At any given moment, the Mets roster is 12-20% occupied by guys I can't stand and guys I don't want. I don't know if I hate them though.
As much fun as some make it, I don't want to hate on the Mets. They're the Mets. I live through them. To hate a Met is to hate a little bit of myself. Not that I'm incapable of that.
We know too much about our Mets. We see them and hear about them and read about them not just as bright and shiny baseball players but as occasionally ugly human beings. I don't remember hating any Mets when I was a kid but I don't remember knowing all that much about them except that they were good guys. At worst I wished one or two into the cornfield. Or at least into Wrigley Field. A trade or a release was occasionally in order, but nothing violent.
Pawn Dave Marshall off on some unsuspecting sucker. Dave Marshall…I didn't hate him but he was the first Met I didn't want around. I refuse to look up his stats to discover if my distaste was based on anything more than a random determination that Dave Marshall should never play. Maybe Dave Marshall got all his hits before I came back from the fridge, but I don't recall him getting any while I was a witness.
So I'm avoiding his numbers and I'm sure as hell not going to click on Ultimate Mets' Fan Memories section. It's one of the greatest things on the Web yet it also kills me because I'll look up some player I recall as a .208 lifetime hitter who made six errors in every eight chances and find out that some contemporary of mine remembers this player as someone who visited him or his brother in the hospital and restored unto him the power of movement and perhaps positive thinking. And then the guy signed autographs for every kid in the neighborhood and rescued a dozen cats on his way back to Shea where that very night he went 4-for-5 off Phil Niekro.
That's lovely. But I don't wanna know. I don't wanna know that Sergio Ferrer, who was a mascot of futility to me and Joel Lugo, has gone on to bishophood somewhere. I don't wanna know that Phil Mankowski, the worst third baseman in Mets history (and that's some pretty bad third-basin') fights fires and slays ignorance. I don't wanna know that my existence-bane Brent Gaff jump-started some poor family's Chrysler Newport in the parking lot after a 9-1 loss and then took the entire Village of Coram out for pancakes, thus salvaging Coram Night for one and all.
It's bad enough knowing that a lot of the players I loved sucked as people. Knowing the players I disliked as players are standup gents is about as disappointing. I already feel silly enough in general.
You know who I didn't like? Ray Knight. Well, I liked Ray Knight just fine, but I couldn't stand that he was playing in 1985. I wanted him disappeared, certainly benched. Ray Knight was the first Met I booed, but I didn't boo the man. I booed the decision to play the man. I booed the results of his attempts to play. But I did not have it in for Ray Knight.
And a year later, when other teams had to fight with Ray Knight to party, I developed severe amnesia. Me, I loved Ray Knight as he was winning the 1986 World Series MVP and homering in Game 7 and scoring the Mookie run in Game 6 and such.
It just doesn't pay to hate Mets no matter how many Mets force the issue. Alas, very few take the boo by the horns like Ray Knight did and turn a Metropolis in their favor.
Wear a Mets uniform and I am contractually bound to like you. I ask but a few more adherences from you to ensure my loyalty.
Don't say stupid things to the press and I will like you.
Don't stare into space while in the field and I will like you.
Don't shirk your responsibility for playing badly and I will like you.
Don't break the law and I will like you…or break the law but strike guys out when you get off for good behavior and I will like you.
Make sense. Play hard. Succeed sometimes. Stand up. I will love you.
Amazing how many guys can't get with the program. No wonder we're descending into this subject and right on into the Met Circles of Hell. I'm afraid to find out how many of our heroes are hanging out there waiting for us.
The designated hitter rule is rather hellish in its own right, but I don't see holding the rule against a guy who rules at DH. A case is made for why pitchers should bat and why David Ortiz is most valuable at Gotham Baseball.