Mets Win 8 Straight; Foolish Optimism Ensues
Posted by DrFunke on July 13, 2008
It’s worth noting that I’m breaking my golden rule (“Thou shalt not blog on the sabbath”), but this is too important a moment to let it pass me by. About a week ago, I was ready to give up on the Mets’ season and do the only reasonable thing a fan could do: blame the Jews for how terrible the team had been this season. After the Mets’ classy handling of the Willie Randolph situation, it seemed like all hope was lost. To the fans, it seemed as though the players got together before the games and had meetings that probably went something like this: “Hey do you guys feel like pitching, fielding, having quality at-bats, or putting effort into this in general? No? Me neither.”
But then, hope emerged in the form of Jerry Manuel, who started somewhat of a merit system for the players. If a player wasn’t performing, he would say “You, sir, are terrible at baseball,” and then let somebody else play. Some would attribute this strategy to the Mets’ newfound success. Sure, that’s one theory. But I like to think their success comes from a different source. That source: the players’ pure, unadulterated fear that Jerry Manuel will actually stab and kill them if they don’t bust their asses.
“I told him next time he does that I’m going to get my blade out and cut him. I’m a gangster. You go gangster on me, I’m going to have to get you. You do that again, I’m going to cut you right on the field,” quipped Manuel.
What do you think motivates players more? The fact that they’ll actually be accountable for their play? Or the fact that if they make an error, they’ll end up tied to a chair while Jerry Manuel plays “Stuck in the Middle With You” on the stereo and starts cutting off ears. I choose option B.
And now the Mets have won 8 straight and have me excited as a fan again. Unfortunately now that I’ve posted this, they will lose their bid tonight for their 9th straight win. And, of course, it also means that they’re going to end their season in heart-wrenching fashion, and I’ll end up wandering around my hometown with a month of facial hair while Bruce Springsteen’s “Streets of Philadelphia” plays in the background. That or I’ll be yelling “Milk was a bad choice.” Only time will tell. Until then, know this: Mets baseball is very, very serious.