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As bad as things have been: Giants, Knicks, Mets, and hope.

Beezer : 5/21/2019 9:57 am
Was thinking this morning about the three clubs I follow closely. Of late, things have been historically bad for two (Giants and Knicks) and at least disappointing for the other (Mets) the past few seasons.

But no matter how painful things get, I can't quit them, especially right now, when the hopeful optimist in me sees things on the verge of some positive changes.

Even as the Mets seem poised to spiral down the crapper, there's a sparkling asterisk up in the corner of this season's dull performance (accented by Mickey Calloway's 98-110 career Mets skipper record). Hard to say what it signifies yet, but it's not difficult to predict that this team soon (again, I hope) will have a different manager. I'm hoping there's a chance that someone of the Wally Backman ilk is finally given a shot, and the players rally behind him, seeing that, ironically, old-school stability matters, and that simple accountability counts. You hustle and play well? You're playing. Don't like it? Fuck off. Do something about it. Wanna mope and complain on Twitter? AMF.

The Knicks summer ahead is set to be - dare I use the over-used/mis-used label - epic? Will Durant? Won't he? Did the foot injury have any impact on the "sure-thing" status of King KD ruling over Madison Square empire? What about Kyrie? Or Kemba? Both happy choices to play second fiddle. Or stick with DSJ and sign a second max whose name doesn't start with the letter K? Unless of course Durant says that's what he wants, and well, then ... K (yrie) it shall be. What about Davis? Hell yes! Just not for Mitch Rob. But you might have to. Oh no! Just package anything else and go! Didn't get the Zion ball, but maybe Barrett? Could be good. And if all or any decent combinations of this? Ah, the Garden will host a playoff game once again.

And the Giants. Putrid, putrid seasons in the rear-view seem precisely as close as they are. Painfully so. Debates wage on daily here and elsewhere that there's a plan, or not ... that to jettison stars took away firepower, or it "improved the culture" ... Jones was a nightmare pick at 6, or maybe we just don't know much about this at all. As much as during any off-season/pre-season I can remember, there are stark black and white sides to arguments, and multiple situations worthy of close analysis. A few things seem sure. The O-line looks better. The defensive backfield has a shot to be better, perhaps very good. We still have Barkley, and we Quarterback 1 and Quarterback 2, as close to mirror images in many regards as we might imagine. On one hand we have the old, beloved champ (of some) and hated doofus (by others) of a QB, then a kid on the side whose potential fortune remains to be seen. Playoffs? Don't talk about playoffs ... you kidding me? Oh why the hell not! Hey, if things come together, if there's a semblance of a pass rush, if linebackers overachieve, if specials are at least middle-of-the-road, and if receivers are good enough to allow Saquon to do his thing, you never know. In any event, we all hope this team will compete better than the ones we've seen for a while.

Sometimes it's painful being a fan, and these three franchises have made things tough to watch for a while. But there's one huge part of being that anguished fanatic that carries me through.

In the words of old Red ... I hope.
Dolan and the Wilpons should make us fortunate for the Maras  
Eric on Li : 5/21/2019 10:01 am : link
are they perfect? no way, but as far as ownerships go they are far from the worst - and everything flows from ownership down. At least they can run a professional organization and don't completely repel anyone who has other options.
Kakko/Hughes, Barrett, Durant maybe...  
Anakim : 5/21/2019 10:01 am : link
The Knicks and Rangers look good.





And the Giants, too with Josh Allen
RE: Kakko/Hughes, Barrett, Durant maybe...  
djm : 5/21/2019 10:51 am : link
In comment 14450808 Anakim said:
Quote:
The Knicks and Rangers look good.





And the Giants, too with Josh Allen


Waaah
^  
NYG007 : 5/21/2019 11:16 am : link
Wah
I have a feeling  
Pete in MD : 5/21/2019 11:42 am : link
the next Mets' manager won't be a first-timer again. I would look at Buck Showalter if I were in-charge. He's has plenty of experience, multiple periods of success, and has managed in New York before.
I'm guessing you weren't around  
RinR : 5/21/2019 11:52 am : link
during the 70s and early 80s if you think the Giants have been historically bad lately.
RE: I'm guessing you weren't around  
Beezer : 5/21/2019 12:32 pm : link
In comment 14450959 RinR said:
Quote:
during the 70s and early 80s if you think the Giants have been historically bad lately.


I was. And lately, they've been just as bad.
Knicks feel like the ones  
SFGFNCGiantsFan : 5/21/2019 12:34 pm : link
closest to turning it around.
Knicks are going to be a 3-5 seed next year.  
GiantsUA : 5/21/2019 12:56 pm : link

Giants will go 10-6 and win a playoff game.

Mets - is it too late to switch teams?
RE: Dolan and the Wilpons should make us fortunate for the Maras  
lightemup : 5/21/2019 6:48 pm : link
In comment 14450805 Eric on Li said:
Quote:
are they perfect? no way, but as far as ownerships go they are far from the worst - and everything flows from ownership down. At least they can run a professional organization and don't completely repel anyone who has other options.


