By: Chris DuPrau @ChrisDuPrau
I’ve used this place to complain about my teams a lot. It’s cathartic for me. I’ve won championships as a fan, but in most cases, I’ve had to go to some pretty low lows before achieving them. When the good times happen though, those lows seem almost worth it. I know good times can happen, and that’s why I still feel that great emotion at the start of seasons. The emotion of hope. It’s a crazy emotion, one that often has almost no basis in reality, but it’s also an emotion that will keep you going. The Mets have me hooked on hope once again.
I know what you’re thinking, “No, Chris! Not the Mets again! Don’t Do this to yourself!”. You’re right. I know you’re right, but I just can’t help it. It’s like a rite of spring to me. A worker has literally heard me say these same things every March over the past 4 years:
- We can’t have as many injuries as last year
- If we can just get 25 to 30 starts from deGrom, Thor, Matz and Wheeler we’ll be fine
- Cespedes is going to be a monster this year
- This is Conforto’s break out season
- We have young guys who are going to step up
- I smell a pennant!! (This line at the 1 minute mark gets me every time)
Now most years this excitement is killed by June. Sometimes it goes all the way to the end of the season where it is dramatically ripped away from me. Despite the almost guaranteed heartbreak, I fall for it every year and begin to have hope. It’s really all we have as Mets fans. We’ve been through so much ridiculous shit that I’ve already wrote a damn article about it. It doesn’t stop us though. Every year we get punched in the face, get up and hope it won’t happen next year. It’s a vicious cycle, and sometimes it’s hard to get up, but every year we do.
As I write this I’m starring down the gun of the Mets possibly starting 5-1—deGrom pitches tonight against the Marlins so I’m hoping we win, but since I’m typing this we’ll probably lose. You might think 5-1 is a great start, and I must be going crazy. Well, I am going crazy, but it’s a more subdued crazy. Last year the Mets started 11-1. I had booked in my head tickets to October. I saw no way we wouldn’t at the very least be playing meaningful baseball late into the year. Then the worst June I ever saw occurred and the Mets ended up 77-85. They didn’t play a meaningful game after mid-June. So, although 5-1 would be a very nice start, I’m holding off on punching October tickets for now.
Even with my trepidation, my hope meter is going crazy. I see signs that have me dreaming big:
- A closer in Edwin Diaz I trust.
- A roster that looks pretty darn deep.
- A rotation that will have us in most games
- Pete “Freaking” Alonso
In the back of my head trust me I know. I know I’m setting myself up for a letdown. The Mets have done this to me more than anyone in my life. They’ve ended series by walking in the winning runs, choked away a division in agonizing fashion on the last day of the season twice. The first of those nearly costing me my relationship with my now wife. They’ve blown saves in the World Series, underperformed expectations and consume my life for 6 months out of a year. I’m an idiot! I shouldn’t care this much. Especially about a team that puts me through literal hell more often than not. Like a junkie chasing the high though, I keep coming back.
I come back because of love. I come back because of memories, but most importantly I come back because of hope. Hope that this will be the year that it doesn’t end badly. Hope that this will be the year I cry tears of joy in late October. Hope that, like Andy Duphrene, I can crawl through 500 yards of shit and come out clean as a baby on the other side.
My love for this team will never die, I just hope it doesn’t kill me.
Keep on keepin’ on.