NBC’s Bob Costas interrupted US Open coverage yesterday to pontificate on the Mets’ overzealous celebration of a win that might ultimately not be enough to stop them from being overtaken by the Marlins, calling the home plate pounding of the otherwise-slumping Kirk Nieuwenhuis, “an indication of the ongoing decline of western civilization.”
Clearly, Bob’s not above a bit of hyperbole. Reasonable persons know the actual decline of western civilization was marked by Lastings Milledge high-fiving fans after hitting a home run. Or perhaps it was Jose Reyes not wearing a three piece suit for an interview at WFAN. Or maybe it was the time(s) Jordany Valdespin flipped his bat after hitting a HR that had little impact on a game’s outcome.
Laffs aside, it seems the Mets get their ass kicked by local and national media each time they have the temerity to act as though they enjoy playing baseball (good thing their last World Series championship team set such a wonderful example of sportsmanship, day in and day out). In this instance, the young Mets weren’t celebrating a meaningless personal accomplishment or a bit of gratuitous stat padding. They were losing their collective shit over actually winning a game in dramatic fashion, a somewhat rare happening these days. It’s all well and good to sneer and suggest the likes of Nieuwenhuis, Anthony Recker and Juan Lagares should act like they’ve been there before, but I’m pretty sure they’ve not been there before. Not very often, anyway.