By Joyce Mandelkern
A couple of thoughts as the season is now officially underway.
I am as happy as the next guy that the Mets made mince meat of the Cardinals. However, not for one moment, did it make me forget or in any way even feel better about losing the NLCS. But thats just me. There was no vindication - no payback. It was just a good way to start the season. And last year was still a lousy way to end the season.
Everyone I know has said to me "the Mets look great - you must be so happy" and my answer to them is, "I'm happy to be 3 - 0 but talk to me again 100 games in and we'll see what's what." This is the first time in a long time that I can honestly say that for Mets fans anything less than getting to the World Series and dare I even say winning it, would be a disappointment. Look how far this franchise has come. We used to just want to get to .500. Then, to "play meaningful games in September.". Next it was to get the Wild Card. To win the division was something I never even thought was possible - until last season. And now I want to win it all! I know Mike is looking forward to a close division race. Personally, I would prefer to run away with the division once again. I think there is something to be said for complete dominance.
I got a text message today from our cousin who lives in Atlanta and is, of course, a Braves fan. He said that the Mets season hinges on this 3 game series and asked if I am ready. This is utter nonsense. My response to him - "the better question is - are the Braves ready?". Obviously, I would like to win the series. I would like to win every series the Mets play and I believe that if we come out of Atlanta winning at least 2 out of 3 it would set a great tone and put both the Phillies and Braves and even the Marlins on notice that we mean business. That being said, if we don't win the series, the season is by no means lost. I think this 3 game set is much more important to the Braves than it is to the Mets at this point in time. The pressure is on them to prove who they are. They need to prove this to themselves as well as to others. The Mets know who they are and what they are capable of and play with a confidence that winners exude. The Braves are coming off a dismal season and need to show that it was a fluke, if indeed it was, as they keep insisting.
One last thought. I have decided that I will never see a Met pitcher throw a no hitter in my lifetime. I have absolutely no idea why this upsets me so, but it does. I actually foolishly thought that John Maine had a shot at it the other night. I didn't move from my spot on the sofa. I didn't mention it to Pete and he didn't mention it to me although we both were thinking it. We even shot each other glances every time Gary Cohen said he was perfect through 3, through 4., hoping he wasn't jinxing it (which he obviously was). Why, why, why can't a Mets pitcher toss a no hitter until he leaves the Mets???