Hey there, folks. What is this, the third time this year I've sort of accidentally taken an unplanned blogging hiatus? Sheesh, remember when I used to post three times a week, every week? (Nope, me neither.) And I would apologize for this one too, but honestly, I ain't even sorry.
It might sound kind of ridiculous to say that I was on hiatus because the Mets were in the playoffs, but... I was on hiatus because the Mets were in the playoffs.
Remember back in spring training when I followed my blind, misguided Mets faith and predicted they'd win the World Series? Well crap, they came far closer than I ever would've logically thought they would! And way back when I wrote that post, I didn't really think about the reality of what a Mets playoff run would mean. I mean, the last time they were in the playoffs it was 2006. Not only was I was a little preoccupied with other things that summer and fall, but it's long enough ago that I wouldn't really have many memories of it anyway. Before that? It was 2000. I was 9 years old. So, for all intents and purposes, I had zero playoff experience going into this season.
2000 vs. 2015. The picture on the right was taken right before the Mets clinched their World Series berth. I was having A MOMENT.
Which brings me to my first point: "there's no crying in baseball" is a lie.
I've been a Mets fan for close to 20 years. I watched them collapse in 2007 and 2008, and then death spiral from 2009 through 2012. I watched them through six consecutive losing seasons, punctuated with losing my favorite player(s) and all sorts of general awfulness. I could probably have counted my positive Mets memories on one hand. But suddenly I was subscribing to MLB.tv so I could watch the Mets clinch the NL East, blinking back tears when David Wright hit a home run to seal the victory. Suddenly I was FaceTiming my mom during the NLDS so we could watch the last out together, my free hand pressed over my mouth, unable to figure out if I wanted to laugh or cry and ending up doing a little bit of both. Suddenly I was watching as Jacob deGrom turned into Cy Young and Daniel Murphy turned into Babe Ruth, doing that same laugh-cry thing when Jake struck out eleventy million Dodgers in the NLDS and when Murph hit his sixth home run in six consecutive games to close out the NLCS against the Cubs. And if you think I was dry-eyed when they won that series too, you don't know me very well. And then, before game five of the World Series, when their elimination was a very real possibility, I was wiping my eyes at the thought of this season being over.
...That's right. I sort of cried a little bit because I didn't want the season to end. I'm embarrassing. It's fine. BUT I've said before that this season felt like lightning in a bottle, and the playoffs did nothing but reaffirm that. It was magic (...until the World Series. But. Let's not go there).
I decided to take the plunge and buy that deGrom shirsey! Best. decision.
Which brings me to my second point: "fans of bad teams are happier because they have low expectations" is a lie.
The Mets have been bad for approximately 95% of my life. Even they had fairly good records, they were bad (ahem, 2007 and 2008). And I sure as hell wasn't happy about it. Granted, this badness allowed me to emotionally detach from the team, and view losses as expected and wins as surprise bonuses. But for the most part, it wasn't really all that fun. It wasn't NOT fun, per se, but it just kind of... was. There was a lot of apathy.
This season? There was no apathy. Right from the earliest parts of the season, when the Mets won something like 11 consecutive games, I cared. A lot. June and July were definitely not pretty, which involved a whole lot of anger on my part, and the World Series was kind of a train wreck and had me mad enough to breathe fire, but at no point was I emotionally checked out. And when I look back on this season, the low moments pale in comparison to the highs. I'll remember literally happy-dancing in my kitchen during wins, and screaming myself hoarse for strikeouts and home runs and, yes, crying happy tears.
It's a pennant pennant! And I can't believe this is a real thing. 2015 National League Champions. Wow. Wow. Wow.
Sure, I spent most of the postseason stressed out to the point of nausea about baseball. But I have never had more fun as a sports fan, and I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. Give me sweaty palms and an unsettled stomach and a sore throat and a racing heart over numb apathy any damn day of the week. It's better to have loved and lost than never loved at all, or something like that. (This post puts it into words way better than I can: I Almost Married The 2015 New York Mets.)
So, I was absent because I was in a relationship with my baseball team, and then because they left me standing at the altar, more than a touch heartbroken. (#dramatic.)
BUT! Now I'm back, my time is my own again, and I'm frantically keeping up with offseason news and ready to do it all again next year.