A Dad's Guide To A Lost Mets Season

If you are like me, and you are a father to a five year old whom you’re trying to convert to a Mets fan, the New York Mets did absolutely nothing to help you this offseason.  They traded away your favorite player, they spent six dollars on the outfield, and did absolutely nothing to make the team competitive.  But, all is not lost, dads!  Despite the mediocre play, by being strategic, you can still make a good attempt at developing a life long bond with the ballclub.

MLB.TV is your friend.  I get my Mets fix via mlb.tv on the ROKU and APPLE TV.  About $125 a year and you get every out-of-market ballgame live.  Since I live just outside the Mets territory, I am able to watch every Mets game that isn’t on FOX or ESPN.  And the next morning they have two minute recaps of every game as well.  My son goes to bed at 7:30, so he doesn’t get to see too many weeknight games live. But we talk about the ballclub all the time, and when the Mets pull one out, I make sure to show him  the two minute recap.  He knows they are not winning very often, (I don’t lie to him when he asks who won), but in a lost season those two minute recaps of wins makes baseball seem very exciting!

MATT HARVEY is your friend.  This weekend Harvey had a “bad game”.  He allowed more than one run!  But Matt Harvey is exciting, and so I make sure we tune in to see Matt Harvey when he’s on the mound.

EVERYTHING IS EXCITING LIVE.  I’ve taken my son to two Mets ballgames this year so far.  The Mets are 1-1 in those games, but my son and I are 2-0 in father-son bonding.  Even high foul pop ups are really amazing to a young kid. “Wow, that was higher than the scoreboard!”

Mets Is The Best

GO OUTSIDE.  Hit the ball off a tee, play catch, play “bases”, race around a little league infield.  It doesn’t matter if the real Mets are awful – when you are playing pretend Mets, Lucas Duda always comes through in the clutch.

AVOID WFAN.  These guys are not helping your cause.

ART PROJECTS.  We draw the teams logos in crayon and he brings home drawings from school.  He’s learning the colors of teams around the league, and which logo is the hardest to draw (Indians).

BANNER DAY ALL WEEK.  For the past week and a half, we worked on our handmade banner together.  Made with markers and crayons, glue and tape, I think it came out pretty swell.   Shannon called me out on Twitter for making excuses and not coming to the parade.  Of course I would have loved to have taken my son on the field with our banner, but to make the 10AM registration would have meant leaving the house at 8AM.  All the weather forecasters not named Shannon Shark had the forecast as iffy at best, and my son was not too thrillMets Pirates arm and hammered about hustling to get dressed at 7:30AM.  I saw rain delays in our future and getting back home 12 hours later, rain soaked.  So, I called an audible.  We spent the morning hanging out at home, and then left Central Jersey at 11 to head up to Flushing.  Definitely the right move this year.  We took our banner to the stands and waved it in between innings.  The WPIX 11 cameras picked us up after the 7th inning stretch!  Great stuff.  I know Shannon doesn’t think 99 banners is enough of a showing, but I think Banner Day was a success.  The crowd was pretty good for a pretty bad team, the event garnered a lot of coverage in the MSM and social media, and they had the winning banner come on to the field during the game.  More importantly, my son and I had a great time.  Even though the Mets lost badly, we made some great memories and my son’s fandom is intact.

Look, I know there are no guarantees with this, and I am OK with that.  My Dad did everything right when he tried to make me a Yankees fan.  Took me to games, bought me cracker jacks and made me T-shirts. Played wiffle ball in the driveway and pretended to be Goose Gossage.  But in 1983 I joined Cub Scouts and all of those Long Island kids were Mets fans, and I became one as well.  Karma will come back and turn my kid into a Phillies fan, I’m almost sure of it.  Damn that Phanatic is quite compelling.  But I am really enjoying being a Mets fan with my son, even though the record books will show this as a lost baseball season.

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8 comments
Maggie
Maggie

"Winning is everything"? Yikes, that's a tough yoke to bear. I can't imagine how hard it must be to only be happy if a team makes it all the way, seems like it would result in a lot of sadness. But we all look to baseball for different things, so if this is what works for you, I would never suggest you should feel differently.

Andrew
Andrew

"Arm And Hammer"... love it. Let's face it, most fans of bad teams don't have two players this good to consistently watch.

Maggie
Maggie

Have to agree with this (except in my case, it was my mom). I was raised during some of the Dark Times and I managed to not see a winning game in person until I was 16 and I always had fun. She taught me how to keep score and that got me really into the games. She was also always excited herself (or at least pretended to be), and that rubs off. Winning or not, if you put your mind to it, kids can have fun at a baseball game and those memories will propel them through future challenges to their fandom.

Sherri Feldman (@FeldFam)
Sherri Feldman (@FeldFam)

Moms do this too! My 5 year old is becoming more interested in Baseball and this proud Mets Fan Momma is doing all I can to bring him to my side (my hubby is a Yankee fan). We marched in Banner Day with my dad and sister and he had a blast even though they lost. Even in his kindergarten Mothers Day presentation he filled in "my mom likes------" with "the Mets" and on his homework yesterday wrote "it is not good that the Mets lost". Plus he insists on watching Mets Fast Forward before school no matter what the game outcome.

Jerry
Jerry

Good post, in the end this is what's important in life - family. From memory I can't recall who won or lost those games I attended as a kid, but it was spending a day at the ballpark with family & friends is what resonates now as an adult.

ninemoreouts
ninemoreouts

I have to disagree with the strategy of taking the kid to games. We spent I don't know how much money going to Citi last summer, and all I hear about is that they didn't score any actual runs. "How come I didn't see the apple go up, Daddy?" Then of course there's the shame of having spent money to see the Mets. But I agree with all the other points. We're tuning in for Harvey every chance we get.

CowCrusher
CowCrusher

Unfortunately this is NYC and "Winning is Everything and More!!!". As much as I love the Mets and have stuck with them since I was born (so it seems)...Baseball is a business, and businesses are meant to make money, and therefore Money is Everything. Of course, we have the curse of the Wilponzis loaded upon us like a flesh eating plague. No matter how good our team plays, every Mets fan has to tread lightly in fear that Fred and Jeffy will pull some kind of bonehead move that will put us closer to the Division diving Marlins every season. The Wilponzis know nothing about running a sustainable bussiness unless it it subsidized by political handouts (other people's money). I personally have no real love for the front office nor any faith that they will succeed for the benefit of the fans and/or the team themselves. Maybe it is time for the fans to put their own version of a "hex" on them and then maybe we will have a "winning" season to be proud of.

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