Well here we are. For the first time in this long season, we are behind. Not far behind. It’s not as if we’re up against the ropes. But for the first time since the end of the 2005 season, some team is closer to what we’re chasing than we are.
So I’ll start off by doing the “Ya Gotta Believe!” thing. The Mets always thrive as underdogs, I say. They were a game down (0-1) in 1969. They were a game down (3-2) in 1986. They’ll come back now as they did then. “EVERYBODY CLAP YOUR HANDS!!!” I want you to all go and open up the windows and scream as loud as you can, yadda, yadda, yadda.
But because I’m not a total idiot, even though I am a Mets fan, and because nothing is worse than lying to yourself when you’re in trouble, I will also cast a fearful glance backwards at my memories of the playoffs in 1988 and the World Series of 2000.
Look, sometimes they do it and sometimes they don’t. Maybe they’ll do it and maybe they won’t. We sit here in the middle of one of the great memories of Mets history or we are in the middle of one of those things we will never get over. You can’t tell which and there’s nothing you can do about it. If you read this post on this morning or afternoon of October 15, you don’t know what’s going to happen. If you read this post later, you will know what is going to happen and what has happened will be a part of your life forever. This is what baseball is: a very long story that is what it is forever, except for what it is for a very short time inside a crazy little overstuffed car that is the present moment.
I’m glad the Mets are on the road. I say this because when things are going a little badly, there are some Mets fans who act like assholes. If last night had happened at home, there would have been people who would have booed Steve Trachsel after his horrendous first inning and I would have had to run through the stands, strangling them all. We are not the Yankees, morons. We don’t think losing is “unacceptable.” We just think it is awful. At least in a context like this. When we have been so good all year. When we’re hurt. When we’re so much better than the Cardinals. And when we have had so much disappointment over the past couple of decades.
I want the Mets to straighten themselves out as they’re alone together out there in that sea of red. And then I want them to come back to us. We can help. We can be louder than anybody.
When things are really on the line, oh Mets, you want to be near us. You want to hear us. You want to feel the stadium trembling with our loud love. Win, Mets. We will smother the sounds of those of us who are stupid and impatient. You come home and we will help you. We will do this together. And when you win, all we ask is that you run along the third base line with cigars in your mouths and spray us with champagne.