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The Fun Starts Tomorrow

Mike SteffanosSaturday, March 31, 2007
By Mike Steffanos


As we stand here on the brink of another campaign, I have to admit that I am struggling to find something to write about. I just think all of the roster moves have been discussed to death and the pros and cons of David Wright batting second in the batting order have been adequately covered. The real answer to that, along with all of the questions about the pitching, will begin to be answered as the club plays games that count starting tomorrow.

Where I live in Connecticut, I am surrounded by Yankees and Red Sox fans. I am also encircled by the attitude of most Yankees fans that the regular season is merely a prelude to the playoffs, and anything less than a championship is total failure. I have one good friend who is a Yankees fan who refuses to buy into this anymore because it sucks all of the joy out of a baseball season.

I could identify with this, because I allowed myself to take on this frame of mind in 1986. The local media told me that the Mets HAD to win that year, and I bought into it completely. In fairness, after 2 consecutive close second place finishes, it was important that the club take the next step. The problem is that when you buy into the "title or failure" philosophy, winning is just doing what you were supposed to do, while losing is agony.

It's not that I never enjoyed baseball that year, it's just that after living through the seven excruciatingly awful seasons from 1977-1983 and the two disappointing years of 1984 and 1985, that championship season should have been the most fun and enjoyable season in my career as a fan. While there were indeed some good times and great memories, I felt a little cheated when it was all over. In both the NLCS and World Series, the team had teetered on the edge of disaster. In the end, there was just a little too much of relief and too little of the joy that should have been there for me. I promised that I would not allow that to happen to myself again. Surely, this great team would produce another title and I would permit myself to enjoy that one properly.

As you all know, that next title still hasn't come, but I haven't forgotten the lesson of 1986. The local Yankees-centric media will assuredly seek to push those attitudes on us that most Yankees fans have embraced. I won't make the mistake of buying into it, and my hope for all of you is that you won't, either. Baseball is a marathon. Don't let them focus your eyes so hard on the finish line that you miss all the fun you can have along the way.

Items of Interest
A great story today by Dave Buscema in the Times Herald-Record on Rick Peterson, and how being the Mets pitching coach is more than just a job to him.

Also, I read a couple of days ago where NBA commissioner David Stern backed up Bud Selig on the Extra Innings deal with DirecTV. Maybe it's just me, but it seemed the equivalent of Ted Bundy giving a character reference for Jeffrey Dahmer.

About Mike: I was the original writer on this web site, actually its only writer for the first 15 months of existence. Although I am grateful for the excellent contributions of my fellow writers here, I have no plans of stepping back into strictly an editorial role. I started this thing in the first place because I love to write and I love the Mets, and blogging here keeps me somewhat sane. If you haven't had enough already, more bio info can be found here.

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Comments (6)

I shouldn't be thinking thisaway, but has anybody seen any reports on how Humber and Vargas are doing in minor league camp?

And also, what was the fate of Lino Undanetta? He came to camp as a non-roster invitee, and he pitched better than at least two guys who made the team. I haven't heard about an assignment, and frankly I would expect someone to pick him up. Any news on this front?

Okay, now I'm ready for the season to start.

You hit the nail on the head here Mike. With all the new "news" and rumor outlets available via the internet, it is understandable how so many of us can become caught up in the overanalysis of every single detail concerning our team. And that overemphasis on things such as spring training batting averages, wins and losses and offseason rehab programs has never been so obvious to me as it has since October 20th of last year.

But I hope all of us can take a deep breath today, and clear our minds of all this excess thought by gametime tomorrow. After all, there's a reason we are all here. We love this team and we love this game. And after so many years of suffering through mediocrity, we deserve the chance to enjoy how this team of ours plays this game we love.

As a Fellow Met Fan Mike , I Hope for the Best , but sometimes Exspect the Worst every year I have been following this Team since 1963 . And I have also seen over time that every year is different when it comes to Talent , and the unforseen occational Injuries . So I have learned to be patient , and somewhat reserved in my thinking when it comes to the Mets chances of Winning in any given year . For 2007 , I have High Hopes that this just might be the Team to Win it all , but like that ant , climbing the rubber tree plant to the WS is not going to be an Easy Task . So , as Always.....

LETS GO METS ! BELIEVE ! 2007 !

I deal with Yankee fans every day, but they've relocated to DE and have lost a lot of that nasty edge you guys further north have to put up with. My Mets hat, proudly worn in a WalMart garden center attracts everybody with a tri-state accent, and not a one is a Met-hater. I bid the Yankee fan a good season as much as I bid the same to some guy wearing a Red Sox, Phils, Nats, Orioles or (choke, gag...) LA Dodger cap.

Feel free to come on down here and see how we all have figgered out how to get along!

Baseball's coming back, and the NFL better watch it's back.

Where I live in the Poconos of Pa., there's a lot of Yankee fans. I have been here since 1988 and when I would wear my Met hat to Wallmart in years past the Yankee hats said things like, I feel sorry for you or its time to change your hat for a real team.They have changed now to positives statements like, your looking good or see you in the series. I think I have changed also, with a feeling of accomplishments and steps in the right direction. In the past it was a Seaver or a Kieth Hernandez that gave me some pride but now its more of a team thing. Its not just one big star its everybody, even the farm teams, aaa and aa have caught my intrest. And its all looking better and better, as each season is. Wow, look at what we did last year, it was a gaint step of many steps to come. We are moving up and everybody, Yankee fans included, see that. I am going to put my Met hat on and go to Wallmart.

dd - I heard Urdaneta will start the season in New Orleans. You don't really hear anything on the minor leaguers until their season starts.
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Salman - Boil it down and it's all about loving the game and enjoying the ride of a baseball season.
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Amen, Mark
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geezer - For the most part, I don't have any trouble getting along with Yankees fans. I have a problem when the local press tries to cram Yankees values down the throats of Mets fans.
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Al - wear the colors proudly, my friend.

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