Perhaps you know a Mets fan. Perhaps, heaven help you, you are one. The team’s supporters wander this earth, beaten and mildly aggrieved, like that soldier in Downton Abbey who maybe had shell shock from the Great War or maybe wasn’t even a soldier at all, but in any case spent his days strolling around the grounds of nicer places where people had nicer things and making every last one of them worry. Mets fans are the worst sort of nihilists: They are the sort who win arguments, which they win because they are right.
And oh, Mets nihilism is so often right: Elbows disintegrate. Balls roll away. Bladders are overtaxed. Team statements circulate to insist that everything is just fine, which is the surest sign that nothing really is. Mets devastation is so reliable that the league went ahead and made it the premise for a spring training commercial this year, with ace pitcher Noah Syndergaard talking about heartbreak as Coldplay’s "Fix You" plays in the background. This ad is very bad, as are the Mets, whom PECOTA projected in February to win 88 games, but who instead have gone just 48–55 and sit 14.5 games back of the Nationals in the NL East.
But something has changed. This blessed Tuesday, 243 years to the day since the discovery of oxygen and 57 years since Chubby Checker’s "The Twist" debuted on the Billboard charts, I am here to tell you that August 1 again holds vast societal import: It is time to get excited about Mets baseball again.
I know. I know, I know. I know. You’ve been here before. You’ve watched. You’ve trusted. You’ve believed. You’ve been punished. But have you ever seen something like this?
This a hype video composed for 21-year-old shortstop Amed Rosario, whose most salient feature for our purposes is that he is the kind of person who occasions hype videos before making his major league debut. His welcome letter to Mets fans — "Things won’t always be perfect but expect me to give you ALL of me" — was published Monday night and has somewhere in the vicinity of a bajillion retweets. Rosario is the no. 1 prospect in baseball, according to ESPN’s Keith Law, and as of this moment is on his way to the Mets for his long-awaited post-trade-deadline promotion. Rosario is fast, strong, has nearly as many stolen bases in Triple-A as the Mets do as an entire squad, and as of Tuesday in Colorado, will be in the starting lineup. (But not every day, because nice things are apparently not to be trusted.)
Then there’s 22-year-old Dominic Smith, who is said to be right behind Rosario on the team’s call-up list; the first-base prospect has spent the past few seasons lighting up the Mets farm system, and is hitting .340 with 16 home runs and 72 RBIs in Triple-A this season. He and Rosario will join a team that, if nothing else, has Michael Conforto, who is clearly the greatest hitter who ever lived and a surefire lock to go to the Hall of Fame, though I should note that these facts have not been independently confirmed and are just some things I’ve heard in Queens.
And then there’s the most intriguing (lol) young (lol) member of the Mets farm system (LOLOLOL), who has been filling stadiums across America, is up to eight home runs on the season (!!!), and is, in the words of the austere Associated Press, showing still more "flashes of potential." Oh lord, the black vans are pulling up outside and I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’ll stop right now.
It is probably fair, at this point, to accept that 2017 is not the Mets’ year. But the future, friends: It’s officially bright. There are new toys, young and shiny ones, that are only maybe the kind that you will step on in the middle of the night, sending you howling and hopping to your bathroom to survey the damage. And, well, if all else fails, let’s just go ahead and do The Twist.