I don’t believe that you can really judge a baseball team’s on-field success until at least May, once all of the kinks and bugs have been worked out, but I’ll go ahead and say now that one of the pleasant surprises of this early season is the 4-1, first place New York Mets. After an offseason of controversy and scandal involving owners Saul Katz and Fred Wilpon having to pay $162 million to the victims of Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme because they allegedly knew about it and made money off of it, it’s nice to see a little good news coming out of Citi Field.
And that goes double for today, because the Mets are celebrating their 50th year as a Major League Baseball franchise. On April 11, 1962, the Mets played for the first time and lost 11-4 to the more intelligent and classier St. Louis Cardinals, which wouldn’t be a big deal except that they went on to lose 119 more times that season to set a MLB record.
But nobody cares about that, because New York sports means being positive all the time, or so the New York Post believes.
No matter: Five years after the Dodgers and Giants left the city for California, National League baseball was back.
And it didn’t even matter that the team stunk — or, as manager Casey Stengel famously moaned, “Can’t anybody here play this game?”
New Yorkers loved their Mets.
Not until 1969 did the team finally have a winning season — but that was the year of the Miracle: They won 100 games and the World Series, and the city went wild.
And New York needed it, because that poor town just can’t catch a break in sports. Not like those a-holes over in Pittsburgh and Chicago. No sir, those Pirates and Cubs can’t take a step without tripping over a winning season or a World Series.
In all seriousness, though, a winning Mets team would make for a good story this season, just so they can do it for this guy…