Mr. Met should embrace his new heel turn
Mr. Met gave a fan, or fans, the finger. The human being inside the costume lost his job. The Mets organization scrambled to issue an apology. Like most Mets stories, it is powered by the twin engines of scandal and tragedy.
It doesn’t have to be this way. This is the perfect opportunity to rebrand Mr. Met as a heel the first true heel in sports mascot history. There are mascot antagonistes, of course: The Philly Phanatic is notably puckish; Miami’s Sebastian the Ibis was once arrested. Plenty of mascots have creepy, dead-eyed stares. But no team’s official mascot has ever truly worn a black hat.
New York City, and Mets fans in particular, would love to hate a Mr. Met who hated them back. This is a city where even acts of kindness are wielded with an edge, and millions of people carry the subdued anger of humans deprived of personal space. All day long, New Yorkers battle the subways, and tourists, and rats, and dripping wall-unit air conditioners to earn enough money to pay the exorbitant rent for their insultingly small apartments. Why do I do this to myself? New Yorkers say, not always about supporting the Mets. These are people who long to voice their anger and who need an outlet for their rage.
The answer is simple: Syndergaard just really loves Cholula. He’s from Texas, where he says it’s in every restaurant and always in his family’s kitchen cabinet. He grew up eating it. He still eats it. He eats it on everything.
Strasburg’s only win came in 2014 across from Dan Haren, and Kershaw is barely his better in WAR, ERA, and WHIP in 2017. It would never be fair to paint Strasburg as an underdog, but this could be a chance to prove a point. Hold onto your butts.