- “Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this sun of [New] York.” – Richard III (Act I, Scene i)
NEW YORK, NY – This is the time of year. This is the time of year that tries mens’ souls; that tests the hearts and guts of players, coaches, mangers and especially GMs (Disclaimer: Your GM must have a heart, a soul and/or guts for this to apply). This is the time of year when a fan’s hopes, born of spring training possibility, blossom into confidence and bravado fed by your team’s dominance over the competition or wither and die from the blight of poor fundamentals, rudderless leadership and a DL the length of a Russian novel. This is the time of year when anyone in either a personal or professional orbit around a Major League Baseball club must decide if their team should be buyers or sellers before the non-waiver trading deadline draws nigh.
So what of our beloved New York teams? It is without question that the Yankees will be buyers in the competitive mart of Major League commerce, and who can blame them? With the best record in baseball at the start of Thursday, the Yankees have a lineup who, if it weren’t for the presence of Alex Rodriguez, would almost certainly be destined for a ticket to October (Thank you JGClancy who never fails to remind us that the Yanks will never win as long as Madonna’s boy toy is on the roster).
- “Who is on the Yankee’s shopping list?”
The rumors I’ve heard have the Bombers kicking the tires mostly on pitchers. Will Jarrod Washburn look good in pinstripes? We now know it won’t be the O’s Sherril, because he’s now the Dodger’s Sherril. Here’s one for Yankee fans that would have the added benefit of making Mets’ fans absolutely eat their livers,
- “Now pitching for the New York Yankees, Brian Bannister.”
Or should the Yankees stand pat? Sometimes the best deals are the ones you don’t make, and A-Roid or no A-Roid, I’d as soon bet against Rachel Alexandra in Sunday’s Haskel then to bet against the Yankees right now!
And what of my beloved Mets?
Some quack or team of quacks down in St. Lucie think that the Mets will add more talent to their roster in August than any ten trades could bring a team, but to date Jose Reyes still isn’t running bases and the words Off-season micro-fracture surgery keep popping up along with every mention of Carlos Beltran’s name. So should Oaf-mar talk seriously with Cleveland’s GM about Victor Martinez or try and pry Adrian Gonzalez from San Diego to be our 1st baseman of the future? Should the Mets mortgage what little talent is left on the farm when to date they aren’t even a .500 club, or should we stand pat and wait for another ’69 miracle?
Let’s say for a second that the Mets brain trust of Wilpon, Minaya and Wilpon – one that rivals only Plato, Aristotle and Socrates, or at least Vizzini from The Princess Bride…
…decides to make a run, what are Met fans rooting for? Are we thinking ‘The ’09 Phillies look like the ’69 Cubbies and we’re going to take the division!‘ Or are we thinking ‘Single digits in the wild card? Hey, you never know. I don’t care how many teams (6) are ahead of us.‘
Another way of asking that question, one that makes it real for me is:
- “In tonight’s contest between the NL East leading Phillies and the NL Wild Card leading Giants, who do you root for as a Met fan? Are you a rooter or a hater?”
Lately, I’ve been hating the Phillies, so I’m going to root for San Francisco. And I’m going to root for the Mets to make this season a season that will one day be known as the 40th Anniversary Miracle! From this one can rightly conclude that I’ve made my commitment to the ’09 Mets and if I’m anything this season, I’m a buyer, not a seller (or at least delusional).
But why, why would I feel this way and why now? Especially why now with all that has gone on with this team all year and most painfully this past week? I will tell you why and I will tell you why now. I’m a buyer because I believe in G-d! Because shortly before noon on Thursday, July 30, 2009, Mrs. Luis Castillo (she can have all caps if she wants, the woman just had a baby) gave birth to a little girl whose name, according to Gary Cohen, is Adonai Castillo.
- “Baruch atah adonai eloheinu melech ha olam.”
In Hebrew that means: Blessed are you lord, our god, king of the universe. Luis Castillo and his wife have a new little miracle, and this blessed event will be the start to the new 40th Anniversary Miracle.
Luis Castillo and the Mets now have G-d on their side, and with G-d on their side, the Giants and every wild card chasing team are no match for the Mets. And with G-d on their side neither the Phillies nor the Yankees nor any other team in this world (not even the ultra-religous Colorado Rockies) can stop them. And with G-d on our side, I hereby declare this season will conclude a glorious summer for the sons and daughters of New York (NL only) and a most contented winter yet to come!