Bring On the Nationals

By Sam Maxwell

The 2012 New York Mets roll into Washington, DC, this week for a huge Division Series against those Nationals. Only a half-game behind the 1st place Nats and Marlins going into play Tuesday night,  the Mets have an opportunity to make a huge statement. Normally I’d be a little worried, not completely sure how I felt about their chances. This year, there is something different. Not only am I completely sure of their chances, I am not at all worried and know their chances are right at the top. This team has played so much inspired baseball that I know even when they take a little jab to the chin like they did Monday, they will be right back out there ready to battle the next night. Terry Collins expects it from them, THEY expect it from them, and WE ALL expect it from them. It shouldn’t be any other way.

You know what? We all just saw something we never thought could happen, so why shouldn’t we all believe that anything can occur? Ask yourself this: in all the recent years you have been watching the Mets, has the team gotten you this excited to tune in at 7:10? After 2006 (2007 really) we were always waiting for the “shoe to drop,” as they say. Even in 2008 when the Mets were playing well, the mantra was, “Don’t do it again.” “Don’t have another Met Meltdown.” Even while they were playing fun baseball, it wasn’t as free and easy a fun time as this 2012 team has made it be.

A lot of this is still the high from the No-Han, but I don’t know if that’s going to go away any time soon. That game was a cathartic release for every single human being involved.  Fifty-one seasons of frustration, 7 tumultuous years of utter heartbreak and heavy disappointment, completely lifted off the collective back. We all feel lighter. We all feel freer. And we all feel it’s truly the start of a whole new era in Mets Baseball. We all should be confident. This team can play ball.

Now, confidence does not include cockiness. Let’s keep the trash talk out. We still have a lot to accomplish and these 7 years should keep us humble. The last time I trash-talked somebody, it was July 2008. I was crossing 8th Avenue on 42nd Street and passed by some guy in a Phillies cap. I said to him as he passed me,

“Mets two games ahead now. Howdya like that?!”

“That’s alright. They’ll just end up blowin’ it anyway.”

I haven’t trash-talked since.

Out in Denver, CO, on the Sunday of that series this year, the Mets took the lead, 5-4, in the 10th. Some Met fan stood up in my section and started trash-talking the Rocky crowd around him. They tied the game again in the bottom half.

Take. It. Easy.

Walk quietly but carry a big stick. You know and I know the Mets of 2012 can play with the best of them. They are out there proving they ARE the best of them. Let’s keep it to ourselves and let the League and their fans discover it one by one.

Who knows what is unfolding in front of us. Just sit back  and enjoy the ride.

No-Hitter was just step 1 of 5.

The 2012 New York Mets.

Believe It.

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