New York Mets
Yin and Yang, Yank and Met
by Matthew Silverman
The Mets. When they are your team, you hear every stinging remark, whether it's kids in the lunchroom cracking wise about getting four scrubs for Tom Seaver or everyone with a keyboard snarking about the financial straits of your owners not knowing a Ponzi from a Pulsipher.
The Mets are the youngest child of four. Two moved away to California-one's going through a tough divorce and the other just got a major promotion-while the other brother lives right down the street, and he's a multimillionaire. Your brother Yank got heaps of money from his wife's side of the family, but he's doing a good job investing and will keep the family rolling in dough for generations. Even if he loses money now and then, he shrugs. It won't hurt him. You try not to think about Yank. You've got a great family and you are certainly better off than a lot of others who barely have a revenue stream to bathe in. You ignore what they're saying about you and head onto the Grand Central Parkway to work. You think about the good times
Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Gil Hodges, Cleon Jones, Donn Clendenon, Bud Harrelson, Tommie Agee, Tug McGraw. These are names you have memorized, even if you didn't see them. If a few of these names don't ring a bell, pick up a book, go to Google, do something about it. These are the Washington, Adams, Franklin, and Jefferson of the Mets-and we won't even delve into Knox, Greene, Kosciusko and others on the front line in the Revolution. Without overcoming ridiculous odds and toppling foes of unimaginable power, the Mets are the Houston Astros with less sultry summers.
Keith Hernandez, Dwight Gooden, Darryl Strawberry, Davey Johnson, Mookie Wilson, Sid Fernandez, Gary Carter, Jesse Orosco. These names you have never stopped hearing about. Whether you lived through the 1970s or the last 10 years with the Mets, this is your rope to sanity, to the difference between you and those who have never pulled a World Series out of the fire. Ask brother Yank if he can list the opponents he swept in the World Series; then ask him who hit a "little roller up along first."
Mike Piazza, John Olerud, Edgardo Alfonzo, Bobby Valentine, Al Leiter, Rick Reed, John Franco, Robin Ventura. They didn't win a World Series-thanks again, bro-but they did make you sweat. And a lot of us in this house were prouder of what happened the fall we wound up short of the World Series in '99 than the year we lost to you. Didn't think you'd understand, Yank.
David Wright, Jose Reyes, Johan Santana, Carlos Beltran, um, get back to us the manager, and the kids are so young we can only use first names: Ike, Josh, Mike, Jon. This is your family now. All these names are connected with yours. One day they-or the descendants-will make you weep with joy. Can't say when. You say "now" so often Yank, that the tears are of relief, not joy. This side of the family is holding out for joy. It's the difference between comfort and joy.
Matthew Silverman is author of several books, including New York Mets: The Complete Illustrated History (MVP Books/2011). He can be reached at metsilverman.com.