We weren’t supposed to get this far.
I haven’t yet read a single article or blog about last night–well, except my Cliffy’s. I’ve got to write my own take first–and once it’s down, I know I won’t be disappointed any more. Here’s what I wrote to Cliff Floyd at 2:38 AM:
We’re an injured team. We were supposed to be hobbled and down for the count before the counting ever began.
Well, that didn’t happen. Instead what happened was we made New York a Mets town again.
I remember all the way back at the beginning of the season when our standing in the division was #1, above the Braves. I almost took a screenshot of that, so I’d be able to show Rob that special Mets moment further–and lower–in the season. Because for my 3 years as a Mets fan to that point, that’s all I knew. I knew our team were fighters, but that maybe we just weren’t there yet.
Well, we are there. And we’re firmly ahead of schedule.
Omar Minaya thought he’d need 3 or 4 years to do what he’s done in 2. Look at the stunning trades he made to get us Maine, Perez, El Duque, Bert Hernandez, and all the others I know I’m missing. Getting Carlos Delgado was one of the most brilliant moves by any GM ever. (And Carlos, I love the **** out of you.) Omar’s a genius at creating a team. Not just a group with a certain skill set, or one able to fulfill certain strategies, which we’ve got. But a team. And it’s our team. Who other than the Mets, in all of baseball, better suits that word? No one. Thank you, Omar. Thanks for this special year.
We’re down Pedro Martinez, El Duque, Duaner Sanchez, Cliff Floyd. 4 out of 25 men. That’s almost a fifth of the whole team–and it’s some of our best guys. When Pedro was out of it, they said we had no chance. When El Duque fell? Well, then it was over before it began, now wasn’t it? What kind of Mets fairy dust went round that clubhouse? It’s as if the sheer energy of our guys boosted up the surprising, exciting, and absolutely welcome talents of John Maine and Oliver Perez. They pitched the games of their lives, and if that continues next year? One word for you: unstoppable.
But perhaps the greatest miracle of this year? Ever since I’ve been a Mets fan (since 2003), I’ve heard people dissin’ on the Mets. David Letterman. Conan O’Brien. News media. New Yorkers. Well, they’ve been eating their words this season, and especially this month. For the first time in over ten years, this city belongs to us again. We’ve got our own rocking network, with the greatly beloved Ron Darling, Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez. We’ve got pictures like this in the New York Times–the Style section of all places. We’ve got every fan–including me!–wearing Mets hats, shirts, jerseys, jackets all over town. My new Mets slogan for next year? Our Team. Our Town.
I’m not gonna "front" as I used to say (laughably) in Brooklyn. I’m disappointed. Every single time we had a key at bat, I truly, wholeheartedly believed, and somehow I thought that was all it would take. So I’m sad. But not overly so. I feel like the whole postseason experience was a stupendous extra. We had such a great *******’ year, and then so many let downs as our boys lost their health. But we battled. Boy, did we battle. Next season I’ll be a little scared–for the other teams, of course.
Cliff Floyd goes to surgery in a week. His last Achilles heel procedure left him strong and fantastic on the field. And we already know what a key asset he is in the clubhouse. I hope he comes back, and I know a lot of you are with me on that. And I want Endy back too. We got to witness last night one of the best all-time catches in postseason history. Not too shabby.
Goodbye 7 Train, and goodbye Shea. WE’RE GONNA GET ‘EM NEXT YEAR!
Our Team. Our Town.
Let’s Go Mets!