21.10.06

The Mourning After

"Don't let it end like this. Tell them I said something."

--Pancho Villa, last words

There was an almost inescapable feeling leading up to that fated, final called strike curveball with the Mets' best hitter's bat still on his shoulders, that like they had all season, the Mets would pull a last-minute rabbit out of the hat once again.

They didn't and in the moment after, the stinging reality that after 103 victories the Mets' season was finally over was partially assuaged by the fact that at least there should be no what-ifs haunting the memory over the winter months.

If they had gone down without a whimper; a one-two-three bottom of the ninth to send everyone home it might have been a bitterer pill to swallow. That they went down rallying and fighting, struggling and clawing down to the final strike typifies the entirety of the season and the collective character of a team that battled adversity throughout.

Expectations aside, there is no shame in last night's game nor in the season as a whole. Thinking back to the fragile hopes of March and April should remind us. We were confident but inwardly sceptical - we thought it were possible to win the NL East but we weren't certain. Not certain with the bravado of a Yankee fan, for example. We wanted to believe and time and time again, this team gave us the chance until that final strike, to continue to believe in the improbable.

We lived in a fog for the greater part of the season, dominating the National League as we did, winning the NL East by a double digit margin, rarily causing doubts to be raised and as such, with two outs, the bases loaded and our best hitter coming to the plate, we had every reason to believe that like those 103 previous victories, this too would be ours.

It wasn't and reflectively, there is no blame to be assigned. If we are to remember back to March and April, we might recall that whilst we were optimistic, the Mets were by no stretch of the imagination a sure thing and it was only all the success between those months and October that allowed us in that fateful bottom of the 9th, to believe it might all be possible.

So rather than mourn the end of the season, we should celebrate the reawakening of Mets faith, the renewal of expectation and the recognition that we are no longer the less prosperous younger brothers of the bastids from the Bronx but on equal footing and with a brighter immediate future ahead of us.

It won't prevent a cold pang in our hearts when we watch Game One of the World Series on Saturday night thinking that could be our team playing on that field in Detroit, but there are brighter sides to reflect upon. Not just that we got as far as we did, but the next season will await us, pregnant once again with legitimate belief that we could be back here again, with another chance in another October.

*****

“I wish television would stop it,” sighed Claire Shulman, the former Queens borough president about the stereotyping of Queens by the media during the Mets' run. “Things have changed. We are no longer Archie Bunker town.”

9 comments:

dado said...

Well, it's a sad, sad day but I just wanted to take a second to thank you for your blogs this season. Entertaining, right down to the last strike. Hope you keep it up next year.

sanchez said...

What do you think? Barry Zito and Alfonso Soriano would be enough to get us to the World Series next year?

jabair said...

hey sanchez, you are providing a YANKTHESE solution to a mets problem with the mention of Soriano.

plus they guy will definately ruin our club house chemistry. plus i really dont think willie is a big fan of soriano.

good pitching always beats good hitting. we should go after zito.

as ive watched this team over the past 20 years, the worst thing you can do to the mets is let them load the bases, we had bucked that trend this year until game 7. we do not need another high strike out guy. we need a good defensive 2B who is a contact hitter. someone of the lo duca cloth.

Jaap said...

I agree about not wanting Soriano, jabair. I'm sure Omar will come up with the right set of new players though, either way. I'm getting a headache thinking about this already though...why don't we use our time more constructively and come up with a better Mets theme song?

sanchez said...

hey, soriano produces runs, simple fact. More than any Met did this season and that's hitting for a crap team like the Nationals. The Mets aren't always going to have the bases loaded and even if they did, he only struck out 4 times this season with the bases loaded, not to mention he bats righty which gives more balance to the Mets order. PLUS, he hit .385 at Turner Field this season. If you don't like his attitude or his fielding, fine but his bat not to mention his speed would be terrific assets.

jabair said...

we no longer have to worry about turner field.

Anonymous said...

Sanchez, Soriano does produce a ton of runs despite his low OBP and high K numbers, but to say he produced more runs than any Met is a joke. Beltran far outproduced him, and Reyes and Wright were both slightly better. As a corner outfielder, he could be a nice piece on this team. As a high-profile free agent at 2nd, he'd be a disaster.

Itsmetsforme said...

i had this weird dream that this site was updated with like 3 new posts. Now i come to see what a sad obsessive life i lead. There aren't any updates.

Anonymous said...

YES Im glad the MUTZ lost. They deserved it, their fans have no class and their players were overrated. David Wright (overrated as all get out) and Jose Reyes OVERRATED.