…and the Mets ARE still ALIVE on this night before the final game of the regular season!
Who’da thunk, twenty-four hours ago that we Mets fans would be as happy and as optimistic, with as much to be thankful for, as we are at this moment??!!
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, Mets, for playing like it still matters! For not giving up! For showing some signs of life!
THANK YOU, Mets fans, for cheering, yelling, screaming, standing, chanting. It was also nice to feel that there were signs of life from the stands. I think the players heard us. I think we helped today.
And there were PLENTY of signs of life in the game itself today. There were signs of crisp defense. There were runners not left on base. There were numerous hits with runners on base and two outs. And, when our players were confronted with ugliness from the opposition, immediate and obvious support–particularly in the form of the usually reserved Rick Peterson–came to life!
Yes, the Mets definitely showed signs of LIFE today!
My daughter Melanie, never having witnessed a brawl involving both benches and bullpens emptying onto the field, stared incredulously during the proceedings in the fifth inning. She came home and promptly made this drawing and also insisted on watching that portion of the game which we had recorded from SNY.
Perhaps the brawls satisfied some of those players and fans who had become increasingly fed-up with Willie Randolph’s "no worries" , quiet exterior in the face of the Mets’ dwindling lead. If those two confrontations proved therapeutic in some small way for some of our players and coaches (and, vicariously, some of our fans, too) and no one was hurt, thrown out of the game, fined or suspended, then I suppose it was harmless enough…except that it might’ve distracted John from his task at hand.
BRAVO! BRAVO! And Grazie, Maestro Maine, your performance was molto splendissimo!!
With each strike-out that was recorded, the afternoon’s game–already heavily imbued with excitement and expectation–took another level of energy and rush of adrenaline. You came SO CLOSE to getting the no-hitter. What a bummer to have it broken up by that stupid swinging bunt. Sigh…
THANK YOU, Lastings Milledge and Ramon Castro, for being in the line-up today and making the contributions you did, particularly those three home runs!!
THANK YOU, Sandy Alomar, for so quickly and bravely thrusting yourself between Jose Reyes and the forward-propelled, out-of-control Miguel Olivo prompting the second of the two ugly bench-clearing brawls. THANK YOU, too, Miguel Cabrera for putting a Reyes’ safety first and jumping into the situation to separate Jose from Olivo, thus keeping him from retaliating and possibly hurting himself. That would’ve been JUST what we need when we have been given new life and another chance here!
THANK YOU, Manny Acta, and your nasty Nats! Returning from Shea to watch your game on Fox, I must admit it was amusing to watch Charlie Manuel nervously bring in pitcher after pitcher while your man Chico did a fine job through six innings and then your bullpen finished off the the afternoon. Any way you could polish those pheisty Phillies off for us for the season tomorrow afternoon as well, old friend?
THANK YOU, Milwaukee, for the win against the Padres. With the Wild Card in the mix, the closer we can move ourselves to San Diego, the better our options in that department. Nice RBI triple to tie it up in the ninth, by the way, Tony Gwynn, Jr.!!
I’m NOT crying myself to sleep tonight. I’m going to bed with a smile on my face and optimism about tomorrow.
I hope my team is doing the same.
It’s twenty minutes until game time. I won’t be at Shea tonight. In a few minutes, I’ll be shutting down my laptop and going into the pit at the opera house for a rehearsal. But my husband and daughter will be there…with BELLS ON.
Screaming their heads off.
Clapping until their hands are sore.
Chanting until they lose their voices.
I don’t normally find much food-for-thought from Mike and the Mad Dog, quite frankly. But coming home from my first rehearsal of the day, I had their show on and found it very interesting that these two guys–neither of whom are really Mets fans–were taking Mets fans to task for flaking out on their team.
Basically, they were chastising the fans for (1) not showing up at Shea this week to begin with and (2) being so quick to give up and sound the death knell on their team.
While Mike–the die-hard Yankee fan–could have been gloating about his team being assured a spot in the Playoffs, instead he took up the subject of the Mets, reminding listeners that they are still in first place and that they are–with these three games against the lesser Marlins–still in control of their destiny.
If he could, he went on to say, he would have Shea officials not put up the out-of-town scores. The players, he suggested, should not even pay attention to that information. They should just do the job they need to do: get down to the task of winning their own ballgames.
I was very surprised to find inspiration from this show and decided right then and there to stop feeling sorry for myself and get back to the "Gotta Believe" mentality ASAP.
And I did.
I may not be at Shea tonight, but I’m wearing my jersey, Mets socks, and Wagner and Pedro bracelets. Tomorrow and Sunday, I’ll be at Shea.
In the meantime, for those of you whose confidence is flagging, I challenge you to think of it this way: it’s THREE GAMES.
Rather than looking backward at what they gave up, let’s look forward at what little they have to DO from this moment forward: they need to win THREE GAMES.
I liken it, psychologically, to this quote:
You remember the Duke of Wellington was talking of the Battle of Waterloo when he said that it was not that the British soldiers were braver than the French soldiers. It was just that they were brave five minutes longer. And in our struggles sometimes that’s all it takes-to be brave five minutes longer, to try just a little harder, to not give up on ourselves when everything seems to beg for our defeat.
LET’S GET ‘R’ DONE and LETS GO METS!!!
That’d be positively NUTS, right?!
They’ve been in first place since MAY!!!!
