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Dreams of an Undefeated Season Fade Away

Mike SteffanosFriday, April 10, 2009
By Mike Steffanos

Game 3: Reds 8 - Mets 6

I didn't catch this afternoon's game. So how did Ollie do?

Just kidding. As I'm sure you know by now, after a couple of promising innings, Oliver Perez reverted back to the struggling pitcher we've seen all spring. The moaning and handwringing has begun in earnest, and the media is only too willing to feed into that attitude.

Sorry, folks, if I just can't get myself all that worked up about it yet. I know there are others of you out there who read this blog regularly that feel the same way.

I'm on record as favoring the Mets signing Derek Lowe over Perez this winter, but it didn't happen. I'm not going to spend the whole year comparing every start the two make.

I look at it this way -- if Perez had gone out and pitched 7 shutout innings today, nobody would be trying to say that he was permanently "fixed". We know the deal with Ollie, and you have to give it some time to play out.

Indeed, the same could be said about all of the starters. We're wallowing in the negatives of Mike Pelfrey's first outings, and we're breathlessly awaiting any signs of mortality from John Maine and Livan Hernandez to shift the angst machine into overdrive.

I'm not falling into that. It's not the reason I watch baseball. I know the last two years have not been wonderful for we Mets fans, but that doesn't mean we have to allow ourselves to become the elite wusses of the sports fan world.

I hope I don't get kicked out of the club, by I have to admit that I'm really not all that haunted by the way 2006, 2007 or 2008 ended.

Don't get me wrong, I wasn't happy about any of that, but loving baseball is something that I do for fun. The things that haunt me in life are the times that I failed to live up to my sense of right and wrong. The failings of the baseball players I root for are mere disappointments in comparison.

Going into the season I accept the fact that there are issues with the starting rotation. I understand even a good bullpen is going to blow some games and struggle in others.

Part of the fun for me in a baseball season is watching how all the questions any club enters the season with get answered. Almost to a man I find this year's club both interesting and easy to root for.

Although most baseball seasons end in disappointment, and some disappointments are more painful than others, I think I'll pass on the intense suffering and angst. I hope that doesn't lose me too many friends among the Mets faithful.

I know that suffering is supposed to make us better people, but it will take something more significant than ball games to provide a hot enough flame to forge a better me.

I guess if I really feel the need to punish myself I could always start reading Wally Matthews again, or go sit through an evening of Mamma Mia.

View Oliver Perez' Full Season Stats

Box Score

Comments (5)

We have to live with Ollie, as we give him time to fix himself. For sure he is the torn in our side,but as any true Met fan knows, and old Brooklyn Doger fans learned to cope."Waite till next year", becomes our rally cry of waite till next start and hope he finds the missing link and becomes a solid pitcher for us.Maybe move him into the 5th spot of the rotation and let him just be, for now.

Ollie is Ollie, they knew what he was when they so "desperately" signed him. There are many ballplayers that have come through the big leagues with mounds of potential, and oodles of talent. Some harness their abilities and blossom. Others we say, wow this guy coulda been. That's what sports is all about, What If's. What if Kirk Gibson doesn't hit that World Series HR? What If Timo Perez hustles all the way around the bases and scores that run? What If the Mets don't win that draw out of the hat and lose out on Tom Seaver? Marvel comics use to publish the What If issues. They give room for imagination, and that different scenarios can come true. So with that I am saying: What If Perez goes out in his next start and throws the teams first no-no? All I am saying is that this is not going to be his only bad start, so what are we going to do? What If the Mets mow through the rest of the season and win the World Series?

The way the last three seasons have ended were frustrating, mostly because we know what those teams might have/could have/should have done. Stewing over that makes about as much sense as counting the 29 rings you own and ignoring the fact that they were all won in the last century.

But taking "what if" out of the conversation would put most sports talk shows and sports blogs out of business. Wonder, imagine, dream all you want. Just don't dwell on it - there are 159 more games to go THIS season. Enjoy them.

BTW, my favorite "What If?" was "What If Spiderman Had Joined the Fantastic Four?". Answer - there wouldn't have been four of them, there'd be five.

mike, i'd rather attend mamma mia and sit next to wallace matthews than watch ollie walk the ballpark..lol..i agree with u, baseball should not be life and death but i'm just tired of perez's lame routine.i will take your advice and not get upset tonite if maine gets pounded.hopefully he will pitch ok.. that being said, happy easter and passover to all the boys and girls on this blog.

That was a good one Nostra, I have too many favorites to pin one down, but I do remember an isssue that is near and dear to me What If Daredevil Could See? Anyway, I agree, we all love the game, and we all love the Mets. Sometimes we just get too wound up about the results because we have been starved for another championship for a few years. But if a Cubs fan can endure, surely we can too. Happy Easter everyone.

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