By Joyce Mandelkern
I have spent the last week or so getting my equilibrium back. Baseball is so woven into the fabric of my life that it leaves a large void to fill when it suddenly disappears. I find myself with no game to go to or watch in the evening, and I feel somewhat disoriented for a time and need to readjust. When it ends badly, which it usually does, it makes it that much harder. But if you think about it, it can really only end well for the fans of one team. The rest of us are left to the "what ifs" and the "wait until next years" and discussing the moves that need to be made.
I think it is particularly difficult to recover from disappointment in New York. We are a city divided. We are not all on the same page. If the Red Sox go down in flames, the entire city must mourn. When the Mets go down in flames, half, if not more of the city, is laughing at us. I must say, everyone who knows me, even some that were rooting for the Yankees, offered me their "condolences." It was very hard to deal with the media-enhanced fury over "the great collapse of 2007." It became a tragedy of epic proportion. I couldn't wait for everyone to just move on to the next debacle and gratefully, the Yankees provided a much needed distraction for the media and salve for the wounds of the Mets fan. The Phillies being swept went a long way too in the healing. Okay - I admit it. I'm a sore loser. I'm probably a sore winner, too, but how would I know?
There is much talk already about who will go where. No, I don't want A-Rod to be on the Mets. Yes, I know he is the best player in baseball. I think every team he has been on has been better after he has left and I think the money he would cost would be much better spent on other things - say, pitching. I do not want to trade Jose Reyes. He had a bad half-season. Let's give the kid a break and not give up on him so quickly. I'm glad Pudge is off the market, because I think it would've been a mistake to bring him in and I don't want to see Posada here either. I love hearing and reading all these things because I love to debate them all. Isn't this what makes the off-season so great? We all have opinions and there is so much to discuss. Its almost as if the baseball goes on all year long. Gotta love hot-stove!
I can now watch the playoffs without being emotionally invested in them and enjoy baseball for the game it is. I have already begun to play general manager and think about what I want Omar to do and not to do. I suppose I have begun to move on, but I really miss Mets baseball, even bad Mets baseball. Yet, I keep saying I want a mulligan. If we could just have that last month over, I think we can get it right this time. Give us another chance! But our chance won't come until 2008. Unil then, we have some work to do. I'm ready to get started.