Game 162 - Mets
Marlins 8, Mets 1
Final Record: 88-74
2nd Place in NL East, 1 GB Philadelphia, 1 GB wild card
Stunning. Staggering. Incomprehensible. There are several dozen other descriptors for what happened, but there's no point in trying to list them out. There's no good to come out of digging deep into our hearts and recording the agony of this day, this season. As fast as we can walk -- run -- away from this wreckage, the sooner we can clear our minds of it and simply leave a scar.
How bad is this? As it has since spring training, the truth lies somewhere between Willie Randolph's stoicism and the blogosphere's fanaticism. It's bad, but in January, I got a phone call telling me one of my best friends was dead. This isn't in the same conversation. In August, I got another informing me my dad's house had burned to the ground (fortunately empty of people). This isn't close to that. Between the months of October and March, I dealt with a ruinously horrible human being who happened to become my boss, a brutal saga only curtailed by my resignation. This approaches that feeling . . . but no.
All of that said, this is still more anguish than the non-Mets fan, non-sports fan can fathom. My wife tried -- somewhat, but clearly in vain -- to empathize, but truly all she could offer was "Sorry about the Mets." There is no sense in trying to explain. Ever since I wore a toddler-sized Mets cap I've placed all too much emotional freight on the Met train; it's the way I was groomed to be by the family elders I curse today. And the hardest part of it? I love the game of baseball, there are four more weeks of it, and any thought of the sport is a punch in the gut. Every sight, sound, newspaper article, commercial, promo, TV listing, magazine cover, or stranger wearing a ballcap is that fucking 12-year-old kid shouting at me on a rainy October morning, "Mets suck! Mets suck! Mets suck!"
There may be more to blog about, but this is about it for now. Right now, if I had to decide, I'd tell Rob I want to discontinue Misery Loves Company. Five seasons in, I feel like I'm getting the lion's share of the misery. I put too much effort, too much thought, and too much heart into this endeavor -- none of which I felt was matched this year by the team I supported. I want out of the whole thing.
Of course, six good months of licking wounds and fading memories will, as always, change my mind. (I hope.) Reasoned thought will replace what's passing for it now. Thoughts of having Minaya, Randolph, and just for the fuck of it, Wilpon & Wilpon, strapped to a wall next to Reyes, Glavine, Mota, Feliciano, and the entire 40-man roster for a public flogging will gradually evaporate. My demands for firings and unconditional releases will be rescinded. My Mets caps and shirts, quickly and decisively shelved this evening, will make their way back in the rotation. Mentions of anything Met-related by folks I encounter will elicit reactions that make their way from dismissive groans to "I don't wanna talk about it" to something approaching rational discourse to actual perspective.
It takes time, though, so you don't want to know from me on this day.
Back to "How bad is this?": I'd say what I'm feeling right now is akin to the time my long-time girlfriend broke up with me. The Mets, like myself, had a good thing going, totally blew it, and now there's a lot of pain for both them and us tonight. Just like then, I saw it coming for a while but dwelled in denial. And I'm getting a slew of similarly sheepish condolences from the guys I know. Like that episode, I'll get over this in time -- and like then, probably fairly quickly. It's building character, wisdom, and experience in me by the moment. And in the meantime, I'm forging an even closer relationship with friends. (Back then it was James B. Beam. Tonight it's Arthur Guinness.) Plus, my next few weeks just got totally freed up and I'll end up saving money in the long run! Huh . . . I guess everything happens for a reason, and something better is surely right around the next corner. (Wow, even the bullshit rationalization is the same.)
I don't feel too great right now, but in the immortal words of a former colleague of mine (for three weeks), "I just say FIDO . . . Fuck it. Drive on."