Why We Watch: Jonathon Niese, From Defiance

Jonathon Niese is not quite an ace, at least as it's usually understood. He's something quieter than that, if only differently great.
Share |

Whatever and whoever we are at heart, fans act like spoiled children. We are sulky and greedy and forever whining for new toys; we want mommy and daddy to draft us an overhyped quarterback, to spend money they don't have on a declining slugger, to trade last year's superstar for next year's prospects. And then once the toy is ours, we want to rub dirt in its hair and bash it against the ground, yowling that it's broken until we get something new.

The New York Mets' toy chest overflows with pitchers—from mint condition Rafael Montero and Jacob deGrom to the slightly scuffed Zack Wheeler and Jenrry Mejia. Still in the box is Noah "Thor" Syndergaard—his nickname drawn from Hollywood's most toyetic franchise—and on the shelf is Matt Harvey, so fragile and so valuable that we aren't allowed play with him until we're older. Rich with pitchers, we celebrate by bragging on them, complaining about them, and asking for more.

Somewhere in the closet is the forgotten stuffed animal Jonathon Niese, a left-handed starter whose shine wore off so long ago, it's hard to remember if he ever had any. Like all ungrateful children, we do not love him like we should.

***

I went to Citi Field three times in April, with each trip hoping to see one of the promising young arms I'd spent winter dreaming of—that, or the blob-like majesty of Bartolo Colón. But each time, the scheduling gods gave me Jon Niese instead, a disappointment only because in April, I want novelty, and Niese is a show I've seen before.

An alumnus of the marvelously-named Defiance High School, Niese was rushed to the big leagues in the black September of 2008, when the Mets were scrambling to avoid a second-consecutive late-season implosion. (They failed.) Old beat reports suggest that he came in under the hype radar—"average velocity," said his pitching coach; "above-average curveball," said a teammate—and he has remained unfussily, dependably average.

Over six solid seasons, he has made the news only twice: when he let Carlos Beltran buy him a new nose, and when he became the only Met besides David Wright to win a long-term deal from the miserly and quite possibly broke people in charge. In a franchise starved for consistency, Niese is consistent-ish, and for that he has been asked to stick around.

So for every one of his home starts, I was in the stands, enduring the vile weather that is springtime in Citi Field. From the upper deck, I glowered at my Mets, intoning the mantra that keeps me steady from pitch to pitch.

"Come on, you stupid sons of bitches, don't fuck this up," I muttered. "You goddamned morons—oh, fuck this piece of shit team!"

These quiet curses were not spat at Niese, simply because I wasn't paying attention. I honestly don't remember a single thing he did during those three April starts. But as the Citi Field gale swept hotdog wrappers onto the field and knocked off Michael Wacha's hat, Niese was steadily effective and seemingly content to pitch gems even if no one was paying attention. Here was Jon Niese, cold weather ace, so spectacular that it somehow became difficult to notice.

***

It's May 5th, and the Mets are in the marzipan wastes of Marlins Park. When Niese takes the ball, I grumble along, imploring him to get it over with, to not fuck things up, to get off the screen and let the Mets attempt to hit. My grouchiness blinds me to his biting cutter and his curveball, which today breaks as tightly as a bootlegger's turn. I do not notice that, one month into the season, his ERA has slipped below 2.00. But my ears prick up at the words of Gary Cohen:

"[Niese is] no mudder. He's a thoroughbred."

At this, my profane muttering stops. My shoulders relax. A thoroughbred, eh? He does not bulldoze like Harvey, electrify like Mejia or charm like Colon. His nose, despite Beltran's generosity, remains mashed against his face. There is something about him that reminds me of an equipment manager for a small-time college football program. But he is taking the Marlins apart with the grim efficiency of a butcher breaking down a pig, and it is all suddenly and quietly beautiful to watch.

In the seventh, the thoroughbred runs into trouble. With two men on and one out, Niese stares at Marcell Ozuna, a Marlins outfielder on an early-season tear of his own. My curses catch in my throat.

"I want Niese to finish this inning," grunts Keith Hernandez, and I agree. Keith wants Niese left in for the sake of Old Time Baseball, but I want him to face Ozuna so that the brilliance I took so long to notice can go on a little longer. In the six years I've watched this man pitch, the Mets have devised endless new ways to torture me, but Jon Niese has never done me any harm. As he rotates the ball in his glove, I do not grumble, I do not swear. I trust him, as I should have done all along.

