by Paul West
One of the common, and in many ways most logical, paths to beat writer is fandom. In my work as a New York Mets beat writer, though I do my best to remain objectively critical, I make little secret of my Mets fandom. What follows is a bit of advice, from one long-waiting fan to legions of my kin:
Don’t forget to enjoy the ride.
I’m not suggesting the sort of blithe, ‘happy to be there’ feeling that can compromise a team’s intensity and make it hard for them to do what got them there. I’m suggesting relishing and appreciating what we’re witnessing here.
As Mets fans, while we’ve been on the positive side of some of the best and most iconic moments in baseball history, we’ve also been on the short side of some of baseball’s most memorable heartbreaks. Luis Castillo‘s game-ending dropped popup. The Endy Chavez Catch, followed by a home run from a catcher who’d hardly hit any and a curveball from a future ace who at the time nobody knew much about. The subsequent and sudden fall from league powerhouse to injury-riddled, contract-addled punchline. The team across town having a generation-long run of dominance, even during times in which we were good enough to be the best in the National League. After all the ups and downs, it’s easy to feel a lurking sense of desperation as we inch ever closer to the mountaintop. Along the way, there have been people in our own ranks who’ve openly chirped against our Amazins, always predicting the gaffe or bad break that would snatch the rug from under our feet. Well, that gaffe never happened, although there was a literal bad break and subsequent miscarriage of baseball justice that threatened to stop our run. But we’re still standing. In fact, we’re considered an even bet to win the World Series. This is a time to savor, Mets fans. Matt Harvey‘s made it through a well-advised innings cap, and will take the mound tonight with a chance to put us three games from baseball’s promised land. Daniel Murphy and Yoenis Cespedes might not even be with us next year, and while the Mets’ roster seems to hold a generation of promise, that’s not what you want to focus on right now. Right now, you want to keep repeating the following to yourself:
The New York Mets are in the World Series.
Now, let’s sit back and enjoy cheering them on.