The Mets took a 9-2 laugher today, notching seven runs before the Marlins scored their first, knocking Javier Vazquez out of the game in the third, fluttering to victory on the back of R.A. Dickey’s windy-day knuckleball. Willie Harris and Ike Davis homered, Jose Reyes had two hits, Daniel Murphy smacked a double, Angel Pagan walked three times. And the Marlins sucked incredibly hard in the field, as has long been their wont.
Terry Collins said something surprising to the media in his post-game conference. “That’s my fault,” he said when asked about a play in the game — Harris stealing second — that took the bat out of David Wright’s hands. Collins got the sign in late to Chip Hale, prompting miscommunication, leading Harris to successfully steal second, causing the Marlins to intentionally walk Wright. The Mets still scored a pair of runs in the inning, but the manager felt the need to express accountability regardless.
The Mets are 2-1 now, on pace to win 108 games like the 1986 team. The club, inspired by Collins’ humble leadership, is destined for greatness.
I kid, of course. Collins’ sense of responsibility for his actions is a welcome relief after the Mets’ last manager, but we have no evidence yet that it’ll help the team on the field. We have no evidence yet of anything, really. After three games, I know I’m sick of three things: 1) Jokes involving Chin-Lung Hu’s last name; 2) Constant attention to Francisco Rodriguez’s games-finished total; 3) My own silliness in tongue-in-cheekily extrapolating small samples to project the whole season. No more of that.
The other new certainty is that the Mets will not, in fact, finish this year 0-162, despite what acrid twerps all over the Internet would have you believe. The foul finishes of the last few years, the complications in ownership and the whole general not-being-the-Yankees thing color our perception of the team but have little to do with the action on the field. Collins downplayed an “us-against-the-world” mentality, suggesting his team doesn’t need it because the players — like most professional athletes — really believe in their abilities.
The us-against-the-world thing, that’s, ahh, that’s us against the world. Faithful Mets fans with a sense that the team made real improvements this offseason against all the knee-jerk nitwits who have never learned better than to write off a well-run baseball team.
But guess what? Forget about them. If you believe the Mets are a better club and can win games this year then you can just ignore the nonsense, confident you will be absolved. Enjoy the games. Watch a team with some promising young players. Celebrate R.A. Dickey.
The negativity is pointless and often unsubstantiated, but the haters doling it out have made up their minds and will only shout “Mets-fan” — like it’s something to be ashamed of — when you try to reason with them. I say f#@$ ’em. It’s baseball. It’s supposed to be fun. The Mets are 2-1, heading to Philadelphia to face noted Twi-hard Cole Hamels. Cole Hamels, who looks like this. Laugh at this man. Savor it; we’re only months away from another long offseason.