A Homeric Perspective on the NY Mets

“Ulysses and the Sirens” by Herbert James Draper

I recently re-read book twelve of The Odyssey and was struck by the poignancy of Odysseus’ interaction with the Sirens. His crew sailed passed an island where beautiful creatures were singing lovely melodies, enticing them to come to the island, promising to entertain, intending to kill.

The island was littered with the bones of sailors who had been seduced by the Sirens’ songs in the past. Circe warned Odysseus of this place and encouraged him to have his crew fill their ears with beeswax so they might pass by the island deaf to the enchanting songs of the vicious creatures.

Odysseus handicapped his crew with the beeswax, but insisted on hearing the songs of the Sirens for himself. He had his crew bind him to the mast of the ship so he would be unable to succumb to the temptation of the Sirens.

As the ship passed the island, Odysseus was in agony and begged his deaf crew to unfetter him and let him go to the Sirens.

The New York Mets are a lot like the Sirens. Each year they sing sweet melodies about healthy rotations, good hitting, solid pitching, and expert management. Mets fans are bewitched by these tales, desperately hoping they are true. Every year, we know these toxic songs are coming and, like Odysseus, insist on listening to them.

Seasoned Mets fans are a lot like Circe. They know what’s coming. They warn us. How many fans do you know who say, “The Mets Stink!” every year, no matter what the team’s prospects are? They know. And on some level, so do we.

Us Mets fans, we’re a funny group. We love to love the Mets. We love to hate the Mets. We insist on defending the Mets to outsiders and love to swear that the Yankees are the worst. We trash talk the Mets when we’re together and commiserate over the consistent disappointment.

But at the end of the day, like Odysseus, we are a bunch of masochists, sailing past an island that promises to entertain, but is destined to disappoint.