It’s the start of another baseball season. I call myself a Mets fan, and every year around this time I look in the mirror and I say something like, “Rob, this year you’re actually going to watch baseball, OK? You’re going to stay on top of when the Mets are playing, and how they’re doing. You’re going to learn the names of more players than just David Wright. OK, and when you put on that Mets t-shirt, the vintage looking blue piece with the intentionally faded logo, right, when you wear it and some of your friends start saying stuff like, ‘Cool shirt, did you see the game last night?’ you won’t have to lie, nodding along, just hoping they won’t call you out on specific highlights, or ask if you knew who the opposing team was. No, this year you’re going to be a real Mets fan.”
I was almost a real Mets fan in 2007. Granted, at the time the Mets were doing awesome, and so it’s not that hard to get excited about a team that’s winning. Everyone thought they were headed to the playoffs that year. It was almost assured. They were so far ahead of every other team that they would have had to lose something like seven or eight games in a row to not qualify for the post-season. Which is what they did, of course. And they collapsed the year after that also.
But this year I wanted a fresh start, a chance to see the Mets through the season from the very start. I knew I was in for an uphill battle though when I saw a Mets game on the TV above the bar at work last week. “Shit,” I told one of the bartenders, “Did the season start already? When was opening day?” And it was like two days ago, I had somehow missed it completely. Is it really my fault? I don’t know. It’s just now starting to get nice out, so that first game must have been like a winter sport. And so can I really be blamed for not having had any spring weather to associate baseball with?
I went home and typed “Mets” into Google. They lost the first two games, and their closing pitcher messed up his arm or his elbow or something. So yeah, I guess I got a little deflated, like maybe I’m not going to get to be a huge Mets fan, not this year. And it sucked because I looked down, I was already wearing that Mets t-shirt that I was talking about earlier. Right when I got home from work that day, but before I checked out how they were doing online, I went hunting around my dresser drawers, I found it.
It’s a really cool shirt, it’s like, in addition to that distressed logo I was talking about, the one that was definitely intentionally silk-screened to make it look authentically vintage, there’s also a patch sewn onto the sleeve. I’m writing it out and it sounds super lame, but it’s a subtle touch, like maybe it’s a little over the top, but not too over the top.
But I can’t help feeling like a huge poser every time I put it on. It was the same feeling I got a few years before, I went to Modell’s and bought all of those “buy two get two” Mets tees, but they all stretched out around the neck, and honestly, I had no idea who any of the players were whose names I had printed across the backs of these really cheap pieces of cotton.
I get it though, it’s more than just dressing the part of a Mets fan. You have to also kind of pay attention to how they’re doing. If you’re not actually watching baseball games on TV, you should at least make sure you know when they’re playing, against who, maybe make an effort to understand the rules of the game, pitching order, American and National league, all of these keywords that I can rattle off without really knowing what I’m talking about.
Anyway, some good news, Ike Davis hit a grand slam last week. So that was pretty cool. I watched that clip on the Internet. But it was like three days after the fact, and when I went to talk about it to one of my friends at work, he was like, “Yeah that was a cool hit, although that was last week.” And then he walked away.
I tried watching some of the Cincinnati game on Sunday, but I couldn’t figure out what channel it was on, which is a really bad excuse, because I could have just looked it up on the Internet. Oh well. It’s still early. There’s still plenty of time to hop on the Mets bandwagon. Right?
Let’s go Mets.