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

My Shameful Little Secret

This was how I watched everything go wrong for Corey Oswalt [1] and the Mets tonight: I looked down at the floor, slightly to the left of my foot, stealing glimpses between bites of chicken and potatoes.

The floor was where my phone was, with MLB At Bat set to Gameday. Could I tell exactly what was going on? No — I’m nearly 50 and a phone is a relatively small rectangle. But I could see enough: the red circles of strikes, the green circles of balls, the blue circles of an at-bat decided.

And I could see this note: IN PLAY, RUN(S).

Yeah, I could see that one over and over and over again.

In truth, I wasn’t fooling my dinner companions and nobody much minded — my family members knew I was on recap duty. But it felt right for watching this dismal, effortlessly futile incarnation of the Mets fail at their craft. There should be something shameful about continuing to pay the slightest bit of attention to this shambolic dysfunction. You should lower your eyes and hope nobody notices what you’re doing.

Think of everything you could do to improve the world — or at least yourself — if you weren’t wasting three hours a night watching a beautiful game wantonly disfigured. You could be exercising. Picking up trash. Teaching people to read. Making birdhouses. Perfecting cold fusion. (Hey, why not? It’s not like we’re imagining Mickey Callaway [2] figuring out the double switch.)

After dinner I washed dishes, a 20-minute stretch in which I was not tortured by the Mets. (It was great!) I then turned on the TV and watched them lose, except I kept drifting off. They put a couple of guys on, I drifted off, awoke with a start and watched things come to nothing. That happened a couple of times until finally Asdrubal Cabrera [3] had struck out, they had lost [4] and of course I was awake.

I’m barely at 300 words and I’ve already used a number of them to belittle and denigrate the Mets. Which they thoroughly deserve. As they deserve this: watching them, discussing them and even thinking about them has become a chore. That’s about the worst thing one can say about a sports team, but then “the worst” and “the 2018 Mets” go together perfectly.