Thursday, October 22, 2015

NLCS Mets-Cubs Game 4: Who let the cicadas out?

In 1986, the Mets made the World Series for the first time in thirteen years. In 2000, the Mets made the World Series for the first time in fourteen years. And now the Mets are in the World Series for the first time in fifteen years. My friend and fellow Met fan Dina compared the Mets to cicadas and their 17-year (sometimes 13-year) life cycle. Indeed, today the whole town is, uh, buzzing - the Mets are in the World Series!

This is the tenth season of Subway Squawkers, and being a Met fan during the time has often been more comparable to a plague of locusts. Things looked promising when Subway Squawkers began in 2006 as part of the New York Daily News website. The Mets were coming off an 83-79 season. They won 97 games, only to be upset in the NLCS.

As disappointing as the end of the 2006 season was, it was largely downhill for Met fans in the following years.  Chokes in  September 2007 and 2008. And then things really got bad. Bernie Madoff. Luis Castillo. The Yankees go to the World Series and you're not even sure if you should root against them because they are playing the Phillies.

Even when the Mets had a chance to celebrate something, it was always short-lived. Jose Reyes wins a batting title but leaves the last game of the season in the first inning, sparking criticism from media and fans. (Personally, I thought Reyes got a raw deal here for all the criticism about him not "playing the game the right way," particularly with what would later happen with the player he beat out for the batting title, Ryan Braun.) And then it turned out to be Reyes' last game as a Met.

The Mets finally get a no-hitter, but Johan Santana throws 134 pitches and his career craters soon afterward.

R.A. Dickey becomes one of the most unexpected Cy Young award winners ever and is promptly traded away.

It seemed that whenever the Mets finally had someone to root for, he was soon off the team. When Dickey was traded, I wrote the following:

I hope Dickey proves all the doubters wrong. With Jose Reyes also joining the Blue Jays, I now have a new team to root for in the AL East.

That said, with the current state of the Mets' franchise, trading Dickey for the haul of prospects the Mets got could be the right move long-term. Citi Field could even become a more interesting place if the team appears to be building for the future instead of treading water and denying they are in rebuilding mode.

At that point, all I wanted was a little hope. Who would have thought that Travis d'Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard would be integral parts of a pennant winner within three years?

Now it's the Mets who are upsetting the 97-win team in the NLCS. Now it's the other team with the ludicrous fielding displays (I'd still take Kyle Schwarber's bat on my team, though). Now, instead of trading away a Cy Young winner, the Met mow down Cy Young candidates Zack Greinke, Clayton  Kershaw and Jake Arrieta. 

When Santana and his huge contract went down with a serious injury, he could not successfully come back.  When David Wright and his huge contract went down with a serious injury, he made it back in time for the homestretch and postseason.  In Game 4, Wright's leaping grab of a Starlin Castro liner with the bases loaded and none out in the fourth prevented the Cubs from getting back in the game.

Now, instead of having to wait a cicada life cycle for another Mets World Series, Met fans only have to wait a few days. Amazing! 


Uncle Mike said...

Cicadas? They're annoying little insects whose hard shells can't protect them if you step on them.

Met fans? They're annoying, and if the rest of the analogy also fits, that's not my fault.

Anonymous said...

Let's see, cockroaches are also annoying and have hard shells that can't protect them.

So I guess that makes Yanker fans like cockroaches.

Cicadas are only annoying every 15 years or so, on average. Cockroaches are annoying every day. Cicadas are not universally despised, some people even think they are cute. But no one in the world likes a cockroach because they are disgusting, filthy, disease-ridden pests that need to be exterminated off the face of the Earth.

So I guess my analogy fits perfectly.

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