By Mike Steffanos
Thanks to George Vecsey for yet another condescending piece on the Mets from the New York Times.
I used to enjoy the Times' sports coverage once upon a time, but there is a certain arrogance to it now that makes them better suited to Yankees coverage. That's fine, too, whatever works. It's not like there is a shortage of Mets coverage.
The issue that Vecsey and his comrades at the Old Gray Lady keep tripping over the egos on is that they feel that if the Mets are irrelevant to them then the Mets are simply irrelevant.
Of course, Vecsey does allow us poor Mets fans our own misguided feelings on the subject of irrelevance:
Their fans won't think so, bless their hearts. They pay $395 per brick to perpetuate epic games, dearly departed rooters, beautiful evenings, ghastly events, unforgettable bites of sausage, sweet or spicy. But everything has lost its sizzle in recent years.
Vecsey pompously declares that the Mets should have the famous quote from Dante's Inferno on one of the commemorative bricks outside the stadium, then goes on to make fun of the Mets roster, all of the injuries and even our hopes that Jose Reyes might actually fully reach his potential.
Essentially, Vecsey has chosen to write the same tired piece that we've been subjected to so many times before. Even the allusion to Dante is nothing new. For some reason, columnists like Vecsey don't seem to tire of throwing some more doom and gloom at us.
This is undeniably a tough time to be a Mets fan, but it's downright stupid to think that there is no hope.
As bad as this club was in 2004 -- much worse than now -- a series of good moves turned things around in two short years. I can still remember the faint echoes of that optimism that Vecsey can't seem to recall, bless his heart. I hear Ginkgo Biloba does miracles for memory loss brought on by advanced age.
Yes, many mistakes were made to squander that promise, but if the club can move on from those mistakes, it can turn around quickly again. Despite everything, there's a lot more to work with right now.
Vecsey and his fellow ink-stained scribes can all turn their attention to the Yankees now, and good riddance to them and all of the other front runners in this town. The truth is that even if the Yankees continue to win, if the Mets can get things turned around there is more than enough room for another team in New York.
Should the Mets start winning, a good portion of the frontrunners will return, with the attitude that we should all consider ourselves blessed that they have chosen to venture back over the East River and grace us with their august presence in our strange little ballpark out by the airport and chop shops. Sadly, that's the price we'll have to pay for our club's success.
I don't reasonably expect success to come this year, although I will be rooting for that beginning tomorrow no matter how unlikely it seems. One thing I will demand from my team this season is that no matter what they continue to play hard. I honestly believe that this is absolutely essential to starting to get things turned around.
I'm not sure Jerry Manuel or Omar Minaya (at least in his current job) will survive this season, but I'm sure the Mets will, and I really do feel better days are coming.
In the meantime, don't be foolish enough to allow self-important folks like that to take away your hope. That's what being a Mets fan in this town is all about.