The Mets suck, I know. In some ways they are like the John Kerry of New York baseball, only with a glorious past. The truth of the matter is right now the only thing that recomends them is that they are less vile than the Yankees. They have a bloated payroll, a lot of lousy players, no chance of going anywhere, and maintain that New York arrogance that made them so darned loveable when a coke-fueled Keith Hernandez was leading them to their second world championship.
Because of the decline in rootability of the Mets a lot of New Yorkers are looking elsewhere for teams to be fans of. That's a mistake, an act of betrayal against our great city that will not be forgiven. New Yorkers are programmed from birth to never admit that any other location has a better ANYTHING than we do. We'll start with reasonable claims, like we have the best theater and financial institutions in the world, and then move on to questionable ones (Greatest fashion city ever! Manhattan is the densest populated island in the world.) By questionable I mean lies, but not obvious ones. Then we'll move on to blatent falsities. The Knicks are the NBAs flagship franchise! We have the best Chinese food in the world, better than China. You think you got Spanish speaking neighborhoods in Miami? You ain't seen East Harlem! You think that Hawaii has some great surfing spots, you ever been to Jones Beach?
In baseball we have a legitimate claim to having the best team ever, seeing as how the Yankees have won one out of every four World Series ever played and once boasted a lineup that included Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, two once in a generation players.
The thing is that rooting for the Yankees these days is like rooting for Goliath in his confrontation with David. It's not just that they're evil, it's also that they're kind of expected to win. If Goliath had kicked David's ass do you think that a bunch of chicks would have been like "Wow, you sure did beat down that tiny Hebrew boy. That was incredible! He was like 5'2" and you crushed him like he was 4'11"!"
Okay some probably would have, but those would have been biblical SKANKS!
The Yankees are like Goliath. They are expected to win and you know that if they ARE losing they won't shake it off as a team but rather they'll buy some MORE firepower to add to their overwhelming arsenal. It's like a game of monopoly where the Banker keeps giving himself loans. Yeah you CAN still beat him, but the chances are low and when he wins you don't feel impressed, just irritated.
The Mets used to be a scrappy young team full of hope and promise, low salaries, and no unfairness. That's no longer the case. Now they consistantly have one of the top 5 salaries in the league and are full of overpriced veterans, just like the yankees. The only difference is, they suck. I mean they are TRUE cellar dwellers, at like 4 times the price. The Mets hire the most inept and over the hill ex-stars. They greatly underestimate the impact of pitching. They have terrible luck and many of their most expensive aquisitions soon get injuries. If the Yankees are the relentless forces of the government in a spy movie, hunting down the heroes with unlimited resources and no remorse, the Mets are like the Keystone Kops. Slipping on banana peels and executing strategies that make Boss Hogg look like Sun Tzu.
They're bloated and incompetent, a fat slob of a team that spends and spends with no effect.
However, in that kind of reckless out of control spending they've sort of returned to being loveable losers. They have a youth movement now, many of their overpriced free agents sitting on the IR collecting mammoth paychecks where kids from the farm systems fill in holes and try their damndest to look like professional baseball players. They've got a ton of names you've never heard of, players who are on the interstate not at the end of great careers but at the beginnings of mediocre ones. They're back.
Baseball is one of those sports that if your team doesn't win it's pretty much not worth watching, because there's so much downtime and lameness that you don't get the satisfaction of a bucket of thrills even in losing. It's a hard thing to enjoy a cellar dweller. But the Mets have always thrived on making the inept magical and hard luck worth watching, and I think they might be heading back in that direction again. There's starting to be some pluck in their game, some of that wild eyed inexperience that made Marvelous Marv Throneberry a veteran influence on a terrible team. And once they start sucking for all the right reasons, well, how long until they're Amazin' again?
So all you New Yorkers out there it's time to bury your A's pennants and put your SF Giants jerseys back in the closet. Break out the orange and blue and familiarize yourself with names like Matsui, Garcia, Garcia, and Wigginton. You already know Piazza and Glavine. The Mets are coming back baby. It won't be long until New York's #1 once more (as if we ever stopped!)