Cocks in the Hen House: 06.02.10


“Cocks in the Hen House” is a weekly column by friends of the Chicks that aren’t, well, chicks. Stop by every Wednesday to see what the men-folk have to say about the weeks biggest baseball stories.

By Matt Carnavos @mattcarnavos

Since being awoken by his jubilant father as a two year old to watch Billy Buckner let Ray Knight score the winning run after missing a blooper by Mookie Wilson in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, Matt has been a Mets fan. Through the dark days of the early 90s (Bobby Bonilla, and Brett “lets spray beach on the press” Saberhagen, anyone?) and the house of cards days of victory during the Mike Piazza years, Matt has rooted for the Mets and resisted the Dark Side that is the New York Yankees. Matt now lives in Washington, DC and often flies up to Citi Field (its all about the frequent flier miles!) to watch the Mets baffle him.  One of his favorite hobbies is mocking Nationals fans in DC who have a limited knowledge of baseball. Last night, Matt sent CDTLB blogger and longtime friend Liz a text message while she was on a date, asking her why she was cheating on Chase Utley’s ass.  When Matt’s not being angered by the Mets, he’s either traveling the world or making scientific discoveries. Wait, the Mets always anger him.

So Your Team is Collapsing: Perspective from a Fan of the New York Metropolitan Baseball Club.

Collapse and the New York Mets. These things goes together like Macaroni and Cheese, or say, Captain & Tennille. Just when you think that maybe just maybe this year will be different, the Mets find ways to lose. As a Mets fan you get used to futility, but always have hope that next year, the odds will be overcome and maybe, just maybe, the stars (and airplanes) will align in Flushing and magic could happen.

Based on my observation of various Phillies Phans, it seems that the same pessimistic view of baseball exists down off of Broad Street. You may have had TWO World Series appearances in the past five years (and a win after one of those Amazin’ Mets Collapses), but you seem to be always waiting for the shoe to drop. Some say that it might have already. I disagree, but if you believe that your hopes of watching local baseball instead of the Simpsons’ Tree House of Horror come October have diminished in the past 10 days (part of me is a little happy that my Mets may have been part of that, but I digress) you might be wondering, how do I make it through the rest of the long baseball season? In my 26 years as a New York Mets fan the team has been in this situation more often than not, so let me share with you some things for you to remember, and ways to cope with collapse and sadness:

1.      Learn about the Team’s Minor League System.

 Although I bet the audience of this blog can tell me the starting lineup of the Phillies Florida State League team, use this time of futility in the Bigs to investigate and follow the stars of tomorrow. Who knows, as players get injured and come September, you may even get to see these guys find a way to beat the Mets after an ill-advised Jerry Manuel double switch.

2.      Consider skipping games and saving to go to Spring Training.

While going to a Phillies game I bet does not require credit approval and large bills like going to a Yankees game, you might want to consider watching a game or two on Comcast Sports instead and saving for a ticket to Tampa. I have gone to Port Saint Lucie (or where Long Island goes to die) to watch the Mets train in March, and not only is the intimate setting of those stadiums a great way to watch baseball, sitting in the Florida sun in March isn’t a bad way to spend your time. Plus the games don’t count so it isn’t as upsetting when they lose to the Astros.

3.      You aren’t a Baltimore Orioles Fan. (Editor–like this guy)

 While the uninformed masses (I’ll get to that later) here in Washington DC await the coming of Stephen “I haven’t pitched against a Major Leaguer” Strasburg, up the road in Baltimore, the hapless Orioles are plagued with injury mismanagement, terrible club management, and unshaped young talent. Actually, that sounds like the Mets…moving on.

4.      You actually understand and appreciate the game of baseball, and live not too far from Washington, DC to mock the confused Nationals Fans.

I think it’s great that the Phillies Phans come down here to D.C. and show the Expos fans that they have no idea what baseball is. While the number of Mets fans who go to Nationals games are probably less (because of a strange complex of “Why leave New York-itis” that seems to afflict many New Yorkers), remember that even if your team loses to the Nationals, you still can make Jill and John of Reston, VA who find Nationals games a neat way to spend a Saturday evening feel stupid when they try to talk smack about the Phillies. Or you could even take a trip down to Atlanta and mock the disinterested Braves fans that drift in and out of baseball games prompted by the Tomahawk Chop. (Based on my trips to Turner Field to watch the Mets, the organization seems to be more concerned with getting families into the stadium to play carnival style games than watch baseball.) Trust me, you’ll feel better about your organization and your alliance as a baseball fan.

5.      Your team may be out of playoff contention, but you can ruin the party for others.

While this might sound mean, it can be fun to be the team that knocks other teams out of contention. Remember when your team two years in a row made me physically ill? Wasn’t that fun?

Looking at the schedule at the end of the year, the Phillies could destroy the playoff hopes for both the Nationals (dear God, let it not come to that) and the second most evil team in Baseball, the Atlanta Braves. Maybe those minor leaguers who come up will have an amazing September and destroy Bobby “I have been legally dead since the late 1970’s” Cox’s last chance at a playoff berth. Or the Nationals. They have no business being anything but a reason for National League fans living in DC watch their home team wins down the block from where they chose to live after college.

6.      Jerry Manuel is not your manager. Roy Halladay is your ace.

Seriously, you can answer this one. What the fuck; does the job description for the New York Mets Manager say, “You must not know how to do your job?” Charlie manages, and I respect that.

For the second part, no matter how bad the rest of the rotation and the offense could be, the man pitched a Perfect Game on Sunday. And he actually likes being in Philly and is dedicated to his team. Can I bottle that and send it up the Jersey Turnpike to the Mets?

7.      Go to Sesame Place.

When I was a wee Mets fan, we used to take trips to visit Big Bird, Grover, and Bert and Ernie in Langhorne. (Incidentally, Langhorne is also home to Mike Piazza Honda, where you won’t be able to throw to second base to make the squeeze play, but you will get a fair price on a Civic). One way to laugh your cares away after a tough loss is to play in the ball pit or go down the waterslides. (If you have a kid, bring it with you, otherwise you’ll probably have to tell your neighbors you’re on a list now.)

8.      It’s only June.

While it seems that the team is falling apart, you need to realize, your team is part of the most competitive division currently in baseball. One day you’re in first, the next you’re in last, but only 2 games out of contention. While its true there’s concern, it’s a long season, and there hasn’t been a breakout team in the division yet. While personally I wouldn’t mind 2010 being the year the baseball party ended in the Delaware Valley, I don’t think that’s going to happen. On paper and in the clubhouse, the Phillies seem to be a great team and a worthy competitor. So keep your chin up and loathe the real enemy: the Atlanta Braves. And if in a few months, things are different remember, next year is closer than you think! Or you could be a Royals Fan. Seriously, when was the last time they were even close to good, when George Brett was playing in the 70s?

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One Response

  1. I don’t know how I’m just seeing this, probably lack of internet access, but wow. I’m really impressed. An intelligent and fair Mets fan! [=

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