When I’m at work, I can be a pretty cranky guy. Like most employed folks in America, my job is annoying because it usually requires me to take on quite a bit of responsibility while dealing with other people. More often than not, one or two little things can set me off and annoy me, turning me into a cranky guy that I don’t want to be and don’t ever intend on being, but undoubtedly am at that moment in time. Usually a good conversation with a co-worker I enjoy talking to will help calm me down, but that’s not always easy to come by when you’re busy.
That’s a self-reflection that I’m sure 99% of working people in this country can relate to. Now imagine if one day, when you’re in your cranky work mood and things aren’t going right, some drunken idiots in the parking lot started heckling you and cursing at you for no good reason other than you looked like a vulnerable target. How would you react? I think a large amount of completely sane and rational people would admit that being able to stop at merely a middle finger—and not, you know, ripping their esophaguses out of their throats—would be a best-case scenario for them. And, well, Mr. Met likely got a beating last night. Of course, there’s every chance in the world that the guy in the costume was just an idiot trying to be “baller” and overreacted to some guys just messing with him, but there could actually be a human side to this too.
I mean, I can only imagine what it must be like to be a mascot. It may seem like an easy, stress-free job, but it’s probably actually a really awful job. I can’t imagine having to walk around for several hours in a hot, sticky costume at a crappy baseball game and pretend to be excited to see every snot-dripping little kid who wants a picture with me. Sure, the smile is imprinted on my face, but the other body movements are what make the jolliness believable, and that requires effort and motivation. Mascots have to pretend to be optimistic about a team five games under .500 that is losing 7-0 and legitimately try to pump up tired, frustrated, drunken adults and get them excited to watch the rest of that brutal game.
And this game was brutal, and it was over early. The Brewers jumped on Jacob deGrom, who only lasted four innings and gave up seven runs and five walks. The Mets’ offense didn’t muster anything until the ninth inning, when they scored their lone run on a Michael Conforto double. Their best chance to inch back came in the seventh inning when they had the bases loaded and one out for Jay Bruce, who promptly bounced into a double play to end the inning.
This game was a snoozefest; it couldn’t even keep the SNY booth’s interest for more than a few innings. So can you imagine how bored some drunk, agitated fans must have been? Or poor Mr. Met?
This was probably not the first time the guy in that costume had taken crap. Sometimes, surrounded by those frustrated, drunken adults in games like last night in particular, Mr. Met can become a target. After all, there aren’t a lot of children at a night game at 10 p.m. on a Wednesday night. So a man with a giant baseball as a head stops serving much of a purpose, and kind of just becomes more of a dude dressed in a stupid costume. The man in that costume may have been through a night like this a number of times already this season, and the nonsense could’ve been getting tired. Maybe he felt as if a little slip of a middle finger was his only release. “Hey,” he probably figured. “There are no kids around and hardly anybody’s left in the park. I’ll get away with letting this slip just for a second.” And you know what? That’s not really an awful thing to think, and it’s an act very easy to get away with in any era before smart phones. Today, though, someone is almost always recording you when you have a gigantic baseball head, and flipping someone off is going to go viral.
As for the game, the Mets lost 7-1 and fell back to six games under .500. This is a sad, sad season for the Mets, and Mr. Met giving the finger to someone is really the perfect imagery for it.
OTHER NEWS OF THE DAY
The Mets issued a statement of the inaproriate action of their employee. It’s June 1.
Collins does not know what he’s going to do with the outfield situation when Yoenis Cespedes comes back from the disabled list, though he alluded that Conforto is looking tired, hinting at the possibility that Conforto could actually lose playing time, which would be a hilariously catastrophic level of mismanagement.
The Mets finish off their four-game series with the Brewers at 1:10 p.m. Zack Wheeler goes against Tyler Anderson for the Brewers.
Photo credit: Noah K. Murray – USA Today Sports