Willets Pod 19: Vibe Check
Addy and Jesse started recording on Tuesday night when it was 4-0 Brewers... and at the end of the hour, it was 7-4 Mets amid a long talk about finding out what they are
The Mets Are Good, But Never Not Weird
By Addy Baird
On Tuesday night, one day after clinching a playoff spot, the Mets were down 4-0 against the Brewers, and Jesse and I were on the podcast, writing off the game. Of course they’ll lose right after they clinch! That’s the Mets for you, baby.
Besides, this clinch, this week doesn’t feel quite like the celebration we all want it to. Yes, the Mets are in the playoffs, but we all — fans and team alike — want more. This team deserves to win the division, and frankly, I think they will, because, once again, the 2022 Mets keep finding new ways to surprise and delight us: Tuesday, with a Pete Alonso three-run home run, and then, blessedly, a grand fucking slam from Fransisco Lindor. You really, really love to see it (or hear about it from your podcast co-host in real time because you’re concerned about jinxing it if you turn on the game during the rally).
As I tweeted after the win, I think I finally truly believe the Mets are good. The Mets are good! They’re going to the playoffs! We are going to watch the Mets play huge, important baseball in October and it’s going to rule. I am very happy about this, and I am also not as happy as I want to be.
Because the thing is — the thing always is — that though the Mets are good, they are never not weird, as Jesse aptly put it while doing live play-by-play of that bonkers victory. Take, for example, Max Scherzer’s return from the injured list in which he pitched six perfect innings and was (rightfully! And yet still annoyingly!) taken out of the game, or the fact that they’ve made history this year with the all-time single season hit by pitch record1. Or, of course, how the Metsies started playing their worst baseball right as they hit their allegedly easiest schedule stretch of the year, got swept by the Cubs, and then went on one of their longest win streaks of the season. Or Steve Cohen, richest owner in baseball, apparently sitting in the nosebleeds in Milwaukee trying to convert Brewers fans to Mets fans. Or the fact that Edwin Díaz hasn’t blown a save since May. (Knock on wood.)
None of these things is inherently bad, and in fact many of them are actively good, but all of them have a little underlying vibe of “Huh!” And even with a playoff spot clinched, there is still a thread of strangeness (braided with excitement and a thirst for Atlanta’s blood).
Tell me if you think I’m not taking my own advice to respect the Mets as they are right now, but I don’t think I’m moving the goalposts. It is out of a level of respect for them that I think we should all refuse to take our collective foot off the gas. For now, I think Daniel Vogelbach captured the vibe perfectly:
After a long, successful day at work, Daniel, like all of us, deserves to sit down, stare at his phone, and drink a nice Bud Light. I never thought I’d find myself evangelizing Bud Light, but I think it was the perfect alcohol choice to celebrate the clinching that was not The Clinching. Light beer is going to feel much better than champagne the next morning, and we’ve got work to do.