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The Nearer Your Destination, The More You're Slip Sliding Away

Mike SteffanosThursday, September 25, 2008
By Mike Steffanos

Game 158: Cubs 9 - Mets 6 (10)

Yesterday was probably my last game at Shea Stadium. If somehow the Mets could have overcome their almost bizarre problem with scoring runners from third with no outs, it could have been up there with the best games I ever attended. As you all know by now, however, they couldn't and it wasn't.

I guess it's somewhat ironic that my last game at Shea was also a first -- the first time I ever sat in that left field picnic area. The company was great; the view from there was really cool. And for a while the game possessed real drama, if not the crisp execution I would have liked to have seen.

As the Mets playoff chances once again seem to be slowly sinking into Flushing Bay, I find it hard to harness a grudge against Oliver Perez, David Wright, Ryan Church, Luis Ayala or anyone else's choice for fall guy. I'm tired of spending two years trying to believe in a team that seems to have trouble believing in itself when its back is to the wall. While I'm no fan at all of the booing that goes on at Shea, I do understand the underlying frustrations that lie at the root of it.

Anything can happen in baseball, but I suspect this team will need to find their own version of Keith Hernandez to change the mentality and ratchet up the toughness. As there would never have been a 1986 without Hernandez, I doubt there will be a new championship to celebrate without someone coming in and shaking things up. Daniel Murphy seems to have it, but he's just a kid. While Santana seems to have that quality, it really needs to come from an everyday player and a veteran.

But in the meantime (and weather permitting) we seek to reach back down into our bag of optimism and try to cheer this team on. Honestly, though, I hate to say this, but my personal bag of optimism has been virtually emptied by too many withdrawals and not enough deposits over the past couple of years.

View Oliver Perez's Full Season Stats

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About Mike: I was the original writer on this web site, actually its only writer for the first 15 months of existence. Although I am grateful for the excellent contributions of my fellow writers here, I have no plans of stepping back into strictly an editorial role. I started this thing in the first place because I love to write and I love the Mets, and blogging here keeps me somewhat sane. If you haven't had enough already, more bio info can be found here.

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Comments (7)

....nah. I got nothing here.

"Circle the wagons", "we have nothing to fear, but fear itself", "ask not what your baseball team can do for you, but what you can do for your baseball team", "speak softly and carry a big stick". Well, all we can do is sit and watch gang, and keep the faith that this thing turns out. Sure, could have been 1/2 game out of the division lead and still 1 up in the wildcard. Didn't happen, so what, "it aint over till its over". "Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?" No. We have to rally around our team, no matter how desperate the situation looks. The season is still 4 games long. Lastly, "There must be some kind of way outta here, said the joker to the thief. There so much confusion, I can't get no relief." Lets Go Mets!

have never posted on your site and am sorry to make the first one a negative - but - wally backman? drunk wife beater with no mlb managerial experience? a ridiculous suggestion, but one that the retarded wilpons may embrace

Well, glad to learn of your reluctance to go negative.

The retarded Wilpons? Fred Wilpon is past president of the New York Board of Realtors; he made enough money in a tough industry to buy half of a major league ball team, and later to buy the other half. Whatever his faults, and I might include the siring of Jeff Wilpon among those faults, I think "retarded" is not the best description for the Wilpons.

And hey: Wally Backman would already have been a major league manager if he had been born twenty or thirty years earlier. His sins are as nothing compared to those of Leo Durocher or Billy Martin, to name two pretty good managers who failed the choirboy litmus test. Another pretty successful presentday manager got in a spot of trouble for spousal abuse, not so long ago; he manages the Braves. Cox sounds like an ackward piece of work in his private moments, but no one can say he hasn't been a success.

As for Backman: the fans who remember his playing days and the success of those 80's teams appreciate what he did and the way he approached the game; we sort of think we know him. But we don't, not in any meaningful way; and I certainly can't claim to know if what Backman did was an abberation or a window into his true nature. From what little I have read and heard on radio programs Backman is trying to live his bad acts down. And if he is serious in admitting that he did wrong and intends to sin no more, I for one am not ready to write him off.

I'm just about out of optimism too. Wednesday's game might have been the last straw. Did you see Murphy pump his fist sliding into third? Tie game, bottom of ninth, nobody out, heart-of-order coming up? And they can't score???!!!!!!!

I won't be watching any games this weekend. I just can't.

Every time I think Iam done they draw me back in.

Good quote Rev GF, III. Hey we can't help it. It is our destiny as Metsies, our fate, our albatross. We cannot have a season of total success, full of winning and celebrations. Something has to emotionally traumatize us more oft than not to have a sense of balance in this sick and twisted world. It is why we root for the Mets in the first place. We know it aint easy, it aint fair, and definitely know it aint good for us at times. Somehow we always come back for more, we are the NY baseball junkie looking for the next high. We are the person in the bad relationship, who is still convinced that somehow, someway it will get better and work itself out. We are the parents that sometimes puts that unreasonable expectation on the child that is full of flaws, in hopes that they will sooner or later get it together. I believe it's the challange, maybe the against all odds attitude? We are Kenny Rogers (no the singer) the "Gambler". Hell I am still trying to figure it out myself. Sure we could go root for the "crosstown glory boys", but wait, they aren't even in it. So here we stand, backs against the wall, the last hoorah. Rolling the dice, hoping no craps baby. Ready to abandon ship without notification from the captain. Ready to tell the man "you can fry this chicken your G-- D--- self!" This is the life of a Mets fan........and I don't think we would have it any other way, I don't think we could stand it! LETS GO METS! 3 wins and its on to glory. "METSIES, THIS WEEKEND, WE DINE IN HELL!" AHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOO! AHHHHHHHOOOOOO! AHHHHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOO!

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