Monday, June 29, 2009

New York Mets: 1962-2009, Rest In Pieces

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to pay our respects to the recently departed, the New York Mets, who died last night at the age of 47.

The deceased began life as a stumbling child, unable to so much as stand up straight, but at least laughed a lot. His father, Mr. William A. Shea; his mother, Mrs. Joan Whitney Payson; and his godfather, Mr. Charles D. Stengel, were proud, no matter what.

He had a wonderful 8th birthday party, with 60,000 of his closest friends joining him on the lawn. There were some other nice moments in his school days, as his teachers, Mr. Hodges, Mr. Berra, Mr. Murphy, Mr. Kiner, Mr. Seaver and Mr. Staub pointed the way.

His teenage years were rough. He was awkward, and no one wanted to play with him, preferring the mature kid across town, with his cool friends Reggie and Catfish, Thurman and Sparky and Lou. They sure seemed to be having fun.

Then he came of age, and what a coming of age it was, showing the cool kid that it could be done by him as well. But he had a drug problem, and it all fell apart. Considering he only lived to be 47, perhaps this was his "midlife crisis."

He spent most of his 30s trying to find his way again, and he did, taking some bloody noses from the rednecks down South, but giving a few as well, and finally emerging as a successful man in his neighborhood.

But, once again, the guy across town was there to triumph, and show him that he was always going to be second-best. He never got over it. Still, the way things worked out, he was "the first responder" after 9/11, and earned another place in the town's hearts.

It seems patently unfair that what should have been a successful time for him also turned out to be his final years. He had such hopes for his children, Jose and David, and had even built a lovely new house for himself. (He had to: The old homestead was a dump.)

But it was not to be. One of those mean Molina boys ruined things for him. And then, just when it seemed like glory was in his grasp, he let it get away. And then did it almost exactly the same way again. It was time to get out of his parents' house, and into his own.

But what could he do? He was afflicted with all kinds of maladies. Dropsy. A control problem. Walking pnuemonia. A general listlessness. All kinds of bumps and bruises. And no way to relieve it.

The coroner, a man in a Pinstriped suit, Dr. Mariano Rivera, pronounced him dead last night, in his new home. He took one more walk around the body, just to be sure.

Survivors include some children, including Jose and David; a wife, Cyndi Lauper (hey, she's from Queens, and yes, "She's So Unusual"); many brothers and sisters, such as Jon Lewin, Greg Prince, Jerry Seinfeld, Gary Cohen and Joe Benigno; an uncle, Ed Koch; some gorgeous ex-girlfriends, including Susan Sarandon, Glenn Close, Hilary Swank and Julia Stiles; a spiritual adviser, named Metstradamus; and a pet, Mr. Met.

In lieu of flowers, watch the Yankees. Your tears will soon stop.


Ah, the National League, where pitchers bat -- even the best pitcher most New York baseball fans now living have ever seen, and I ain't talking about the Fresno vintner. Real baseball.

From this day forward, I don't want to hear any Met fans talk about how they play "real baseball." The best relief pitcher you've ever had (may Tug forgive me) walked a guy with 2 previous career at-bats. With the bases loaded. Turning a one-run deficit into a two-run deficit. You guys should now get down on your knees and beg Bud Selig to put in the designated hitter, because you can't even get Mariano Rivera out.
Mariano was happier about his 1st career RBI
than he was about his 500th career save.

There's an old saying: Fool Mets once, shame on you; fool Mets twice, shame on them; fool Mets five times out of six, and the ghost of Casey starts asking, "Can't anybody here play this game?" Yes, Casey: The team you took to 10 Pennants and 7 World Championships -- not the team that, in your own words, "showed me ways to lose I never knew existed before."

It’s time to put to sleep this idea that there's something special, even holy, about the National League. The NL wins the World Series every now and then, but it never wins the season series in Interleague Play, and whereas it was once unbeatable in the All-Star Game, now they haven't won that since 1996, when a steroided-up catcher for the Dodgers hit a long home run.

The National League... The American League drinks your milkshake! From Shake Shack or otherwise! Slurrrrp! We drink it up!


Paul said...

Very funny stuff Mike! I can just imagine what you'd have written after the 5 game sweep @ Fenway back in '06.

Cheers from Boston!

Uncle Mike said...

I'm afraid you'll have to imagine it, Paul, because I hadn't started this blog yet.

But I was in Boston on that Sunday, when the Yanks were preparing for Game 4 that night -- I didn't have a ticket, I was just observing -- and everyone was in a stupor, whining about how the Yankees had the hammer over the Sox, about how the fates were against them, as if 2004 had never happened. Once 2007 happened, of course, all pretense to humility was gone.

The Mets are dead. The Red Sox are alive and well -- and remain on the WANTED poster.