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Slip Sliding Away

Joyce MandelkernWednesday, September 19, 2007
By Joyce Mandelkern

Wanna laugh? Our playoff tickets came today. The world series tickets are right on top!! How is that for bad karma? Any one who reads my posts regularly knows by now that I am extremely superstitious. You probably don't know the extent of it, and if you did, you have me sent away for sure, but this was the last thing I needed to come in the mail today.

I'm depressed, dejected, resigned and emotionally spent. It's bad enough that when Pete got to work this morning he called me to make sure that I hadn't put my head in the oven. I explained to him that our oven is electric. He asked me if that meant that he had nothing to worry about. Not exactly. I should be ashamed to admit this, but I actually started to cry this morning and I'm really not a crier except when I'm happy, and I'm not happy. By the way, I didn't feel any better after tearing up.

When the game ended last night, I got two texts, one from each of my sons. We've always said that one has my personality and one has Pete's. One text said, "I'm trying to be optimistic, but I'm getting upset." The other text simply said, "Kill me." Guess who takes after whom. I texted back to optimistic son that the season is now over (which I don't truly want to believe) and I texted back my other son that if I kill him it will then be a murder-suicide because I was feeling similarly. I just wanted to be put out of my misery.

My son who lives in California gets MLB extra innings and was giving us the play by play of the Phillies - Cards game. I never thought I could root for the Cardinals, a team I never liked, with a manager I can't stand. All I know is that I was wanting Albert Pujols or Yadier Molina (haha) up at every at bat. After a while we decided we could no longer stay up and we went to sleep. As I awoke at 6 am this morning, the first thing I asked Pete is if the Cards had won. When I heard the answer that I already knew the answer to, I pulled the covers back over my head. I just needed to put the day off a little longer.

Look, we shouldn't be at all surprised by what is happening. Mike and I have seen this and been writing about this all season long. I'm just disappointed. I've written before, that when you have great expectations you have great disappointments and this is why I am feeling this way. I know logistically its not over and I will be the happiest person around if you all say at the end of October that I didn't know what I was talking about and we were fine and went happily and successfully into the postseason. I hope we can all tell Steve Phillips he didn't know what he was talking about when he predicted our collapse earlier on in the season.

I'm not giving up as a Mets fan. I've stuck with them through the good, the bad and the ugly and I'm not about to stop now. As torturous as this is for me, I will watch every pitch of every inning, except when I cover my eyes because I'm afraid to look. I will try to negotiate some deal with the baseball gods and see if we can't get this thing turned around before its too late. I will use every superstition I have and try some new things to see if they work. I'm not having fun and yes, I'm disgusted. I'm a Mets fan. I'm just praying those postseason tickets come in handy.

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 (7)

Joyce,Joyce,Joyce, I feel your pain. And agree we are at one of our greatest got to win this one moments. Looking at the past and this roller coaster ride of a season, the ride says it is time now to start going up. The win tonight sets us up with our strong arms and a real winning streak. Your tickets are a good sign that the best is yet to come. God didn't save me from a heart for nothing, I am still around to spread some hope.We can do this and you will enjoy your tickets. I have a electric oven also so I have to practice what I preach and "you gotta BELIEVE"

rev al - from your mouth to god's ears...please be well...i worry, pray and think about your health all the time while i'm watching...joyce

Joyce, I feel like you and I are kindred spirits when it comes to everything Mets. I too, take every loss extremely hard, and live and die with the team; that said, this season has been incredibly frustrating and disappointing beyond explanation. I've stated many times here about how much I disliked the hiring of Randolph; the fact that he has shown no improvement with his in-game strategy has just added to my angst. With everything that has gone wrong this year though, I am of the belief that the disappearance of Jose Reyes from the offense has had the most negative effect on this team; the fact that his production decline pretty much coincides with the hiring of Henderson has not escaped me. This sprint towards 100 steals has taken a lot of Jose; the constant pounding he takes sliding head-first has got to take a toll on him. He pops everything up, hasn't driven the ball hardly at all, and he has even looked tired (or lazy or disinterested) in the field. I think that if Jose can suddenly turn it on and be the Jose of old, the whole attitude and play of the team will follow; that might be enough to hold off the Phillies and give the team a good feeling going into the playoffs. Let's Go Mets! P.S. Hope you're feeling better Rev. Al; this team cannot be good for your health!

Thank you George, I am doing real good.Going for walks and going up and down stairs getting stronger everyday and I thank the good Lord, no pain. Soreness here and there but no pain.This ordeal has thought me not to take things for granted anymore, like when they took all the tubes out of me, and I had more tubes coming from me then the clubhouse boiler room. But that day I was able to go to the bathroom by myself, I'll never take going to the bathroom for granted again.This team has that effect on me now the same way, when they win and they will win, I won't take it for granted. If they get into the playoffs and beyond I won't take it for granted and maybe they won't either.

george...i think you are absolutely right about jose and i have noticed a change in him since they have hired henderson, and not necessarily for the better. the odd thing is, i think henderson has had a positive effect on lastings...i wasn't thrilled with the idea of bringing rickey on in the first place, but what do i know? at this point, i'm just glad they won tonight and i'm going to leave it at that and not anger the baseball gods. joyce

Hey, all, we've not been eliminated just yet. Call me a cockeyed optimist, but I'm still banking on next Thursday, 9/27, against the Cardinals, who helped us out tonight, as the date we clinch.

Apologies to Paul Simon and the title of this post, but I was thinking Tom Petty:

They're a good team
They win lots of ball games
They're a bad team
They're breaking our hearts
Now we're FREE...free-fallin' (fallin')

Free fall delayed for 24 hours. Sometimes, even a band-aid on a broken leg can feel just a little bit comforting.

Hey, I never knew Sylvia Plath was a Mets fan!

I've got to say, it figures. The season before she died the Mets lost 120 games.

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