It’s very difficult to be a New York Mets fan. Well, maybe difficult isn’t the correct word here. I suppose a better word would be trying. Yes, it’s very trying to be a Mets fan.
I’ve been a New York Mets fan for nearly my entire life. I’ve been alive for every World Series they have played in (four) and I can honestly say that for the last three I understood the importance and felt both elation (1986) and heartbreak (1973, 2000). In between those glorious years we Mets fans saw some very good times (1987-1989, 2006, 2007) and a whole bunch of mediocre and even lousy times.
We Mets fans have seen some amazing times and some hard times. We’ve also seen some times that we just don’t understand. Its part of being a Mets fan I suppose. We see this greatness like we witnessed with the 1986 team and we wonder why it can’t be like this forever. Unfortunately those amazing highs of watching the likes of Dwight Gooden and Ron Darling were replaced by the likes of Mike Pelfrey and Sean Marcum and we just shake our heads yet we still root for our beloved team.
We remember the greats like Tom Seaver and we see glimpses of that greatness in young fellas like Matt Harvey and we get exited looking forward to all the future possibilities and just as quickly we get our hopes dashed when Harvey blows out his arm and will miss the entire 2014 season.
We Mets fans remember the amazing trades that brought the Mets Gary Carter and Keith Hernandez. Those two amazing Mets helped us see our beloved Mets win the 1986 World Series. We also remember the trade that broke our hearts when the Mets traded away Seaver in what will be forever remembered as the “Midnight Massacre” and left a hole in this Mets fan that will never be filled.
Since 2008 the New York Mets have been horrible. There are so many reasons why and so many people to point the blame at that it would take up more space than it would be worth. This period reminds me so much of the period between the Seaver trade and 1985 that, in the words of former Mets manager Yogi Berra, “it’s déjà vu all over again”. I vividly recall those days after Seaver was traded. The once raucous crowd at the glorious Shea Stadium went so silent they called it “Grants Tomb” fittingly named after then Chairman of the Board M. Donald Grant who ordered the Seaver trade. There wasn’t much to cheer for then and sadly there isn’t much to cheer for 37 years later.
Oh man is it tough during this era to be a New York Mets fan. With the invention of the Internet and social media sites like Twitter and Facebook Mets fans quickly pounce on every rumor we hear and believe me there are plenty. We dissect each and every rumor from those claiming to be “in the know” as well as those who don’t know squat like a biology student dissects a frog. We analyze these rumors and argue amongst ourselves as if we were enemies forgetting that these are merely rumors and also forgetting that we share a common bond, a love for the Mets.
What does the future hold for Mets fans? Well, to be honest it doesn’t look too bright. In order to compete in today’s MLB you need to either have a strong farm system that provides players who can play at the Major League level, make trades with others or sign free agents. The Mets haven’t done a very good job drafting players so their farm system hasn’t been able to provide MLB ready players on a consistent basis. The Mets have traded the likes of Carlos Beltran and R.A. Dickey and did receive some blue chip prospects but only time will tell what, if anything they will be able to do at the Major League Level. That leaves us with the big talk amongst Mets fans today. Free agency.
Due to financial restrictions the Mets have been reluctant to sign any big ticket ball players. They did sign a guy by the name of Jason Bay for big money that didn’t pan out but by and large they have been reluctant to sign anyone who could actually give Mets fans some hope and something to look forward to. The daily rumors on Twitter, Facebook, blogs and websites coupled with statements made about spending by General Manager Sandy Alderson and COO Jeff Wilpon have left Mets fans wondering just who or even what to believe. If Alderson and Wilpon fail to do something this winter I fear there will be a giant mutiny amongst Mets fans far worse than anything we saw in 1977.
So, what’s it like to be a New York Mets fan?
Being a Mets fan has been one of very few highs, plenty of mediocre and some very low periods as well. We all look forward to each new season with hope that maybe the baseball gods will show favor on our beloved Mets. We root for the Lucas Duda’s and the Daniel Murphy’s just as hard as we rooted for Keith Hernandez and Gary Carter. We hope that lighting will strike twice and pitchers like Dillon Gee and Zack Wheeler will bring us the same results as Tom Seaver and Dwight Gooden did. We draw from our history to paint a portrait of what we hope will be and keep our fingers crossed that the current boys of summer will perform like our past heroes and whether they do or don’t we all still utter the same three words before and after each and every game.