Did We Make It? …Are We Back?

Did we? Make it, I mean? Yes I think so. We made it. Short days of gray concrete-sky Winter have come and (hopefully) gone, and it seems Spring is here. Baseball is the physical marker that helps me recognize when Spring has crept around the corner; the real-life metaphor for the changing of the seasons. That old baseball GM BART-something said it really well. Something about baseball breaking your heart.

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I haven’t written on this thing for a long time. Baseball broke my heart a few too many times last year and I sort of couldn’t muster enough creative interest in the game once the Metsies slid downward into the spinning wind-tunnel that seemed to toss them around in May. June? June was death. Literal, unadulterated jump-out-the-window death. I don’t remember any games from June last year but I do remember a sort of lumpy black fog suspended overhead, does that help?

But now we have a Brodie. I don’t think I knew what a Brodie was before last October, nor do I think I could explain what a Brodie would do for the Mets after finding out what a Brodie was. But now I am very excited to have a Brodie. We are the only team in baseball that has a Brodie, I believe. How many more times can I say Brodie?

What a Brodie has been mostly good for, it turns out, is changing the conversation. Sort of Don Draper-ish. Metsies in the Sandy era always seemed a tad out of touch or out of step with whatever was going on around baseball. It always seemed sort of murky and foggy as to where they were going or what they were doing. Now with a Brodie in our pocket, things seem sunny and golden-graham-y.

We are back, and looking pretty goddamn good.

Soul Man

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Wilma walk-off fever last night through the mushy gray mist, and I can’t believe I’m letting myself get amped a little for this team again.

Just to recap: since an 11-1 start, this Mets group has floundered and flopped like a fish on the sidewalk and literally has not won back-to-back games, the definition of mediocre. And geez has it been depressing. It was sometime around the Braves series at Citi that I started to suffer through the stages of grief; culminating in the acceptance of a team that will probably never be outstanding unless the ownership, you know, goes away forever.

So when Beanpole deGrom whirled his 13 K game Friday I was pleasant but not ecstatic. But now after a Wilma Walk-off is it possible I’m letting this team get me amped up again? No, probably not. They’re deeply flawed, structurally speaking, and not as fun to watch as a team like the Cubs or the Braves. Too bad I don’t watch the Cubs or the Braves.

But the Cubs and Braves don’t have Wilmer.

Go with me on this one, because it has been my feeling for quite awhile, and it’s a little out there but if you hear me out you’ll probably agree.

Wilmer is the Soul of this team. Don’t know when it started, but that fateful night against the Padres in 2015 sure didn’t hurt his soulfulness. That raw-nerved night was like someone opened the compartment of a powerful electric machine and futzed with the wires, causing sparks and making the machine spin out of control. Wilmer was caught in the middle of something, and somewhere along the way developed into what I can only refer to as “soulfulness personified”.

He’s like the Ringo Starr of the Mets. Not the most talented but could you imagine the Mets without him?

Ringo-Starr-smoking

I’ll do other Mets examples if that makes you feel better…

He’s like the Mookie Wilson of the Mets.

He’s like the Endy Chavez of the Mets.

He’s the Soul. The minute he is traded or fired or god knows what (knowing Wilmer’s penchant for the unreal, he will probably be brought down at the gates of some inter-dimensional portal by a two-headed dragon) this team will lose it’s soul, and things will feel very different. The 2015 vibes, the ones that echoed and bounced off the cave walls throughout 2016 and helped get them to a Wild Card game, the ones that were faintly heard from a distance in 2017, the ones that seemed to come right back and plop themselves into our laps during 11-1, will be gone forever.