First, we didn’t see an abrupt end-of-season collapse. The lads had the good grace to tank immediately after the All Star break, sparing us fans any unduly prolonged, then cruelly smashed, expectations. Indeed, now that any hopes of a post-season are safely gone, they seem to be having a bit of a late season rally. Playing the Pirates helps.
Second, we have, for the first time since Frank Viola did it 22 years ago, a twenty game winner in the unlikely (I like the word “unlikely” in connection with the Mets: the first Mets game I attended, in the summer of 1985, was won by a two run homer off the “unlikely bat” of Howard Johnson) guise of knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. His is an unusual story for the Mets: instead of a star free agent who, upon donning the blue and orange, quickly did an impersonation of the Wonderful One-Hoss Shay on the centenary of Earthquake Day, he was a much traveled journeyman pitcher who found his stride–or should I say his sling?–with the Amazins.
I’m tempted to fall back on the comforting mantra–“Wait’ll next year!”–of Brooklyn Dodger fans a half century plus a decade ago. But I know it ain’t gonna be so. Nevertheless, I’ll remain loyal.