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The Brighter Side of Disaster

Joyce MandelkernMonday, September 3, 2007
By Joyce Mandelkern

After the Phillies debacle, I did what any heartbroken Mets fan would do - I left town. I fled to my happy place. Actually, it was a planned trip with the family to Arizona, but it couldn't have come at a better time for me. After the four games against the Phillies, I was emotionally spent. I couldn't listen to the radio or read the papers anyway, so the best thing for me to do was just get out of New York and be with the people I love. Let me tell you though, flying on an airline with a television does you absolutely no good whatsoever when you can't bear to watch the sports channels, because all they talk about is how your favorite team's season is all but over. I didn't want to keep seeing the grisly replays over and over again. I certainly did not want to hear the pundits tell me I was crazy for thinking we still had a shot to win the division. Please just get me to Arizona and fast.

Here were my thoughts on the Philadelphia series for what they are worth. I figured that Philly had to do all they possibly could and then some to beat us in all four games. They had to have luck on their side, all the breaks possible, great starting pitching, great bullpen outings, terrific offense and perfect defense. And the umpires even had to cooperate. And honestly, other than the first game of the series, in which I thought we were totally flat, we really could have won the others. We fought hard. So I'm thinking Philly peaked in their series against us. They gave it everything they had to beat us and they did, but it wasn't easy for them and they really can't keep playing like that against everybody else for the rest of the year. Was I upset? Of course I was. However, uncharacteristically, I didn't thinking we were doomed. I actually saw a silver lining.

I thought maybe it was the kick in the butt we needed. Maybe last year was too easy for us. Maybe we needed to see we didn't have this division sewn up. Maybe we needed something to play for. Kick up the intensity level a notch. Bam! I was, however, worried about our upcoming series with Atlanta.

We got to Arizona Friday afternoon. The game was not on television here, so my choice was to sit in the car and listen to it on satellite radio or watch it on the computer on gamecast. I opted for gamecast because I couldn't bear to listen to the Braves announcers call the game on the radio. I haven't been so relaxed watching a Met game in I don't know how long! I might have to do this from now on. There was absolutely no drama. When it says "the incoming pitch was hit" you wait for it to tell you what the outcome is. Pete and the kids could not believe that I could sit and stare at a computer screen for 3 hours and "watch" a game and still talk to the screen, but I can and did. And with a 3 hour time difference, we all went to dinner afterwards. This works for me. Saturday and Sunday the games were on TV, so of course I watched and worried as always. It's a little strange having a 10 am start, but at least you still have the whole day ahead of you to play in the 112 degree heat!

I am as happy as can be that the boys came to play against the Braves. The fact that they rebounded from the Philadelphia series shows me that they were as upset as we were about the outcome down there. The starting pitching was terrific and so was the bullpen with one exception which I refuse to discuss. I'm so happy for Mike Pelfrey and I only hope we can expect more of what we saw on Saturday from him. Glavine finally got a win that I didn't think he could or would ever get and I'm happy to be wrong. Me of little faith. And then Philly goes to Florida and loses two of 3. Baseball is a funny game.

The trick is not to let down of course. And getting Billy fixed would help. I know I said I wouldn't mention it, but I can't help myself. I'm officially worried. I'm not going to put my eggs in the Pedro Martinez basket, because I don't think it's wise to do that. We have gotten this far without him, and anything he gives us would certainly be great, but not to be counted on.

So far, my happy place has been good to us. I'm supposed to come home Friday. So, I'll either be spending a lot of time in the car or staring at the computer. If my happy place continues to be good to our Mets, I won't see you guys till the beginning of November.

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 (3)

joyce, I am with you. I was under self-imposed exile during the Mets weekend. I did it for my own health though - my blood pressure was spiking just thinking about the sweep in Philly. Not to mention, I sorta kinda cheated and listened to the 9th inning on sunday...and nearly drove my car off the road when Wagner was making it interesting. But hey, it's all good, it worked out, and I was able to watch Pedro today with grand pomp & circumstance!

I was pretty lucky to have been on a mini-vacation last week with my family at a B&B in Rehoboth Beach DE with no TV. I cringed as I glanced at the newspapers Thursday and Friday morning but I was spared the suffering I would have endured if I watched the games.

I must admit my blood did start to boil as I was sitting at a bar Friday evening watching PTI with the sound off and the line at the bottom of the screen read "Phillies Winning NL East?"

Nothing can be finer than to spend the Sunday before Labor Day lounging at the Wet & Wild water park in muggy Orlando, chips and adult beverages at hand, reading Dana Brand's "Mets Fan" (niiiiiice read, Dana!) and popping the headphones on intermittently to keep tabs on the Mets' sweep.

Now THAT's relaxation. And so will the next three weeks be.


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