This is what the Mets have always been.
The Mets have always tried, and at times managed to make up for their lack of success and stand with pure idiotic noise. They always fight with each other, or with the management, or with the fans, or watch the owner fight with fans, or with the front office, or the fans fight with each other. The Mets experience is always a crack, always misery. It’s the baseball jets. They even rhyme, and they used to share a stadium. You can’t wash off that shared stain even in 28 years.
If the Yankees represent one side of the New York experience – the glitz, the standard, the history, the reputation, the arrogance, the glamor – then the Mets have always represented the true side of being in New York. It is of course the same expense, you just get a lot less for it. It is the eternal nuisance of trying to complete daily activities, the cockroaches, the rats, the lack of space and the absence of any glow anywhere in sight, the sweating of your weight in the water during the summer and the fragrance in the dead of august . That’s what New York really is. And that’s what the Mets have always represented.
This is the same team that had its own owner take to Twitter to blow up his own team as if he were a WFAN caller. This is the same team that saw its mascot flip the bird to fans, the quintessential Mets moment. It’s Vince Coleman throwing fireworks at Mets fans. This has always been Flushing, queens. Everyone is miserable because it’s not New York promised, it’s New York unmasked. The fans are still driving to a parking lot next to the airport to see how a team is not delivering. The players are still aware that they are any mistake away from the wrath of that group. Any interaction with the Mets has always involved vitriol. Unless you’re the Mets of the mid-’80s, many of them were too cocaine to notice. And even they hated each other quite a bit.
Mets fans aren’t mad that Javy Báez and the other players found one coded way to tell them all to fuck themselves. They are upset because it is a reminder of what they have always known without the lies they have told themselves. It’s a group of players wondering how they got there and/or dreaming of getting out of there, or getting paid by some blasphemous who thinks Mets ownership has given him access to the best clubs in the world. city or a rowdy one who doesn’t actually have money (both end up laughable), in front of fans who take out all the frustrations of everyday life in the Tri-State area on them.
Being a part of the Mets world, one way or the other, gives everyone the right to be pissed off all the time. Are Mets fans right to be disappointed that their team has pooped its guts in the past month? Certainly! This was a winning NL East par excellence that begged to be grabbed by the throat, and the Mets blew it. Does Javy Báez have a right to be angry that he is being booed after being in the city for a month? Absolute. Angry should generally be reserved for players who chase it, which Báez never did. He’s just having a crappy season. Many Mets are. Francisco Lindor, Michael Conforto, and Jeff McNeil all come to mind. But Báez was just the last to promise to take, perhaps briefly, Mets fans from one side of the NYC experience to the other. He didn’t, they’re angry, and the plague just makes them more. After all, catching a glimpse is worse than never knowing.
Do Steve Cohen and Sandy Alderson have a right to be angry? Well, actually not…
The inferiority complex that actually created the Mets and was their raison d’être, permeates every corner of their being. It’s not the Yankees, but the Yankees aren’t real life. Anyone who moves to New York, who are usually the most obnoxious people on the planet, thinks they’re going to get a Yankees experience. Brunch, views of Central Park, cocktail lounges, velvet ropes. But almost everyone gets the Mets experience. $23 in your bank account, a $6 bagel for lunch and dinner (although that bagel will be really good), and a landlord who won’t call you back until the 6th at Aqueduct is over, whether or not your shower is actively trying to kill you.
This is the Mets. The only mistake was not to tell Báez exactly what to expect.
Let’s end with some comedy. Villarreal CF didn’t have the best start in La Liga and went scoreless in the first two games. They were virtually paddled by Atletico Madrid in the first half of their game on Sunday. But they escaped unscathed and were able to take the lead twice in the second half to lead 2-1 with a few seconds left. Whether they deserved it or not, it only took them about 30 clear seconds to walk out of the home of last season’s champions with all three points.
If you’re going down, you might as well go all out:
Atletico Madrid vs. Villarreal ends in a draw after wild own goal | LaLiga Highlights | ESPN FC
AÍssa Mandi gets the ‘honour’ for this, but he will probably point out that there was no way he could have predicted that his keeper Gerónimo Rulli would take a piss before the final whistle. This photo sums it up better than I could: