The past 15 months of Mets fandom have been, well, terrible. There’s been quite a lot to get depressed about, and even more to get frustrated over. The Mets suck at baseball, are dumb as hell and keep playing the accused domestic abuser with a .168 batting average to the benefit of nobody and the appeasement of precisely one man. Every misfortune they’ve endured has been brought on by their own doing. It’s a tough team to root for, and many times throughout the last two years many fans, myself included, have wondered why we root for this team and strongly considered giving up.
And then this happens.
— SportsNet New York (@SNYtv) July 12, 2018
And, damn it, we’re sucked right back in.
There’s so much negativity around lately. Just read the BP Mets Roundtable. The Mets are going nowhere, and probably won’t anytime soon. We have very little to feel good about. The recaps lately have been filled with nothing but rants and negativity for months now, and while it is therapeutic to vent, nobody wants to have to vent. We all want to feel happy. We all want to feel hope, and have a reason to watch the game.
The most gifable man in baseball pic.twitter.com/q4pcyoz1JE
— Good Fundies is short for Good Fundamentals (@goodfundies) July 12, 2018
With as bad as things are, we need Brandon Nimmo’s smile. Look at that gif. You can practically hear his child-like laughter. The sheer, ubiquitous joy he plays the game with is a reminder of why we watch this dumb team. We fall in love with players like Nimmo, and when the rest of the team sucks, we still can’t tear ourselves away because of guys like him, or deGrom, or Flores, or whoever is your cup of tea is that drags you back in.
We feel a bond with Nimmo because we still share his palpable love for the game. We can relate. We see our younger, innocent selves in him and it makes us feel hopeful about the future. Not just about the Mets, but about the world. It makes you feel like there is still good out there, that happiness is indeed attainable.
And of course, the shining ray of light that was the walk-off homer came in the middle of another dismaying, agonizingly familiar Jacob deGrom start in which the ace dominated once again, tossing eight shutout innings, but got precisely zero support from the Mets. The team’s sole All-Star representative shut the Phillies out for eight innings while only allowing five hits and a walk, lowering his ERA to a transcendant and historic 1.68.
Pitcher wins are the second-dumbest stat in the game today, just behind saves, but they still somehow remain the primary indicator of pitcher success to much of the baseball community, and the driving force behind Cy Young votes, as well as national media attention. Jacob deGrom is 5-4 on the season. That is stupid.
How much of a sin is it that Jacob deGrom’s season is being overshadowed by his team’s ineptitude and trade rumors? He’s having one of the best seasons a Mets pitcher has ever had. Hell, look at this masterful job of pitching:
Jacob deGrom, "Pedro Zone" 98mph Fastball and 92mph Slider away, 2 pitch K sequence. pic.twitter.com/Lafez0mt30
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) July 12, 2018
So here’s my challenge to you, if you’re not doing it already: whenever deGrom starts next, which will be after the All-Star break, don’t think about the trade rumors. Don’t think about how bad the team is. If that means you have to stay off social media, then so be it. But just sit down and watch one of the best pitchers in the world on the top of his game, mastering his craft. And just enjoy it. You’ll be so much happier.
Anyway, here’s more clips of Nimmo smiling to complete your day:
— SportsNet New York (@SNYtv) July 12, 2018
— New York Mets (@Mets) July 12, 2018
OTHER NEWS OF THE DAY
Keeping the good vibes going, Noah Syndergaard is pitching again tomorrow. That’s fun. He’s obviously been overshadowed by deGrom this year, but Syndergaard is still an incredible pitcher and extremely fun to watch. We’re only one day away from seeing 99 mph sinkers and 93 mph sliders on our TV screens again.
The Mets sent Kevin Kaczmarski and Drew Gagnon back down to Vegas, recalled Jacob Rhame and selected the contract of Matt den Dekker because time is a flat circle. To make room for den Dekker on the 40-man roster, the Mets released Marcos Molina, which is fine, but an odd choice considering den Dekker is a temporary add to the roster, and there are several wasted spots on the current 40-man, as well as the possibility of putting Yoenis Cespedes on the 60-day DL.
The Nats come to town to start a series with the Mets tonight, but you know what? Just go back and keep watching those Nimmo and deGrom gifs again.
Photo credit: Noah K. Murray – USA Today Sports