We here at jeffpearlman.com (and by We, I mean, uh, Me) like having other voices chip in. Today, the excellent Yaron Weitzman expresses his anger toward God. Yaron is an editorial intern for SLAM Magazine and SLAMonline.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @YaronWeitzman.
We need to talk. I know hearing one of Your subjects whine has never really been Your thing—You have made that quite clear to many of my ancestors—but last Friday night, You crossed a line.
You know how we, the Jews, a people that You’ve sort of been involved with for some time now, feel about baseball; aside from chicken soup and guilt, there may not be a thing we enjoy more. I also know that You know how many of us live in New York City. After all, there’s no way they don’t get Seinfeld in heaven. But after experiencing 50 years of torture and humiliation, some of us New Yorkers, the unlucky few whose parents decided to pass down the curse of cheering for the Mets, are starting to wonder whether You care about anything outside of the Bronx.
All we ever wanted was a no-hitter. Just one. Nolan Ryan threw seven after we traded him. You’re telling me not one of those could have come while he was wearing orange and blue? You’re telling me that not one of the seven former Mets pitchers that threw no-hitters could have done so while in Flushing. You’re telling me that none of the 35 one hitters that the Metropolitans have thrown could have received a bit of divine luck from the heavens?
I’m sure this is the point where You’d appear to me in a dream of some kind or in a flaming shrub and tell me that that’s exactly what happened last Friday night. That I should be thanking You for robbing Adrian Johnson, the umpire who incorrectly ruled a line drive hit by Carlos Beltran down the third base line a foul ball, of his ability to see during the sixth inning of that game—a divine act that led Johan Santana’s miraculous no-hitter.
Well You will get no such thank you from me. I decide to be an Orthodox-Jew, and this is my reward?
8,019. That’s how many games the Mets had played before they took the field last Friday night. That’s how many times in the past 50 years You could have ended their no-hitter drought. Instead, You chose to wait until Friday night, the Sabbath. You remember the Sabbath, right? That night You’ve kind of made a big deal about us not working on. That night where some of us don’t watch TV, use our phones or computers, or watch ball games.
Millions of Mets fan are going to spend the rest of their lives discussing where they watched Johan Santana throw his no-hitter. They’ll discuss how they found out that Santana was on the verge of doing something special, and what activity they dropped or event they fled in order to find a TV. They’ll tell stories, many of which will be embellished to the point of fiction. (Being able to brag about how you experienced a great sports moment is one of the most enjoyable parts of being a sports fan.) You know how my story will go? After an exciting night of prayer at my synagogue, I came home, ate dinner and went to sleep. For Mets fans, last Friday night was an evening of happiness and excitement. My most thrilling moments on that Friday night came when I finally picked the “R” that I needed to defeat my mom in a game of bananagrams, and when I successfully navigated the dark bathroom whose light I forgot to leave on before the Sabbath began. (For those who are unfamiliar with the Sabbath’s laws and restrictions, Orthodox Jews believe that turning lights on and off is prohibited.)
I feel like I shouldn’t have to remind You, of all people, that there are six other nights in the week— doing this would be like reminding the Wright brothers that a plane has wings—but with Friday night’s miracle, You proved that Your memory is clearly not what it once was. Back in the day You were the best bookie ever. A thousand years could go by, and You would still remember who was owed what piece of land. Now You’re apparently forgetting that Friday night is supposed to be a night off. And don’t even try to tell me that You weren’t working last Friday night. No one actually believes that the Mets could really throw a no-hitter without You lending a hand.
So, God, consider this Your last warning. If one more big sports moment that relates to New York happens on a Friday night, I’m out. If I have to hear about one more iconic sporting event for the first time in the next day’s paper, I’m joining Tebow’s team. Dayenu. Enough is enough.
Now, about those Knicks …