Public Service Announcement: The Truth about Superstitions
Do you find yourself making decisions in your life based upon the next Mets game? Not just clearing your schedule to watch all nine innings, but changing things to conform to your ideas about your own role in the action? Do you attach an unnecessary importance to completely unrelated and simple options such as picking what chair to sit in or when to look away from the TV?
You have to face the fact that you do not affect game play. You must understand that you are not on the payroll of The New York Mets baseball club, Sterling Equities, or the SNY network. You do not coach the team, either. In fact, you don’t work in any capacity for the organization: not in the front office, the groundskeeping staff, security, or even as an Aramark employee passing along hotdogs. You are not determining the strike zone, causing fielding errors, or base running mistakes. Conjecture and discussion is one thing, but superstition is another. So why do you think you control the fate of the Mets?
Understand that either watching at the ballpark or listening in your car, and repeatedly screaming, “Miss it!” like Tony D’Annunzio taunting Danny Noonan in Caddyshack will not confuse the opposing hitter and recast the momentum of the game in the Mets’ favor. Because you crank up the volume to your home theater’s breaking point when the opposing pitcher loads the bases, it does not make the Citi Field crowd more intimidating to him. Because there may be two on and no one out for St. Louis, the fact you chose to wear a blue tie to work that day instead of a red one will not allow Gee to make his pitches any easier. Because you ate an orange flavored Starburst from the jar on the receptionist’s desk instead of a strawberry one, it just won’t take any power away from Philadelphia.
If you really want to help during these trying times, be as mindful as you can of the team’s real needs. Send mental messages to Pagan to hydrate himself, remind Reyes to stretch, and transmit calming waves of peace to settle down Parnell. Psychically focus on Pelfrey so he imagines himself pitching in Kansas City or Seattle. Instruct Bay to lean into fastballs every chance he gets. Make yourself useful.
And just because when I say aloud, “Murphy’s going to double”–and he does–it should not influence you. This is a one-man show. If too many people get involved the signals get crossed, the choices I’ve made do not work, and we wind up bouncing around the .500 mark for the bulk of the season.
By all means, cheer the Mets on from a contentious sports bar in the Bronx, proudly wear your gear to away games, and freak out on talk radio about late-inning losses like your mother’s life was at stake; construct ludicrous trade scenarios, emphatically suggest promoting undercooked minor leaguers, and demand relievers stay in another inning regardless of pitch counts or possible injuries. Tell yourself, tell your spouse, tell your best friend. Or tell Mike Francesa. But whatever you do, please don’t waste your time investing your energy into obsessively crazy superstitions. You’re not helping. I’ve got this. Really.