Friday, October 20, 2006
Mets are going home, but I'm still Series-bound
I would never have imagined that I’d be going to the World Series and the Mets would not.
But that’s what’s happening.
Apparently I got a little excited in the newsroom on Thursday morning when my Mom called to say that my Christmas present would be a ticket to Game One in Detroit on Saturday night.
There may have been jumping involved. I don’t remember, but my co-workers do – and have reminded me often.
People here in Grand Rapids are going nuts over the local team making a miraculous run through the Yankees and Athletics. It seemed like a good chunk of the office was trying to get tickets online on Monday, when10,000 ducats were sold in under 30 minutes.
I volunteered to work, offering to do the assorted outside-the-stadium atmosphere stories, talking to fans from West Michigan about their joy of seeing the long-lowly Tigers on the big stage.
If I couldn’t get in, at least I’d be close to the action – as close as I’d ever get to seeing the Mets in the World Series.
The Mets? Of course they’d be there! We were merely toying with the Cardinals through the week, taking the series back to Shea to celebrate before the Flushing faithful.
It was our fate and destiny! No Pedro, no Duque – no problem! Rookie pitchers were tossing gems, Oliver Perez seemed to he recovered from whatever sent him to the minors in Pittsburgh.
And Endy Chavez’s catch? Pure Mets magic, right up there with Tommie Agee and Ron Swoboda.
Yadier Molina, earned admission to the “Bleeping” Family with his two-run shot off Hielman in the top of the ninth. But when Valentin and Endy got on base in our half of the frame I knew the Mets magic was at work again.
Remember, we don’t do things easily in the postseason. Baseball history is written about the miracles, not the blowouts.
I’m working through the whole shock/denial/anger/acceptance thing.
Shock: We got beat by the Cardinals? They barely hung on to their division title? They beat the Padres in the first round because, well, everybody beats the Padres in the first round.
Denial: No way did that just happen. We’ve been planning for the World Series since May. We’re getting El Duque back to pitch Game One. We’re the ones who are supposed to be going to Detroit.
Anger: Beltran, freaking swing at the ball! Bases loaded and you’re going to try for a walk? You should be the stinking MVP and you’re not up there blasting? No excuse! You can’t let the season end with your bat on your shoulder.
Acceptance: It was an amazing season. Two years ago we would have been giddy to finish second, last year we would have wept for joy for a wild card berth. This year we ended the Braves’ historic run, and with our young talent and brilliant GM, there’s no reason to think this was a one-year fluke. We’ll be back. And while it hurts today, it was a fun ride all summer long.
So off I go to Detroit tomorrow.
Someone asked if I could still enjoy the Series game even though the Mets won’t be there. Heck yes! Attending ANY World Series game is a glorious, once-in-a-lifetime event.
I’m so blessed that I’m going for the second time in my life. Thank you Mom and Dad!