They may be on different teams, but baseball players are all in the same guild, and they know that yesterday’s annoying adversary could well be tomorrow’s valued teammate and bosom friend. Like itinerant bards or medieval Swiss mercenaries, they go where the finest castles are, the most munificent princes. They sell their swords to the highest bidders, they get exchanged to ransom others (though if I were the Mets brass I’d be really careful about that one: the Curse of the Bambino will look like the teddy-bears’ picnic next to the Curse of the Lizard Queen displeased with a trade…I have the technology and I promise you I won’t hesitate to use it), sometimes they’re even banished by wicked dukes.
Sadly, elements of the Mets lineup I came to know and angst over have already moved on, and Metsland mourns their going—well, at least some of their goings. (John Olerud—sob! Though now we just love Toddy—let’s see, there’s Turk, and Tank, maybe he should be Tusk… But Bobby Bo to Atlanta, now there’s some instant karma for you, on both sides!) And when it’s no longer so much fun for me, when too many of the guys have gone, I too perhaps shall drift away, though I will always retain a certain proprietary interest in Mets well-being (witches never forget people we do magic for—and Mets opponents will do well to remember that). (Especially you, Atlanta…) But the etheric entity that is the Mets’ group soul is way more than just the sum of its constituent parts. Like the Blob, it quietly absorbs new personnel—and there is much rejoicing (Mike Hampton, Todd Zeile, Derek Bell)—and the Mojo will keep on risin’.
Though the trip didn’t end the way we wanted, and thought it would, and should, and had every right to expect it to, and deserved it to, it still ended more legendarily than anyone could have dreamed, and the Mets’ 1999 endgame will be remembered when the Dueling Evil Empires’ World Series is merely another ho-hum-oh-yeah-business-as-usual stat. (And remember this, pinstripeheads: it might not have happened for you if the Mets hadn’t taken so much stuffing out of the Braves first. Who’d YOU play, wussyboys?)
Much as we all longed for one, a Subway Series would probably have left New York a glowing, smoking crater with East River water slowly seeping in, as Irresistible Queens Force met Immovable Bronx Object, matter and antimatter coming together, with consequences, in the engine room of the Starship Enterprise. (Not that a whole lot of people, Atlantans especially, wouldn’t think that was a very good thing…) But New Yorkers already know we’re the Center of the Universe, and the Universe is pleased and proud that it should be so—we really don’t need to rub it in one more time.
Don’t Dis The Mojo!
And now we are into a brand-new baseball season, and the Mojo is still here, greater than before, ready to roll baby roll. And the Braves still must be destroyed, and the Skanks still must learn humility, and the Mets WILL win and prevail, because I just can’t deal with it when they lose.
Did you HEAR what I just said??? Frankly, I’m taking it all much too personally, and I’m not sure I can stand all that excitement again. (Just kidding.) But if the Mets really want to go the distance this year then the Mojo must be respected, Jim’s intercession (O Great Shaman of Shea! Hear our prayer! Grant us hits! Destroy our foes!) must continue to be sought. I’m told some individuals are actually getting tired of hearing the song (how dare they, people should be happy to listen to my beloved until the end of time, fans should be grateful he deigns to be invoked at all…). And indeed it is true that after some recent victories I haven’t heard it played.
Bad idea. They might want to reconsider. They don’t have to play the whole damn song every time. Just a few bars, the relevant chorus. That’s all that’s needed. Maybe they’re saving it for later, when every scrap of Mojo they can get their gloves on may really be needed. They don’t have to play it forever, either—though the song they’re now using is hardly working as well. But it has not gone unnoted that whenever the sacred psalm does not rise—out of I’m sure mere technical oversight, maybe a glitch with the tape, no disrespect intended—Mets bats (and especially Robin Ventura’s) often do not rise so much either; and subsequent triumphs do seem to get a bit harder to come by…
I’m just saying. It’s probably sheer coincidence. Yet, you know, whenever the song isn’t played after a win I do hear other fans loudly chanting the holy words as we wend our way homewards out of the Labyrinth, taking it on themselves to gratefully appease Mojo the Baseball God if the team should scant its reverential duty, lest he in his wrath should withhold victory, lest his priestess should let her displeasure be felt. (Has anyone totted up the casualties in Atlanta and the Bronx lately? Very instructive, you might want to take a look… And karma hasn’t even begun to kick in on Roger Clemens…)
Yeah, the Mets too have suffered injuries and losses this season, but who can tell if the toll might not be far more grievous and extensive had the Mojo not been on duty, had it not had other witches and witcheries helping it out—if, say, those thirteen sacred herbs had not been scattered sunwise round the walls of Shea (oh yes), if Absent Healings hadn’t been dynamically performed, if candles had not been set alight, if the boys hadn’t shown themselves open to the influence? Plenty of other teams have called upon the services of witches in troubled times—historically true, and documented—so why should the Mets not benefit from the reinforcing labors of altruistic and hard-working volunteers? We’re all pros here: we go where we’re needed, do what we can and teach whoever cares to learn. Still, it’s nice to be asked…
So, Robin, if maybe you’re secretly longing to switch to, oh, say, the Grateful Dead for the new clubhouse band, and give the bruja gig to Mountain Girl, you might want to reconsider too. Once magic has been set in motion, it can be dicey to tinker. But, if you feel you must, then I say go for it, kid. Mr. and Mrs. Mojo Risin’ may feel a little wistful, but we won’t be offended.
And we’ll see you all at the game.