Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Put It in the Rearview

Today's post was originally going to be about something else — reactions to Tim Britton's long profile of Steve Cohen in The Athletic. Then I got some bad personal news that made me put that half-written post on the back burner, at least for today. We'll probably get back to that one tomorrow. For today, I was informed that I am officially unemployed again with a whole hour's notice. It seems a somehow fitting end to a year that featured a badly mishandled pandemic, a long multi-month layoff in the spring, an excruciating disk injury that took four long months to resolve, a weirdly truncated 60-game baseball season, and some serious medical concerns for Lisa. And those are only the lowlights of this stinking year.

As much as I want to feel sorry for myself, I didn't even have the worst year of people that I know. 2020 was very much an equal opportunity disaster for so many of us. I try not to swear on this blog, but I hope you'll indulge me if I choose to shout out just once, FUCK 2020! I will never be less sorry to see the end of a year of my lifetime.

My purpose in writing this isn't to get anyone to feel sorry for me. We all get some crap tossed at us in life, and it's up to all of us to figure out how to get past it rather than sit around and wallow in it. And, hey, I was wondering where I was going to find the time to write — shouldn't be a problem now. I'll miss the routine of working (as well as the paycheck), even though the job was neither especially challenging or financially rewarding. But it is what it is.

I'm grateful in times like these to have an outlet for two things that I care passionately about, baseball and writing, and to have this space as an outlet for both. When I was a lot younger, I used to have very little sense of humor about my Mets fandom. Thank God that changed, I'm not sure how I would have survived these last two decades of Wilpon madness without the ability to laugh at myself a little. I love caring about baseball and, specifically, the Mets so much. I know it's kind of illogical to spend so much time thinking about something that means a lot less than the truly important things: family, friends, each other — but that's the beauty of it to me, and why it provides such a welcome diversion to all of the crap.

So, rather than mindlessly watching daytime television or trying to get around to all of the classic books that I've been meaning to read for almost six decades and am still pretending that I will eventually get to, I'm going to keep posting about, as the sub-heading states, the New York Mets and life to this space. Thank you for taking the time to read this stuff and giving me the opportunity to write it. Believe me, there's nothing more pathetic than a 62-year-old guy hanging out on the corner with all of his bad-seed friends. I appreciate the opportunity to do something relatively constructive and avoid that fate.

Please stay safe, be well and take care. I'll be back tomorrow.

 Follow me on Twitter @MikeSteffanos


  1. I have a feeling I may be joining you in the involuntary free time brigade. There's not much I can do to change it. If it happens, it happens. All I can do is start to strategize how I will fill my previously structured days. Unemployed, alive and uninfected beats what a great many folks are facing, so just understand that 2020 will go down in the books as historically bizarre. I've never really put much thought into the so-called ringing in of the new year, but this time around I'll be hoping that the rearview mirror is fogged over and quickly forgotten.

  2. Very well put, Reese. I agree with all you said. I hope things work out for you where you don't get the involuntary free time, but I'm confident you'll put it to good use if it happens

  3. Yes, Mike, it is time to get the hell out of this abominable eff-ed up year of 2020. There are some signs pointing up, but unfortunately that seems to still be on the other side of the ravine we still have to cross to get there.

    I truly hope that you can find some silver linings from your unfortunate news yesterday. Perhaps having the time will prove to be a blessing.

    I was given my unexpected pink slip last year in October, with 10 days to clean up and out by Halloween. I like, you, am 62 now and was not quite ready to leave the workforce behind, but working in the corporate world of late, shit happens. It took a little while (winter is not the optimum time to start a retirement life), but by spring I was used to not having to get up and go to work every day and was much more content to enjoy and appreciate the time I had. I have grown with it to the point that I am now one of the permanently retired, and not unhappy about it.

    I played more golf this year than ever before, and it has given me more opportunity to converse with other great Mets fans. It's funny, but I feel like I am now almost 'friends' with some of you guys here and on Mack's Mets. My wife just laughs at me.

    Perhaps Merry Christmas is a bit out of place this year, but Best Wishes for you and Lisa and hopes of a turnaround in 2021.

    Take care.

  4. Thanks. I don't think I'd mind being retired. I could find plenty of stuff to do, although there would admittedly be an adjustment period. I'm not in the financial position to do so, mostly due to poor life choices early on. But I'll be okay for a while.

    One of the things that I missed most about blogging when I stopped years ago was the blogging friends that I was able to make. I'm glad to be back in the saddle, and would be happy to be considered your online friend. It's okay if your wife wants to laugh at both of us for that. Lisa laughs at me all of the time.

    The best to you and your family, too. And thanks for the great comments on the site


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