Based off what they have done the past 5 years or so, I wouldn't put them in a class that much higher than these other owners. I wish John would take a step back like Dolan has tried to do. If his name wasn't Mara, he wouldn't be getting the respect these fans are throwing at him
RE: Knicks are going to be a 3-5 seed next year.  
rich in DC : 5/21/2019 7:29 pm : link
In comment 14451057 GiantsUA said:
Quote:

Giants will go 10-6 and win a playoff game.

Mets - is it too late to switch teams?


You can always join arc who went over to the Yanks last year.
RE: Knicks are going to be a 3-5 seed next year.  
arcarsenal : 5/21/2019 8:04 pm : link
In comment 14451057 GiantsUA said:
Quote:

Giants will go 10-6 and win a playoff game.

Mets - is it too late to switch teams?


It's never too late.

I took mountains of shit for it and still don't care. I love baseball and was tired of wasting entire baseball seasons being frustrated, angry and annoyed. It's happening to them again this year - same shit and it's not even Memorial Day.

I'm certainly not enjoying seeing it happen because a lot of the fans deserve better, but I'm sadly not surprised at all. It's just going to be that way for the Mets for basically as long as the Wilpon's are there. The stench never goes away. They can't sustain winning. They don't seem to have any clue how to build the correct foundation.

The Mets have about one really good standalone year per decade. There's no sustainability. They've made the postseason 2 years in a row.... one time in franchise history?

Every single transaction is a big deal for Brian Cashman. All of the things that no one even batted an eye on at the time are things that now are paying massive dividends.

Domingo German was literally a throw-in that Cashman had an eye on. He's been one of the best pitchers in the AL to date and leads the league in wins.

Probably no one in the world gave it a single thought when Gio Urshela was acquired - yet, here he is. Making a tremendous difference in the wake of all of the injuries.

Cashman had his people looking at Voit for a bit. He was a guy they really wanted and Cashman said if there was any way to line up with StL on a trade that could involve Luke, he wanted to get him here so the Yanks could get their hands on him.

What'd they do? Unloaded their worst reliever last year (Shreve) + Gallegos for a guy who was basically the best hitter in the AL the last month or two of the season last year and is still hitting this year.

Signing LeMahieu has been brilliant so far - DJ has been arguably the most important position player on the team this year to date. His versatility, situational hitting, and hitting in general have all been fantastic.

Meanwhile, across town, Jed Lowrie was signed by the Mets to do the same thing - play all around the diamond and provide versatility - and as far as I know, the guy still hasn't played a game yet.

The Cano deal looks absolutely AWFUL right now. 5 more years of that? If it's ugly now, I have no idea how they're going to handle the tail end.

Trading for Wilmer Font?

Saying they're going to call up Hector Santiago like that's going to change anything?

Being okay with Jason Vargas taking the ball every 5th day when Gio Gonzalez was very available for quite a while?

The refusal to sign Dallas Keuchel because they don't want to spend the money? Signing turds like Keon Broxton?

The Cespedes stuff is just the icing on the Barnum and Bailey cake.

I'm not trying to be a dick. I'm really not. But I wanted to get away from all of it for a really long time and just kept telling myself "you can't do that" until one day last year, I just asked myself "why the fuck not?"

Over the last few years, I just became really enamored with the way the Yanks were doing things and building their team. The baseball fans in my family are Yanks fans and it was the Yankees I watched as a young kid before I settled on the Mets years later for really no actual reason other than "well, most of my friends are Mets fans so I'll have people to watch games with"

Sure, 2015 was an exciting time to watch the Mets, and there were a few years here and there that were similarly exciting. But for the most part, it was just excruciating. Non-competitive. Embarrassing. And it just doesn't end. So many seasons that just disintegrate before you can even blink. Collapses. The whole 9.

Half the time, the team is a complete afterthought by Independence Day.

I hope for the guys who are loyal and hanging in there, they get it figured out one day - I certainly don't harbor any ill-will towards the team. Just ownership and the people running things.

The only regret I have is not getting away from it all sooner.
I don't care what anyone does  
steve in ky : 5/21/2019 8:19 pm : link
but I can't relate to how any adult beyond a casual fan could abruptly switch teams he is a fan of.
RE: I don't care what anyone does  
arcarsenal : 5/21/2019 8:22 pm : link
In comment 14451567 steve in ky said:
Quote:
but I can't relate to how any adult beyond a casual fan could abruptly switch teams he is a fan of.


It's less abrupt when it's something you consider for a long time.

You probably can't relate because you probably became a fan of the team in a different way than I did. Which is usually the case, and usually why people have such a hard time with it.

People mistakenly assume everyone has the same upbringing and becomes a fan of a team the same way.

For me, it's very simple. If you want to root for the team you root for, continue to do so. If not, you're wasting your time.

I was wasting my time. Now I'm not.
I'm sure I did become a fan differently  
steve in ky : 5/21/2019 8:42 pm : link
Ironically I was originally a Yankee fan, I loved Mickey Mantle as young boy. I still have the little Yankee pendant my dad bought me when he took me to my first baseball game and got to see MM play in person framed hanging on a wall.

