The Mets didn't look good winning. Sure as hell beats looking great losing. When they issue style points, I'll worry.
—April 5, 2006
I still haven't seen the plus/minus column that tracks style points. Give me a shout when those count as tiebreakers.
—May 6, 2006
Style points are still not issued and style points still don't count. Good thing. Surely we lead the league in shoddy victories.
YES, YES, YES, a W is a W is a W. Nothing changes that if we've mysteriously accumulated more runs at the end of the evening than the other guys. Got it. But still, don't ya sometimes look at a win like last night's and feel deep down that it, like several others this year, wound up in our mailbox by mistake? That by all rights you should hand it back to your letter carrier so it reaches its intended recipient?
Could have the gods really wanted us to win this one? Why would have they forgotten to tell Damion to slide Easley, slide? Why would have they turned Ryan Howard's interference double into an on-second-thought homer? Why would have Tatis stretched a single into an out? Why would have Gary Cohen fate-temptingly referred to Pat Burrell's inevitable infliction of power and punishment as fleeting and innocent? Why would have that comedy of mental errors known as All-Star closer Billy Wagner's twentieth save unfolded in so demented a fashion? It wasn't, we are happy to acknowledge, a Phillies walkoff; it was, we must admit, a Mets slinkoff. Hope they slinked off the field, out of the clubhouse and onto the bus before the official scorer noticed there were only two outs when the game ended.
Damn Things are fun once every eighteen or so years, but this continues to be mildly ridiculous. We have become the Motels of the senior circuit, walking the loneliest mile, smiling without any style and playing altogether wrong — no intention, indeed, of doing this, whatever this is, the easy way.
Maybe the Mets' psyches would be better off if they tried one of those “cooperative games” your do-gooder social scientist types recommend for children, activities in which the bottom line is:
• Everyone plays
• No one gets hurt
• Everyone has fun
• Everyone wins
That sounds nice. Let's get them one of those enormous inflatable earth balls and let's work on building up their self-esteem. Otherwise, we are destined to be sucked right back into taking seriously 25 Sisyphii whose boulder is the National League East standings. Handling it as the Mets do, it's bound to roll downhill sooner or later and it's likely to crush us all in its wake. No wonder Ryan Church has such headaches.
But wins remain wins and yeah, we are 2-1/2 out of first on a three-game winning streak. Can't say we don't beat the Phils, 'cause we do. Can't say we're not in contention, 'cause we are. Can't say boo tonight, 'cause the Mets who take the field against the Giants are doing exactly what they're supposed to do: they're putting together wins or at least avoiding losses slightly more often than they're not.
There is nothing in the rule book that says they have to do it with verve and panache. If they want to be lousy at being swell, that's their prerogative. It would be easier to lengthen leads instead of yielding most of them, far less taxing to prevent comebacks instead of enabling them, but what do we know? We just watch them almost come apart over and over again. They're the ones who somehow keep it together.
Let's Go Mets. You're the only Mets we've got.