Friday, January 1, 2021

The Waiting Is the Hardest Part

The most important news of the week for me, personally, is finally saying "adios" to the least favorite year of my lifetime. Other than that, things seem to be pretty much in a holding pattern. I find myself out of work for the second time since the pandemic began, and I'm still trying to figure out how to most productively utilize the newfound time I have on hand. A lot of crappy things happened this year, but Lisa is home and doing better and better. As a lifelong Mets fan, watching the Wilpons precede 2020 out the door was a highlight that at least canceled out a small bit of the badness of the year, and we Mets fans won't even need to endure a vaccine to prevent Fred and Jeff from returning.

I'll carry the scars from 2020 for the rest of my life. By far the worst part of 2020 was all of the folks who we lost to a disease that few people had ever heard of when the year began. Whenever I'm tempted to feel sorry for myself I'll step back and remember that I'm still here. Any part of my life that was damaged by the events of the past year can be fixed. Any obstacles placed in front of me can be overcome. Anything material that I've lost can either be replaced or lived without. For myself, the people I love, and all of you out there, I'm grateful for the simple fact that we're all still here.

As undeniably horrible as it was to watch the COVID-19 pandemic ravage the world, if there was one other thing that defined 2020 for me, it was waiting. I always seemed to be waiting for something. In the spring, it was waiting for some return of normalcy when the pandemic was at its absolute height in this part of the country, and people were afraid to leave their homes. Going to work, being able to go out for a beer with friends, or going into a grocery store and finding toilet paper were things that I took for granted when 2020 began. Other than toilet paper being easier to find, the other things still elude me.

Back when I began blogging again in March, I was still waiting for baseball to return, not even suspecting how long it might take or how brief that return would be. When the Mets were up for sale, and the end of the Wilpon era was in sight, it felt like I waited forever for that sale to go through. Once it finally did happen, there was some expectation that a President of Baseball Operations hiring would happen quickly and then the player signings would follow shortly thereafter. Those expectations proved to be unrealistic, and while things did start to happen, it all seemed painfully slow. I'm not sure why I was surprised by this in a year that seemed to be so much about simply waiting for things. 

Big signings may very well be in our future, fellow Mets fans, but we're still waiting for them. 2020 may be gone, but the waiting is still a thing. Even if the Mets make the splash most of us hope for in the free agent market, we'll still be waiting to see when spring training may start, and then the baseball season. Waiting will still be a thing.

We'll be waiting for the pace to pick up on people being vaccinated, with the hopes that "normal" returns sometime in 2021. I'm looking forward to beers and wings with friends again. I'd like to hug my family members without worry. I'd like to take Lisa to a restaurant on a whim. I'd like to walk into a public place without having to put on a face mask. I'd like to sit in a seat in Citi Field surrounded by other Mets fans. No more cardboard cutouts.

2020 was all about a lot of bad things, including waiting, and now it's thankfully gone. But it left the coronavirus behind for 2021 to continue to deal with, and it left the waiting, too. We're still waiting for so many things. Waiting sucks, but I'm glad for all of our sakes that we can see it through. At some point, the waiting will end, and a new era of Mets baseball will begin. 2020 is gone, but we're still here. I'll drink to that.

Please stay safe, be well and take care.

Follow me on Twitter @MikeSteffanos


  1. Drinking to obliterate the memory of the year 2020 is long overdue and must be done at dangerous levels of excess to be effective. It may not be good for health to indulge to such irresponsible volume, but hungover and alive beats the pandemic alternative.

  2. I think I'll just wait to comment on this essay.

  3. They saying goes something like 'Good things come to those who wait'. That seems to be a double edged sword for 2020, but being a Mets fan, that very well could turn out to be the case this year.

    I mean, how many more guys can San Diego acquire? and where is the rest of the market? While Blake Snell and Yu Darvish were both players that I have seen commenters on various sites talk about as possible Mets targets, I am glad they are now both off the board, as Snell would have cost too much in prospects and Darvish scares me with his age and inconsistency. Now we can focus more on waiting a bit longer.

    I think the longer the market takes to crystalize, the better things are for the Mets, the worse things are for the players. I believe Springer will not get the contract he is looing for at this point, and the Mets will start filling the rotation at a reasonable cost.

    Maybe we'll wait long enough that another good option will come along and be a better value than Springer over the long run.

    As for the pitching, perhaps Sugano is the next guy. And perhaps Tanaka will follow, acting as both a mentor/adjusting factor for Sugano and a fill for the #4 or 5 slot.

    Perhaps the trade market, with the uncertainty over the 2021 season, becomes so flattened that Lindor will be available for a few pennies that will not matter. Could it deflate to the point that Cleveland will be glad to get back another shortstop and a little filler and take Rosario, Gsellman, and a #15-25 ranked prospect?

    Waiting is always hard, but looking forward to the future gives hope.

  4. And yes, that next beer at the ballpark will taste mighty good!

  5. Once this pandemic is fully over, I've resolved never to wait again. No more stopping at red lights or stop signs, if there's a line at the store checkout I'll just go up to the front of the line and to hell with everyone else. If I call up and order a pizza and they tell me 20 minutes, I'll just say "I'll be there in 5 — have it ready." Lisa is skeptical about this plan but I think I can make it work for me.

  6. And your team will be batting in the bottom of the third inning while they are singing the national anthem!


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