But my dad, although a Yankee fan, wasn't a big bb fan and we never watched or went to games together other than that one. And around 67 or 67 I started to watch the "new" Mets on channel 9 a lot of afternoons. Something about them, and the NL just clicked and appealed to me, and I became a real fan of the team. Seaver and those early Mets were exciting and a lot of fun and I got hooked. Have been a die hard fan ever since. These past few seasons, while frustrating were still nothing compared to the losing of the late 70's and early 80's, but even then some of my most fun as a fan was going to a lot of those games at Shea and watching the team slowly turn the corner by 84. I am always of the thought that long periods of losing only makes eventual winning that much sweater for the dedicated fan who stuck with them during for the entire process. It's the reward those fans receive for having done so. There is no explaining the feeling, I had it with the 86 era Mets and the Giants of the same period after having endured even longer losing through much of the 60's, 70's and very early 80's.

But like I said to each his own and of course everyone should do what they want, but I just can't relate to it at all.
.  
arcarsenal : 5/21/2019 9:21 pm : link
It's a different journey for everyone. It makes a lot more sense that someone who has been watching the Mets since basically the dawn of their existence feels more of a bond and more like it's your team.

If you lived through the 80's, those memories and that era certainly would give you a different perspective than someone who didn't start watching the team until the 90's.

I do think after a certain point, though, there's not really a tangible difference in how you enjoy a championship. Like, I think if a team I root for wins it all, that's peak sports enjoyment for me - there's no "peak plus" or level beyond that. Maybe if I was a Patriots fan I'd get there by this point and feel a little "bored", but other than that - I don't know.

Is there really a difference between celebrating a championship you waited 10 years for as opposed to 20 or 30? It's hard to say.

For example - the Giants - I was honestly every bit as happy and excited and really just elated after SB46 as I was after SB42.

I don't think there was another "gear" of excitement that I hit when they beat the Patriots the first time. Both journeys were incredible and had a lot of parallels and even though Lombardi #4 came just 4 years after #3, there was no difference for me. I was every bit as thrilled despite it being such a small window between the two.

All of the bad, losing baseball I've watched in my life hasn't been erased from my memory. It doesn't matter that it was a different team. I still suffered through more misery and disappointment as a baseball fan than I can even really recount.

If the Yankees win it all this year or in the near future, I will enjoy it every bit as much. It's about the journey. Every year is its own season. You start in spring training, go through the spring, the hot summer months, all the twists and turns of the marathon season, and then you get to the fall and start to get that postseason, October itch.

I enjoy baseball too much to ever have done something that would sap my enjoyment of it just for the sake of seeing some sort of "easy" championship. I thought about it for a really long time. I didn't just do it on a whim even though it seemed that way.

Heck, I think Phil in LA was telling me to just do this like 10 years ago on some random Yanks thread - I'd venture over to them from time to time and generally pulled for them. I really thought they were going to win it all in 2017 and would have liked to have seen it.

The team to root for in the 2009 WS was obvious. I'm sure some Mets fans rooted for the Phillies much like a lot of Giants fans inexplicably pulled for the Eagles against the Patriots - but it is what it is.

I get why other people can't relate or think it doesn't make sense. That's totally fine. It just doesn't change anything for me.

I also try not to be a jerk about it - I think that would be crappy. It's just something I felt comfortable doing, something I wanted to do, and that was that.

If it bugs other people, I can't control that.
RE: RE: Dolan and the Wilpons should make us fortunate for the Maras  
Deejboy : 5/21/2019 9:23 pm : link
In comment 14451477 lightemup said:
Quote:
In comment 14450805 Eric on Li said:


Quote:


are they perfect? no way, but as far as ownerships go they are far from the worst - and everything flows from ownership down. At least they can run a professional organization and don't completely repel anyone who has other options.



Based off what they have done the past 5 years or so, I wouldn't put them in a class that much higher than these other owners. I wish John would take a step back like Dolan has tried to do. If his name wasn't Mara, he wouldn't be getting the respect these fans are throwing at him

They won championships within the last 15 years. So they should never be compared to the likes of the Wilpons and Dolan.
Arc's 8:04 post nails it re: the Mets  
Eric on Li : 5/22/2019 10:53 am : link
and I'm glad he's at least still suffering a little bit with us - though I wish I could similarly move on even a little bit. Anyone who thinks the Mara's are bad just because they've had a couple of years picking in the top 5, and no playoffs 4/5, has their head in the sand to what "really bad" is - and the level of success they had mostly sustained in the 15 years prior. It's beyond comprehension for a fan of a Wilpon run organization to simply spend more than the league average in terms of payroll, let alone have:

- 8 straight years at .500 or better (as NYG did '05-'12)
- Playoffs 5/8 years (as NYG did '05-'12)
- 2 championships (hell even 1)
- More than 1 year without having their most expensive salaried player half retired
- More than 5 minutes in between league wide embarrassments
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