Monday, May 5, 2014

Mad Mets

Somewhere in 1969, Don Draper, shoved into the former office of his dearly deceased colleague Lane Pryce, drops a cigarette under his office radiator. Discouraged, he reaches under the radiator and finds something folded up, felt-like. It's orange. He pulls it out.

It's a New York Mets pennant.

The very one that Lane Pryce, the British ex-pat turned early-era Mets fan had on his office wall. Don unfolds it, looks at it, and unceremoniously tosses it in a wastebasket.

Later, Don has a change of heart. Sometime during the course of the day, the Mets pennant is removed from the trash and returned to its former place on the office wall. Somehow, its presence (perhaps combined with multiple alcoholic beverages) inspires Don Draper to dial up his friend Freddie Rumsen and suggest a trip to Shea. When Freddie shows up, a thoroughly inebriated Don suggests that they "Meet the Mets, Meet the Mets! Step right up and Greet the Mets!"

Freddie takes Don out of the office, but they never make it to Shea. Later, after passing out on his own couch, Don wakes up and asks Freddie, "Did the Mets win?"

One can't exactly be so sure which game they missed, although Mets nation has gone to some length to try to figure it out. The only sure thing we know about that afternoon game was that it happened in 1969, and although nobody knew it at the time, some pretty interesting stuff was about to go down.

This in and of itself probably made every Mets fan's night.

But if Don Draper got drunk in his office in 2014 and happened to see a Mets game like tonight's, he could very well have thrown the pennant back in the trash. The game started out like a sublime Mad Men, with Jon Niese coolly slicing through the Marlins lineup for 7 innings, while Daniel Murphy and Curtis Granderson continued their hot hitting with a pair of early Home Runs. Niese was clearly going to be the story of the night, and he still may be the story of the night, if only for the way in which he was shafted by a complete and total bullpen meltdown, the kind of shit show that only happens in Miami, or on a tawdry episode of Bates Motel. First Daisuke Matsuzaka kicked things off by walking everyone, then blowing the lead, and then one inning later Gonzalez Germen finished the job by kick-saving a comebacker, except that this isn't Hockey and a ball that could have been an inning-ending Double Play ended up caroming out into Right Field as the winning run danced home.

Neither I, nor Don Draper, or anyone else rooting for the Mets were amused or entertained by this outcome.

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