another one. Saturday doesn't matter anymore, so maybe the best thing to do is try not to ride it like a magic carpet to that big run you've been expecting for a year and a half. It doesn't work that way.

And move that forgetfulness in both directions. Don't only forget the victory, but forget that you lost John Maine and Ryan Church to injuries. Maine had a cramp. Church had a migraine. Not Joe Magrane, and not another concussion (we hope). Migraine. He'll be there tomorrow (again, we hope).

It's a long season. To treat every at-bat of the season like it's the ninth inning of the seventh game of the NLCS is a little much to ask. I understand that. But I don't think it's much to ask to treat every at-bat over the next three games like it's the ninth inning of the seventh game of the NLCS. Because it's the Phillies. And because balls just don't roll ... they need to be pushed.

(Editor's note: Yes, he said three games ... two against the Phillies, and the first game at home against San Francisco just to avoid that "first game of the homestand" letdown that always bites them in the butt.)


weesle909 said...

Last 8:


I'm gonna start watching every other game...

katherine said...

Don't feel too reassured by the report about Ryan. I read some articles about post-traumatic migraine this morning and it is part of the post-concussion syndrome. Even with his history of migraines, the trigger this time would be considered to be the trauma of the head injuty, see?

In one study, athletes with head injuries and post-traumatic migraines were compared to post-concussive athletes who had regular headaches or no headaches.

The post-concussion migraine athletes did much worse on measures of functioning (like reaction time, for example) and had higher amounts of symptoms like sleep problems, nausea, balance, etc.

I imagine this will cause them to sit him down again for a while.

Anonymous said...

I did some calculations and after taking into account the entire history of major league baseball and every scenario where a given team "got the ball rolling" it will take 10 consecutive wins for the Mets to "get the ball rolling." I plan to publish my study so look for it where all good "ball rolling" studies are sold.