Friday, June 21, 2019

The Optimist Slips

It doesn't matter how bad it gets, the optimist can always find a silver lining. I try to stay as optimistic as I possibly can be. In my life, with the Mets, with whatever comes my way.

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For instance, I had to go to court in Mount Laurel, NJ, for a traffic summons last week. I found it enthralling to watch the judge and the cases he had to give judgement on before I was the particular one. It was theatrical, and it serves me in my screenwriting persona to act as a fly on the wall before entering the scenery. Of course I wasn't particularly thrilled to have to pay my fine, which included a court fee I would have rather avoided by being able to plead guilty online and just pay it there, but it benefited me to get the most out of the experience.

At what point, however, does the most optimistic Mets fan become so cynical, disgusted and depressed that even he or she can no longer weave positivity from the negative they see?

There is a breaking point for everyone. Every year can be different. Every person can be different. Even though we have gone through this before, each season offers a new potential for wiping the slate clean and starting over. Though we have a point of reference for the misery of other years, many of us sweep it under the rug in hopes that what we know to be the pattern will shift ever so slightly to provide a different outcome. At some point, the idea it is still early becomes just another lie we tell ourselves to forget the fact there is always a further bottom, one closer to the hot, uninhabitable core that apparently sits in the center of this Earth.

Yesterday, in some fashion, offered a contained metaphor for the overarching theme of the season: a little hope early with a dreadful, devastating middle that makes any hope late pointless. I have railed many a times this season at the job Mickey Callaway has done, but I cede to the folks who say that firing him will make little of a difference. I was never in denial that the main issue of this franchise are the Wilpons, as I have been skeptical all decade there would ever be sustained success with them in charge. I was hopeful, however, they would prove me wrong. This decade started with a new beginning and once more ends with the reality that it doesn't matter if you change the manager, the general manager, the pitching coach, the hitting coach, the bench coach, or the bay boy. The owners of this team keep doing the same thing and expect different results. Maybe one day they will pass go and collect their 2 billion dollars.

The pessimist in me, however, has no faith another collection of owners would be any different. The optimist in me, though, knows it couldn't hurt to try.


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