By Mike Steffanos
This was a difficult year for me to blog the Mets. First, Lisa and I bought our first house back in the early spring. I spent two months working there every night after my day job was finished. This coincided with the time the Mets were playing well. Even then, I had my misgivings about them, as they had a tendency to virtually give up in games they fell behind.
Later on in the summer, I got very busy with my paying job, as is still the case. I had very little time to put into this. I also had little to say about a team that I never quite was able to embrace. Still, I like doing this blog very much, and it was frustrating not doing it "right".
Frankly, that I found the time and energy to do it at all these past two months is due to those of you who have made this thing worthwhile for me. The 2007 Mets may have left me flat, but you guys were great. You were the "good guys" this season, as were all loyal Mets fans.
Speaking of good guys, the one at the right is Reverend Al. As most of the regulars know by now, Al suffered first a heart attack and then a stroke. Al's wife Selma left this comment on the site last Tuesday:
(Handwritten by the Rev Al from hospital bed and typed by wife, Selma) "Hi Gang. Recovering from a massive heart attack, open heart, quad bypass surgery and a stroke may be easier for me than recovering from this year's Mets season. This team has done something to me that I am not sure I can recover from. I have that same gut feeling I had when the Brooklyn Dodgers left and went to L.A.I couldn't root for them anymore and still can't. I don't know if I can trust this team with my heart anymore. They just seemed to give up. I can see myself getting involved with the minor leagues; Brooklyn Cyclones and the Binghamton Mets. They play to win every game...exciting baseball...can easily will two in a row. I am turned off by this team. I watched the Cubs from the hospital and it was fun. A young nephew of mine just became a Yankee fan and I asked him why and he said, "Because they win." I had no further comment. This is going to be a long hard road for all of us....Looking on the bright side: Maybe we ALL can get together and go to a Cyclone game or a Binghamton game. We will buy out a whole section and root for the "future stars". I think that would be therapeutic for us. What do you think? We will let Mike buy us a hotdog! It's going to be a very interesting season and a "Hot Stove" league! Is anybody making new lineups yet? Or starting rotations? For me there are NO "untouchables". "We crashed with you, so we can crash without you." As bad as I feel, I am still wearing my Mets hat and using my Mets fleece blanket in the hospital bed. This is "Yankee" territory and I get sympathy from them. Some say, "There's a Mets fan in room 218." They come in and say to me, "I feel your pain." Then I say under my breath, "Thank you, but no, you don't know this kind of pain." Not even the 4 straight choke losses in the U.S. This is very different. It will always be there......like a Boston curse.... until they win a W. S...And one may not be enough!" (Rev Al is now in Allied Services Rehab Hospital on the Morgan Highway in Scranton, PA. I will bring him printouts of the website everyday I visit him..Please root him on guys and gals! He is playing to win this series everyday! Thanks, Selma)
When Selma emailed me the photo of Al she included the following note:
I have been delivering printouts of the website to Al every day...It is really good for him...He reads everything and immediately asks me for a pen to write something down..then, "When you get home, send this for me."
I wants to be a part of the website even though he is in rehab...He's going thru lots of physical therapy and occupational therapy and along the road may be long, we will finish it..
So, yesterday I printed out the photos that have the bloggers and you. So, he asked me to send a photo of him so that since he has a point of reference for the bloggers, he'd like them to also have a point of reference for him too...
Al has a tough road ahead of him, but I know you all join me in keeping him in our prayers. I look forward to Al passing his thoughts on through Selma when we get the energy back here to talk Mets hot stove during the off-season. I value his friendship and support very much -- as I do all of you die-hards.
Give me a chance to catch my breath and we'll talk Mets again soon.