Thursday, April 15, 2010

Nickname Review: New York Mets

The Common Man’s nickname review picked up an additional endorsement today with the support of friend of the blog Craig Calcaterra, of HardballTalk. Craig is concerned, however, about the long term potential of this project, writing “I'm not sure that TCM is going to get to them all -- there's scant scientific data on the traits of "metropolitans" and most varieties of "sox" -- but it should be enjoyable while it lasts.”

Oh really, Craig? That’s how it’s going to be? Fine. To put Craig at ease, TCM is going to break from his avian theme from the last few days (sorry, Baltimore), and take his friend up on his challenge. The New York Metropolitans it is.

Basic Stats:
Name: New York
Nickname: Mets (Metropolitans)
NicknameTypology: Human
Definition: “A person who has the sophistication, fashionable taste, or other habits and manners associated with those who live in a metropolis.” (
Fig. 1 Metropolitans
Characteristics: refinement, sophistication, sissiness, ninnism, laziness

Best thing about the Metropolitan: The Metropolitan generally know where to go to get the best lattes, what time the gallery opens, and which symphony is in town. This is exceedingly important if you are a fan of such things. Frankly, TCM doesn’t know how this helps you if you’re a baseball player, except that someone once told The Common Man that knowledge is power.

Worst thing about Metropolitans: Metropolitans are apparently so lazy they have to shorten the name of their team to the Mets. Perhaps that’s why the team has become a haven to Oliver Perez.

More good news: Metropolitans might appreciate the game in the way that other great artists do and have. US Poet Lauriat Robert Pinsky is a devoted Red Sox fan and wrote in 1998, “There's too much high brow writing about baseball. And the idea of baseball as a bit sacred is corny, I know. But still, this splendid season reminds us that there is something about the game. Baseball combines the predictable, the ordinary, with the extraordinary in a way that more obviously exciting sports don't.” Robert Frost famously compared his profession to the game, “Poets are like baseball pitchers. Both have their moments. The intervals are the tough things.” John Updike wrote one of the greatest essays ever about baseball, in chronicling Ted Williams’ final game. Jack Kerouac privately created, maintained, and wrote about his own fantasy baseball league. Walt Whitman was a fan of the game in general, “I see great things in baseball, It will take our people out-of-doors, fill them with oxygen, give them a larger physical stoicism, tend to relieve us from being a nervous, dyspeptic set, repair those losses and be a blessing to us.” He also told Horace Traubel, “it's our game: that's the chief fact in connection with it: America's game: has the snap, go fling, of the American atmosphere — belongs as much to our institutions, fits into them as significantly, as our constitutions, laws: is just as important in the sum total of our historic life." Metropolitans should eat that stuff up.

On the other hand: Metropolitans tend not to be very athletic. There’s not a lot of space to run freely in the metropolis. TCM tends to imagine half of them going to work in tall office buildings, grabbing quick smokes outside every couple hours, and heading home to order take out from the Chinese place on the ground floor. The other half spends every available daylight hour in a coffee shop, then goes home to get ready to go clubbing. In other news, TCM has a bad imagination. These aren’t the same kids who were playing stickball in Little Italy in the ‘40s. Rather, the Metropolitan is a high falootin’, upper crust, snob if you ask this Common Man from the Upper Midwest. There’s a difference between hailing from a city, and being a Metropolitan.

Final Analysis: It’s hard to take Metropolitans serious as a nickname. Yes, they are likely to be impressed by the people that like baseball, but they probably would never deign to dirty their hands, let alone put on a sweaty glove or grimy helmet. And when the Metropolitans show up with their opera glasses, cigarette holders, and upright posture how can the other team even hope to be intimidated. So you’re from a city. Big deal. So is The Common Man. He doesn’t make a big deal about it. D- Deal with it yuppies and hipsters.

More nickname reviews available here and here.


Larry said...

Normally, TCM, I applaud your third person wordiness. But I'm confused by this nickname series. So far, I've learned that living in a nest is better than being like Walt Whitman. Maybe things will grow clearer as the series moves forward.

misterd said...

To be fair, most of the alternate names (Bees, Burros, Jets) sucked.

The worst would have been the NY Continentals. I would hate to see how that'd get shortened.