We never even got to the first game of spring training and already there was a car accident.
Mind you, Willie Harris’ fender bender was minor. But I take it as a warning shot from the gods as to what we can expect this season. And they’ve chosen the perfect player to use for their sick joke. The guy who kills the Mets defensively … yeah, let’s scare the hell out of everyone by putting him in the news with the words “car wreck”. Sure, that’ll take care of that whole “hope springs eternal” thing.
But it’s going to take a lot more than that to clear the bandwagon on day one. Thankfully, the Mets actually got to their first spring game without a disastrous 2AM cab ride, a debilitating stretching injury, or another commercial where Keith Hernandez is forced to ride in a big mustache-mobile and pop out of a bush saying “The Big Unit’s chillin’!” (Does Keith really need the money that badly? Well, seeing as if the team he works for needed a $25 million loan, maybe he does.) And during the game, Ike Davis didn’t get hit or twist his ankle on the bat that Nate McClouth let slip out of his hands.
These are small steps, much like Harris contributing from the ninth inning on in ways that didn’t make me want to projectile vomit all over the television screen, as he scored the tying runs in both the ninth and tenth innings (the latter on a two run dinger) to help the Mets tie the Braves 5-5 in the spring opener. It takes the taste of Freddie Freeman’s doubles (after the game Freeman announced he would be naming his son “Digital Domain Freeman”) and Manny Acosta’s beach balls out of our mouths temporarily. (Beach balls out of our mouths? That doesn’t sound quite right.) And hey, Jenrry Mejia looked pretty good starting the spring training season. (Get it? Starting? Mejia? Dan Warthen?) His pitches moved all around the place and made people look silly. Granted one of those people was Josh Thole on one that got away, but it’s a small price to pay for movement.
I will say this. If Keith keeps up with the “Hu’s on first” puns every time Chin-Lung executes a perfect hit-and-run or even steps near the base on his way to the field, I will be forced to put a bullet in my head by the All-Star break. I’d rather have him pop out of bushes commenting on the facial hair of other males. (It’s a long way from “I’m Keith Hernandez”, isn’t it?)