History Repeating Itself in September?

Brendan Finn

 

If there is a heaven, I am most certainly going there.

How do I know this? I was born into a great life. However, I was bestowed the privilege and earthly suffering of being a New York Mets fan.

I’ve done my penance and I’ve en­dured all the pain no fan should. I am not sure how I support the Metropolitans anymore; they’re quite easily the most miserable and depressing team in profes­sional sports. From the called third strike on Carlos Beltran that advanced the Car­dinals to the World Series in 2006, to the back-to-back collapses of the 2007 and 2008 Mets, this team has taken my men­tal sanity and given me a chemical imbal­ance. But it didn’t end there. The Mets’s brilliant owners – Fred and Jeff Wilpon – were savvy enough to invest in an in­credible investment firm known as the Madoff wealth management firm. Losing a large amount of potential revenue and still at risk to lose more through trustee suits, the Mets are nothing less than a disaster. To put it simply, the Mets are the Blockbuster of Major League Baseball and the sports world.

But I digress. As I whimsically con­tinue to watch baseball, I cannot help but see the Boston Red Sox’s situation looking fairly similar to what happened to the Mets in those nightmarish ’07 and ’08 seasons. After a putrid start to the 2011 season, the Red Sox regained their footing and began to compete with their most dreaded rival, the New York Yan­kees, for a good part of the season. That was until the Bombers did what they usu­ally do and payed and played their way through the dog days of the season, beat­ing up on small market teams like Wal- Mart on ‘Mom & Pop’ shops. The Red Sox had a firm grasp on the Wild Card, as usual, with distant threats from the Tampa Bay Rays and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. At the beginning of Septem­ber, the Sox were up a hefty nine games on the Rays in the Wild Card.

Smooth sailings, just rely on Gonzalez, Ellsbury and Pedroia, everything should be good, no? Well, as a Met fan that has been in a similar situation, I would have to disagree.

On September 12, 2007, the Mets had a seven-game lead on the Philadel­phia Phillies and were looking to set the record straight in October after los­ing as the National League favorites the year prior. However, they did not drag themselves to the finish line, nor did they stumble. They broke both their legs and got hit by oncoming traffic from Phila­delphia. The Mets ended the season by losing 12 of their last 17 and lost the NL East to the Phillies.

I have always seen a strong connection between the New York and Boston. Both teams historically have been described as possessing dedicated fans that might be a little impassioned when it comes to their team. The teams also participated in one of the most dramatic and played-out World Series to ever occur. Who can forget ‘behind the bag!’ and ‘it gets by Buckner!’? It was a seven-game series that will bond the two teams forever. Most importantly, one cannot find a fan that supports either the Mets or Red Sox who could say a nice thing about the Yankees.

So, as a Met fan that feels a firm in­terleague connection to the Sox, let me tell you now to buy some good booze. If they blow it, all you are going to want to do is sink yourself in the bottle. To think that your team is going to October base­ball for 150 or so games and then all of it ends abruptly without a postseason. The agony and pain associated with some­thing that dreadful is almost too much to comprehend. To fail like that would be quite surreal.

I’m pulling for the Sox. I remember never hearing the end of it from obnox­ious Yankee fans after the 2007 nightmare ended. I know your feeling of watching this train wreck that you can’t do any­thing about, regardless of how much you scream and complain at your television and ESPN broadcasters. I would not wish the Mets’s 2007 collapse on any fan in the leauge, other than a Yankee fan, of course. In short, go Sox! Pull out the vic­tory. Everyone but Yankees fans and old people in Florida are pulling for you to do it.

If both teams are to win Wednesday night, there will be a one-game playoff in Boston on Thursday. As a general fan of the game, it is no surprise that I love one-game playoffs, and as the MLB be­gins to consider restructuring the playoff system, it would be great to see a classic one-game Wild Card playoff. It will defi­nitely create some real excitement in the baseball world, and you have to say that’s a good thing. If any Red Sox fan needs any defense mechanisms, you can at least rationalize that even through thick and thin, you are still not a New York Mets fan.

Contact Brendan Finn at [email protected]