Starting with that same fearsome curve, Niese takes just four pitches to get a double play. The threat is over. The thoroughbred has prevailed.

Of course, there are more than seven innings in a baseball game, and the Mets manage to lose as soon as Niese steps off the field. This is infuriating, but not his fault. At this moment, in 2014, he is the best pitcher on a mostly rotten team. This sounds like a small thing, but it isn’t.

Image via Random Baseball Stuff.


Share |

Comments

Thought about have fun with simply just perusing your personal sites. A1 Lock & Safe Shop

Everything has its value. Thanks for sharing this informative information with us. GOOD works! designer men clothes

When your website or blog goes live for the first time, it is exciting. That is until you realize no one but you and your. buy instagram autolikes

Wow, What a Excellent post. I really found this to much informatics. It is what i was searching for.I would like to suggest you that please keep sharing such type of info.Thanks italian leather shoulder bags

This can be in addition a great article i genuinely liked looking at. It's not at all every day i contain the probability to view a thing.www.stairservice.com

This can be in addition a great article i genuinely liked looking at. It's not at all every day i contain the probability to view a thing.www.stairservice.com

This is my first time visit to your blog and I am very interested in the articles that you serve. Provide enough knowledge for me. Thank you for sharing useful and don't forget, keep sharing useful info: cheap designer heels uk

Buchen Sie den Zauberer für Hochzeit und Co. Unterhaltung für die Hochzeit und Hochzeitsfeier. Lassen Sie sich verzaubern. Hochzeitsunterhaltung für jede Hochzeitsfeier. Der Zauberer sorgt mit mit seiner Zaubershow für bunter Hochzeitsunterhaltung. Zauberer für Hochzeit

I haven’t any word to appreciate this post.....Really i am impressed from this post....the person who create this post it was a great human..thanks for shared this with us. Dallas roll off dumpster rental

I’m going to read this. I’ll be sure to come back. thanks for sharing. and also This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality. this is very nice one and gives indepth information. thanks for this nice article... versace 1969 scarf

I’m going to read this. I’ll be sure to come back. thanks for sharing. and also This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality. this is very nice one and gives indepth information. thanks for this nice article... oneplus 5

This is my first visit to your web journal! We are a group of volunteers and new activities in the same specialty. Website gave us helpful data to work. blogging life

As i bought onto your web site nevertheless positioning focus purely a little bit little submits. Satisfying strategy for foreseeable future, I will be bookmarking each time receive people finish off arises in place. http://onlinefractioncalculator.weebly.com/

Pegar Novinhas do WhatsApp | Online | Gratis | Videos | Nudes | Caiu na Net. Ver Loiras, Morenas, Ruivas, Japas, Negras e Novinhas Cavalas de Academia. Malhando ou Rebolando Batendo Siririca temos Nudes, Vídeos e Contos Eróticos que caiu na net de Novinhas do WhatsApp de Academias provocando nossa imaginação. Novinhas do WhatsApp você encontra aqui. Novinhas do WhatsApp

Pictures found on your website even if making curiosity quickly a little bit of amount submits. Gratifying technique for long term future, I'll be book-marking during the time become your surface finish arises " up ". snapchat spy

I like your post. It is good to see you verbalize from the heart and clarity on this important subject can be easily observed. Free Typing Tutor

This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing blog that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free. affordable designer handbags

I like your post. It is good to see you verbalize from the heart and clarity on this important subject can be easily observed. https://hansonirsaudit.wordpress.com/

Kaufen Sie einfach und bequem neue Instagram Follower. Damit ihr Instagram Account an Reichweite und Beliebtheit gewinnt.Wir vermitteln Ihnen internationale High Quality Instagram Follower für Ihren Instagram Account. Sie erhalten hochwertige Follower von echten Nutzern, wir vermitteln keine durch Bots generierte Follower. Instagram Follower kaufen im HQlike Online Shop zum fairen Preis. Instagram Follower kaufen

I’m going to read this. I’ll be sure to come back. thanks for sharing. and also This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality. this is very nice one and gives indepth information. thanks for this nice article... bed bug control

YouTube Views und Abonnenten kaufen im HQlike Online Shop. YouTube views kaufen im HQlike Online Shop, hier finden Sie viel intressante Angebote rund um YouTube Video Views, selbstverständlich können Sie für Ihren YouTube Kanal Abonnenten dazu kaufen. HQlike bietet die Möglichkeit die Beliebtheit Ihres YouTube Kanal zusteigern und die Reichweite der Videos zu erhöhen mit dem zukauf von Video Views.Unsere Werbepartner mit langjähriger Erfahrung und rund 4.1 Millonen YouTube Usern, können wir Ihnen ein breit gefächertes Angebot von YouTube Views und YouTube Abonnenten bieten. Youtube Abonnenten kaufen

