AAOP: Now Batting for the Mets, Number Six, Sisyphus

Look, what are we all doing here? How do we keep doing this to ourselves, day after day, night after night, year after year, season upon season, stretching endlessly into the void? Don't we have better things to do with our lives? Don't we have friends, loved ones, particularly neglected ferns we could be spending our time with? Why do we continue to care about the God-forsaken team when there's an entire world out there just waiting to be experienced, when we could be learning new languages and trying new cuisine, when we could be living our lives to the fullest? I don't have an answer to any of that, but I guess I've got a baseball roster for next year.

At some point, though, we really do need to understand and accept that there's nothing we can do that will ever allow us to see the promised land. I don't remember striking any stones with my staff instead of asking nicely for water, but it seems I'll be barred from the land of milk and honey, just the same. You, too, even. Maybe you struck the stone? Maybe it was that rat-bastard Jeffie, whose continued involvement with the team through his why-would-you-ever-allow-this-to-happen-Mr.-Cohen 5% owenership stake is likely the bodies in the swimming pool after the headstones were moved of Metsdom. However many checks Cohen signs, however many trades or signings Stearns makes, however many interesting and exciting prospects bubble up from the minors, this team will never win a damned thing. Why?


No, sir, it truly doesn't. Nothing we do here, nothing they do in Queens, is going to change anything. Someone always gets hurt, someone always sees that knee-buckling curveball or throws too late to first or wide of home (depending on who you want to blame there), it's just our lot in life. Even if we blow the roof off the place and drop some serious cabbage on starters. Not $40mm/yr on old guys like last year, more like $25mm/yr on younger dudes. We can probably get Yamamoto and Montgomery for that kind of dough, though they'll be around for five or six years if we do. For half that AAV and length, we could even toss Lugo back in there, drag him down with us. Those three, along with Senga and Quintana, is a pretty formidable rotation. Too bad they're all doomed. And you know why?


The man does not lie. Someone will get hurt, someone will forget how to pitch, something will go horribly wrong. It alway does. I mean, look at our lineup. It's got a bunch of great players in it! Pete's there, mashing taters. Lindor's there, winning hardware (and getting cheated out of more, Dansby Swanson can get bent). Nimmo is Nimmoing, on base as often as he eats undercooked chicken (too often, to some). McNeil took a step back, sure, but he found himself mid-season, and you can hope shifting him out to LF can give him some more time to ponder why God hates him and made him a Met. Marte's not what he once was, not with his groin having Mets'd to the nth degree, but maybe he can keep his legs under him as a DH going forward. You can sign Teoscar Hernandez for RF, he was still very good outside Seattle's unfriendly confines last year. I mean, as a Met he'll hit his first homer in September, but it's still a fine plan, as far as plans go. They've even got a bushel of exciting rookies and young players, guys like Mauricio, Alvarez, and Baty, who can be given sink-or-swim chances to man 2B, 3B, and C, and one of them might even work out! If they don't, there's always Acuna, Parada, and Gilbert, and one of them has to be good enough, right? I mean, he won't, none of them well, we all know that. Why?


You can read lips, right? I'm sure you're starting to get it now. After all, we had the best closer in the game last year. How did that go? Dude didn't pitch an inning, and he wasn't even hurt in a Mets game! We ran through "optionable relievers" faster than Brandon Nimmo runs to first base after a walk (annoyingly fast, to some). We can fix that by ensuring we have a full complement of eight big-league relievers from which to choose, but why bother? After Diaz, say we go and pay for Reynaldo Lopez as a setup man. Maybe we bring back David Robertson as a backup setup man. Maybe we even sign Yasiel Rodriguez to backup the backup to the setup man. Brooks Raley will stick around as, what, another backup to the backup for the backup of the setup man? Listen, they're all dead in the water. D-E-D dead. Deader than Adam Ottavino's fastball, which is deader than David Peterson's 2024 season, which is, I mean, pretty friggin' dead. Ottavino's not, though, and he's getting paid, so we'll run his corpse out there in blowouts as a mop-up man. Lucchesi and Megill can hang out there, too, as long men in the pen. Maybe one or both should be in AAA as starter depth instead, but you really should have a long man or two for games where your starter gets knocked out early, or guys who can throw three or four in a double-header, or even to give an extra day off to Senga or Yamamoto to keep them from getting gassed. But, I mean, why bother planning for any of this, right? I think we all know why, at this point.


Say it softly, say it loud, it's true all the same. The pity is, this is a team that has plenty of promise. Many of those guys up there are stars, at the top of their profession, and can put together MVP-calbier seasons. Many are the kind of role players that people remember forever from that World Series run in which they earned their fame. Guys like Narvaez and Guillorme can be just that, guys off the bench who have a crazy good year, or a crazy good playoffs, and we love them forever for it (wherefore art though Endy? Because he had The Strength to Be There, that's whyfore). You've got guys like Vientos and Stewart who made you think, if you look at them just right, they can be a piece for the future. Those trades they made last year stocked the farm with guys who could make a difference. Maybe you trade a few of them for Glasnow instead of signing Montgomery, or Soto instead of signing Hernandez, or maybe you wait for them to make their way to Queens and fulfill their promise. You'll be waiting a long damn time, though. Forever, really. You'll just keep pushing that rock up that hill, and just as you get to the crest, it'll come tumbling back down again. And you'll trudge on down, start rolling it up, and think "this time, man." This time. Pfff.

There are lots of plans like this out there, and everyone one of them was written by someone who thinks it could work. Some of them are more creative than this one, with lots of trades and moving parts. Some of them are prettier than this one, with lots of Paintz and pretty colors. Some of them are even going to include things the real-life Mets do, because blinds squirrels and all that. None of them are this honest, though, or this cruel. Because we're all pissing into the wind here, friends. Us, Stearns, Cohen, the lot of us. It's never going to work. We're never going to get there. We should just stop trying, just stop watching, just stop giving over our loves to this "pasttime," this "liesure activity," this "hobby" that is driving us all to an early grave. Touch grass, as the kids say. We can keep watching until the sun burns out, keep hoping until our hearts give out, keep believing until the lights go out, but we all know, deep down in our very souls, the truth of the matter. Say it with me, now:


Anyway, it's 87 days, 12 hours, and 53 minutes until pitchers and catchers report. Not that I'm counting. I'll see you all then.


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