These are the things we Mets fans keep telling ourselves to reassure ourselves when the doubts start creeping in as we see the time starting to run out here.
Much as I wanted to be a part of the gang and welcome the Mets back to Shea and help give them a much-needed SHOVE to the Finish Line, duty called: I was in my seat in the oboe section in the pit at the Metropolitan Opera House for Opening Night.
The evening’s performance was of the Donizetti opera Lucia di Lammermoor–based upon a novel by Sir Walter Scott–which tells the 17th century tale of a young lassie, caught between the warring factions of the Ravenswood and Ashton clans. The title character is essentially forced unwillingly by her brothers and others into a marriage that would better her family’s position and is tricked into doing so by being shown a forged note seemingly indicating that her lover had forgotten her. Her lover shows up at the wedding and is incredulous and enraged at the turn of events, Lucia is heartbroken at the deception and her loveless betrothal, and upon retiring to the bridal chamber that evening, murders her husband.
What follows is one of the most famous scenes in opera: Lucia’s so-called "Mad Scene". For a good twenty minutes, the soprano is offered a tremendous vocal challenge and the opportunity for great theatrical expression as–at least in most productions–Lucia’s display of complete and utter insanity seeks to somewhat explain her actions.
Joan Sutherland and Maria Callas each made this a staple of their repertoire, and after last night’s performance, I daresay Natalie Dessay may too leave her indelible mark on this illustrious role. While she was totally immersed in and given over to the dramatic portrayal, not a roulade nor trill nor any vocal beauty was lost in the process.
Although this has never been one of my favorite operas, really, I was totally enraptured by her performance: she WAS Lucia…a beautiful, youthful girl, deceived by society and those she trusted, shaken to the core, and–in the process–led to a psychological melt-down of epic proportions.
Speaking of a melt-down of epic proportions…
Sneaking into a backstage lounge at each of the two intermissions, I was able to keep tabs on the Mets game. As frustrating as it was to find out the score at the first intermission at the top of the Sixth Inning, from what I gather, by sitting through the bottom of the Sixth, I saw the only really good part of the game with the bases loaded and the little rally and Moises’ hit to keep up his (now) twenty-eight game hitting streak.
By the time the second intermission came around and I learned the score, I felt like I was going mad. In fact, as Natalie Dessay was laughing maniacally, spinning around in circles, and basically acting in a deranged manner while the Metropolitan Chorus looked on in horror, I thought to myself, "I feel like that’s ME watching the Mets!"
I feel like I’m just helplessly standing by while they flail around, let runs score, send pitchers out who can’t do the job, etc. All I can do is wring my hands in despair.
Or, wait. Perhaps, more accurately, I am Lucia. I am the one going bonkers. I have faithfully gone to all of these games, followed you guys all season, pinned my hopes on you, had all this faith in you (and why not?), and now–when we should be pulling out all stops, playing in post-season mode–you guys can’t beat last-place teams and lousy pitchers?!
I feel like pulling my hair out and singing my own
So, now you know: if you see a middle-aged, blond woman in Mets gear in a Mezzanine box behind Home Plate tonight, tomorrow night, or this weekend (unless we clinch) belting out what sounds like an a Capella Bel canto aria with a middle-aged gentleman and young child with blond pig-tails (also clothed in Mets gear) trying desperately to restrain her, you’ll know my story.
My scena won’t be because I’ve had one beer too many.
I’ve just seen
One walk too many.
One loss too many.
One error too many.
Hopefully, just NOT too many to clinch. That’s all that matters.
For the Division Title.
For my sanity.
Rien ne réussit comme le succès.
Hats off to, yes, OUR BULLPEN last night! And, specifically, the success of last night’s win goes to [drum roll, please] Guillermo Mota and Scott Schoeneweis! Hats off to you, gentlemen!! Heck, Mota even batted and almost took a fast ball to the head!!
I would say that I owe each of you an apology for having booed you at Shea, but as frustrated as I have been with each of you at various times over the course of the summer, I can honestly say that at each of those times, I have assumed that you have done your very best in the given situation and have kept my mouth shut.
But perhaps inspired by each of your successes in last night’s game and by LoDuca’s playing in spite of being in obvious pain and with his hand swollen–as well as by Carlos Beltran surprising everyone by being in the day’s line-up after an injury in last night’s game (probably ************* it up" because of where we are in the season)–Ollie pitched the way we desperately needed him to. He walked no one, and we got eight full innings out of him, giving our bedraggled bullpen a sorely needed day off.
Although the most obvious "feel good" stories about the past two games are about (1) the wins and (2) about the pitching, let’s not forget about Moises Alou setting a new franchise record for consecutive days (26 now) with a hit. This guy is on FIRE! I particularly like the sign that flashes on the scoreboard at Shea when he gets a big hit: "HOLY MOISES!"
Add to that our clutch pinch-hitter Marlon Anderson. And the fact that not only is Delgado back but that it seems he’s wasting no time warming up and is getting right back to the business of hitting. And how about Castro’s two-out three-run home run? And the double-play Castillo managed to turn in spite of runner Todd Linden knocking him down?
So, guys, my advice is:
Personally, I have a gut feeling that this is going to happen all on its own.
Oh where, oh where was our beloved closer
when we so desperately needed him
to get the job done?
This one’s gonna hurt for a LONG TIME.
And the Magic Number is in