Friday, October 13, 2006

Left Foot Right Foot

I was warned.
"And Jeff Weaver pitches the game of his life...a two hit shut out to give the Cardinals a one game lead in the NLCS." -Yankee fan attempt to scare Metstradamus
I kept saying no. No way it would happen. Jeff Weaver is not...I repeat not coming into Shea Stadium and making the Mets lineup into his personal lapdogs. I refused to believe it. No, no...not at Shea.

But damn it if that Kenny Rogers gem against the Yankees gave me freakin chills down my spine...because that game is the measuring stick now. If Rogers can shut out the Yankees, then anything is possible, right?

No. I steadfastly refused to believe it. In fact, I basically went out and guaranteed that there would be no "game of Jeff Weaver's life" at Shea for Game One of the NLCS.

So sure I was that I didn't even feel any tension by enjoying a birthday present by being at the Rangers game tonight while keeping one eye on the scoreboard...even though I had designs on watching the game later on in full.

0-0 in the first.
0-0 in the second.
0-0 in the third.

Oh damn.

0-0 in the fourth.
0-0 in the fifth.

As Sidney Crosby's centering feed went off of Aaron Ward's skate and into the net with 3.3 seconds left to doom the Rangers, I looked up and saw that the NLCS was still scoreless in the fifth. Joe Buck's voice started creeping in my head about what a performance Jeff Weaver was having at Shea Stadium. So not only did I miscalculate how slow a game this would be...figuring I'd be home in time for the fourth inning (if it weren't for Tim Welke and his throwback strike zone, maybe I would have)...it seemed that I completely miscalculated Jeff Weaver.

"What a performance by Jeff Weaver!" -Joe Buck, completely infiltrating my imagination.
So here I go on the E train wondering why I'm being tortured...by myself and my horrific imagination. Damn it, Jeff Weaver is going medieval on the Mets and I'm going to get home just in time to see the Cardinals steal this damn game.

DVR is such a great invention...it enabled me to come home and watch the entire game from the beginning if I had wanted to. But already having known that the score was 0-0 in the fifth, why put myself through that torture? So here I go hitting that FF button and scrolling through and scrolling through and fast and all and first inning second inning third inning fourth inning fifth inning sixth inning one out two out base hit...

STOP!

I knew about the fifth inning score. Not the sixth inning score. But I breezed through the sixth with such reckless abandon that I could have missed ten runs if I had blinked. But with Carlos Beltran up and Lo Duca on first base and two outs in the sixth, I stopped.

And I hit play.

And my wife is imploring me to just pick the game up live because she cheated and actually knew what the current score was but NO! The same voices in my head that were taunting me with Jeff Weaver told me to watch what Carlos Beltran does. I must watch this at bat as if it was happening right now. I must...watch...Beltran.

Maybe it was the image of Carlos Beltran smacking a game winner off of the Cards back in August that made me stop.

Or perhaps it was the fact that Straw was in the house throwing out the first pitch that made me stop...subconsciously hoping that Beltran would hit the same spot on the scoreboard that Darryl once did against Fernando Valenzuela...which was the spot that read "17 1B".

Maybe because so many times before, Jeff Weaver hit the wall at about this time.

Whatever it was, I stopped. And I watched.

"Use the force Metstradamus, use the force." -Steven Spielberg, written at this point in the movie about my life that will be produced in the future.
It was like August. Jeff Weaver tried to come inside, just as Jason Isringhausen tried to come inside. Same result...ten times the importance.

And it did hit the scoreboard...albeit six spots lower in the lineup. They say Straw's heart grew exponentially at that very moment.

And yes, it was time for Jeff Weaver to implode. Carlos hits the scoreboard, Weaver hits the wall. Instead of the "game of Jeff Weaver's life", it was "game of Tom Glavine's life", except for the fact that he's Tom Glavine and it's October so this was just going to be a "game of Tom Glavine's week" type game.

After the Beltran monster, I commenced fast forwarding, and caught up to the present time, ensuring that I wouldn't be sucked into a time warp that would bring me back to 1993 (yes, I worry about these things...DVR is a wondrous technology that I still feel is beyond my comprehension). So the baseball gods did me a favor and made sure I was caught up, with the important moment experienced the correct way. They made sure that I was able to enjoy the rest of the game without fear of the Kenny Rogers effect ruining not only the NLCS, but my birthday as well.

I hope from here on in that the baseball gods move on to something important, like convincing Cliff Floyd that there is a plan for him.

He must be wondering why he all of a sudden can't last past a couple of innings without that achilles imploding on him, while Endy Chavez comes in making diving catches and gets his name chanted and is the cult hero of Shea Stadium. The same gods of baseball that told me to stop the DVR right when Carlos Beltran was ready to remind Jeff Weaver that he's Jeff Weaver, need to visit Cliff.

Tell Cliff that there was a reason that Endy needed to be in the field for Ronnie Belliard's dead duck (Note to Rafael Santana, that's a euphemism. No fowl was harmed during this baseball game) to left. Baseball gods work in mysterious ways...especially when it's going good.

Tell Cliff that the double popping of his left foot, in a roundabout way, helped the Mets get off on the right foot.

..and tell him that his moment is coming. Tell Cliff that all his rehab and all the times that he played through excruciating pain is going to pay off in one mighty swing. Tell Cliff the tale of Kirk Gibson, and tell him that the baseball world is overdue for a Kirk Gibson moment.

Yes, tell Cliff that. Even if you don't really mean it...he probably really needs to hear that right now.

