The Mets Begin, Gottman-Style

So, as many of you know, I now work at The Gottman Institute as their content manager. And at TGI, we have a motto, which is 5:1, or five positive interactions for every negative interaction. Dr. John Gottman, through 40 years of research, found that people in committed relationships need to hit that ratio in order to have a positive and successful relationship into the future.

He did it with data and science. It’s no joke. It’s a fact.

Well, I’m in a committed relationship with the New York Mets, as of today, we are doing just that. We’re 5-1 and in first place in the National League East. And we just beat our rivals, the Washington Nationals, to take the lead. Kid Conforto showed back up in the lineup a couple weeks ahead of time and got two RBI, and Bruce hit a grand slam to push the game beyond contention.

I’m no therapist, nor am I a baseball analyst. But I can tell that this kind of ratio, while unsustainable across a baseball season of 162 games, is a great start.

And we even have a new team mantra, or sign, or handshake. I don’t even know what it is, but suddenly, after every good play, all of the Mets make a pepper grinder motion with their hands.

The grind of 162 games. The seasoning it takes to make a lineup with some pop. And the grit it takes to play this game like it’s meant to be played.

And the 2018 New York Mets are surely hitting the ground running, pumping on all cylinders, full speed ahead, pick your cliche, I don’t care because my team, at least right now, is playing some wicked good baseball.

The Battered Bastards of Baseball

Mets 6, Indians 0. Matz, in a shutout comeback, struck out nine, and Kid Conforto doubled twice. It was a great game.

So, the title of this post is the title of an amazing baseball documentary that I encourage everyone to watch. It’s about an independent baseball team in Portland, Oregon, during the 1970s. Even if you’re not too into baseball, you’ll find something in this film, because it’s more about the deep mythic heart of baseball and what the sport can be outside of the constraints of an official league. It’s about how human the game is. And it’s really funny, too. You’ll learn what a “Jogarza” is. It’s on Netflix.


 

First Game

 

I was ten years old and half the size

of the players on the field,

and I climbed the steep stairs up to the last row

of Shea Stadium and chose a seat in the wind

and sky hundreds of feet above

the wash of green and the clay borders

of the infield. A speck of a man below

charged through deep centerfield, performing

calculus by running as he tracked the arc

of a fly ball that never reached as high up

as I was. I felt so small, tiny and perched

up in the sky like a crow on a wire,

but I heard the crowd’s roar growing

like a turbine accelerating

and the only thing louder

than the crack of the bat was the thrust

of jet engines above, planes that took off

from LaGuardia, and down below,

my father, a blue dot along the rows

of orange seats, kept score.