Looking out your window, if you are living in the Northeast at least, you have been covered in snow for the past month. Those intricate little white snowflakes that every little kid dreams about for a white Christmas has been taking out states one by one during this most horrendous winter. It’s hard to think that there is a baseball season approaching.
For many of us, especially if you are like me who has a hard time surviving in the cold, this has been one of the most brutal winters I have ever experienced. It isn’t just because of the snow. The temperatures have been devastating. Pipes in homes have frozen over. People have been without heat. The only thing keeping them warm are the warm thoughts of baseball.
Ah, baseball! The sun on your face as you sit in a ballpark watching your team play America’s favorite past time. Football may be the biggest sport, but it doesn’t have the same rich history as baseball does. Well, at least not to us baseball die hards.
During the polar vortex, the only thing on my mind was the hot sun, the crack of the bat and a baseball hitting a catcher’s mitt as the opposing batter swings at a 95mph fastball that leaves him wondering what the hell just happened.
While many scream for heads to roll because they think the general manager on their respective team hasn’t done much, I’m just looking forward to watching a game in person again. Yes, I intend to support the New York Mets and go to a few games this year. It’s what I live for.
You see, I grew up as a Mets fan. More importantly, I grew up in believing in the unexpected. Come, come now. I
‘m not saying I’m expecting a playoff berth. I just believe. Isn’t that what a Mets fan is supposed to do? Isn’t that the Mets fan mantra: “Ya Gotta Believe”?
Oh come on! You can’t tell me you have forgotten that, have you? If so, maybe you should consider handing in your Mets fan card and joining the base of another team.
Hear me out for a second. Has the Mets fan base been hoodwinked enough? Yes. Have they endured more than their share of crap? For sure. Is it within their right to give up until something better comes along? The answer is a resounding: HELL NO!
The explanation is even easier. How many of you root for the New York Jets, New York Rangers, New York Islanders (forgive me Rangers fans), and the New York Knicks (Sorry, but the Nets are not New York)? The last time the Jets gave you anything was 1969. The Rangers last championship was 1994 and the Islanders was 1983. Then there is the Knicks last one which was 1973. It seems the most devout of the New York sports faithful are with each of these sports except baseball.
Sad, isn’t it? Especially since this is supposed to be America’s past time.
See, for you guys, in all of the other sports, it’s okay to shell out a couple of hundred dollars here and there to watch the games. I mean, the cheapest season ticket plan for the Jets is $500. Seriously? You guys pay that much for eight games? Yet no matter how many times you guys whine and complain about the team, your general manager and ownership, you still shell out the cash. You can say what want about Jim Dolan, you still support him and his teams. You don’t even have to go to the games to give him your money. You subscribe to his cable. You give him over $100 dollars a month for the cable and you add that to however much you are giving him for the tickets to the games you are going to see.
So you see I hardly feel bad for anybody who complains about Mets ticket prices when I compare the loyalty to the different New York teams. You shell out double the amount of money to see your other teams. You get used and abused by ownership and management of your other teams. Yet you remain steadfast. Cheering for the New York Mets should be no different.
You know you have been going through your withdrawals. You know you crave the sun. You miss the deafening roar of the crowd as much as the players do. Cheering as you hear the umpire call “strike three” on an opposing hitter is what you live for. Seeing the red apple in center field rise as David Wright hits a bomb is one of many things you are looking forward to. Who can forget about the Shake Shack?
Now say what you want, but you are just as anxiously waiting for the new season to start as I am. It doesn’t matter what was done in the offseason. You’ll be there come Opening Day, if you can get the day off from work. Even if you couldn’t, you’ll probably play hooky. You know you have in the past.
The season is in prep mode. The players have arrived earlier than they were supposed to in PSL. Some have taken their strength and conditioning training very seriously. You’ve seen the pictures of Ruben Tejada and Wilmer Flores. Wright, Ike Davis, Jonathon Niese, Zack Wheeler and company are all ready. While the fans are whining and complaining, the players are ready to battle it out amongst each other for a chance to win you guys over.
So while we thaw out here in New York, think about how much the players want to see you in the stands. Think about how hard they are working to earn your respect and cheers. Think about how much they miss playing for you. As spring training starts, think about your summer family ready to come home and play some ball.