16 comments:

jabair said...

happy birthday bro!!

i cant wait till cliff pulls a kirk gibson on teh tigers..

jabair said...

if it was upto FOX, they would put a camera on rupert murdochs undies..

i feel like i am watching the truman show when i watch something on fox.. every thing is sponsored by someone...

there will come a time when the players jerseys will become billboards.. there will come a time when the players will start looking like NASCAR cars..

patrick burke said...

another great article by the man. thanks as always metstra. i look forward to these types of articles every every important mets win.

Unser said...

Great defense by the Amazins' last night. Chavez, Wright, Beltran (great off-balance throw, Valentin, Delgado. Fun stuff to watch.

Can we get the word out to STOP Mets' fans from yelling "Yankees Suck"?!?! The Yankees are gone, done, no need to mention them. They're making us look like a bunch of idiots.

beezermess said...

I hope that you got my message last night....and I hope you enjoy your first playoff game in a long time...
The Mets need this win tonight. It is important they go to St. Louis up 2-0.
Nice Touch on the piece about Cory Lidle.
I watched the Flyers-Rangers game on Monday and it looked like they were very slow the entire game except the Shanahan line (he looks great, doesn't he?)
Sidney Crosby is number 2 on your hate list....that boy scares me more that Ovechkin.
Ed>>>I think it is time for a goalie controversy...I think Dunham needs a contract extension...
I hope you enjoy the playoff atmosphere at Shea...remember..
a 12-oz can of Bud: 6.50
a hot dog w/ mustard: 4.50
playoff program: 10.00 (at least)
watching the Mets beat the Cards to go 2-0: priceless....

jim in la said...

Happy B-Day

Let's nail this hotshot Carpenter

(sorry, had to do it)

Ed in Westchester said...

OK, since it was a birthday gift, I'll forgive the attendance at the Ranger game last night, but let's not have that again, OK?
Mets playoff game > any other sporting event.

beezermess- No worries on Dunham, so long as Garth has his job, Mike D wil have a job. They are best friends forever you know?

Haven't really watched the Isles. West Coast games start late, and I prefer baseball at this point. They do need to stop taking so many damn penalties though.

Unser said...

I like this - "Senor Octubre" http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15243182/from/RS.4/

OJ is INOCENT said...

OJ was framed by Mark FOREMAN and nobody even cares!

Sean said...

'Damus,

Did you see Pujols' comments on Glavine after going 0-3 with a strikeout last night? Included such gems as:

"He wasn't good. He wasn't good at all."

*and*

"He just did the same thing he always does...changeup, then a fastball, and that's it..."

Yes, Albert. The same thing he always does. The same thing he's done in each of his 290 career wins. Punk. (Which is not to mention he threw you a couple curveballs which made you look pretty silly, and seemed to be saving them especially for you...)

This seems surprising to me, because he'd always seemed like a pretty classy guy to me. Is the hype finally getting to Prince Albert's head?

I really hope Maine gets it done tonight; while I won't be upset if he walks Pujols, it would be extremely vindicating to seem him strike out a couple times...I can just hear Albert now.

"He was atrocious. I mean, he just kept throwing that fastball in various locations and I kept swinging through it. Who even throws fastballs anymore? What an amateur. And what kind of name is John Maine, anyway...?"

Mike said...

Good post, Metstra.

Metstradamus said...

Sean,

I did see it...right before I read your comment. That's hysterical!!!

flash said...

Pujols will feel my booing wrath tonight!

What a chump. I especially enjoyed Beltran nailing him from CF as he slept on the basepath.

ALBERT PUJ-ROIDS said...

Glavine is horrible. I went hitless against him only because I felt bad for him.

Anonymous said...

Very quiet on the site tonight. The Mets deserve to be commended first on their great performance so far in the postseason. The dominated in every facet of the games up until tonight in the late innings. The problems of late September are now long forgotten and they are the team of city for the first time since the late 1980's.

Now the bad part. They have given the Cards new life tonight....they worked the bullpen big time...Wagner was the worst he's been in the 2nd half of the season..the rainout really hurts them now as the lack of off days gives the taxed bullpen no rest...and Carpenter won't pitch this crappy next time given his historical postseason record. AND MOST OF ALL....The 1-1 scenario now rears its ugly head. The lack of durability of Pedro, the freak injury to El Duque, and management's inability to get a third starter at the trade deadline comes to roost. Now Wacksel, after a weak start against the Dodgers, takes the ball in the pivotal Game 3. Not what you want. Who's to say who could be there if the Mets dealt as there were a lot of press reports and rumors...and none of us were actually involved in these conversations to really know the truth. But with all the trade bait the Mets have, SOMETHING COULD HAVE BEEN DONE. Now you've got Wacksel and Oliver Perez for the next two and that's tough. The good news is that the Cards are weak in this area as well and they just might cancel each other out....leaving this weekend to games like tonight.

By the way, its pathetic that after what Kenny Rogers did to the NY teams that you would root for him last weekend. If the Mets make the Series, you might get a little piece of his wrath yourselves. He's pitching like Cy Young right now. If the Tigers wrap up tomorrow, they'll start him in Game 1 or 2 at Tiger Stadium where he has fed off the crowd. Leyland won't subject him to the NY torture that starting at Shea would bring.

Metstradamus said...

Anonymous,

Where exactly were you after the Kenny Rogers game to tell us how shameful it was for us to root for him?

Or were you just waiting until the first Met postseason loss to come and tell us how "quiet the site" is, and then wag your finger and let us all know how much trouble the Mets are in?

And do you by chance know Roy Oswalt?

What a peach.