I like your post. It is good to see you verbalize from the heart and clarity on this important subject can be easily observed... Buy Soundcloud Repost

We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. I was exactly searching for. Thanks for such post and please keep it up. Great work. magento 2 send email programmatically

Takaful Medikal Kad Termurah di Pasaran, Di Jamin Semua Hospital Swasta Terima Medikal Kad AIA, Anda Dapat Rawatan Dengan Pantas dan Selesa. Dapatkan Perlindungan Sekeluarga. Dapatkan Konsultasi Percuma - Nasri Agent AIA Insuran 019 370 2629 - KL, Selangor, NS, Perak, Johor takaful malaysia

I like your post. It is good to see you verbalize from the heart and clarity on this important subject can be easily observed... original writer blogging

Wow, What a Excellent post. I really found this to much informatics. It is what i was searching for.I would like to suggest you that please keep sharing such type of info.Thanks simplycarinsurance blog

Today, video booths arrive loaded with quite a few striking capabilities. reality lovers

This is my first time visit to your blog and I am very interested in the articles that you serve. Provide enough knowledge for me. Thank you for sharing useful and don't forget, keep sharing useful info: top 1 pharma dropship

پنجره دوجداره, فروش پنجره دو سه جداره يو پي وي سي ويستابست, فروش تعویض پنجره قدیمی آهنی, فروش پنجره دوجداره ضد صرقت

Wow, What a Excellent post. I really found this to much informatics. It is what i was searching for.I would like to suggest you that please keep sharing such type of info.Thanks chronic back pain

Very efficiently written information. It will be beneficial to anybody who utilizes it, including me. Keep up the good work. For sure i will check out more posts. This site seems to get a good amount of visitors. top fx brokers uk

دانلود قسمت 1 اول فصل دوم سریال شهرزاد, دانلود رایگان فصل اول و دوم سریال شهرزاد, دانلود سریال جدید شهرزاد , دانلود سریال شهرزاد با لینک مستقیم, دانلود فیلم های جدید و برتر, دانلود رایگان فیلم و سریال با لینک مستقیم دانلود قسمت اول فصل دوم شهرزاد

I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well.. italian fashion online

i never know the use of adobe shadow until i saw this post. thank you for this! this is very helpful. mixed depending on the blog

Good blog along with the excellent quality stuff and I’m sure this will be greatly helpful. advertisement

I’m going to read this. I’ll be sure to come back. thanks for sharing. and also This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality. this is very nice one and gives indepth information. thanks for this nice article... cheap womens designer clothes

Excellent website combined with outstanding top quality products and also I’m positive this will be tremendously beneficial. discount clothing uk

Once i received onto your website even though getting consideration basically somewhat tad submits. Pleasurable strategy for upcoming, I am bookmarking at the same time acquire kinds end rises upwards. designer jackets women

I’m going to read this. I’ll be sure to come back. thanks for sharing. and also This article gives the light in which we can observe the reality. this is very nice one and gives indepth information. thanks for this nice article... Website Design

Make sure you carry on this particular excellent function as well as We anticipate much more of the amazing websites. www.zlookup.com

Wow, What a Excellent post. I really found this to much informatics. It is what i was searching for.I would like to suggest you that please keep sharing such type of info.Thanks cheap handbags

This is also a very good post which i really enjoyed reading. It is not everyday that i have the possibility to see something. best software reviews

This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing blog that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free. gta 5 ios

Nice post! This is a very nice blog that I will definitively come back to more times this year! Thanks for informative post. new BlackBerry KEYone

Nice post! This is a very nice blog that I will definitively come back to more times this year! Thanks for informative post. cinema box hd

I was reading some of your content on this website and I conceive this internet site is really informative ! Keep on putting up. fFord fusion energi

This can be in addition a great article i genuinely liked looking at. It's not at all every day i contain the probability to view a thing. Tulsa Tax Law Attorneys

That is why it is better that you should relevant research before writing. You will be able to write better post this way. 88betonline

This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing blog that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free. homework should be banned

This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing blog that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free. Microsoft introduced Microsoft Windows 10 S