Saturday, July 9, 2011

Scotty Doesn't Know

As many of you know, and really considering how much I've talked about it as all of you should know, I will be going to Europe tomorrow for my first hop across the pond in five years and my first wild youthful-indiscretion filled backpacking trip, well, ever. As a result, I've basically been playing the movie Eurotrip in my head for the last several days and quoting some of my favorite lines in it like, "You brought a guide book to a party?" and "I saw a gay porno once. I didn't know it until halfway in. The girls never came. The girls never came!" And to think, the only reason I saw the movie when it came out was because it was the only one playing after Starsky and Hutch that we could sneak into.

Oh college.

In any event, this wild whirlwind trip will take me through Rotterdam, Antwerp, the Hague, Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Munich, Aachen and Brussels in roughly two and a half weeks, so I'm going to be out of the loop a little bit and sparsely updating here if at all.

But that's not the real concern that is weighing on all of our minds. The real concern, obviously, is "How will Dave's wild Eurotrip impact his favorite baseball team, the New York Mets?" It's a question we've asked ourselves for ages, with great minds often going mad in the process. In fact, it was St. Thomas Aquinas who at one point said, "A Met has free choice to the extent that he is rational," which one has to assume that the Amazins and myself, really, operate independently of one another.

However, a look at some of the evidence argues otherwise. See in my last few entries I noted this impending concern by expressing relief that I won't be in the U.S. to see what I can only assume is likely to be the Mets' inevitable downfall and tumble in the wild card standings. After all, I had mostly mentally checked out before this season began expecting an 82-win season at best (which is about what they're on pace for at the moment), but that doesn't take into account how well they've played over the last month and since the first 18 games in particular, which would indicate an increasing rate of productivity and wins. Essentially, their likely win output over a broader sample size is hampered by their horrendous start, but if we take a derivative of the data set, we'll see that the rate in change in the function when X=July 9 is obviously much higher than it was on April 16.

Did I lose you? I got all calculus-y on you for a second. It's been a few years. Essentially, what I'm saying is the increased rate of change means that if they continue to improve exponentially, they're likely to win more than 82 games. Unless this is a parabolic function. I think. I was a history major, what do you want from me.

I'm getting off track.

Here is the key information you need to know. I was wondering if I stood a chance to miss out on the Mets' season free fall by being in Europe but if the past is any indication that chance seems... not so likely. This will be the third time I have traveled to mainland Europe. My first trip was in April of 2000 when I went to France with Madame Said's French class in 9th grade. The second was in April and May of 2006 when as a junior in college I went to an academic conference in Metz, France and Saarbrucken, Germany to discuss Germany's national identity at the 1936 Berlin Olympics as compared to the 1972 Munich Olympics.

If you're a Mets fan the years 2000 and 2006 should clearly stick out to you as the last two times the Mets went to the NLCS, in the case of 2000 they reached the World Series and in 2006 they should have (and I'm convinced would have won the whole thing if they did). Of course those teams were far better than the one playing now, but here's the real question. How did the Mets do exactly while I was in Europe?

I don't remember the exact dates of my trip in 2000, but I do know that every morning I went to a news stand to get a copy of the International Herald Tribune so I could see the score of the Mets game and every day they seemed to win. In fact, over the nine days I was in Europe, the Mets won nine games.

In 2006, my trip took me to Europe from April 25 to May 4, and if we glance at the Mets' schedule that season we find that they went 7-2 over that span.

So essentially, in the 18 days I've spent on mainland Europe, the New York Mets are a combined 16-2, good for a sparkling .888 winning percentage. I'm about to double those 18 days and I guess we'll see if the Mets can double that impressive mark. I'm assuming they probably won't but all in all a man can dream -- particularly since going 13-2 in the 15 games they'll play while I'm out of the country will seriously thrust them into the middle of the Wild Card, and possibly divisional, race. And that would be something wholly unexpected when the season began.

If it happens, I think it's pretty clear they'll have me to thank.

Enjoy the rest of your July everyone. I'll try my best to check in while I'm prancing around Europe. If I don't, you can be sure I'll write a follow-up to see if my trip actually helped the Mets chase a pennant.

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