Every once in a while a sports hero is born out of triumph in times of great turmoil. We laude them for defying the odds, doing the impossible, and in extreme cases their stories and accomplishments live on for eternity.
You look at these pictures and you know exactly what they did:
It doesn't have to be on a grand stage for moments like this to happen. Maybe you've been out golfing with your buddies and he or she hit a hole in one. Or maybe you know someone that had the most ridiculous catch you've ever seen while you were in high school and it comes up in conversation every time you two hang out. Jesus I still remember the first kid I ever threw out as a catcher in little league.
And I'm sure the folks in Minnesota will never forget this shot that won the state title:
...I could do that.
We even seek these moments out in our movies. Any sports fan would recognize these pictures:
But even in these moments of greatness (fictional or otherwise), there were limitations to their extenuating circumstances. Kerri Strug had to do one vault with a sprained ankle. Jim Abbott had one arm, not one leg. The Americans had to win one game against the Russians, not a best of 7 (although they did go on to win the gold medal game obviously).
I'm not trying to take away from these legendary, inspiring, jaw dropping accomplishments that live on in sports immortality. There's a reason why these stories are told to young children and reflected upon with reverence. All I'm saying is that these situations were poised for success regardless of how bleak they may have looked at the time.
This Mets team has been a privilege to watch. We have seen a grittiness and tenacity in them that has certainly been lacking in previous years. But honestly, let's break it down:
- Wilpon's and the financial mess
- No Santana
- Bay was out
- Then Bay sucked for a long, long time
- Young goes down
- Mejia tears his elbow
- Davis and his ankle
- Wright and his back
And in the midst of all this we've seen young talent step up and fill roles they had no business assuming. Beltran seems to have found the fountain of youth, and do I even need to describe what Reyes has meant to this club and the fan base?
Last night, the Mets loss on the surface was completely understandable. They had won 4 straight, 3 of which were on the road, and Clayton Kershaw is colder on the mound than Ice Cube AND Coors Light combined.
But they just looked bad man. The defensive play outside of Jason Bay was awful. The only thing worse than the defense was the officiating, but that's a rant for another day.
They looked exhausted, flat, and just defeated, arguably due to Reyes officially going on the DL. And their next six pitching match-ups?
- Cain (At least Wright can't get drilled in the head twice)
I mean seriously, everyone and their mother is expecting the Mets to get spanked over that stretch. Logic tells us that with everything stacked against the Mets, they aren't poised for an amazing run. It truly seems that the circumstances are as debilitating as they appear.
So here's my dream. Here, put and leave this on with the sound up:
Lets say the Mets drop 5 out of 6 over this stretch. Then the media goes crazy saying that the team needs to be disbanded and sold off, but the Mets can't find any deals that are better than the draft picks they would get from losing them to free agency. So by some miracle Beltran and Reyes stay.
And then once, just this once, things work out for the Mets. Davis, Wright, Santana all come back from the DL like a WWE reunion of fan favorite super stars running down the aisle to deliver a chair blow to the Philly Phanatic's head. They go on a ridiculous run through August & September and win the wild card, followed by a phenomenal playoff run.
But that doesn't happen for Mets fans, does it?
RA Dickey had a broken nail and pitched like garbage. Ike Davis fell down 2 months ago and we haven't seen him since. As pathetic as it is, I'm actually excited that he ran on a weight reducing treadmill (It's like the same feeling I get when I'm actually excited to see gas at $3.49 a gallon.)
But other teams don't suffer like we do. You can look at historic moments like Gibson's home run or Schilling's bloody sock, or you can look recent at Albert Pujols who broke his fucking forearm and came back in two weeks.
Jesus even these two assholes get more breaks than the Mets do:
But hey, if what was supposed to happen always happened sports would be pretty damn boring. And after all,
Ya Gotta Believe.