I’m a Mets fan. By definition that means I’m a masochist. (not so much as being a Jets fan, but that’s another story).
And once again, the Muts, as my dad called them for so many years with that unique NY combination of affection and resignation, are making what should have been a runaway, high drama.
But you know what? This is why baseball is the greatest game.
Have you noticed the parallel with the presidential election?
It seems to go on forever, tracking the seasons.
Is it the Brewers? The Phillies? The Mets? Can anyone stop the seeming inevitability of the Cubs finally breaking the REAL curse? (I never considered the Red Sox cursed because they were so good all the time. Try being a Cubs fan for a 100 years or so).
But it is the joy of the ride, the excitement of watching the changing fortunes day to day.
And we have seen real greatness in the last few weeks.
With all his problems, who can argue that Ryan Howard is the Most Valuable Player in the national league? As great as Albert Pujols is, has anyone, anytime, any year, ever come up with SO many clutch hits? The guy is a machine when it counts.
How can you have 150 RBI’s and strike out 200 times in a season? Perhaps David Wright ought to study tapes of Ryan’s approach.
But every once in a while, once a decade or so, you see something for the ages in baseball.
And we saw it today.
Coming into this season, Johan Santana was known as a great pitcher with one HUGE fault. He just never finished games. In fact, last year, pitching a one hit shutout, he asked out of a game b/c he was tired.
But this year, and today, he has simply been transcendent.
After throwing a career high 125 pitches, he came back today on 3 days rest, and against one of the best hitting teams in the National League, and one whose sole mission seems to be to torment Mets fans (see last years final weekend) spun a 3 hit, complete game shutout in what can only be called one of the great, clutch pitching performances of all time.
Whatever happens for the rest of his career, Santana is now locked into that rarest of NY Pantheons – the do no wrongers. The Messiers, the Jeters, the Reeds, the Seavers, the Namaths…
Welcome to NY Johan, glad to meet ya!