Mets 5, Braves 4
"What goes up must come down
Spinnin' wheel got to go 'round
Talkin' 'bout your troubles, it's a cryin' sin
Ride a painted pony, let the spinnin' wheel spin"
Give B, S, & T credit for putting the centuries-old concept of fortune's wheel into a four-minute, brass-bejeweled pop gem. Give them immense credit for some fairly sick cowbell in the opening seconds. But what the deuce does "ride a painted pony" mean?? And the flute-laden extravaganza that is the last minute of the song? Ah, the 1960's. I'm guessing the composers of this tune remember that decade about as well as I do.
And thus does Fortune's wheel turn treacherously
And out of happiness bring men to sorrow.
~ Geoffrey Chaucer, The Monk's Tale
Fortune, good night, smile once more; turn thy wheel!
~ William Shakespeare, King Lear
Spin, spin, spin, wheel, spin!
~ Ed Grimley, future "Wheel of Fortune" contestant
As you can see, some of the wisest minds in history have embraced the notion of the "Rota Fortunae," and that includes mine own. You'd have to hunt fairly exhaustively to find any posts with my by-line this year, but if you did, you'd eventually land on text in which I sadly acknowledge my squad's obvious flaws and simply shake my head in their direction as they scuffled along. Now, two months later, Nick follows suit.
What worries me? It's not just that the mighty wheel has time to take another turn before the season's up. Look, what I conceded then, Nick must also now: a paltry 2.5 games separate the surging, exciting, clicking-on-all-cylinders, everything's-looking-up New York Mets and the slumping, falling apart, down-on-their-luck Philadelphia Phillies. Two and a half flimsy games. With forty-some left to play. Both of these teams are in it and the slightest of upticks or downturns can mean the difference. Stay tuned.
Everybody loves to see their team maximizing potential; nobody likes to see their team squandering opportunities. Trends bode well or ill, sure. But this game is whimsical and fickle toward its followers, and neither one of us should be booking plane or train tickets for mid-October contests just yet. I said back then (to Nick's chagrin) that the Phils weren't good enough to run away with it without a fight from the Mets' high-dollar, talented roster. Nick, I'm sure it crosses your mind that any team with Fernando Tatis getting meaningful minutes and its star closer watching from afar can and perhaps should be overtaken. I sure hope that old, toothless, matching-belt-and-shoes condo commando (to quote Jimmy Buffett before he hocked his soul) does pilot the Phillie Buick into the municipal street sweeper, but I'm keeping an eye out for some annoyingly Lazarene return.
Yeah. Last September still stings.