Usually, you can dismiss hot April starts as nothing more than cute. Whether it’s real or not, if you have the motivation, you can always lean on baseball “needing to play out” because of the length of the season. Sure, it’s harder to dismiss a hot start from the Dodgers, but why even try? Almost anyone else, you can buy yourself some time from the annoyance that will come from their fanbase when that team actually turns out to be real..
With the Mets, it never takes more than three games before their fanbase wails at a frequency high enough to kill small animals, either way. Either the season’s over or you can book the pennant now on April 3rd (or 10th as this year goes). The Mets exist to make a ton of noise in a short amount of time, and then fade into the background while the non-jokes play for the things that really matter. Like when I was explaining the concept of relegation in European soccer to my non-sports-inclined girlfriend, and she said, “So…no more Mets?” That’s not by accident.
That doesn’t look to be the case this year. Not only have the Mets gotten off to one of MLB’s hottest starts at 19-9 — 5.5 games up in the NL East — but now they have the kind of “baseball-magic” win that fans usually use as a barometer as to how serious the chances of triumphs in the fall are. To wit:
Look, the Phillies bullpen blowing a lead while their defense flaps in the wind isn’t usually much of a story, but seven runs in the ninth is obscene even for them.. But whether the Phillies are prone to this kind of thing or not, you’ll be hearing about the Mets’ resurrection Thursday night for a while.
On the one hand, this is still the Mets. It’s New York obnoxiousness combined with the inferiority complex of any number of towns, given their jealousy of the other team in town. While the Mets have provided more than enough comedy over the years, it hasn’t been enough to completely cleanse their general stink on the world. Javy Baez’s thumbs-down gesture last year summarized their whole existence, a fanbase and team that would all rather be somewhere else but can never admit that the promise of New York was hardly enough.
On the other hand, a quality Mets team would actually be the bane of the rest of baseball…but not in the usual Mets way. We know that all the other owners in MLB – aside from the Dodgers, who have earned the right to not give a fuck what anyone else does — hate Steve Cohen’s guts. And while Cohen will never be in the same zip code as a sympathetic figure, the revulsion he causes in MLB offices and owners’ boxes around the league is certainly something any fan can get attached to. Because Cohen is just about the only owner acting as one should, doing whatever it takes to put a winner on the field immediately.
With every win, with every signature moment, with every Lindor homer or Scherzer strikeout or Marte hit, every other fanbase inches a little closer to seriously asking, “Why can’t we do that?” There is no logical answer as to why so few do, and Cohen and the Mets are dancing on all those who don’t every day they’re on top of the standings. Watch the Mets provide their fans with the unbridled joy like on Thursday, and ask yourself how you can sleep at night, Cubs and Red Sox (I know, I know, on top of a pile of money…).
It’s hard to adjust to that juxtaposition. The Mets being the story of baseball and the unchecked giddiness of their fanbase that smells like a bus seat is supposed to only be distasteful. But the fact that it raises the bile for those ruining the game… well, life is never simple, is it?
Original source here