NLCS Ivy Drip – The Goddamn Mets
This is today’s editorial in our NLCS issue of The Ivy Drip. Get the whole thing right here. It’s only $1.
I suppose it’s time for the euphoria to die down and to look forward. It’s pretty hard to do. I documented my feelings about the last series already. Those kinds of feelings just don’t fade away. I’ll remember them forever, honestly. But I’ll happily file them down the ledger if there’s a couple that follow after this.
So… on to the NY Mets Baseball Squadron. This certainly rekindles a lot of feelings for a lot of Cubs fans. I suppose if you’re in your 20s, you don’t have the ire for the Mets that the rest of us do. I’ve written about this before, but while I grew up the Mets were as big of a villain as the Cardinals were. Because they were better than the Cardinals. They had Doc, and Ron Darling, and Gary Carter, and Strawberry, Keith Hernandez (KEITH HERNANDEZ!), Mookie, Howard Fucking Johnson, Tim Fucking Teuffel, Jesse Orosco, and John Franco. God, just listing those names and I’m ready to spit on the floor. Look at those assholes! And aside from ‘89, they beat the Cubs’ brains in.
And it’s hard to see the Mets these days and not think of those 80s and 90s Mets. Snorting coke in the clubhouse and throwing firecrackers at fans or exposing themselves in the bullpen or buddying up with the mafia. All that shit actually happened. Those are the goddamn Mets. It happened to later generations. It was as a Met that Francisco Rodriguez attacked his father-in-law in the clubhouse. The Mets owner sunk all their money into Berne Madoff’s scheme. That was after he built a park that’s a tribute to a team that plays in L.A. now. Bobby Bonilla’s contract. This isn’t a baseball team so much as an offshoot cartoon from Heavy Metal. The fucking Mets. It’s almost hard to believe they’re an actual thing.
And yet you wonder if this isn’t the start of something like a baseball Cold War. We know the Cubs are likely to be contenders for years. The Mets are poised to be as well with a rotation full of homegrown pitchers that could all be dominant, and some young hitters that have either just arrived or are going to soon. We could be on the precipice of a baseball version of the Bulls and Knicks in the 90s. Don’t tell me that having Chicago and New York at each other’s throats for a few years didn’t raise basketball’s profile. Baseball is losing steam but a heated Chicago-New York playoff rivalry could help give it a kick. There’s a reason there’s only one afternoon game scheduled for this series, and that’s only because the other series would be playing a Game 7 that day. MLB has been dying for this.
The goddamn Mets.
It was Strawberry who flipped me off at age seven because I wouldn’t stop chanting “Rehab!” at him (and I totally deserved it). When the Mets were in town, that’s when the bleachers were fun. Jack McDowell spraying everyone with a hose even while everyone was swearing at him.
The goddamn Mets.
This is the same team that gave Newman and Kramer their complexes, until the producers of Seinfeld realized no one knew who the Mets were and turned everyone into Yankees fans. This is the team with some jackass who roams the upper deck with a cowbell, and in case you don’t know who he is he has a Mets jersey that says “Cowbell Man.” Thanks for clearing that up. The team that used to have a box office out of a trailer outside Shea. The team where you couldn’t hear their broadcasters because there was always a plane overhead.
Sadly, this kind of thing always gets a dumbass Chicago v. New York debate going. Does anyone buy into that shit? First off, I love both types of pizza. So let’s stop there. I used to claim that Chicago was the city New York always wanted to be, as it was cheaper, cleaner, the people were nicer, it’s easier to get around, and safer. Well, most of that doesn’t apply now, though everyone who moves to New York is still an obnoxious jackass (lifelong New Yorkers are actually pretty genuine people in my experience. It’s the ones from Connecticut and New Jersey that need to be lit on fire).
It’s at this point that I wonder if the fun is going to start to drain a bit. We know this is the start of a run, but I don’t think that’s going to be a consolation anymore. We won’t say “Next Year!” if the Cubs lose this series, at least not in the immediate aftermath. As we learned from the Hawks years ago, you’re only guaranteed the chance that’s right in front of you.
I look at the Dodgers. When their new owners, including Magic Johnson, bought them it was assumed with their gobs of cash and TV deal that they could buy a World Series or three. They haven’t even sniffed one. Zach Greinke could leave this winter for New York or Boston or anywhere that’s willing to toss him $30 million a year. They’re not guaranteed anything.
It’s likely the Cubs will get more shots than this one. But here they are, eight wins away facing a beatable Mets team that might not have its top two starters until Game 3. That’s all that stands between them and a first World Series bid of our lives. It’s right here in front of them. No reason not to take it.
It’s only the goddamn Mets.