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.