Well this was a crazy week even by Mets standards, one that began on a promising note when R.A. Dickey shook off his own poor start, and pitched a scrappy overachieving team to a respectable .500 mark and an upset of the Yankees, and ended seven days later with the Mets just as embarrassing as ever, with Dickey on the way to the disabled list and the overachievers badly exposed.
In the middle of it all was Fred Wilpon, whose show of pathetic self-pity and delusion in the pages of The New Yorker seemingly sapped whatever energy the Mets had exhibited on their long journey back to .500. Poor Fred: Doesn’t matter who gets dragged through the mud in his rush to clear his name and prove his own ignorance, while at the same time he’s got his hand out for new investors so that he won’t be hurt by his money-losing Mets. Fred doesn’t appear to understand that he’s in the image business, or that players and fans will get along just fine were he not around, but we can hope that’s something David Einhorn will teach him the hard way.
Einhorn was a name Met fans had barely known before this morning though by the time this afternoon’s loss to the Cubs began most of us already knew the story of how the tiny Dave Kingman fan grew up to become one of the hottest and most feared sluggers in the hedge fund game. I’d be awfully suprised if he doesn’t wind up going Barbarians-at-the-Gate on his new partners before long. Wouldn’t you?
Sadly, this week also included the sudden death of Dana Brand, an intelligent, sentimental and friendly Mets fan who wrote about fandom with passion and insight in books and on-line and who was at work organizing a scholarly symposium to coincide with the team’s 50th anniversary next year. I’d spoken last to Dana only a few months back at the SABR meeting in New York, where the two of us shared a mutual anticipation that the Wilpons would go Chapter 11 at some point this year. Dana was a guy who clung hard to his fandom in such challenging times, who understood he could love the team in spite of its seeming indifference to fans, and it’s sad to lose him.