Any Mets fan worthy of the name remembers the thuggish slide by Chase F. Utley of the Los Angeles Dodgers that seriously injured Ruben Tejada, the Mets' shortstop. In the years before that ugly event, Utley had truly earned his F. It's the same middle initial assigned to Chipper F. Jones and Freddie F. Freeman, to name just two in a long line of Mets-killers who earned that F. (No need to spell out what it stands for. You get the idea.)
As a member of the Phillies, Utley had been a stone-faced assassin for many years. Efficiently and expressionlessly, he had murdered the Mets on too many occasions to count. Yes, he has a charity for dogs, but no true Mets fan is charmed or fooled. He's still a killer. Then he slid into Tejada in the 2015 National League Division Series between the Mets and Dodgers, ending Tejada's season. Here's what that felonious slide looked like.
A few months later, in May 2016, Noah Syndergaard zipped a fastball behind Utley's butt, and the home plate umpire promptly threw him out of the game. This really ticked off Terry Collins, the manager. Now we have video of that event, complete with the uncensored dialogue between Collins and the umpires.
In the grander scheme of things, what does this all mean? My theology of baseball: Yes, we are called to forgive those who trespass against us, and we try. But that's in life, not in baseball. Once you have earned your F, you're stuck with it. And Utley will carry that initial to the grave. Until then, we can daydream about throngs of Mets fans attending his funeral. As his body is lowered into the ground, they'll unanimously boo.
First in my class in Officer Candidate School. Late to the conclusion that our attitude toward the military is idolatrous.