Monday, April 12, 2010

Hyperbole At Its Worst


I present to you, Captain Hyperbole. The man above represents all of the laughably reactionary fans and writers who have been spewing their incoherent drivel about the Mets over the past 48 hours. I'm not writing this as an apologist, I'm writing this as a realist.

The 2010 Mets are 2-4. If we were to use some 3rd grade math and use these first 6 games to predict the final record, that record would be awful. Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel would be fired, and a complete overhaul of the roster would most likely occur. Watching the Mets lose listlessly to the Marlins in the 3rd game of the season, and watching Johan Santana get smacked up while his teammates were stifled by Livan Hernandez yesterday was not fun. It really, really sucked.

Over the course of 162 games, losses - often ugly, happen. Coming off the 2009 season, lots of fans and writers are waiting for the other shoe to drop. Reacting as if the season is over after 6 games, though, is absurd. The Mariners and Angels are both 2-5, the Dodgers are 2-4, the Cubs are 3-4. Are their seasons over also? 6 games are a tiny sample, a sample that no one should even attempt to draw conclusions from.

The Mets have played 2 crappy games, and 4 pretty good ones. The starting pitching (aside from Johan's bad 1st inning against the Nationals) has been fine, the bullpen has gone nearly 14 innings without allowing a run, and the team has shown fight - both literally and figuratively. In the 2nd game of the season, Gary Matthews smoked what appeared to be a game winning hit in the bottom of the 9th, but Hanley Ramirez was playing behind 2nd base. The Mets eventually lost. On Saturday, Rod Barajas hit a ball with the bases loaded that was ticketed as a game winner (even Gary Cohen thought so), but Willie Harris made what has up to this point been the catch of the season...by any player...on any team...in either league. If those 2 balls found the outfield grass, the Mets would've been 4-2. Instead, they're 2-4.

Even if those 2 balls had found the outfield grass instead of the gloves of the opposition, writers and fans would be calling the Mets' 4-2 start a mirage. "Can't take it seriously after 6 games", they'd say. But the Mets are 2-4, not 4-2. And 2-4 is a record the naysayers and sky-is-falling crowd can rally around. It's extraordinarily annoying, and reading and/or listening to what they're regurgitating over and over and over is a complete waste of time.

Drawing conclusions after the 6th game of an 162 game season is pointless, whether those conclusions are that the team will win the World Series or finish in last place. Would it have been better if the Mets were 6-0? Absolutely. They'd be 4 games better, to be precise. Still, no one would have any idea how that imaginary 6-0 team would fare over the remaining 156 games of the season. Just like no one has any idea how the actual 2-4 team will fare over its remaining 156 games.

Much like the rest of the teams in baseball, save for one Microsoft like operation that spends upwards of $220 million on their payroll, the Mets have issues that may or may not work out. That's what the season is for...to find out just what this group of players can do. To see how quickly Carlos Beltran will return, to find out whether or not the bullpen can keep performing close to the torrid pace they've set for themselves, etc.

I refuse to accept the fact that these first 6 games have shown us anything concrete. Those who mention how none of the starters have seen the 7th inning yet, fail to mention that all of those pitchers (save for John Maine) went 6 innings, and would've gone longer if it wasn't their first start of the year. Facts are for those who actually pay attention, while fantasy and hyperbole is for those who refuse to give this team a chance...those who insist on jumping to conclusions after 55 innings have been played.

If you're a fan who chooses to give up on a season and/or adopt a woe-is-me attitude at this point in the season, I truly feel bad for you. We waited 6 months for the Mets to come back, and the first thing the majority of the fan base is doing a week after the Mets finally started playing regular season games, is forming as one massive cloud, jumping into the sky, and turning their idiotic words and negativity into a thunderstorm of shit that's raining on all of the other fans' season opening parades.

If it's June 1st and the Mets are in last place, feel free to go nuts. Until then, please let the fans who still have faith in this team enjoy a season that's still in its infancy.


1 comment:

Robert said...

Great article. It is good to see that there are at least a few Met fans left that are not giving up after 6 games. The last time I looked at the standings, the Mets were only 3 games out of first and a long way from being eliminated. Wednesday night's game showed some signs that this team is better than last year's - in 2009 the game would have been over when they were behind 6-1. Instead, it went 10 innings and showed that this team doesn't give up that easily. Let's hope that 2010 will be at least a fun season to watch.

Keep up the good writing and Let's Go Mets!