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Amoral Victories

“A diamondback without venom is a belt.”

Points to our pal Metstradamus [1] for the line of the series and an unsparingly accurate take on the National League’s Arizona franchise.

As a lifelong Mets fan, I’m well acquainted with terrible baseball, and the Diamondbacks are supplying it by the truckload right now. I’ve been listening to Howie and Josh via MLB At Bat, as I’m doing school visits in Louisiana for Jupiter Pirates, and each night they’ve sounded both more pitying and more disgusted. I’ve supplemented Howie and Josh with peeks at footage of temporarily gravel-voiced Gary and the happily returned Keith, who’s the perfect person for chronicling misdeeds at the major-league level.

But I don’t need a TV to know what this kind of baseball looks like. I know Kirk Gibson [2] is staring out at the field with rage churning under his carefully blank expression, just like I know players are plodding off the field, remaining prone for an extra few defeated seconds, and staring into the bowls of their no-longer-needed batting helmets. I know because I remember it from the Joe Torre [3] era, and the George Bamberger [4] era, and the Dallas Green [5] era, and the….

Games like these are rarities to be savored — free passes in the hard slog of a long season. (And even more to be savored when they come on a tough West Coast swing, of which the Mets have approximately a dozen this year.) Even at 2-0 this game didn’t feel particularly close, and Jose Valverde [6]‘s throwing BP to Aaron Hill [7] and Paul Goldschmidt [8] felt more like a long-term problem for the Mets than a short-term threat to a victory. That’s how bad the Diamondbacks are right now.

(By the way, I’m terrified that if Valverde’s struggles continue, our closer will be Kyle Farnsworth [9]. If you’re thinking that’s insane, I’m not going to argue — it should be Gonzalez Germen [10]. But remember that Farnsworth is a Proven Veteran (TM), which I fear in TerryLand means he’ll get every chance to be bad.)

But back to the D’backs and their string of d’bacles. You know what? Too bad for them. I’ve watched the Mets get so thoroughly lost that another win seemed impossible. Nobody took pity on them — they just beat them, as they should have. Moral victories count for nothing — they’re defeats. Amoral victories — beating up on an essentially defenseless opponent — don’t come with a discount. They’re wins, plain and simple. You take them whenever you can [11], without apology.

By the way, if you haven’t seen this, it’s so so so great [12]. Enjoy.