One good thing about the New York Mets, which is only good if you do not care about the team or its success, is that they always do just what the Mets are going to do. This does not necessarily mean Disappoint The Faithful or Screw Up Preposterously, either. That’s absolutely part of it, but there are subtler tasting notes to be found in this particular sloshing highball full of poison. There’s the tendency to do ambitious things seemingly at random and then just stop doing them because the owners believe they’ve done enough, and more broadly to default to the owners’ strange and specific neuroses and believe that whatever dumb shit they’re doing has outsmarted everyone else in the sport. And there is also the fact that, for a few days or a few weeks in a row, they convincingly threaten to redeem what usually seems like poignantly misplaced belief. I know that none of this is good for me, really, but it’s not a habit I foresee breaking or even trying terribly hard to break.
That the Mets will almost certainly wind up exactly where they were predicted to finish this season—a little bit over .500, a little bit shy of the postseason—will not remotely tell the story of how they got there. This week’s installment of Let’s Remember Some Guys was recorded during an especially enjoyable part of that epic journey to 84 or 85 wins, and the giddiness I was feeling during the team’s brief and scorching romp through the lower depths of its schedule is never less than palpable. Lauren, for her part, does her damn job: hold up baseball cards depicting Mets players of my youth and then just kind of sit back and snicker unkindly while I tried to remember the name of the Houston bar where the 1986 Mets got into a big brawl with a couple of off-duty cops. She averts her eyes in horror when I did the Teufel Shuffle by way of more fully remembering Tim Teufel, but I don’t think anyone would really cast any blame, there. It was the right thing to do.
The name of that bar, for the record, was Cooter’s Executive Games And Burgers. I do not really want to know this, and the video accurately reflects that I had to look it up. I believe it also accurately reflects what kind of person would have chosen to know all this in the first place, and then to keep that memory around long after it ceased to serve any purpose. None of what the Mets represent in my life, really, serves any valid purpose. This does not mean that I can afford to lose any of it. I plan on keeping it—all of it, the useless shit and also the even-more-useless shit—for as long as I can.