I awoke this morning to see that Metspolice was advocating for the song that’s served as my ringtone for much of the winter.
I defy you to listen to that song and not look forward to baseball season. I was once told by someone high up that “market research” showed fans wanted Top 40 hits, not Mets songs, but I’m guessing this completely misses point of the baseball experience. Give people the Mets experience, and they’ll come back for more. Right now, they barely even know what that is.
As for that Mets experience: it is here! Not at Citi Field, or even actual games, but pitchers throwing to catchers, catchers catching from pitchers, some bullpen sessions, David Wright in a batting cage. It’s all the component parts of a baseball season, slowly unveiled for us.
No, Michael Bourn won’t be joining the ride. Bourn arriving in New York meant betting on the Mets not to be bluffing about their interest, and Scott Boras to be bluffing about his ability to find another team to pay Bourn market value. Betting on either of these two propositions in recent years would have left you poorer than… well, someone who invested heavily with Bernie Madoff. Hoping for a parlay was tantamount to getting sucked into multiple Ponzi schemes in just a few years.
But say what you will about the state of the Mets’ outfield (in my dreams “What Outfield?” becomes “What outfield!”, an iconic rallying cry on par with “Dem Bums” in the most unlikely Mets championship season ever), there’s no question that the New York Mets are going to play approximately 162 games this year. The schedule requires it, the team has yet to figure out a way to cut costs by playing fewer games, so here we are.
Also, Frank Francisco has been shut down with elbow tendinitis in a bullpen that already wasn’t particularly deep with healthy alternatives. Bobby Parnell is the temporary closer, which is fine, but they need other relievers beyond Parnell and Brandon Lyon to pitch well, and Francisco was one of the better candidates to do so.
But, nevertheless, baseball! Accordingly, I played the song embedded above for my two-year-old daughter, who has periodically inquired throughout the winter about when exactly we might get back to another baseball game, and experience a day like this or this. It spurred talk for our entire trip home from preschool, about going to see the Mets play, watching David Wright hit, see R.A. Dickey pitch (a gentle reminder followed that one), and these words: “Daddy: I am so excited to watch baseball with you!”
I don’t intend to sugarcoat the likelihood that the baseball about to be played by the Mets is not of the contending variety, or even, at times, minimally competent. The only certain regular outfielder, for instance, is Lucas Duda. That would be worst defender at any position in MLB last year Lucas Duda. Let’s hope he hits.
Today, it didn’t matter. The sun was shining as we drove home talking baseball. It felt warm enough in the car that I could ignore the still-ample snow on the ground, and picture us sitting in balmy Citi Field, probably with lots of seats around us to stretch out in. It was, briefly, a warm summer afternoon in February, my daughter was with me, and to be honest with you, I didn’t even look at the scoreboard.