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

You’ll Root for Nothing & You’ll Like It

A public service announcement from your vaguely killjoy pal here: Please keep in mind as you tune in to comforting video (if strange audio) on SNY/PIX 11, that four things can happen this time of year and three of them aren’t particularly beneficial to the greater good.

1) Stupid Stuff. This encompasses every off-field Spring Training development that wasn’t widely anticipated and garners more than passing attention, usually because it’s of the Met Bites Dog variety. Somebody expressed an opinion. Somebody was quoted at length [1]. Somebody gave somebody else the stink eye. We could label such unscripted activity “controversies,” but that’s giving this kind of business more credit than it deserves.

Some developments in this realm are clearly more stupid than others. Some of them aren’t stupid at all, actually. Much of it is innocuous, simply the byproduct of an entity we care about generating an occasional hiccup of news [2]. You concentrate the Mets and those who cover their every moment in one place for seven or so weeks, stuff will happen and word will filter north. For our fan purposes, if it can’t be filed under Preparing The Team To Win, then how brilliant can it be?

CAVEAT: Now and then stupid stuff will appear pivotal in a confetti-coated rearview mirror [3], as in, “The moment Parnell removed the fork from Syndergaard’s hand was the moment the 2015 Mets took their first step toward a championship.” If we’re in a position to rewrite what we can barely remember seven-and-half months from now — especially if we’re intoxicated by success — we’ll gleefully buy any retrofitted storyline.

2) Injuries. There are the obvious dings that a professional athlete risks in the course of competition (though you’d rather have those transpire in the course of actual competition rather than glorified scrimmages if they’re going to transpire at all), but far more insidious is the pain that unfolds in slow motion.

He’s not going to throw today as scheduled.

He’s fine, just a little dead-arm period.

They’re taking precautions, just a little stiffness.

He’ll be throwing again in a day or two.

He’s not making the trip to Viera, but it’s no big deal.

He says he feels “100%,” but they’re going to wait.

It might be nothing more than he slept on it wrong.

He may have experienced a slight setback.

Just to be careful, they’re going to send him for an MRI.

They’re going to have him consult with Dr. Andrews, but that’s fairly standard procedure.

He’s going to try rehab.

The way the schedule is set up, they can go without an extra arm until late April.

Surgery was successful.

He should be ready to resume baseball activities before the All-Star break.

He’ll be reporting to Port St. Lucie before August 1.

There’s a chance we’ll see him when the rosters expand in September.

The Mets haven’t yet announced whether they will wear a patch in his memory in 2016.

CAVEAT: The worst-case scenario is never as bad as you imagine, even though the best-case scenario never occurs. Josh [4], Vic [5], Zack [6]…we’ll see ya when we see ya.

3) Totally Meaningless Results. Have you noticed how the Mets have been whacking the ball around [7] lately? You know what it means? Not a blessed thing. If the Mets weren’t whacking the ball around, it would mean just as much. They’re 0-0. They’ll be 0-0 until April 6. Hitters hot now will grow cold and heat up again before Opening Day, at which point none of what they’ve done in St. Lucie and environs will matter a whit.

CAVEAT: Maybe somebody will scorch his way onto the club, though on a roster like this, which was supposed to dry like paint, that probably means an injury or extremely stupid stuff arose and ruffled plans. We won’t deprive the next Darren Reed [8] of his moment in the sun, but we’ll take with a pretzel’s worth of salt what it likely means.

4) Nothing. You want nothing out of Spring Training, especially by now. You’ve had the jolt of electricity from baseball’s return. You’ve seen it televised. You’ve heard it broadcast. Perhaps you’ve visited. You’ve got it in your head that winter really does eventually end. You know the season is almost at hand. All you want between this juncture of the calendar and real New Year’s Day [9] is to be bored out of your mind. You don’t want stupid stuff. You don’t want injuries. You don’t need totally meaningless results. You need and want nothing to happen, because when nothing happens, nothing has gone wrong. When something happens, it’s almost impossible to imagine something has gone right. It’s like what football coaches believe in their gut about passing the ball — three things can happen and two of them are bad.

CAVEAT: Nothing happening in Spring Training beats pretty much anything happening anywhere else in the middle of March, so enjoy!

Turn the sound down on those strange voices who aren’t GKR and listen instead to this edition of the Rising Apple Report [10], where without notes I riff for a quarter-hour on the 1995 Mets. I think 2015 comes up in there, too.