This comes courtesy of the Southern Bureau, always with an ear to the ground for things that happen to catch his attention that has to do with the Mets, without him having to exert himself too, too much. Anyway, Southern Bureau brought to my attention the fact that this week's Sports Illustrated cover story is about Omar Minaya. So the Mets are on the cover of Sports Illustrated, and all of a sudden, the best team in baseball can't win a game.....?
Now, you might be wondering how it is that I needed to be informed that the Mets were the SI cover story, and I didn't already know this? I forget if I've said this, but about 6 months ago, I cancelled my subscription to Sports Illustrated. One reason was that I never have time to read the magazine during the school year (although I have two subscriptions that I make time for....more on that later). Another reason is that I found more and more stuff in there didn't interest me. The straw that broke the camel's back was the fact that as I was becoming more disgruntled with SI, I signed up for their fantasy football supplement, and they never sent it to me. So I cancelled the subscription. I have a thing about calling people/businesses, and I wasn't going to call them to tell them that they never sent me the fantasy football stuff. I probably could have finagled something free out of them, but I'm not that type of telephone caller. So I just called and cancelled. I think it was all automated.
Now, as for the 'having time to read the magazine' thing, (I'm realizing I have brought this up before, after I went through how I read a baseball preview, and Justin from NYC gave us his hilarious rendition of how he reads SI), I didn't make time for Sports Illustrated, but since cancelling my subscription I have subscribed to TIME and American History magazines. TIME got me with a free offer for a clock radio...which really bites. I have this dream that someday I'll find a radio that will allow me to listen to WFAN while in Framingham, during the daylight hours...and this dream allowed me to believe that radio was going to come to me free by subscribing to TIME. I can barely get the local FM stations, let alone AM from New York City. American History is one of the best decisions I've made...it's going to make me a better teacher, and I love the content.
But, once again, I digress. I was able to access the entire article on Omar (justifying my decision to cancel my subscription - I figured if there was anything I really wanted to read, I could get it online...which I did), and it was great. I recommend reading it. At first I was intimidated - it was 11 pages of text online. But when I saw the byline, I knew it was worth it. Gary Smith is a fantastic writer. I know nothing about the man, but I love everything he's ever written. I'm engrossed in stuff he writes about soccer, which I also know nothing about. His writing unfolds like a well-written song, starting slow, like a single drum beat...thump...thump...thump...building to a crescendo, with lots of action/information, and then coming full circle to the beginning. Just great stuff, and this article on Minaya was no different. (I questioned a little bit when he started off comparing Shea Stadium to a castle...but he even made that work!)
Finally, there's a part in the article where they talk about Minaya and his old Queens buddy Dave Valle, and their charity. Just to connect the story to me, Dave Valle and I went to the same high school. The baseball coach at said high school was very proud of the fact that he had Valle on his team (Valle was the starting catcher for the Seattle Mariners for a number of years). Alas, I was cut from the team roughly four times (let's see, four years in high school, so, yup, four times), so I was not destined to follow in Valle's footsteps as catcher. I had many issues with the coach who did said cutting...but that's a story for another time. Suffice it to say, Dave Valle, who I have never met, connects me to Omar Minaya.
Mets return to Shea on Monday night to begin a three-game set with the Twins. (A World Series preview, if my pre-season predictions come true.)