The N.Y. Mets are Delilah to my Sampson. The sun to my Icarus. Wallis Simpson to my Edward VIII.
It seems that, no matter how hard I try to keep away from this miserable excuse of a sports franchise and their heartbreaking ways, I fall off the wagon, suffer a relapse and, once again, become a Crystal Mets addict.
I thought I’d beaten my addiction after the team’s three successive, late season collapses a few years back. At that time, I swore to ignore them. I refused to watch a single game on SNY. And, I avoided their news digs at CitiField like the plague.
And, then, this year’s squad of overachievers, has-beens and misfits washed up on shore and began winning in the most improbable ways. Teenagers dragged up from the minors began performing miracles. Johan Santana hurled the first no-hitters in the sorry franchise’s 51-year history and a guy named R.A. Dickey became the feel-good story of baseball. And, so, in the same way a recovering drug or alcohol addict simply cannot resist the allure of his drug of choice, I popped on the tube. I began watching an inning or two. And, the inning or two became an entire game.
Egged on by the announcers who expressed wonder at these magical Mets (i.e. “Gee, Keith, these Mets are starting to remind me more and more of the 1986 world champion team”), I found myself wanting and needing my Crystal Mets addiction more and more as May turned into June.
(Watch this video of Kenyan schoolchildren reenacting Game 6 of the 1986 World Series:)
I knew I’d passed the point of no return when I hopped on a Number 7 train and made my way to CitiField. It was akin to a heroin addict returning to the hood after a stint in rehab or an alcoholic touring a Heineken facility. And, the game I happened to attend featured Dickey on the mound. And, what did the 37-year-old wunderkind do? He hurled a one-hitter against the Birds of Baltimore, one of baseball’s better-hitting teams. I was floating on an endorphin high.
And, then, as they’ve done every single year save two, the Crystal Mets crushed me. I first sensed it in the Subway Series when it became oh-so-obvious that these Mets really were nothing more than a glorified high school team. But, it didn’t hit me full-on until they were outplayed and outclassed by the Chicago Cubs, the worst team in the National League.
Since then, the Mets have plummeted faster than the Stock Market on a day when Greece, Spain or some other beleaguered European country hits another economic speed bump.
And, so, badly burned for the umpteenth time, I’ve once again gone cold turkey. No more watching the Crystal Mets on TV. No more scanning the sports pages. And, god knows, no more trips to CitiField. I’m steering clear of this hussy of home town teams, once and for all.
And, yet, like some sultry siren of the seas, the Metropolitan Baseball Team remains omnipresent in the deepest recesses of my consciousness. And, I know that someday, some way, when do they return to greatness, I’ll be right back in the field-level boxes high-fiving Repman, Jr., and screaming my lungs out for my Crystal Mets. I wonder if Jeff Van Vonderin and the fine folks on A&E’s ‘Intervention” would consider featuring me on an upcoming segment? Perhaps with the help and support of loved ones, I can shake this addiction once and for all.