Sunday, June 6, 2010

How Little Sarge Found Out He's Not a Met Anymore

Jerry Manuel hummed to himself as he posted pictures on the walls of the Mets' clubhouse.

"What's the haps Manuel Transmission?" David Wright had shown up early for work that day.

"David. Glad you are here. Today I'm going to motivate everyone so much it will burn their eyes."

"Gee Jerry, that sounds painful. Are you sure we can handle that much motivation."

"Are YOU sure?"

"Damn WRIGHT I'm sure!"

"That's what I like to here. Say, is this one centered?"

When all the Mets had assembled, and Razor Shines had passed around coconuts for all of them. Jerry displayed the two pictures, while a third was hidden by a Met jersey.

"A nest!" declared Francouer.

"You got it!" said Jerry. Frenchy high-fived his neighbors. "But what kind of nest?"

The Mets fell into a deep sea of contemplation. A bird, certainly, that much was obvious. But what sort of bird?

"A falcon!" declared Pagan.
"A crow," murmured Barajas.
"A sparrow?" tried Niese.
"I believe this egg will produce a dog," said Blanco, who had his eyes closed.

Jerry just smiled and shook his head. Then he removed the Mets jersey that was hanging on the wall.
"OH MY GOD IT'S HEAD IS SO SHINY!" screamed Frenchy.

"This calls for the Bay Bridge, baby!" shouted Jason Bay, who did the Bay Bridge, punched the air, then high-fived the entire bullpen.

"It has no feet!" exclaimed Ike Davis.

"Nice observation Ike Sauce!" said Wright!

"That beak could fit between the stones of the Pyramid of Giza!" announced Johan Santana.

"This thing can fly underwater!" shouted Castillo.

"It knows our thoughts. That's for damn sure." Pelfrey punctuated this point by ripping open his coconut and feasting on the meat inside.

"And," said Dan Warthen, putting on his didactic face, "it's the only bird that can fly backwards."

The Mets looked at each other incredulously. Backwards? What?

The umpring crew burst into the clubhouse.

"Let's play some baseball!" they cried in unison.

The Mets all cheered and ran out of the clubhouse and onto the field. Many of them crying "My eyes!" in painful jubilation. When the chaos cleared, only one player remained. The other Mets had not noticed him. He had been sitting quietly, studying the pictures the entire time. He and Jerry looked at each other, exchanging memories through unconscious eye movements. At last he spoke.

"That's a hummingbird," said Gary Matthews Jr. "They can flap their wings up to 80 times a second, and they hover by flapping them in a figure eight pattern. They eat nectar, sap and insects, and they must eat frequently because they expend so much energy in flight. They are considered symbols of purity and good luck in several cultures."

"Yes," said Manuel. "That is all correct. You see the facts and not the dreams. And that is why you are not a Met."

GMJ nodded. "Is that why Razor didn't offer me a coconut?"


"What do I have to do Jerry? I've given this team so much!"

"Wait, you do know we DFA'd you, right?"


"Yeah, it was a few days ago, how do you not know that?"

"So when you say I'm not a Met..."

"Yes, I mean you are literally not on the roster."

"Oh. Dang."

Gary Matthews Jr. left the clubhouse, with no balls, mitts or bats, only his woe. Only his disappointment in himself, the system, our culture of expectations, our artificial zero-sum games, our unnecessary expectations of warriorship and the assumptions of putting emotions aside. He felt these emotions in his back, his right thigh, the top of his rib cage, and a vague pressure in his sinuses. He was comforted only by the consistency of the sun, the support of his friends and family, and an underlying recognition of good in the world. Also, that despite his getting kicked off the team, he will still be paid $23 million dollars over this year and next. Yes, the world was so often harsh, but as always, he would manage.


  1. photo props of the hummingbird nest to sean mcclellan!!

  2. Sean risked the wrath of the mama hummingbird to get these photos, folks.