Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Fall Classic

The last moment of pure joy I experienced as a Met fan was in 2006, when Endy Chavez literally, if temporarily, snatched victory from the jaws of defeat with a spectacular catch, leaping above the fence and snagging what would have been a tie-breaking 2-run homer in the 6th inning of Game 7 of the NLCS against the Cardinals. Three innings later, in the top of the 9th, Yadier Molina hit a ball out of Chavez's reach for a two-run home run, putting the Cards ahead 3-1.  In the bottom of the inning, with the bases loaded, Carlos Beltran looked at strike three with his bat on his shoulders to end the game and end the Mets' season.  It has been frustration and heartbreak ever since, and this year, like its last several predecessors, was devastating.  Remarkably, though, every year after the regular season is over, I take a few days to shake off the bitterness of the Mets' failures and get excited for October baseball.  Cue the Ken Burns' music:  Playoff games seem to encapsulate a season's worth of drama into a few short weeks.  Each team that has gotten this far has its own uplifting story and appears to be the team of destiny.  We get to know the personalities of the players and see rivalries develop as the same teams play each several games in a row.  Every game, every inning and every pitch is pivotal.  We are treated to legendary victories and tragic failures in each series, culminating in the Fall Classic itself.  While I can't help but be reminded that my team is once again not a team of destiny but of ignominy, I easily find players and teams to root for and to root against, and I lose myself in the drama.  Ken Burns' music fades. When the Series is over, I will begin obsessing about who the Mets new general manager and field manager will be and what off-season moves should be made to improve the club.  But until then, Go Giants!

5 comments:

Stephen said...

Jerry Seinfeld was a guest in the Mets booth this summer and he, Gary Cohen, Ron Darling, and Keith Hernandez were all discussing their favorite Mets moments. One of them mentioned the great Endy Chavez catch.

My favorite Mets moment wasn't captured in a highlight reel and you won't find it in a box score either. It was following a Mets defeat of the Yankees (Oliver Perez was the winning pitcher). Jeff Lorin drove us to Shea that day and our parking spot was so perfectly placed, and his driving skills so fine-tuned, that he whipped us out the lot and onto the Grand Central Parkway in under 30 seconds. We were home in record time. It's a memory sure to be handed down to future generations. I know I'll never forget that day!

p.s. Best of luck to the Giants!

Lovechilde said...

I saw that telecast! Seinfeld was great. I wish he would do more Met broadcasts.

Ethan Corn said...

unfortunately, i have not found this year's playoffs very classic (but a giants fan may disagree..) and if game 1 is any indicator (which it probably isn't - i just want to be cynical about a sans-dodgers postseason), it could be that this world series is going to be the 2010 Fall Snooze-Fest.

..but at least it's not the yankees or the phillies

..but watching the giants play into november isn't that much better

..but whatever, good for you

Joel said...

I'm reminded of an exchange between my nine year old son and my ninety four year old step father last Friday.
"Did you watch the game last night Stan", my son asked, "yes I did, a pretty good game", Stan replied, then seemed lost in thought. After a few seconds he said to my son, "when I was your age they didn't have television yet, so to hear how the game was going we'd walk down to Ebbett's Field and a guy at the top of the stadium would call down to us at the street and tell us how the game was progressing". Then Stan laughed at seeing Julians reaction who looked slightly puzzle at first then smiled broadly.

ah-Baseball

Lovechilde said...

Beautiful.

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