Big League Stew

Concession Speech: 2012 New York Mets

Kevin Kaduk
Big League Stew

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As the regular season winds down, many teams are already facing an offseason filled with golf rounds and hot-stove strategy.

But we're not going to let them get off that easy. No sir. No way. In an attempt to bring some closure between franchise and follower, we're giving a blogger from each team the opportunity to give a concession speech for this year's squad. Up next in our series is our old friend Greg Prince, who writes the great Faith and Fear in Flushing with his blogmate Jason Fry. Together, they wrote the 10 best things about being a Mets fan earlier this season.

Ladies and gentlemen, friends and supporters, Mets fans everywhere:

I have just placed telephone calls to the Washington Nationals and the Atlanta Braves ... no, no, that sort of reaction isn't what we as Mets fans are all about ... I have just placed telephone calls to the Washington Nationals and the Atlanta Braves and congratulated them on their successful campaigns for the postseason.

They will represent the National League East well and we should wish them luck. Tonight we are all National League Easterners, no matter whom we supported during the regular season.

When we declared our candidacy in April, we aspired to create a shining Citi on the hill and rallied many to our cause. Yet the 2012 campaign is at its end and we find ourselves in a familiar position: fourth in our division, nowhere for the immediate future and perhaps even fewer in number than when we started.

The results of the year that is now behind us would make it easy to succumb to the old adage that you can't fight Citi Field.

In our case, of course, we didn't fight AT Citi Field, where our deficits proved insurmountable and the gulf between "home" and "hope" proved wider than one skinny letter could ever convey.

The promise engendered in our early victories did not translate to the electoral progress we had projected. Our get out the vote efforts paled in comparison to more finely tuned operations — particularly on the West Coast — and by September, prevailing circumstance challenged the morale of our most loyal supporters as never before.

It didn't help that we were continually outspent by our opposition, and that when we reached a critical crossroads of our journey, those to whom we entrusted our well-being were wracked by indecision and distracted by ancillary issues.

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(Getty Images)

Mistakes were made: There is no disguising that mistakes were made and that confidence was misdirected in certain key areas.

Our catcher was a cipher.

Our left fielder was a detriment to us as well as to himself — and nowhere was our outfield truly a land of opportunity.

Our bullpen was abominable before it was adequate.

These are the facts we cannot avoid.

We had set out to win in 2012. We didn't.

We had certainly intended to compete vigorously. We did, but only for a brief time.

Then we stopped.

In that regard, 2012 will seem like a failure, and it would be reasonable to infer that ahead of us lie four more years like the four dispiriting years we have just endured

But that would be wrong.

Because 2012 allowed slivers of sunlight to filter through the dark clouds that came to envelop our Mets fan souls.

They are easy to forget as our shared adventure comes to its ignominious end, but they were there, and they need to be relished for the joy they gave us and the foundation they represent.

In 2012, we glimpsed surprising competence at second base and reassuring professionalism at shortstop.

In 2012, we rose from the depths of desperation with a first baseman who seemed destined for demotion to an apex of enthusiasm when he remembered how to drive runners home.

In 2012, we watched a third baseman return to prominence and a third starter ascend to consistency.

In 2012, we floated and dipped and broke sharply alongside a singular knuckleballer who literally wrote the book on what it took to persevere — and then persevered to provide us with some of our most satisfying days on the trail.

And in 2012, we dared to dream the impossible dream, and reached the heretofore unreachable star when a surgically reconstructed left shoulder, attached as ever to the heart of a lion, threw 134 unforgettable pitches, the last of them a called strike three to a world champion Cardinal that gave each and every one of us the first no-hitter in New York
Mets history
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Generations grew up and grew old yearning to grasp the sensation that had eluded us as a people for half a century. Now, at last, we have it and we will hold it forever.

So thank you Johan Santana for the night you gave us our no-hitter.

Thank you R.A. Dickey for your two consecutive one-hitters and so much more.

Thank you Jon Niese and David Wright and Ike Davis and Ruben Tejada and Daniel Murphy for those instances you brought us sunlight.

Thank you Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Jordany Valdespin and Matt Harvey for the hints of better things to come.

Better things will come.

Pitchers will recover from injury.

Youngsters will earn promotions.

Trades will be made, contracts will be negotiated and in no time at all we
will stand on the precipice of another campaign, when maybe we CAN
compete longer and maybe we CAN contend seriously and maybe...just
maybe...we CAN win again.

That day is not here. But it is coming. We are Mets fans. It is what we
believe.

And we shall always believe.

Follow Greg Prince and Jason Fry on Twitter and read Faith and Fear in Flushing.

Previous Concession Speeches: Miami MarlinsChicago CubsToronto Blue JaysColorado RockiesKansas City Royals, Houston Astros

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