I don’t consider myself superstitious. Obsessive/Compulsive but not superstitious. Of course, baseball players are known for having odd superstitions. Turk Wendell, a great relief pitcher, used to wave to the center fielder and throw the rosin bag into the ground as hard as he could before he threw his first pitch. He also used to leap as high as he could over the foul line on the way back to the dugout. It was all very fun to watch, but he did the same things when he pitched well and when he coughed it up, so it was hard to see what it all meant.
I don’t know if young Jacob DeGrom of My Metsies, 2014 National League Rookie of The Year and one hell of an entertaining baseball player, is superstitious by nature. All I knew is I couldn’t let him go into last night’s big start against the Dreaded Gnats without his head.
The “DeGrom Gnome” was a giveaway at a Mets game we went to on my 52nd birthday back in May. He didn’t pitch that night, and the Mutts lost the game 1-0. Then they lost the next day 1-0 again. It was fabulous. But we had a nice night at the ballpark. My brother met us at the game, but the 15,000 DeGrom Gnomes had all been given away, and seeing as we had three, we gave him one. That left two.
One of these gnomes was sitting on the electric fireplace next to a lamp in the Back Room yesterday, about two hours before game time, minding it’s own business, when the human tornado that is The Dude knocked it to the floor and watched in horror as it’s head broke clean off. The Dude was mortified. I would have been more mortified if I didn’t have another one that I will be keeping far out of his reach. (I understand people buy these things and collect them, and I might need the money someday). Stuff happens. Things break. Particularly around here.
The Dude immediately wanted to set things right. He told me he would fix it. I said, “OK, fix it.” He said he would use his glue gun. “Fine”, I said, “use the glue gun.” Why does he have a glue gun? Well, it actually belongs to Trisha, who has used it for arts and crafts stuff. But she gave it to him while he was waiting for his number one Christmas present, which was a soldering iron. Now he has a soldering iron and a glue gun. I probably would have stopped him from using the soldering iron to reattach Jacob DeGrom’s head.
The Dude never caught my passion for baseball. He played Little League for two years and had some fun, but was distracted enough in the field that I was pretty sure he was going take a line drive to the head if I insisted that he keep playing. I was the co-manager of the team in his second season, which was a wonderful experience, except when it rained. It was a Bucket List thing for me. I did it, and now I can say I did. But The Metsies are always on the radio and the TV in the summer, and The Dude probably knows more about baseball than I think he does.
As you can see in the picture, Jacob DeGrom’s surgically repaired head was not the most flawless of fixes. But The Dude knew it was important to me, and he dropped everything (pun intended) to make sure he took responsibility for his mistake and tried to put it right. Later, there was Jacob DeGrom pitching on the TV. I pointed out to The Dude that it was a good thing he got his head back, as it would be hard to pitch without a head. We had a good laugh.
DeGrom got the win last night, as the Mutts actually scored some runs. The win pulled them within 2 games of first place and 1and a half out of the Wild Card. If they actually make the playoffs this season, and the season comes down to DeGrom, we may have to break the head off the other gnome and reattach it. But I’m not superstitious.