The 2012 Mets And Things That Go Unnoticed

Where have I been?

I need to apologize to you, gentle reader. Your intrepid columnist has been MIA – that’s for “missing in action,” not “as bad as the Marlins” – for the better part of a month. Chalk it up to a swirling vortex of work emergencies, vacations and the general suckiness of the New York Mets. As the Mets have proven to us time and again this year, it’s not so much about how-many, but when: timing has been neither of our strong suits this year, and my absence reflects that directly. I’m back. Are you thrilled?

The Mets have limped to 70 wins and I’m still not sure how. Once it became evident that this was not the magical team we all figured it to be back in June, the season seemed to spiral out of all control. Amid the bad news, the gaffes, the guffaws and the grousing, what ripples of good news there have been have been swept out in the torrent. Jon Rauch has had a stellar second half? Who cares? Daniel Murphy still can’t field. Bobby Parnell has developed his secondary pitches quite nicely since the middle of August? Who cares? The owners are horrible. Ike Davis has 30 homers and 88 RBI? Who cares? They never hit in the clutch. David Wright is second in the NL in bWAR? Who cares? He’s gonna walk at the end of next year anyway. We fans have taken on the Jobian visage of a 14th century Trappist, alone in his Citi cell and having been shackled with a vow of silence. If it weren’t for R.A. Dickey, Matt Harvey and Johan Santana’s no-hitter, this season would be 1979’s ugly little brother. And Citi Field is filled to capacity with fans disguised as empty seats. Even the most clear-eyed among us have questioned our fealty to this organization.

And yet…

I sport my new 7Line “LOYAL” t-shirt. I check in on the games. I have the fleeting thought that “Hey! If they go 8-1 these last nine games, they’ll finish better than last year! Progress!” Sports fandom has a certain element of masochism attached – unless you’re a Yankee follower, of course – and sometimes, a sublime season rolls your way and somehow it all becomes worth it: just ask the Washington Nationals. We still hope for that. We don’t even notice it, but it’s there.

It’s what keeps us coming back.

Follow me on Twitter @CharlieHangley

12 comments for “The 2012 Mets And Things That Go Unnoticed

  1. September 25, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    Off Topic Question: Would someone help an old guy with a memory?

    I was a young boy and completely dumbstruck May 14th, 1972, seeing Willie Mays in a Mets uniform; especially since my father, who had me in a latter age, was a Mays fan in spite of being a Brooklyn Dodger fan, had told me amazing stories of Mays’ play in New York.

    I remember the home run on his first game as a Met. No problem with the memory. I googled it and was right.

    But I also have a distinct memory of a defensive play at first base where the ball was overthrown to Mays, who jumped up, spinning, came down and made the tag on the player for the out.

    Am I nuts or do I have a good memory of this play? I have not found it on line anywhere. Thanks, Peter

    • NormE
      September 25, 2012 at 9:30 pm

      Peter,
      I’m older than you. Like your father, I was a Brooklyn Dodger fan. I loved the Duke, but knew in my heart that Willie was the better ball player. During the years that I was growing up in the Bronx we were lucky enough to see all three NY teams on tv. There was no doubt that Willie was special. Only the stuffed-shirt Yankee fans could claim that their CFer was better. Mickey was very good, but (let me repeat) Willie was special.
      As to your question, I’m sorry but I don’t remember the play. I do remember the home run you mentioned. I also remember almost crying as I watched an over the hill Mays trying to recapture the magic in CF. Your question does remind me that Mays, Mantle and even Joe DiMaggio all tried their hand at 1B at the end of their careers. I think only the Duke remained in the OF, but he did move from CF to RF.
      Sorry that I can’t be of further help, and sorry for being so long-winded.

      • September 26, 2012 at 5:25 am

        Thanks, Norm. It is great to get feedback generationally, as you reach back to your earliest recollections. My family came from Ireland and settled in Brooklyn so grasping to baseball became an important part of life. My dad later pitched (shortly after getting back from WWII) for a semi pro team.

    • September 26, 2012 at 8:29 am

      I don’t know your answer, but if you *really* want to know – here’s how to find out. Mays played 28 games at 1B in his Mets career. Go to his baseball-reference page and look for his gamelogs. Here’s the link for his 1972 logs

      http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/gl.cgi?id=mayswi01&t=b&year=1972

      Look for the games where he played 1B and write down the dates. Then do searches for newspaper articles the following day, looking for game recaps. That’s probably the type of play that would get a mention in the next day’s gamer, regardless of the score.

      I doubt you’ll find any archives that old for the News or Post but it’s not impossible that the NY Times will come up in an online search. Or you can do it old school and go to the library and look up microfilm.

  2. Mack Ade
    September 26, 2012 at 9:19 am

    Nope…

    Not talkin’ bout’ the 2012 Mets no mo… :)

  3. September 26, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    Brian, thank you. I have not kept up with things, so the stats world has exploded since I last followed things closely.

    Mack, I was hoping you’d weigh in on this one with your memory. Peter

    • Mack Ade
      September 26, 2012 at 9:56 pm

      Peter:

      My answer about 2012 is the same I’ve been saying for a year… 2014.

      The Mets will begin the process of returning to a dominant team in the NL (not the AL) next season, and the projected rotation of 2014 that will include Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Jon Niese, and RA Hickey will return the Mets to a combined less than 3.00 staring ERA. Right now my guess for the 5th starter will be Logan Verrett, but right behind him come Rafael Montero and Michael Fulmer.

      You’ve got around $13mil to spend in this off-season AFTER signing a few of the current guys and giving proper ARB-1 salary raises. This will not go to major free agents. IMO, the lion share will be a $6-8mil outfielder via a packaged trade, plus 4-5 one million dollar guys a la Baltimore. The pitching will simmer and let the team compete for the wild-card.

      The 2014 off-season will give you the Santana-Bay money to fill in the positional players needed to join the NL top’s rotation.

      IMO, You can’t fuck this up. History someday will prove me right. The combo on Minaya and Alderson’s draft picks, signees, trades… for starters… has guaranteed this team success at levels even 7Train will be happy with.

      The second part of my business post is Sunday. I’ll complete it the following Sunday. You will then see how this team will operate in the $150-180mil range with all the bells and whistles.

      Help is on the was… thanks to the Commissioner, ESPN, FOX Sports, and Fred Wilpon.

      • Mack Ade
        September 26, 2012 at 10:02 pm

        Dickey, not Hickey :)

      • Chris F
        September 26, 2012 at 10:22 pm

        Mack, you have a sense of what the OF would look like?

        • Mack Ade
          September 27, 2012 at 8:44 am

          Chris:

          No, and I don’t think anyone does right now. I don’t know how the Alderson administration approaches this process. You could analyze each team’s excess of outfielders on their team and target into someone would would go FR in 2014. Then, you could supply that team a list of players available and tell them to “pick two” knowing they will come back and you will “let them” negotiate you to three players. Every GM does it different. And, every team receives it different.

          Trust me… the reason you are seeing so much of Familia, Mejia, Carson, and El Ramirez this September is also due to showcasing.

          I’m off to the hospital for my prostate surgery… wish me well.

          • Chris F
            September 27, 2012 at 11:37 am

            Thanks Mack. And All the best from me. See you soon.
            Chris

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