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April 24, 2011

The Mets are so strange. But hell, when you’re playing like utter shit you’ve got to do something to snap outta of it.

Joe Petruccio -- We Honestly Suck

So what did the Metsies come up with?

Prior to Thursday’s game against the Astros, the Mets destroyed “Stanley,” a black and yellow rolling toolbox that had become the bullpen’s mascot. It held some of the essentials (and non-essentials) such as candy, medical supplies, fingernail clippers, Krazy Glue and miscellaneous toys.

It would be one thing if this was just some superstitious act by the players and coaches, but as David Waldstein of the New York Times explains, the directive came from Mets COO Jeff Wilpon, who is in charge of daily operations for the team.

After watching the Mets lose 12 of 14 games and fall to the worst record in baseball, and with everyone on the team searching for real or symbolic methods to change the fortunes, Wilpon issued a simple decree: “Get rid of Stanley.”

Wilpon gave his order to Dan Warthen, the pitching coach. So, on Thursday afternoon, Warthen asked every player and coach to donate an article of clothing or piece of equipment to place inside Stanley as a sacrifice. Most obliged, and then, as in a scene out of a movie, Stanley was taken into a back room before the game and ceremonially obliterated with bats.

Holy shit. That’s so cold. It’s like DeNiro whacking the crap out of that mob boss with a baseball bat in The Untouchables. And, wait a second, they have a toolbox mascot? Creatively named “Stanley”? It’s so lame, and, just to prove it, it reminds me of “Wilson” the volleyball from Cast Away. So there you have it. So what happened next?

“Stanley” has been replaced by a pink backpack, which is being worn by rookie right-hander Pedro Beato.

And, oh yeah, today the Mets won their fourth straight game since the ignominious destruction of the toolbox. Beato had better get used to that pink backpack.

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