By Mike Steffanos
I'm not going to title this, "I'm Back", because I did that last week and then wasn't. Some people have been expressing concern about my lack of posting, so I thought I'd check in.
I've been having some health problems over the past few months, and then my mother had some sort of mild stroke compounded with other problems, and I somewhat foolishly let myself get sucked into the vortex of her drama queen personality.
Yes, I do know how harsh that last sentence sounded. Trust me, I would have liked nothing better than to have had a Mom who baked me cookies and cared about my homework and how my day went, but not everyone gets that sort of Mom.
For a while in my teens we had a weird reverse sort of relationship where I was like her parent, and then we had a long period with almost no relationship because I got tired of dealing with her self-absorbed personality.
Over the last few years we've had a relationship again, mostly thanks to some ground rules and the simple realization on my part that she was the only Mom I had.
After my Mom got sick I kind of fell into that old pattern from my teen years of being the adult, until I kind of gradually came to the realization that my Mom was more interested in fueling her own need for personal drama than in getting back on her feet. She wasn't mentally incapacitated -- she knows what's going on. I finally told her a couple of days ago that I was only willing to help her going forward if she did things to help herself. I know, what a terrible son...
Anyway, my health has been stretched a little from trying to be superman, and it took me a week of hard work to catch up on my customers' work. Thank goodness they were patient with me.
As I sit here now, I feel fairly comfortable that I could find time to post here again, but my experience with one on-going dysfunctional relationship in my life has made me lose patience with another. Quite frankly, I'm sick of the lack of heart this edition of the New York Mets has shown over the first month of their season.
I started a couple of blog posts that I never finished this past week because I don't find it useful to simply complain about things. On the other hand, I think we've played enough baseball that you can't just fall back on saying "it's early." It's getting later rapidly.
I don't think the season has been irretrievably lost, but I think the Mets have to find some heart. Last year may have turned out bad, but I did respect the way they managed to win so many games despite their bullpen. Where has that fight gone this season?
It seems like the 2009 Mets can win games as long as everything goes well. If you get them down, however, they just don't fight their way back.
Frankly, Jerry Manuel looks as lost as Willie Randolph did last year when it comes to figuring this team out, and some of the things he's been doing have not impressed me, either. His bullpen management is still suspect, but even his leadership skills seem diminished from last year. I can't help but wonder if it's because last year he seemed to approach things loose in an "I've got nothing to lose" mentality, while this year he seems more uptight.
Anyway, I know I have to catch up on the pitching stats and the game/box score link posts. To avoid confusion I'll just pre-date the posts to the actual game date. I'll do my best to post daily again going forward, barring any real setbacks for my Mom.
Being an optimist by nature, I still hold out hope for both of my troubled relationships, with my Mom and these Mets. It's always been my philosophy here to keep the whining and complaining to a minimum, figuring that we all get enough of that in our daily lives. Then again, this team might make living up to that philosophy a challenge.