The end of 2014 is nearly upon us. These last days of December are viewed by many as a time to take stock of the year gone by, to reflect upon personal failings and triumphs, and to identify hopes and intentions for the year to come. Some believe that New Year’s resolutions are balderdash, but I think they have some utility.
I love the Mets, and, on the whole, I love being a Mets fan. However, my fandom is flawed, and I think I have room for improvement. So, bearing in mind that my goal as a healthy, happy fan is to have fun, here are my Mets-fan New Year’s resolutions for 2015:
Accept the things I cannot change, make light fun of them, shrug my shoulders, and Let’s Go, Mets.
In my opinion, the Wilpons are terrible owners. I would like it very much if they sold the Mets to an ownership group with the ability and willingness to invest handsomely in assembling awesome baseball teams year-in and year-out. Dagnabbit, though, this is all outside my control. Just because I feel those feelings and want those things does not mean anything will change.
No, if I am to remain a thoughtful, engaged, and fun-having Mets fan, the only thing I can do is say my piece when criticism is warranted, poke a little fun here and there, and remind myself that I am okay, I am safe from the Wilpons, and that baseball is just a fun and amazing game where dudes with sticks try to hit balls that other dudes throw and try to catch.
Avoid knee-jerk cynicism, if for no other reason than it makes me feel alternately bored, sad, frustrated, and angry.
Listen, there have been plenty of reasons over the years, some of which persist, to be cynical about the Mets, and I get that it’s sort of part of the culture of being a Mets fan. I also embrace the notion that it’s okay to be critical of one’s team, of the transactions and decisions they make, and of the plays they call, particularly when there’s evidence to support one’s criticisms. Those are rational "takes," and that isn’t what I’m addressing.
I’m addressing the sort of hard-baked, unironic cynicism, devoid of all humor and optimism, that seems at times to pervade from the media and certain corners of the fan base. In 2015, I will remind myself as often as is necessary that people are entitled to their perspective, and I am entitled to ignore it.
Indulge optimism, if for no other reason than it makes me feel alternately hopeful, happy, excited, and fun.
I’m not talking about blind optimism here. I’m talking about the type of optimism that is supported by real-life things. For example, I feel optimistic about the Mets in 2015 and beyond, given the following circumstances:
- The starting rotation, which is mostly young and awesome and full of remaining upside potential, and which has exciting reinforcements waiting in the wings of the upper minor leagues.
- The bullpen, which is headlined by pitchers who are young and fun and good.
- Veterans like David Wright, Daniel Murphy, Curtis Granderson, and Michael Cuddyer, each of whom could be reasonably expected to deliver value ranging from above average to excellent in 2015.
- Lucas Duda, because Lucas Duda is both great at baseball and hella fun to root for.
- Role players like John Mayberry, Jr. and Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who should provide balance and value at the back end of the 25-man roster.
- Emerging position players like Juan Lagares, Travis d’Arnaud, and, yes, Wilmer Flores.
- A deep minor league system.
Are any of those things of the fool-proof or can’t-miss variety? No. But they offer a reasonable chance at providing the things I want as a Mets fan—fun, winning baseball—and I’m going to let myself feel good about it all.
Happy (almost) New Year! Let’s Go, Mets!