Greg Prince is one of my favorite bloggers because of posts like this.
There are, by my count, 115 players who played for the Mets between 2009 and 2014 who never played for a winning Mets team. These are the individuals who weren’t here as recently as 2008 and/or haven’t been around in 2015. Our entire experience with them has taken place in the context of hopelessness, or nothing greater than a state of calibrated hopefulness. They were Mets when we knew we wouldn’t be going anywhere soon, but in the interim, we got by with who we had.
But they were Mets. And we rooted for them. Today, with as much sincerity as can be legitimately mustered, I want to thank all 115 of them. Even the ones who weren’t very good. Even the ones who didn’t last very long. Even the ones I wasn’t crazy about in their day. Perhaps it’s a testament to where we as a people are now, but when I consider them as we approach the once unreachable horizon, it’s not with ire for their not getting it done when they had the chance. It’s with appreciation for doing what they could.
Please go read “Here’s to the Non-Winners” at Faith and Fear in Flushing. I guarantee that if you’re a Mets fan, you’ll smile at remembering some of these former Mets players… and scratch your head trying to remember others.
Excuse me? Relevant to who? I’m a Mets fan. The Mets are relevant. Period. Their games may not wind up relevant to a pennant race, which is unfortunate. They may not wind up drawing many eyeballs to their network or fannies to their seats as the months wear on, but I’ll be watching and I’ll (likely) be going and they will be intrinsic to my pursuit of happiness. That’s what being a fan is about. Your team may not captivate you at every given moment, but they’re always relevant to you. I know they are to me.
When Joe Frazier died last week, I recalled that he had been a Mets manager for a time during the 1970s, but that was about it.
Fortunately Greg Prince at Faith & Fear in Flushing remembers everybody. He writes:
For those of you who weren’t around for the entirety of 1976 and the not quite first third of 1977, you’re excused if you haven’t exactly been steeped in the legend of Joe Frazier. Those of us who rooted during what we’ll refer to as his era (if an era can cover no more than sixteen months) can vouch there wasn’t much legendary to what he did and how he did it. The Baseball Digest version is the Mets overcame a midsummer malaise to post their second-best record to date during his one full season, and commenced their long, painful late ’70s swirl down the tubes early in his second.