A certain kind of melancholy hits this time of year. Summer is done. The days are getting shorter. Halloween candy is available in barrels at your local supermarket. Even Jack-o-lanterns and skeletons are beginning to show up on the front doors of houses as the leaves turn from green to orange to yellow to red to brown. (Here in L.A., it’s mostly just brown.)
Don’t get me wrong. I love autumn. In fact, it’s probably my favorite time of year. Yet, baseball is one of the many symbols of summer, along with beach balls, picnics and pool wear that disappears along with those lazy hazy days. So, the one thing that puts the cherry on top of the autumnal blues before I forge ahead to the doldrums of winter – is the end of baseball. Not the post season play, where all the hot shot winners of spring and summer win enough games to get into October ball. No. I’m speaking of the actual official baseball season.
You see, the post season doesn’t matter much to me. I’m a New York Mets fan. We don’t see the post season very much. In my world of orange and blue (Giants orange and Dodger blue – colors that commemorate those teams when they were in New York), baseball usually ends when the schedule closes in on game 162.
Last weekend marked the end of the Mets 2014 season. It completed on a high note. They ended up tied for second place in the National League East alongside their rivals the Atlanta Braves. But who’s a rival to them in that division anyway? The entire NL East was as limp as a noodle average-wise. The only team that went above .500 was the Washington Nationals and they turned out to be the best team in the National League with a .593 winning average, thus clinching the NL East Title and entry to the post game party. They helped get there on the sagging backs of the Mets, who lost time and time again to those gnatty Gnats and their DC energy.
But my Mets quietly folded up their tent and headed into the off season on Sunday by completing a sweep of the Houston Astros and bidding adieu to Bobby Abreu, a player who has likely been on every team I’ve ever hated.
We can take away some nice memories of some solid performances by Jakob DeGrom, Lucas Duda, Bartolo Colon, Travis D’arnaud, Daniel Murphy. Oh, and holy cow, with Matt Harvey coming back next year, perhaps we can build on the momentum of the team’s late season play and be a contender in 2015? Maybe be an elite team that all the current elites shutter to face?
Once again – I’m exercising my right as a Mets fan – by going into the hot stove season with “wait until next year” on the brain.
As the sun sets earlier with those warm, low lights and as the nights get cooler, I bid goodnight to my Mets until they fire up the lights of Citifield again in April.