Sad Mets fan

You’re wrong, Calcaterra: Mets fans most certainly do live and die with their team

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A couple of weeks ago I wrote this about Mets fans:

I don’t think there’s a fan base of its size in all of sports that has a more balanced take on things. Mets fans love ‘em when they win. When they don’t, well, they’re not gonna cry about it and make their lives miserable. Don’t get ‘em wrong — they’ll be there for the team through thick and thin — but you rarely find a Mets fans who lets his team’s misfortunes truly upset him any more than a few minutes after the game is over. Life goes on. There’s another game tomorrow.

What I should have said but neglected to was that I was basing this solely on my interaction with Mets fans here on the pages of HardballTalk, which is an obviously limited sample size.  Yesterday Matthew Callan of Amazin’ Avenue considered the quote and applied it to his experience of interacting with fellow Mets’ fans. An experience that I shall not hesitate to note is much, much broader than my own:

There’s no real answer to the question Calcaterra’s assessment poses, since it’s unfair to generalize any group as large and diverse as Mets fans. My own feeling is that he’s both wrong and right–wrong about the “living and dying” part, but right about Mets’ fans reasonableness and perspective (at least for the moment). What say you?

Before that closing comes a very well-considered post that does more to mine the psyche of Mets fans than I’m capable of doing.  His verdict: oh, yes, Mets fans do live and die with the team more than I presume.  I have to concede that he’d know better than I.  Go check it out.

James McCann is in The Best Shape of His Life

Detroit Tigers catcher James McCann blows a bubble while warming up during a spring training baseball workout, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016, in Lakeland, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
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As I note every spring, “Best Shape of His Life” stories aren’t really about players being in The Best Shape of Their Lives. They’re about players and agents seeking to create positive stories.

We know this because the vast majority of Best Shape of His Life claims are about guys who were either injured the season before, guys who had subpar years the season before or players whose conditioning was a point of controversy the season before. These folks, or their agents + reporters who have little if nothing to write about in the offseason = BSOHL.

James McCann hurt his ankle last season and had a subpar year at the plate. So not only is he a perfect BSOHL candidate, he went old school with the claim and hit it right on the money, verbatim:

Spring training is less than a month away, folks!

Bo Jackson is not gonna change kids’ minds

1989:  Bo Jackson #16 of the Kansas City Royals practices his swing as he prepares to bat during a game in the 1989 season.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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Last week Bo Jackson said that, if he had it to do all over again, he would have never played professional football and that he would never let his kids play. The sport is too violent, he said. “I’d tell them, ‘Play baseball, basketball, soccer, golf, just anything but football.’”

Fair enough. Thom Loverro of the Washington Times, however, thinks that Bo could do more than simply give his opinion on the matter. He thinks Bo should become an official ambassador for Major League Baseball:

Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred, pick up the phone right now and call Bo Jackson. Tell him you have a job for him — vice president of something, whatever you would call the man in charge of converting a generation of young athletes to baseball. And pay him what he wants.

You won’t find a better symbol of the differences between the two sports than Bo Jackson. After all, he was an All-Star in both. Bo knows football. Bo knows baseball.

Bo, tell the children — baseball over football.

The Children: “Who is Bo Jackson?”

Yeah, I’m being a bit flip here, but dude: Jackson is 54 years-old. He last played baseball 23 years ago. I’d personally run through a wall for Bo Jackson, but I’m 43. I was 12 when he won the Heisman trophy. While he may loom large to middle aged sports writers, a teenager contemplating what sport to play is not going to listen to someone a decade or more older than his parents.

This isn’t terribly important in the grand scheme of things, but it’s indicative of how most columnists process the world through their own experiences and assume they apply universally. It’s probably the biggest trap most sports opinion folks fall into.