Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Ending All, And Being All

It had to end sometime.

My streak of being present for clinchings ended at two. Mother nature gave me a not so subtle sign that I shouldn't make the trek to Pittsburgh by giving me a cold right before the series, preventing me (among other things) from taking what would have been an ill advised trek to the Steel City.

Tonight was a different matter all together...you see, The Who was playing in town tonight. So I'm covering a Monday night shift so that a fellow Met fan, who has had these concert tickets for weeks, could go see them. I wonder if he's regretting that decision at this moment...at least I hope it was a rocking show. (And I hope Roger Daltrey announced the score.)

But you know if somehow they blew it tonight, I was there on Tuesday.

There are things on this earth that I'll never be able to explain. Gravity...luncheon meat...the fascination with singing "Sweet Caroline" at sporting events...and Steve Trachsel not only pitching effectively, but swiftly, when the odds and a three game losing streak to keep the magic number at one staring him square in the eye. But that's what makes baseball a funny game...and that's what makes Steve Trachsel the '06 version of Dave Magadan...because that too, came out of nowhere.

If Steve Trachsel was Steve Trachsel, and the Phillies had somehow overcome the Cubbies, I would have been there on Tuesday. But am I disappointed? Not on your life.

And that's the truth ladies and gentlemen.

Because processing it on television without being there was amazing in and of itself and it was definitely a different experience. For those that were there, there's no place you would rather be. But for me, seeing Petey dance down the tunnel, showing his N.L. East shirt to the assembled media...the same assembled media who he admitted he didn't want to talk to last Friday...and letting loose a yelp of victory? That's a feast for the eyes.

Seeing Country Time get blindsided by a full dousing by Pedro Feliciano...seeing C.T. then pay it forward to the general manager of all people...seeing SNY's Julie Donaldson get wet in the designated "dry area"...it's amazing for me to process it all. It's especially amazing for me because of what I did earlier in the day, which was go through old tape of the last lockerroom celebration after the 1988 clinching...a tape which I had never seen before. It was great to see a team forever etched in my mind as being doomed in moments of glee. I saw Kevin McReynolds with a smile on his face. I saw Tim Teufel looking a lot like he did at the 20 year anniversary celebration. I saw David Cone use the word "superlatively".

Those poor bastards never saw it coming. Neither did the poor bastard you're reading now.

It was much better to see the same kinds of sights eighteen years later in current context, without the stigma of "too bad they couldn't go any further". Fun to see Jose Valentin, who last year at this time was recovering from a bad knee, using that knee to springboard into Carlos Delgado's arms after using his arms to pump out two home runs. And it was fun to see Paul Lo Duca spray you unsuspecting fans with an industrial strength hose.

That's tape you'll look on and say "damn, us poor bastards never saw that coming."

They're the sights and sounds we'll always remember. And we'll see them again in rain delays to come...all set to the soundtrack of messrs Bachman, Turner, and Overdrive. Yes, they took care of business tonight. Finally.

So sure, I wasn't there tonight. I wasn't in the upper deck, unless you count the upper deck of the stratosphere of elation that hovered around the ballpark, because I was there in spirit. And being there in spirit is all I needed tonight...it was more than enough.

Besides, there's a slew of games in October for me to weasel my way into.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Subway ride for two. $6
2 upper deck seats. $9
Internet ticket surcharge & tax. $4
Two dogs, a pretzel, large Pepsi, and a bag of Crackerjacks $22.50
Getting sprayed by LoDuca during a marvelous clinching party on the field. PRICELESS.
(Oh, and washing the beer out of our clothes that Heath Bell threw on us. $5)

Metstradamus, we're in HEAVEN! Please, pray to the Gods who control lefthand pitching, bad hops, and Pedro's command of the strike zone. Don't let me and the boy down this time.

Jaap said...

Let's hope all that celebratory cigar smoking doesn't choke their lungs for the post season!
And now, one step closer to my return to NYC - a place in the World Series secures my ticket!
Well done, Mets and well done all season Metsradamus for providing interesting, funny and edifying columns game after game with as much consistency as the Mets!

Anonymous said...

Metstradamus. Please excuse my math error from earlier commentary. Blame it on the euphoria. That's 2 upper deck seats for $18.

Metstradamus said...

That's OK, I thought you got the John Olerud home town discount!

Tommy_Calzone said...

YES!!!

Ed in Westchester said...

The cold must be bloggeritis, I came down with it on Sunday.

The wait is over.
The long march begins.
I love October baseball.

Unser said...

One down, three to go. Loved watching it on SNY - thought they did a great job.

LoDuca and Wagner have to work on their celebratory leap - one jumps the other catches.

Anyone hear about that Dodger-Padre game last night? Weird, wild stuff.

beezermess said...

Living here in SoCal, I watched the Dodger-Padre game and I do not think I have ever witnessed anything like it...that was one of the greatest comebacks because it was so improbable and funny at the same time when you see the poor schmucks in the parking lot leaving (Imagine the '88 Series when Gibson hit it and you saw the red lights...)
But today, no comeback or broken finger will ever take away from us Mets fans what we truly deserve. I too was there in 1986, 1988, 1999 and 2000. But as much as this was rewarding, it is also painful because I live here in SoCal and I was not at my "second home"..(Damus, you know what I mean.) Looking forward to exciting playoff baseball and knowing I do not have to worry about not being able to see them....
(You see Damus, I too can have a "good chi")

Anonymous said...

LOL, Unser.

I thought the same thing about the Wagner-LoDuca hug.

Wagner didn't get the memo that in this case, it's the pitcher CATCHING, when the catcher jumps.

Patrick Burke said...

YES!!!

By the way, this is great friggin' wrighting - "They're the sights and sounds we'll always remember. And we'll see them again in rain delays to come...all set to the soundtrack of messrs Bachman, Turner, and Overdrive. Yes, they took care of business tonight. Finally."

Patrick Burke said...

Glad to see there's no hate list today. I suppose it's fine for one day. I'm looking forwards to the playoff hatelists.

Vicki, St Pete Florida said...

Great Post Metsra!

Finally I get to see an important game on SNY, and not have to listen to the Marlins announcers - I was even able to watch the post game fun because they never went to commercial!

What a great game - memories come flooding back and the feelings of 86 and 88 are there again.

I love this team!

Onward and Upward, Boys!

The Metmaster said...

The only negative coming out of last night's game was that the Mets clinched it wearing those God-awful black uniforms. During those future rain delays we will be forced to see this team forever looking like street thugs. Shit-can the other uniforms and bring back those classic pinstripes and the blue hat. Period.

Anonymous said...

sorry, i know my priorities are out of order but.....Miss Florida USA 2001 Julie Donaldson.....

Anonymous said...

btw, the wright answer to the "beverage of choice for celebrating" quiz is vitamin water.

Anonymous said...

You saw The Who? That's pretty freaking awesome

j m said...

I agree about the black uniforms. I'm having 2000 flashbacks, and I don't much like those.