Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Joey's Soapbox (of Chocolates): My Mets Valentine

Greetings, everyone!  This is Joey Beartran.  How has everyone been celebrating their Valentine's Day?  As you can see, I got a heart-shaped box of Mets chocolates today, which got me thinking.  What is it that I love the most about the Mets?  And why is it so great to be a Mets fan?

I hope you're ready, because I'm about to get on my soapbox.  But today will be a little different, as today will be a loving rant on my fav'rit team.

It's not easy being a Mets fan.  Whereas fans of other teams get to root for players like Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton or Justin Verlander, we got to cheer to our heart's content whenever Jason Bay doesn't strike out or Mike Pelfrey holds an opposing batter to a single.  Anyone can root for a superstar when he does what he's supposed to do.  But as Mets fans, we have different things to root for.  And we take pride in doing so.  Except for maybe Cubs fans, who are used to rooting for anything positive, like Alfonso Soriano not tripping over his shoelaces when chasing after a fly ball, we come up with new and exciting things to be happy for.  Try topping that, Derek Jeter fans!

Speaking of Derek Jeter, the team for which he plays for considers it a failure if they don't win the World Series every year.  From 1996-2000, they won four championships, but because they didn't win in 1997, there was a flaw in their dynasty.  A .300 hitter can fail seven out of ten times, but try being a Yankee.  One championship over the past 11 seasons (which is one fewer than the Red Sox and Cardinals have won over the same time period) is considered a major disappointment.  That's something I love about being a Mets fan.  We rarely ever have such lofty expectations.  It's easy to be a frontrunner.  It takes a real fan to root for a team like the Mets.  And when the Mets do capture our hearts with a memorable season, it makes it all the more special.

The Mets have character.  They also have characters.  Over the past 50 seasons, we've seen Choo Choo, Marvelous Marv, the Glider, the Stork, Tugger, Mookie, Doc, the Straw Man, Turk, Jason Phillips' goggles and Don Aase.  Why Don Aase?  Because I like to say Aase.  Can another team claim so many characters?  Methinks not.  Being a Mets fan is always fun, even when the team on the field is not.

Finally, every once in a while, we get to see something truly special.  As Mets fans, we've seen the Miracle of 1969, Ya Gotta Believe, Lee Mazzilli's pants, Hendu Can Do, the Hotfoot, Jesse Orosco's flying glove and the Grand Slam Single.  "Every once in a while" still doesn't include a league MVP or a no-hitter, but hey, if Anthony Young could win a game, then anything is possible.

Today is Valentine's Day.  It's a day people show their love for each other with cards, gifts, etc.  The greatest loves in my life wear orange and blue.  And nothing will ever cause my love for them to waver.  They may break my heart sometimes, they may collapse every once in a while (or twice in a  while, or three times if you count 1998), and they may give Oliver Perez $36 million to suck more than Dracula at a blood bank, but they're my team.  And nothing will ever make that change.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some chocolates that I have to take care of.  Don't forget to tell that special person or team you love exactly how you feel about them.  Even if that person is Mel Rojas.

Happy Valentine's Day to all!  And as always, let's go Mets!!!

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