By John Restuccia
Politics has become one of the most disappointing aspects of life in the last 11 years. It seems as though no matter what happens, everyone loses and gets upset. We break major boundaries by electing our first African American president; that’s awesome! He implements policies like Obamacare and drone strikes that have killed over 100 civilians; not good. We elect a man who is considered an outsider to the political system with a dark horse win; that’s also breaking the political norm! He raises the national debt even more with a supposed “fiscally responsible” Republican Congress; not good. Looking at these disappointments reminds me as a baseball fan of my favorite team that continues to disappoint: The New York Mets.
The New York Mets might just be the perfect representation of politics in the United States in every aspect, starting with the Mets pitching. The Mets current lineup for pitching has some of the greatest starting pitchers in the entire MLB. We have the Norse god Noah Syndergaard (as known as Thor) who can pitch a slider at 91 mph (super impressive to do); Zach Wheeler with a very solid ERA of 3.31 (an ERA is means of runs given up by a pitcher for all you non-baseball fans); and Jacob DeGrom who is considered the best pitcher in the entire league at the moment. I compare these people to the high ranking Senators and Congressmen on both sides of the aisle. These include superstars such as Paul Ryan, who has managed to keep the entire Republican party held together in the House; Mitch McConnell, who is considered the suavest US senator with common sense proposals as Senate Majority leader; and Chuck Schumer who has remained a staple in the Senate with a plethora of political experience after 19 years in office.
However, despite the good starting pitching and leadership in the legislature, something will always come along to kaibosh the progress being done. The season will then begin to crash and burn hard every year. For the Mets, it is the offense and the relief pitchers. The Mets do not have a single real batter. Brandon Nimmo, Amed Rosario, and Michael Conforto are awesome for offense, but that’s all the Mets are really boasting as far as hitters. The team traded away Asdrubal Cabrera during the middle of the season, a great hitter who lead the team this season in RBI’s (runs batted in), which could have greatly helped the season. This doesn’t help the amazing pitchers at all. If the Mets scored had scored 3 more runs whenever the pitcher Jacob DeGrom started, he’d have 26 wins and 1 loss. If they had scored 2, he’d be 21 wins and 6 losses. Instead Jacob DeGrom has 10 wins and 9 losses. As far as the relief pitching, the team is a hot mess. The relief pitching blew game after game this past season. Only 2 out of 5 of the relief pitchers having a positive win-loss record. Looking at the relief pitching is like watching a Amy Schumer movie: unfunny and hard to watch.
For the legislature, it is the ideological radical members of Congress and the large amount of executive orders being passed that are dragging everything down. The radicals in Congress are the members that make you wish that they wouldn’t open their mouth, as it makes your party look even worse. For the Democrats, it is the people like Maxine Waters who say crazy stuff and turn away the more moderate voters. For the Republicans, a perfect example is Senator Jim Inhofe, who threw a snowball in a session to disprove global warming. Even I, who believes in natural climate change but am extremely skeptical on global warming predictions, thought that this was dumb and was just a stunt that further divided the country. As far as executive orders go, the last 3 presidents have used over 200 of them each. They goes above Congress’s head, making the legislature absolutely useless. It’s like DeGrom putting his heart and soul into the opening innings but the hard work being crushed by the lack of relief pitching.
One more big similarity this year in both the New York Mets and Congress was the loss of a key player in both. David Wright, captain of the New York Mets, retired this season in an emotional final game with respect given from both teams to a man who has given his entire baseball career of 14 years to the New York Mets. Watching that final game with David Wright, who had been injured for most of 2018, was a tragic one with many Mets fans giving a sad farewell to the captain who had rallied and inspired the team for many years. Similarly the United States lost a true political legend in Senator John McCain. John McCain was loved on both sides of the aisle, reaching across to cosponsor many bipartisan bills. He always had a certain class to him that made him many friends among both Republicans and Democrats. Tragically, he spent 2018 battling cancer and eventually lost, leaving behind a great legacy of being a real leader in the Senate.
Despite the setbacks, tragic losses, and even losing legendary figures, Mets fans and American citizens of both parties share another similarity: hope. Even though the Mets went 77 and 85, a awful record, Mets fans are looking toward the next seasons with eagerness. We say the NY on our Mets gear stands for next year! We look eagerly to opening season to see our favorite players give it their all with a new sense of hope! Similarly, even if the party you voted for lost in some way in the midterms, most Americans know that everything is going to be ok (although cable news might tell you otherwise). We have had some terrible politicians and presidents in our history but every year we all find ourselves looking forward and not backward. So next year, I hope that the New York Mets will do better and I hope that the divisive political climate dies down. Because no matter what seems to happen, there’s always another season and another election.