A year after making my musical theater debut and farewell simultaneously in a tenth-grade production of Li’l Abner, I volunteered to review that next spring’s show, Once Upon A Mattress, for the school paper. High school musicals being what they are, there was a lot of double-casting for the leads — the people in the key roles on Friday were different from those who were in them on Saturday. The director and head of the music department asked me one favor: say what you want, but don’t compare the kids in the same roles.
So I didn’t. Whoever was really good on whichever night they were I gave thumbs-up to, and whoever wasn’t all that great, I acknowledged with a parenthetical “…played the role Friday/Saturday.”
Thus was I introduced to the world of being despised for what I wrote.
School theater productions, as I should’ve understood from firsthand experience, exist so the students in them can harangue their friends and parents into coming and telling them how wonderful they were. Afterwards, everybody goes to the East Bay Diner for sundaes. They aren’t performed so an amateur drama critic can not pay homage to everybody in the cast.
The biggest complaints I got for anything I wrote in that review (or in high school…or at any time in my entire journalism career) were for not mentioning “me” or “me” or “us”. “We worked really hard!” was the biggest protest I received. “How could you not mention me/us?”
This crosses my mind a quarter-century or so later because I want to tell you about my three favorite Met bloggers, but I do so with trepidation because it implies that there are dozens and dozens of Met bloggers who aren’t my favorites. That’s hardly the point of this. We run a whole list of our fellow bloggers over on the sidebar (under the heading The New Breed) because we have a ton of respect and admiration for what all our peers do in the name of keeping up on and figuring out this silly team of ours. Anybody we don’t list isn’t there probably because we haven’t found him/her/you yet or because we generally update the links the way I tackle everything that requires constant vigilance — sporadically.
That sincere disclaimer in place, I send a holiday salute to three Met bloggers who make the Metsosphere a better place for us all. I’ve gotten to know each of these three wise men to varying degrees since we all began making our respective rounds, and I’m fond not only of their work but of them. You can take that as a disclaimer, too, but I see it as my good fortune.
Mets Walkoffs and Other Minutiae is a concoction that could only be mixed in the mind of a Mets fan, and not just because of the team in the title. Yet there are few Mets fans, I’ve learned, quite like Mark of MW&OM. His grasp of Mets history is practically, well, me-like. I was blown away by his concept when I first stumbled across it in the middle of the season and I never find myself not amazed by it. Who knew that a game the Mets won in their final at-bat could just keep getting better? That’s Mark’s impact. He finds contemporary tie-ins, he tracks down yesterday’s heroes, he keeps the magic alive. For Christmas, he wishes his historical spotlight upon a most unobvious yet homophonic star.
The Musings and Prophecies of Metstradamus slays me. The author is, night in and night out, the funniest person I’ve ever read on the subject of the Mets and associated ephemera. He provides that rarest and most aspired-to attraction, the curiosity of “I wonder what Metstradamus is going to write about this game.” It’s a rare enough talent to reel off great lines on the same recurring subject, but Metstra (he prefers to go through this phase of life by his nom de plume, so I’ll respect that) brings insight to each of his zingers. When he pokes fun at the Mets, he does so knowingly and achingly. His Christmas gift to his readers comes in 50 tantalizing pieces which, unlike the toys in the hands of so many parents last night, he had no problem assembling in advance and leaving under the tree for the rest of us to enjoy.
Mets Guy In Michigan piles Massapequa savvy on Midwestern wry. Dave Murray’s Long Island background is leavened by a humanity that’s hard to find around these parts, though I suspect he had it in him all along. Dave’s heart is clearly tied to the Mets but he uses baseball mostly as a jumping off point to what he calls his adventures in life. They’ve taken him to fascinating places actual and spiritual, visits that I’ve enjoyed tagging along on in completely vicarious fashion. For Christmas, he doesn’t just watch It’s A Wonderful Life, he discovers who’s caused it to be one for him.
Good guys. Good blogs. And to all, a good read.