The pieces are all familiar. We’ve been here before. There are two games left to the year and the Mets are out of it. Again. We fans sit on the sidelines and watch other guys have fun for the next couple of weeks. We watch, intrigued and happy for the Orioles and A’s. We watch, bored by the Yankees and Braves. We watch, impressed by the Reds and Nationals. We watch, because it’s more baseball: if the Mets won’t give us any, we will settle for these other guys. Of course, we fans all realized it was going to go this way since the middle of July.
I’ve been watching Mets baseball in earnest since 1972 and this is one of the few seasons I can name which left me neither exhilarated, nor outraged. I don’t love this season. I don’t hate this season. I “nothing” this season. It’s an odd feeling. I’m looking back at seasons that stand out, because they make no impression on me. The first one I can think of is 1992, when David Cone was sent away and I was down to cheering Chico Walker and Kevin Bass. 1996 was less than memorable, despite my first ever trip to Port St. Lucie and the debut of Rey Ordonez. 2003 and Art Howe’s luminescence, Mo Vaughn’s girth and Jose Reyes’s first blooming passed me by like a wraith. This year just ending has the same kind of amorphous quality. If you ask me — in my dotage, years from now – what I remember about 2012, I’ll probably mumble something about R.A. Dickey and wins, Matt Harvey coming up and some gobbledy-gook about a no-hitter. Everything will be lost to the mists. You have to give this team credit, though: they worked really really hard to get me to not pay attention. Speaking as a fan who considers himself rabid, it takes something to have me not care. It may take Sandy Alderson’s making a Minaya-esque splash this off-season to shake my Queens somnambulance. Sadly, I don’t see it happening, if yesterday’s announcement of the retention of the entire coaching staff is any indication.
I read with great interest my friend and colleague Mack Ade’s – get well, Mack! — comments after my last post. Were I a more cynical man, I’d have dismissed them as over-optimistic about 2014. The fanboy in me, though, is hoping against hope that he’s right.
Maybe that will keep me paying attention in 2013.
Follow me on Twitter @CharlieHangley .