LATE TO THE PARTY

1. It’s Monday, August 3, 2015.

2. The roller coaster of being a New York Mets fan is on the ascent after this weekend’s three-game sweep of the Washington Nationals. It included Friday night, when Wilmer Flores — a national hero for showing that being a Met means more to him than just a paycheck —homered to win the game.

But being a Met fan means there’s a big fall out there somewhere. Until it doesn’t happen, I’m trying to temper my enthusiasm. 

3. Sometimes, in baseball, two outfielders are converging on a fly ball. One has a better chance of catching it. So what the other does is get into a position that would allow him or her to catch the ball if there’s a flub.

That’s what this Joe-Biden-running-for-president thing looks like to me (and Nate Silver).

There’s little doubt that Hillary Clinton is the Democrats’ front runner. But Democrats have been scared by the Clintons’ adventures in the past. If there’s something out there that could knock Mrs. Clinton out of the race or jeopardize a victory 15 months from now, the thought is that someone needs to take up the party mantle.

That someone is not any of the other Democrats running — even Bernie Sanders, the darling of the party’s left flank. I’m not even sure Sanders could carry Vermont, the state he represents in the Senate, against a Republican who’s not Fabulous Donny.

So what Biden might be doing is saying, “Hey, it’s Joey. If Hillary gets in trouble, I’m here.” Biden has been a loyal vice president and is more likable than perhaps anyone else in American politics.

The problem is he’s also a go-to punchline for everyone from Jon Stewart to The Onion. He would also be 74 years old on Inauguration Day 2017. That, I’m afraid, is a little old.

I’m not sure that if the ball hits off Hillary’s glove, Joey is the guy who could catch it.

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