Monday, November 22, 2010

An Open Letter to Terry Collins

Dear Mr. Collins,
Congratulations on beating out Bob Melvin, Chip Hale, and Wally Backman and becoming the 20th manager in franchise history. You inherit a team that went from contenders to choke artists to master choke artists to injured to just plain garbage. And that's putting the last five years eloquently.

I'm not expecting 2011 to be much better. I'd be happy with the team finishing 81-81 and Johan Santana returning to form. And for Carlos Beltran to actually show up to the park. I understand 2011 needs to be a rebuilding year. And I'm okay with that.

Along with becoming the manager of this team, you also automatically become the scapegoat Mets fans turn to if things start to really suck...except for that time Luis Castillo dropped the ball; that was totally his fault. A lot of Mets fans are unhappy with your hiring because you're not Wally Backman. They'll overlook the fact that you were the Mets Minor League Field Coordinator and probably know the farm system inside and out, coinciding with Sandy Alderson's strategy to rebuild this team from within the organization. They just see that you quit your job with the Angels and fear you'll do the same thing with the Mets, and in some ways, their worries are legitimate.

However, I think most of us are being too quick to disregard you in any sense. I mean, you haven't managed a game for this team yet, and there are quite a few who have counted this team out for the next two years. This is a team whose fanbase has suffered. Over the last four years, we were mismanaged, injuries were mistreated, and ticket prices went up. Ownership was taking our hard-earned money and not giving us a product that we can actually root for. I mean, when Oliver Perez pitches, you can put it in the books as a loss. Yet, he is getting $12 million a season to suck at his job. That's just bogus man.

I'm willing to give you a shot, because nobody can predict the outcome of the next two seasons. However, my only stipulation is that you get Bobby Valentine's Groucho Marx mustache and wear it in the dugout. And have Paul Lo Duca just walk around with his crazy eyes.

Again, congratulations on the job and Godspeed!


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Eeyore: A Tragic Symbol of Mets Fandom

I have a stuffed Eeyore that sits on my bed wearing a Mets jersey, not only because my bedroom can rival Jimmy Fallon's in Fever Pitch, but also because the Mets jersey was to big for my Yorkie to wear. I was talking to my brother on Skype yesterday and I happened to pick Eeyore up, and I said that Eeyore would make a good Mets fan, because of his Debbie Downer nature. He would say, "Aww shucks, the Mets lost again." And then he would go about his day letting the outcome of the game get to him. Which is something I do...on a very regular basis.

Eeyore expects things to go wrong and is never surprised when they do go wrong. He simply says, "I knew it." That's kind of what the 2010 effort was to me. Because the Mets had failed to string together a thee-game winning streak for the better part of two months, I was able to successfully predict the outcome of most of our sets this past summer. And even though I was expecting the Mets to lose on a certain day, it still got to me.

There are certain times in a Mets game where I can expect something to happen. Whether it be Luis Castillo dropping the ball, David Wright hitting an unclutch single to left field, or Oliver Perez pitching there are things every game that you just see coming. And when these things happen, Eeyore goes to his Gloomy Place: Rather Boggy and Sad. Mets fans go to Citi Field, which, for argument's sake, is also rather boggy and sad.

Despite his gloominess, Eeyore is also capable of love and compassion. Mets fans are also capable of love and compassion, considering we still watch this team year after year because rooting for the Yankees is like being married to a movie star. Eeyore made a plant grow because he gave it the love it needed; Mets fans sent suggestions to John Ricco and the Wilpons as soon as the calendar turned October 4. It takes a lot of compassion to root for a team that has virtually eliminated itself by the All Star Break.

The Eeyore on my bed wears a Mets jersey. It may hurt to be a Mets fan. We might be gloomier than Eeyore's Gloomy Place, but the promise of a big payoff keeps us hanging on. And when we do get our day, it will be a lot sweeter than expected.