Thanks for seeing me on such short notice, Doc. I’ve got a problem and it just can’t wait. Oh, yes, thanks for noticing. I am wearing my Yankees sweatshirt again. I was worried that it was bringing the Yankees bad luck all those games, but then I realized my sweatshirt was the least of their worries.
You see, I’m developing … do you mind if I whisper here …. Mets envy.
Yes, shush, don’t write it down. I don’t want that in my files. I am a proud Yankees fan and I can quote stats and bring out iconic baseball names. But the big problem is that the Mets are not only relevant, they’re great.
No, they’re not Tony the Tiger great. Geez, Doc. Do you even watch baseball? It’s America’s pastime, you know? It might help you to understand people like me if you followed sports.
Anyway, so the Mets have always been like the baseball younger brother in this area. They have a great song that I learned growing up; it’s got words, while the Yankee song doesn’t.
No, stop, don’t worry about the stupid song. Anyway, so, you have these Mets and they’re stacked with great pitchers. And, for the most part, they didn’t have to race out and buy them from somewhere else. They got this kid Noah Syndergaard, they call him Thor, who throws around 100 miles per hour. They traded for him from the Toronto Blue Jays, along with their catcher Travis d’Arnaud in exchange for R.A. Dickey. Man, that trade certainly turned out well for the Mets.
And then they have Daniel Murphy. He’s their second baseman and he’s in the last year of his contract and he’s making even some of the best pitchers in baseball look like they’re throwing batting practice. How does someone get to be so good at just the right moment? Don’t do that thing where you answer a question with a question. I hate that. OK, I’m guessing it has something to do with the fact that he’s in the last year of his contract and he’s playing for a big payday.
I’ve wondered whether a manager could create an entire team of talented players who are good, but not spectacularly expensive, who are playing for the next big contract. Yes, I know, that’s the American way. Doc, stop interrupting … it’s more like an American nightmare.
Anyway, so while Murphy is crushing balls over the fence and stealing bases even when the pitcher isn’t throwing the ball, his teammates are doing so many little things right, too. What do I mean? Well, after Murphy took third base that time, the next guy up was d’Arnaud. He came up with one out and a runner on third. Now, if it were the Yankees this year, that runner would have been stranded there, marooned like he was on Gilligan’s island. What does the Mets catcher do? Well, of course, he hits a sacrifice fly and drives in a huge run. He didn’t even look like he was trying to hit a home run. That’s just not in the Yankees playbook.
Why can’t my team do that? Stop nodding your head. I know it’s dark at Yankee Stadium at this time of year and I know Yankee fans are benefiting from all the extra time on our hands. But, you see Doc, the Mets aren’t just good now. They look like they could be good for years. And, well, the Yankees are old and stiff and breaking down.
Doc? What are you doing? Come on, seriously? You’re buying Mets tickets for next year while I’m sitting here? I thought you didn’t follow baseball. Wow, you got those seats? Hey, can you take me to a game or two? I promise not to whimper too much.