Life, death and Mets baseball...
The Mets begin a series vs the Nationals after an off-day on Monday. Plus, a story about how watching Ronny Mauricio's debut last week became something entirely different.
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾️
The Mets were off on Monday and return to action tonight in Washington
Pete Alonso stands alone in franchise history with three 40+ home run seasons (MLB.com)
With their newfound youth movements, the Mets and Yankees are once again watchable down the stretch (Newsday)
Prospect Watch 🔎
All four Mets minor league affiliates were off on Monday
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (63-74) vs. Nationals (62-76)
Where: Nationals Park — Washington, D.C.
Starting pitchers: LHP José Quintana (1-5, 3.26 ERA) vs. LHP Patrick Corbin (9-12, 4.90 ERA)
When: 7:10 PM EDT
Where to Watch: SNY
I thought I was going to die while watching a Mets game… ✍️
Last Friday night, more eyes than usual were on the Mets as the highly anticipated debut of prospect Ronny Mauricio was upon us. That included myself, as I headed off on what was supposed to be a short camping trip with friends for Labor Day weekend.
Batting in the nine-hole, Mauricio stepped up to the plate for the first at-bat of his major league career in the bottom of the third inning against the Mariners. I was already in the car for about an hour at that point making my way toward Connecticut, but this was not a moment that I wanted to miss.
Keeping tabs on the game prior to that moment, I wanted to make sure that I could watch that very first at-bat. As as sat in the passenger seat, I was able to pull up the Mets game on my phone after stumbling to figure out how to connect to the Apple TV+ broadcast for the first time. For a brief moment, my focus completely zoned in on what was an otherwise meaningless Mets game in the palm of my hands.
Little did I know how quickly things would change.
As I continued to focus in on the game, I suddenly heard an unexpected and startling BANG. Our car rattled and shook violently. Before I could even process what was happening, there we were, spinning out-of-control at full speed across three lanes of a highway. Just seconds ago I was watching the Mets – something I’ve done thousands of time throughout my life – and now, chaos.
For the first time in my entire life, I thought that I was going to die.
It’s the strangest thing. In moments like this, it all happens so fast… and yet the events also somehow play-out in slow motion. You’re frozen in terror, while another part of you begins to accept what you believe is about to occur.
As we continued to spin across the highway and my friend did his best to turn the wheel and regain any semblance of control of the vehicle, I just waited. I waited for us to flip over. I waited for us to be struck by any of the cars behind us that weren’t quick enough to move out of the way. I waited for us to slam into a guard rail or a tree.
But we didn’t flip. We weren’t hit by any other cars. We didn’t slam into anything. Somehow we were slowing down, albeit facing the wrong direction, before we came to a stop just before entering the forest off to the side of the highway. And there I was — still waiting. But that next injury, that bad moment, never came. Bewildered, my friends and I looked at each other, then ourselves, in shock of what just happened and in awe that we were somehow okay.
I don’t normally write about myself too much on this platform (I know that’s not what most of you come here for), so consider this a little bit of a therapeutic exercise.
For those wondering what actually did happen, we were driving along in our same lane for quite some time when suddenly a car flew up from behind us and slammed into us, causing us both to spin out across the highway. We still don’t really know how or why it happened.
And to be honest, we are having a hard time understanding just how and why we are all okay. Aside from some minor soreness and some definite mental trauma and anxiety that will need to get worked through, at least for me, we somehow made it through this ordeal without a scratch. It doesn’t make sense, and maybe it’s something that you’re not even supposed to question if you’re lucky enough to escape such an event.
But it really does manage to put things into perspective, doesn’t it? I was just sitting there watching the Mets and living my life. It was a completely normal day by all accounts. And yet circumstances out of all of our control thrust us into a moment that I thought may be my last. It’s a lot to process, and I’m still struggling with the mental gymnastics that come with still being here after thinking “this is it,” but the one thing I come away with is feeling fortunate.
I thought about my girlfriend, my family, my friends. I thought about how lucky I’m able to do what I do for a career. And I right now I realize how lucky I am that thousands of you actually give a shit about what I have to say (at least sometimes).
Things like this are a reminder of how trivial things like sports are – but I don’t mean for that to be interpreted in a negative or nihilistic way. Baseball is meant to be fun and distract us from the real shit out there. We are lucky to be able to be enraptured by it 162 times a year (maybe more if you’re lucky). This definitely isn’t to say that you shouldn’t ever get frustrated or upset about sports – if you’re a fan you care so much that it’s inevitable. But I do think that an experience like this really will put things in my life in an entirely different light.
There are much bigger ramifications than this, of course, but I do have to say that the next time I watch a Mets game, even if it doesn’t mean anything in the standings and no matter what the score is, I’m going to appreciate the fact that I’m able to continue doing this.
By the way, I never did see the end of that Mauricio at-bat – at least not live, anyway. But when I was able to catch the replay a few hours later… I most definitely smiled.
Around the League 🚩
The Astros slugged five home runs to blow-out the Rangers and move back into a first place tie in the AL West
Angels RHP/DH Shohei Ohtani is likely going to undergo surgery to repair his torn UCL, but may manage to avoid Tommy John
Mariners OF Julio Rodríguez is the first player in MLB history with 25+ home runs and steals in each of his first two seasons
Cubs RHP Justin Steele continued his Cy Young campaign with a dominant performance as the club shutout the Giants, 5-0
Guardians RHP Lucas Giolito made his club debut and was rocked for nine runs in the team’s 20-6 loss to the Twins