Every Once in a While…

And then, there are weekends like this past one, where you start to think maybe, just maybe. When Juan Lagares throws out another runner at home, Travis d’Araund comes up big late in the game, when the quartet of Vic Black, Josh Edgin, Jeurys Familia and Jennry Mejia look like world-beaters and when Zack Wheeler matures before your very eyes. A weekend when down on the farm, two top prospect pitchers twirl gems and the middle infielder your GM swiped from a team starving for a post-season berth hits and fields like a young Robbie Alomar (that was the good version of Robbie). You forget that the Wilpons are the owners, that your manager has never won anything and that the GM will probably snooze through another trade deadline. You forget that your ace pitcher is still recovering from serious arm surgery and that your top lefty has just gone back on the DL.

This is the beauty of baseball, that the game is always right in front of you and that when played well, the possibilities seem endless. In one of the most brilliant pieces of prose ever written by an American writer, the great William Faulkner described how every southern boy 14 years old can always get to the place just before two o’clock on that July afternoon in 1863, when the charge hasn’t happened yet and there is still all that much to gain. Baseball can be like that too.

Speaking of the south, I think that the Atlanta Braves will march in and ruin this feeling and we will soon be back to fire Terry, cut Chris Young and why don’t they make a trade for one of those Cub shortstops.

Meantime, savor the feeling.

A Mets fan since 1971, Dan spent many summer nights of his childhood watching the Mets on WOR Channel Nine, which his Allentown, PA cable company carried. Dan was present at Game 7 of the 1986 World Series and the Todd Pratt Walkoff Game in 1999. He is also the proud owner of two Shea Stadium seats. Professionally, Dan is a Marketing Manager in the Bulk Materials Handling industry. He lives in Bethlehem PA with his wife and son, neither of whom fully get his obsession with the Mets.
  1. James Preller July 7, 2014 at 8:53 am
    Great little piece, which captures and expresses the exact feeling that rises up in me every 10-15 games or so. Ah, hope, fragile as a bee’s wing. For as despairing as I often feel about this organization, there’s always a narrative I can tell myself where Harvey comes back, Wheeler matures, Syndergaard arrives, Nimmo rises, the club gets a real SS and a real manager, etc.

    Thanks, too, for the Faulkner reference. What a writer.

  2. DanB July 7, 2014 at 9:50 am
    I always like to refer to Joe Torre’s quote. Baseball is like pizza. Even when its bad, its still pretty good.
    • Dan Capwell July 7, 2014 at 10:14 am
      Dan–thanks for the more contemporary reference!
  3. DaveSchneck July 7, 2014 at 12:31 pm
    I agree with your Torrre reference 100%. We Met fans have been bellyaching and venting for what seems to be forever, me included, but Torre is right, and like Mike Franscesca says, sports is still the Toy Store.

    I can’t get too crazy about 2 out of 3 over a reeling Ranger team, especially coming off the 1-6 roaad trip, but I agree that there are more pieces in the mix with potential. If Alderson is set on sticking with Collins, then I sure hope he tells Terry that he needs to stop managing every game like it is his last, and he needs to pencil in players with a potential future. That means C Young watches or is released, and Kirk plays vs. RHP, providing rest for E Young jr and/or Lagares. Somehow he needs to flip Mejia and Familia at some point. No slight to Mejia, but I think Familia’s stuff is nastier and he just needs a bit more command and more importantly he needs some exposure to the 9th inning, Why not this year since they are now out barring a miracle? Lastly, Wilmer Flores like TDA before him is proving too good for AAA. He needs to come up and play every day for the balance of 2014. Stick him at SS, even if he isn’t the SS of the future. We know what Ruben is, and he is a fine backup, but if Flores hits in the bigs he will likely force himself into a position be it on the Mets or on another team.

    While I am as frustrated and disappointed as anyone that this looks very much like another 70 win season, at least they now have enough youngsters with potential to make the remaining games interesting to watch.

    • CleonJames July 7, 2014 at 1:30 pm
      Flores can’t field. What’s the point?
      • DaveSchneck July 7, 2014 at 3:03 pm
        The point of playing Flores every day at SS for the balance of the season is to see what type of offense he can provide in the bigs. This cannot be done with giving he regular daily ABs in a starting role for an extended period of time. We all know what Tejada is, and we all agree that Flores doesn’t field well enough to stick at SS. However, he is not yet 23 years old and has 1 1/2 years in AAA with strong offensive stats. Yes, it is the PCL, but he has hit at other levels as well. The Mets have virtually no shot this year, barring a miracle, so his defense won’t cost them. If his bat plays, and projects even better, his value will increase dramatically, either to the Mets as a Murphy replacment if they get a good offer for him, or as tradebait for a bigger power bat. Or, is Miggy Cabrera’s little brother and Met cleanup hitter (yes we can still dream.
        • CleonJames July 7, 2014 at 3:25 pm
          Interesting idea. Can Terry concede some losses in order to demote Tejada and give Flores the chance to play SS every day. What if he hits 240 the first three weeks, will he stick it out then, or will it be Groundhog Day all over again? With all that said if I was manager I would do it if he can average less than one error for every 4 games. 🙂
  4. DanB July 7, 2014 at 12:43 pm
    By the way, did you see where the Yankees DFA Soriano? They were paying him $5 million for the year. He was putting up similar numbers to Chris Young. Just interesting seeing how different teams handle similar situations. Obviously it is not identical as the Yankees play in New York which is a big market but still the Mets continue to rely on six outfielders and one Tejada shortstop when Young continues to disappoint.
    • CleonJames July 7, 2014 at 1:28 pm
      The Mets don’t have owners. They have caretakers, who are taking care of the team until the real owners come, owners with soul who care about baseball and understand the responsbility of what it means to be the stewards of New York National League baseball in a town full of hopeful 14 year old boys and girls.