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Great Expectations

Joyce MandelkernThursday, February 15, 2007
By Joyce Mandelkern

I am a sports pessimist by nature. As Wellington Mara once said, "Hope for the best and expect the worst," and that is pretty much how I live my sports life. My glass isn't just half empty, it is shattered into a million little bits. My pessimism is self-preservation at this point in my life. After all, one can only have one's heart broken so many times by the teams one roots for with such passion. So it really is a self-defense mechanism. They say losing builds character and I say I have enough character - I WANT TO WIN!!!

Which brings me to Mets 2007 and my fears. I am afraid to let myself be too optimistic a la Mike. Mainly because I know how hard it is to get back to where we were last season. The Mets did things last season that they hadn't done in what seemed like forever. They won series. They swept series. They won series against Atlanta. They swept series against Atlanta. They won series IN Atlanta. They came from behind to win games. They won extra inning games. They won extra inning games that they had to come from behind to win. They won at home. They won on the road. They won despite injuries. They could hit. They got the big hit. They could run. They could steal. They could pitch (mostly). They could field. Who were these guys? Certainly not the Mets I have come to know and love over the last, well, lets just say the last few years and leave it at that.

So now I have expectations. I got a taste of what a good team is and I like it. The problem is that the best team doesn't always win (i.e. - St. Louis Cardinals - World Series Champions). On paper I think we have the team to do it. However, the game is played on the field and not on paper. I believe you need a lot of luck as well as talent and desire to get to the World Series. Things must fall the right way.

So maybe I will start this season being cautiously optimistic instead of pessimistic. Maybe I will leave the worrying to Omar and Willie and try to relax and enjoy. In a strange way wasn't it easier when we terrible and the only way to go was up? We didn't have any hopes and expectations so we couldn't be disappointed. That being said, we've been bad and we've been good, and I'll take good any season.


About Joyce: I am an insanely passionate die-hard Mets fan since 1962 who is also a season ticket holder and usually can't bear to look and buries her head in her hands or starts pacing when I'm home when things get tense...   Read More -->

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Comments (8)

Nah man, screw that. Be optimistic. Have faith. Think like I thought throughout the entire 2006 season. The Mets will kick ass and once again dominate the NL, just like last year.
No matter how many runs the Mets were down, have the same attitude I had, and that was that somehow, someway the Mets will find a way to win the game.
Not only was that the attitude and cockyness the Mets had but that's the way I felt as well. My attitude was in the image of the team. More fans should reflect that attitude. For the first time ever I was cocky regarding the Mets, no other Mets team has given me that because well... the team didn't give off that vibe. Now they do.

So... be optimistic, its much easier, funner, and healthier to know that in the end... your going to win the game. Even if it is 8-2 in the 8th inning.

Benny, you must've followed the '85 & '86 Mets--what the heck is wrong with swagger, if you've got the skills to back it up? Good on ya, Bro...

Joyce: you're getting there. I liken it to the differences between being at the game (the total experience, and who remembers every single thing that happened?) watching it on TV (every pitch and every out is life and death) and listening to it on the radio (stuff happens, but life still goes on around you.) I highly recommend "spreading it out" and enjoying what our Mets do this season through all three venues: your blood pressure will go down, you won't want to kick walls as much and the standings will be just the same the next day.

Play ball!

Me follow the 85 and 86 Mets? Nah... I wasn't even born yet to enjoy those seasons. I have no special place in my heart for Gary Carter, Keith Hernandez (he's just a broadcaster to me), Howard Johnson (he's just David Wright's favorite coach to me and future 3rd base coach), Doc Gooden and Darryl are just cokeheads to me.
I just feel if the team radiates a certain attitude why not be in the image of them, as fans?

I think winning is never guaranteed, that we have a good ball club to watch this season, and that there's going to be some terrific baseball played in Flushing. Enjoy! It's the best deal you'll ever get as a baseball fan.

If the idea is to remove all uncertainty, then mayhaps we should schedule a few games with the Long Island Ducks. For myself, I like having real competition for the top spot.

I'm with dd. I hope there is a pennant race this season, and of course I hope the Mets win it.

Oh man, in fact let me tell you guys a story about the Mets that happened last year. I was watching the Mets game at home August 5th against the Phillies. Tom Glavine was starting and I'm watching this game and my friend calls me saying "Yo... wanna go to the game?" I'm like... "They're losing and it's the 3rd inning" and his responce was "Yeah I know... lets go, c'mon we'll catch the comeback win".
We make just in time for bottom of the 6th inning rally and we go home happy.

I dunno, maybe its just me but I like the idea of domination better. It was so much fun to prove the "experts" wrong with the Mets just kicking ass the way they did. It was great to have Atlanta play these meaningless games because they had no shot. The Mets were soo good they had 12 starts made by Victor Zambrano, Jose Lima, and Geremi Gonzalez and still won the division by 12 games. HA! That makes me laugh. This season will be no different if not better.

Joyce - Let not your heart be troubled. We won't go 162-0, but there will be much more to cheer about this season than there'll be to wring our hands over. I'm sure of it.

Benny - Sweet serendipity, man. Your story is the flip side of those dingbats who stream out to the parking lot in the bottom of the eighth with the Mets down one or two, and watch as the home team's home run ball sails past their heads (and hopefully through one of their windshields). A true pennant race might be exciting this year, but I'll take a 12 game lead from Memorial Day on again. that'd be just fine by me.

ok guys - you've convinced me - we're going to have a great season! maybe i just need a "mantra" i can repeat to myself when billy comes in with a one run lead and gets 2 quick outs and then walks someone or gives up a base hit...any suggestions to keep from having the heart attack i can feel comming on? :) PS NostraDennis - from your mouth...

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