- Faith and Fear in Flushing - http://www.faithandfearinflushing.com -

The Dallas Green Face

Well, at least the Mets showed me something tonight.

After Tuesday night’s slow-motion slide down the avalanche, I could barely work up indignation over the actual game — that was saved for my fears about what might be behind some curiously hasty decision-making [1]. The Mets were bland and bad and I was uncomfortably close to numb about it — something that also happened to me down the stretch in ’09 and ’10, but at least those years had reasonably OK early stretches. Having the pain hardly register a couple of days after Tax Day was something far worse.

So tonight it’s progress that the Mets managed to anger me. First there was Angel Pagan scrambling home on a trickler of a wild pitch and getting tagged out on a blind lunge by a young reliever for a double play to end the eighth. Then Jose Reyes somehow managed to top that an inning later, short-circuiting an otherwise good night by falling asleep getting back to first on a horrible bunt by Josh Thole and getting himself doubled off. And why in God’s name was Terry surrendering one of our three precious remaining outs by having Thole bunt anyway? At least it was an inventive way [2] to self-destruct.

I was mad, but I wasn’t enraged — the last 10 days or so have beaten the rage out of me. But I sure was astonished. Sitting there in the dark with the remote on my lap, I realized I was holding perfectly still, my mouth hanging open.

I realized I was making the Dallas Green face.

Those of you whose suffering extends back three famine cycles will remember Green’s voluble fury at umpires was often loud enough to be clearly and painfully audible at home — I found it entertaining that the announcers would have to generate desperate chatter to drown out Dallas’s metronomic profanity. But what was even better (in the misery-loves-company sense) was when the Mets did something so amazingly stupid that Dallas was dumbstruck and left staring out at the field with his jaw dangling. He’d be pretty mad in a few seconds, and someone out there on the field or the basepaths was wishing he could figure out a way to tunnel back into the dugout, but right now all he could do was try to force his brain to accept what his eyes were telling him.

As Greg noted earlier today [3], we’ve now chronicled 1,000 Mets games more or less as they happened. I know there will be ones that hurt a lot worse than this one, ones whose tragedy comes without so generous a helping of farce. But if I could ask a small favor of the baseball gods, could we at least go another 100 or so without one so thoroughly hapless?

Aw, who am I kidding? We’ll be lucky to get through the week before finding the new lowest point.