...so I'm listening to all this horsehit balls shit about Jose Reyes, and his celebratory techniques, and other teams criping and moaning and bitching about how he's a hot dog, or the Mets are this, or the Mets are that, and I'm wondering to myself...has every single person out there lost his or her mind when it comes to the Mets, and what they are, and have been, and hopefully always will be? Huh? HUH?
Look, the Mets, when they began in 1962, were the anti-Yankee, the decidedly blue collar team for the blue collar guy. The Amazin's, with a manager who barely spoke comprehensible English, a first baseman who couldn't field or hit, a bunch of early expansion old timers and rejects that nobody else wanted, the lovable losers, the wonderfully National League New York Mets. Their fans were butchers, bakers, candlestick makers... they were plumbers, sanitation workers, blue collar guys who went out to their curbs in the early morning to fetch their newspapers; who rode mass transit to work, or carpooled with a couple of buddies in the neighborhood; who wore uniforms on the job. Guys who appreciated a good entertaining show every evening while sitting in front of the TV after dinner with a Rheingold in their beefy palms. They didn't particularly care if the team won or not; here was a New York National League team to help cure the sting of the expatriation of the Giants and the Dodgers... led by the one and only Casey Stengel, he of the "what did he say?" genre; guys who couldn't field, couldn't hit, and couldn't pitch...guys that guys who watched them could relate to. Guys that were just out there trying to do a job, and trying to make a living.
And then, when success came, how sweet it was! But still the Mets fan base remained true to its blue collar roots, mostly. And even when the success of the mid-1980s teams drew different types of fans like a moth to the flame of success, the team remained decidedly blue collar, partying like it was 1999, destroying airplanes, brawling, or as I liked to say, a team full of "bruisers, boozers and dope abusers." Maybe nothing to brag about, but very real, very blue collar, very very attuned to its fan base.
Where is all this going? Well, it's going to why the Mets are returning to being the Mets. The anti-Yankees. You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, a leopard doesn't change his spots, and you can't make the Mets into the Yankees. Which is what Willie tried to do, I think, thus stifling the entire aura, personality and cache of the New York Mets. Wisely, Jerry Manuel has slowly but surely returned the patina of the blue collar to Shea Stadium.
Viva la blue collar.
So here it is. Leave Jose Reyes alone. He's young, exuberant, and full of the spirit of the New York Mets. Sure, he's a little flashy at times, but he's real, he's young, he's alive, and he's a Met. Screw the other teams that don't like it, that's THEIR problem, let's not make it ours. Let's enjoy the blue collar culture of the Mets, the grittiness, the real-ness, the in-the-trenches mentality that was so well and truly exhibited by some of the mid-1980s teams, real guys with real issues and real problems, just like all of us.
Probably the main reason I have always been a Mets fan was because I identified with this culture, with the blue collars of the world, the workers, the guys who very quietly supported the weight of their young families on their very big shoulders, who were just looking for a team that wasn't unlike they were. And found it.
So, phuck you, Phillies. And phuck the rest of the league who simply don't understand Mets culture. We are once again the Mets, proud, and scrappy, and real.
And Derek Jeter? Yeah, yoo hoo, you, Mr. Jeter! Why dontacha go climb into that uglyass pseudo-psychedelic orange Edge us Mets fans have to look at over... and over... and over again, and take the proverbial long ride off the short pier in Flushing Meadows. Because, baby, the Mets ARE the edge. You ain't shit.