If I may be perfectly frank – until this current postseason, I had not seen one single complete game of baseball all year. And that’s including the live game I caught at Wrigley Field last month. Even there, I left in the seventh inning.
If I may be even franker, I have not paid much attention to baseball in quite a few years. Which probably also explains why my fantasy baseball teams have been so awful. Not that I need an excuse for my usual subpar performance in my leagues – I kind of suck.
But now I’m glued to the TV set, because my favorite team, the Mets, have come out of nowhere and no expectations to be in the World Series this year. In fact, they are less than an hour away from playing their first game against the Kansas City Royals. And I am going to watch.
You can call me a fair-weathered fan. I deserve it, even if I don’t think it’s entirely true. No, the real reason why I’ve stayed away is because of Armando Benitez. That was back in 2000, the Subway Series against the Yankees. I knew as everyone else knew that we didn’t stand a chance. And every time Benitez came out to “close” the game, I wanted to just turn off the TV. But of course I couldn’t.
And there’s another reason why I’ve ignored baseball: Carlos Beltran. Striking out looking to end the series against the Cardinals, the NL team I hate the most (I know you guys are the nicest fans in the world, but screw all of you, because when I think of the Cards, I see a slideshow of horror starring John Tudor, Vince Coleman, Willie McGee, Terry Pendleton, Jack Clark, Ozzie Smith…oh my goodness, please, all of you, leave my brain alone), nine years ago.
So it took almost a decade and a miraculous run to bring me back to my beloved Mets. I did write about them earlier this year in the Times, so maybe this reunion was presaged. My dear Mets, please believe me when I say I never left you. I just couldn’t watch you for a while. It was me, not you.
Now let’s win four more and bring the trophy home, okay?
p.s. You know that guy named Sungwoo who’s the Royal’s Superfan? Well, guess what — my name is Sung Woo and I’m the Mets Superfan. So consider me your bearded Spock (sorry, Star Trek reference), Mr. Sungwoo Lee.