We're only scant days away from actual games involving the New York Mets. Thank heaven and hell for that. You might have figured out that I've been focused on the banality of spring training relatively recently. The worst time to put Mets happenings into meaningful context is spring training, and the worst time within that time is the space between the moment the team reports (which for a Terry Collins team is Christmas), and the first game. You can analyze games. You can analyze off-season moves or non-moves. Trying to analyze anything during the days where the team is doing nothing except stretching and bunting drills and making it seem somewhat meaningful is like herding cats in the Citi Field parking lot.
A lot of people get mad at the beat writers for writing pretty much the same stories during the middle of February. But I feel bad for them. First off, usually during the early spring the Mets will bring out a player to talk to the media, and if it's Matt Harvey, everybody writes a Matt Harvey story. And so on, and so forth. And it isn't like the writers can break away and go rogue, either. We live in a world where if everybody is covering the same story and you don't, you're left behind.
And when someone does try to go off the grid to report on something different, this is what we get:
More than one person suggested today that David Wright's hairline might be receding ever so slightly. So I asked Wright ...— Adam Rubin (@AdamRubinESPN) February 18, 2013
Said Wright: "No, it's not [receding]. That's one thing my family is blessed with -- a full head of hair." ... Now you know.— Adam Rubin (@AdamRubinESPN) February 18, 2013
I see things like that and I briefly think to myself that the asteroid should have rammed straight into earth while it had the chance. But part of not being a total psychopath is having empathy in situations like these. When I read tweets like those, I have plenty of empathy for the beat guys ... especially when the Wilpons get involved, because you know that Freddy and the crown prince feel like they need to be heard. Consider the day that elder Wilpon did his annual media tour recently, and told reporters that his financial troubles were over because, in part, the real estate market was "zimmo". Because Wilpon ... after years of mismanaging this franchise towards a BB credit rating ... can't find enough decency to give answers with real words to reporters, you had not one, but two beat guys scrambling to do research and find experts to find a definition of the word to figure out what the hell he's talking about. A word, mind you, that doesn't exist.
And while some might give Wilpon the benefit of the doubt and put "zimmo" in the class of sniglets from the 80's cable show "Not Necessarily The News", keep in mind that sniglets were words that described objects that needed describing. Like "sperrets", the creases in your face after a great nap, or "porkus non grata", the lone piece of bacon in the package that isn't straight. Sniglets were brilliant. The only purpose of "zimmo" is to waste the time of the beat guys to try to define it ... and waste my time when I spell check this post.
But is it any surprise that ridiculousness reigns when the Wilpons are involved, whether it's proclaiming that your financial woes are over after almost everybody has been signed (like calling somebody when you know they're not home when you don't want to speak to them), yet can't even sign Jose Valverde unless they can get him for free. Or calling David Wright your version of Jeter just months after he called Wright "not a superstar". Or when Jeffy continues to awkwardly talk smack to players like he's a part of the team when the Chief Operating Officer couldn't operate an Office Depot much less a baseball franchise.
The Mets play the Nationals on Saturday. And not a moment too soon. Because when the biggest development to come out of the first two weeks of spring is that Jenrry Mejia's name is actually Jenrry Mejia, it's time for games to start.