I wish you could've been inside my head last Saturday afternoon. For the first four innings before I left the house, I made so many in-game deals with the gods and censored so many between-pitches thoughts that you would've assumed I was carrying the fate of the free world in my consciousness. Or that the doctor called — the news was not good, and I said, “Get me to a New York Hospital.”
It wasn't either of those things. It was just the Cardinals. I wanted the Mets to beat them. But I was afraid, genuinely fearful, that if I rooted too hard for this pitch to land here or that ball to go there, I'd be asking for too much. I wanted the Mets to win on Saturday, but I also wanted them to win on Sunday. Thus, I didn't want to be ostentatious in my victory desires on Saturday.
There was nobody around. I had no pipeline to the ghost of Kenesaw Mountain Landis. None of the umps owed me a solid. It wasn't like I could do anything about anything. It appeared that no matter what I was thinking, the Mets were on their own.
My thoughts don't have much practical impact in general let alone on baseball. For example, I'll sometimes think, “I shouldn't eat that.” But then I do. “I should really get to work on that thing.” But then I don't. I can barely control myself, so I know it is folly to believe I can control a baseball game going on in another area code. But that doesn't stop me from trying.
I tell you all of this so you understand that I understand the way things work. That you don't disturb baseball karma. That you go through a sequence, a batter, a series, a season, a lifetime very, very carefully if you want or don't want certain things to occur on a diamond that you are not on or necessarily near.
Think I'm kidding? I once sat in my living room during a playoff game against the Braves telling my wife in extremely grave tones that Chipper Jones was a splendid humanitarian because I knew saying anything remotely unkind about him would just piss him off and result in a rain of extra bases. That Chipper and I were separated by seven states and the District of Columbia at the time was completely irrelevant.
And he didn't get a hit.
So I know what I'm doing even if the results don't always reflect that. Last weekend, the Mets won neither Saturday nor Sunday. It had nothing to do with what I was thinking early Saturday. It would be illogical to believe that. No, the Mets came up empty because I failed to include Grudzielanek and Mabry in my spiteful scouting report Friday. There was a shortfall of preparedness on my part, and I apologize for it.
When it comes to baseball and the aspects therein that we hold most dear — the Mets winning and the Yankees losing — I absolutely acknowledge that there are consequences to my thoughts, my actions and yes, my blogging. I am aware of them. I take them seriously. And as long as I know in my heart of hearts that I do the right thing or, just as importantly, don't do the wrong thing, I sleep fine.
In other words, pull the tarp off and plug that sucker in. This weekend, I'm prepared.
NEW YORK YANKEE COLLAPSE-O-METER
BIG PICTURE EDITION
YEAR GAMES PLAYED RECORD FINAL RECORD
476* 41 40-1 FELL
1965 41 17-24 77-85
1982 41 21-20 79-83
2005 41 21-20 ??-???
*Roman Empire, but close enough
Remember: Not long ago, the Reds were unbeatable…by us, no less.
Remember, too: You gotta play this game with fear and arrogance. Fear and arrogance.
May the Force be with us.