Let's Be Careful Around John Buck, Everybody

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First things first: the Mets will not win all that many games this year, and the odds suggest that they're unlikely to win all that many of the ones they win in dramatic, walk-off fashion. But their recent spate of walk-off victories has at least been fun for those of us who have, for whatever bleakly inexplicable reasons, chosen to hand some portion of our warm-weather psychological well-being over to this longform baseballing satire on the various painful shortcomings of our local syphillitic elite.

Walk-off wins are always fun, of course, and even the shittiest Mets teams—this is kind of an uncouth way of saying "recent Mets teams"—have managed a few awesomely improbable and improbably fun wins each year. Omir Santos and Jordany Valdespin have both hit game-winning homers off trout-eyed Nugent-acolyte Jonathan Papelbon, and both of those were great, but neither changes the fact that the Mets were sending Omir Santos and Jordany Valdespin up to bat against Jonathan Papelbon in important situations. The Mets stay the Mets, in other words, and what moments they author that are worthy of celebration should indeed be celebrated, because the rest of the time they are just Mets-ing to beat the band, and it can be a bummer. But.

But, even if we remember that these are just the Mets, it's important also to remember that the players on each team are both valuable human resources and intrinsically valuable humans. John Buck, the beefy new Mets catcher whose improbably hot start has at least earned him the honor of being regarded as The Utah-Born Answer To Rod Barajas, already seems like a good Met. That is, his shortcomings are apparent and comical and hugely human, his moments of heroism are well-timed and he generally seems like a dude worth cheering for. The problem is that, during his brief time with the Mets, John Buck has already proven himself to be someone incapable of constructively participating in a post-win celebration at best, and as someone who will probably murder an ostensible friend and teammate while celebrating some enervating July win over the Brewers at worst. 

This is maybe or maybe not be John Buck's fault. I've only been to Utah once, briefly, and so I don't know if it's some sort of folkway there to try to murder a teammate with a shaving cream pie after that teammate hits a walk-off homer. It could very well be that Utah's state motto is "Rock You In The Face, Stab Your Brain With Your Nose Bone BUT BASEBALL" and I have not yet noticed it. If it is, rest assured that I will amend this post. If it isn't, know that I'm mostly grateful that the aforementioned Valdespin was not killed during Buck's "celebration" of his game-winning hit not so long ago:

The way he looks back at Valdespin, kind of casually checking to make sure he's not dead, is chilling, just straight up Michael Shannon shit. The reverse angle is maybe more disturbing in its sudden violence, but it's also owned by MLB, and so cannot be used without their express written consent and anyway take my word for it that Buck nearly murdered Valdespin and that face-mashing like this usually involves someone yelling "Worldstar Hip Hop!" over it.

Now, Valdespin is something of a controversial character, given that he seems to hold himself in hilariously high regard for a young player who has never quite managed to get on base 30% of the time, and doubly so given his selfie-intensive Instagram account. Maybe there is a case to be made for trying to just straight-up fucking murder Jordany Valdespin with a towel full of Burma Shave after he hits a homer. John Buck hasn't made it, but he seems like a smart and generally solid guy and let's give him the benefit of the doubt. This may have been a didactic assault-celebration, and I look forward to reading about it in Buck's memoirs. (They should be called: Buck: Me)

But it was a lot easier to give Buck the benefit of the doubt before watching this video of Buck's chosen celebration after Mike Baxter's walk-off single for the Mets on Thursday night. Remember that Mike Baxter won a game in dramatic fashion, for the second time in three nights. Remember, too, how one traditionally celebrates happy occurences, i.e. not with savage violence. Okay, remember all that and then watch this video, via @TheHappyRecap.

So, what is a concerned fan to do, now? Do the Mets have a guidance counselor that we (or Mike Baxter's parents, who presumably are still not okay and worried sick about their son's bruised gonads) can call? Because that would seem like something to do. That and maybe a new course of medication for Buck, a much heavier course.

Or we could just relax and remember that the Mets won't win memorably again until probably August, at which time Travis d'Arnaud will probably be catching and Buck will, presumably, be fighting Andrew Golota in Atlantic City. Maybe in a casino, maybe in a nightclub, definitely via sac-punches. Whichever, really. Any of those will probably work. At least until someone gets hurt by a happy catcher who apparently can't help himself.

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