It's Mets For Me: Off-Beat, Tangentially Relevant Mets Ruminations

Off Base Since 2005! Mets commentary from the counter-intuitive to the unintuitive and all the intuitives in between. ** "Through the use of humor and gross inaccuracy...a certain truth can be gained." Rob Perri ** (pester me or follow me @itsmetsforme on twitter)

Sunday, November 05, 2006

"I'm Keith Hernandez"

Now is as good a time as any to forget what happened in the postseason, and reflect on what, or whom the Mets stole from the Cardinals so many years ago instead. It may be shading into pathetic to remember the mid '80s teams at times of trouble, but cathartic just the same.

Tipped off by a poster over at the Metropolitans, I zipped over to check out Rob Perri's shortfilm "I'm Keith Hernandez". I loved Keith and have always viewed him as baseball's Larry Bird. In fact, as the chairman of 2011 C.O.M.P.U.T.M.E.H.O.F.P.O.B.S.D.G.I *, I have raised some $16.39 to help his cause.

The satirical film traces the rise of Keith from the Eddie Money concert where he first tried cocaine, through the 1982 World Series, through Herzog's thanking Mex for his contributions by sending him to the cellar-dwelling Mets (just think a player being traded for doing drugs!), and heavy-drinker Davey Johnson's embrace. It was entertaining even on a dial-up connection. I have adapted the sage words of Mr. Perri for my new motto (see above).

However, despite the director's respectful intentions and interesting theoretical take, I watched with a certain sadness. Unintentionally exploited by Jose Valentin this year to achieve semi-cult status, the power of mustache machismo, instantly kitchy because of its associations with pornography and American homosexuality, was strong with Keith. And, this season in his dual roles as oft-vacationing color commentator for SNY, and the Sherriff of the "Just for Men" Dugout Police, Mex has cemented the slightly-out-of-step-with-the-times male chauvinist creds** that a cult hero needs. Keith's masterful and often clutch performance as a beloved World Champion '86 Met, his status as the greatest Met first baseman many of us ever saw, and his penchant for saying whatever's on his mind, no matter how ill-conceived, has endeared him to Mets fans. From Curtis Strong to Kelly Calabrese, Keith always keeps it interesting. Now it looks like Keith's self-satirical appearances on Seinfeld, spokesmanship for second-rate hair coloring company, and admitted drug use have apparently allowed him to begin 'cross over' to mainstream cult status.

The question arises, do we really want to share Mex with outsiders in this manner? Cultural icons with this much personality are hard to come by, and since the Mets will never be the Yank-mes or have that kind of easily digested band-wagonable history (are the Yanks not the most "fair weather fan-ed franschise in the MLB?), our "culture" will most likely maintain its relative insularity, allowing fans an intimacy that, say, the Dallas Cowboys or Yankmes fans will never achieve. In other words, no matter how popular it occassionally gets, this team is for committed, not casual fans. This team is ours. So I wonder if we are ready to throw Keith over to Lacanian analysis and worse, the "I'm with Leather"-style ridicule so popular with the Sports Guy, Urban Outfitters crowd?

Well, this is a question that demands some reflection. So for now let me just say, "Nice game, pretty boy!"

*This post brought to you by the C.O.M.P.U.T.M.E.H.O.F.P.O.B.S.D.G.I (Committee to Put Mex in the MLB Hall of Fame Pronto Or Bud Selig's Dog Gets It)

**Who is the girl in the dugout, with the long hair? What's going on here? You have got to be kidding me. Only player personnel in the dugout."' ..."I won't say that women belong in the kitchen, but they don't belong in the dugout"..."You know I am only teasing. I love you gals out there -- always have."


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This blog is meant completely and entirely in jest, unless you count the angst, and is not meant to offend anyone, unless you are a Br*ves fan. It's not affiliated with Sterling, the Mets, common sense, good taste, or anything really.