Thursday, November 3, 2016

A Different Thought

And so it was the Cubs that won the 2016 World Series. Just as everyone told you they would. The team that was foisted on society ended up winning the ultimate prize, beating the Cleveland Indians in a classic and harrowing 7th Game to take home the crown for the first time in 108 years.

And, quite honestly, it made me sick.

People seem to have this impression of the Cubs as these loveable losers, but there wasn't much I found loveable about them or their fans. Sure, the same could be said about the fans of most teams, but rooting for the 2016 Cubs seemed to be about as chic as rooting for that other New York team between 1996-2001. You didn't know why you were supposed to other than it seemed like the "cool thing to do."

So I was hoping that some team would be able to step up and stop the Cubs freight train, but nobody did. The Indians pushed them to the limit, going ahead 3 games to 1 and on Sunday night it certainly looked like they were primed to seal the deal, and I was certainly enjoying that, but their luck ran out. The Cubs got it together, rose up and outwilled the Indians in one of those games where neither team wanted to fade quietly into the night.

But for most of the night, this game was headed the way of most of the rest of the series, which wasn't great on a game-to-game basis. Friday's Game 3 was close and so was Sunday's Game 5. Otherwise, none of the games were particularly dramatic. Neither was Game 7, at least not early. Corey Kluber, who'd been heroic in two starts prior, ran out of gas and got hit hard. At 5-1, it seemed like the Cubs were going to coast home. But Aroldis Chapman, himself overworked, also looked spent and out of nowhere, the Indians managed to fight back, tie the game at 6-6 on a Rajai Davis Home Run, and send the game into Twilight Zone Territory. Rain fell, a tarp was pulled on as the game moved to Extra Innings, and then the whole thing turned into a Buzzfeed article. The 2016 World Series is going to be remembered by everyone as this great, classic series, with the underdog Cubs storming back to win it all. You know, basically ignoring the fact that the Cubs were such enormous favorites going back to Opening Day, and the fact that everyone essentially basically spent the entire season patting them on the back and congratulating them over a World Series Championship that they hadn't won. They'd kind of done this last year too, until the Mets punched them in the mouth and put them in their place.

But, this year, they sealed the deal. And if you want to call me bitter, go right ahead, because, you know what, I am. I believed that the Mets, if they'd been given another shot at the Cubs, would absolutely have taken them out. They stoned them last year, and when they played each other during the regular season, a partially-neutered version of the Mets still took them out. Another Armageddon could have gone one way or another, but as I said about a month ago, I wanted to see the Mets have that chance. But it didn't happen. Instead, we had to sit on our hands and watch as the Cubs managed to finish their deal behind one of the major players that prevented the Mets from reaching the goal last year, and if you weren't sick of Ben Zobrist already, well...

And, you know, seeing the Cubs celebrating, and seeing their fans peeing themselves, and seeing hipster idiots running around New York City today wearing Cubs hats kind of got me thinking. Maybe we've been going about this all wrong. Mets fans have by and large been conditioned to approach the season with the old Crash Davis term of Fear and Arrogance. More Fear than Arrogance, to be sure, but a little arrogance. This hasn't worked, since the Mets are now 30 years removed from their last World Series Championship. But the Cubs, who hadn't won a thing since Teddy Roosevelt was President, spent the entire year with their chests puffed out, celebrating the title they believed they'd already won, and though it was enough to make you laugh at them then, you can't do that anymore because they went and did it.

So, yeah, I think we need to start having a different attitude here. If the Fans believe it, let's make the team believe it to. Perhaps all Mets fans need to start acting like we've already won something. Let's be the arrogant pricks walking around, thumbing our noses at every other team. Let's take over opposing team's ballparks and shit-talk their fans. This isn't so crazy. As it's composed now, the Mets are going to have 5 Starting Pitchers that can pistolwhip an opponent at any given time. Noah Syndergaard's just getting warmed up, Matt Harvey's got his head back on straight, Jacob deGrom and Steven Matz are healthy again, Zack Wheeler's gonna be back and that's not even getting to guys like Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo and, of course, Bartolo Colon. Who's going to stop these Mets? The Mets have already proven what they can do when everything clicks, so I think we should just proclaim it now. It's gonna click in 2017. Sing it loud and proud. #MetsIn2017.