September 30, 2008
I had high hopes that this team could knock around Scott Olsen. I mean, really -- they had the entire season! And guess what....he pitched the best game he ever had against the Mets. Oliver was good but with the offense in such a slump the was nothing that he could do. When Church hit the ball, I thought it was gone at first but when the center fielder stopped in his tracks I just put my head down. As odd as it may sound, this game didn't lose the playoff chances for the Mets. All the previous games we blew when we should have won lost it for us. Today, we were just out pitched.
At least Perez got out of the first inning
September 30, 2008
PART 1: Just like 2007 at this time, a lot of hope coming into the game due to a strong pitching performance the day before but unfortunately the end result was also the same. Another season ending in disgust. The last game at Shea started 1 hour late due to some lingering rain and even though the rain cloud passed, it seemed like a cloud still hung over the Mets. The crowd was obviously into it but it seemed like everyone was waiting for the point where the game would be blown. Especially with no run support. With each mishap, things quickly got quiet and fans started getting more and more rageful. The Mets put out Oli Perez and he pitched well until the normal inning where the wheels fall off on him. he was replaced with the bullpen we all fear and I don't have to go into detail but there were a couple home runs involved that gave us the loss. Even on Shea's last day, some bad things don't change.
PART 2: The one and only bright spot for the Mets was Carlos Beltran's game tying home run. Carlos seems to always be a bright spot for us no matter what people say about him. Otherwise the Mets offensively did nothing threatening and had absolutely no intensity or heart the whole game even when they were being watched by countless Mets legends.
When it finally ended, the Mets couldn't get off the field quick enough as they got booed. Another season wasted. Another choke-filled stretch run. And something new this year, a massive amount of games blown by the bullpen.
When you look back, this game should have just been about Shea Stadium because the Mets should have had 100+ wins and would have clicked the division a long time ago. I guess the Mets like to fall short of providing a nice day to reflect on the memories of Shea.
PART 3: So the game was over but wait! There was still a big ceremony to be presented. Oh Joy! I'm sure all the fans were excited for that after the blue, orange, and white filth just left the field. A lot of fans left refusing the stay another minute because there was nothing left to get excited about. I was one of them but then I decided to go back. I don't know why but I guess I wanted to see some of the old Mets and take a look one last time. I went back to a random tunnel and stood there as the old players shuffled out.
This ceremony should have been before the game especially since everyone knew what was at stake that day. if the Mets lost, the fans would have been crushed and not that interested. Even though people cheered, that's how it was. It also probably would have included current Mets if it was before the game but after, who the hell wanted to see them? That kinda bothered me because even though they lost and they may have been booed if they came out there, they were still part of the Shea memories. Guys like Wright, Beltran, Delgado, and even now Santana have great memories here. I think they should have been out there and maybe said something to the crowd. I know what they went through that day but it's also kinda selfish and if they are going to get through this choking thing, it should have started then.
PART 4: So back to the ceremony. A lot of good names came out. People were happy Gooden came, Piazza also. Dykstra looked like hell and Hojo looked like someone killed his dog. Majority of players were '80's Mets. Lot of respect for Yogi coming out because he was truly a Yankee. Some surprises for me were Dave Kingman and George Foster that a lot of fans didn't like but welcomed them back anyhow.
After the last guy came in, I left immediately to beat the crowd. As I drove home, I wonder what the hell I was thinking going to the game knowing they would probably blow it. And after seeing all of those 1980's Mets, I knew if they were playing, they wouldn't have blown it. Even if they were down to their last strike. A lot of fight and heart in those teams which is surely missing from this team. Some people say that the 1986 Mets, if they lost game 6 to the Astros in the NLCS, would have found a way to beat Mike Scott in game 7 and the fans would have had faith in them because that's who they were. This team, a lot of fans knew after those 2 bullpen home runs, it was over because how much can the rest of the team take? If they came back that game, the pen would have given it up again.
Goodbye Shea and the 2008 bullpen, thanks for the memories.
September 30, 2008
Perhaps it was predictable that the Mets would lose again like this, given the fatally weak bullpen; they probably overachieved as it was.
But the whole day was surreal for me... I cried as I walked into Shea, and several times during the game. I actually was OK with the loss after a few minutes as I contemplated the end of Shea and what it represented to me - my youth (I'm 48 and attended my first game in 1968) and a lot of memories, baseball and otherwise. I probably went to at least 250 games in the 41 seasons since '68.
The post-game ceremony was wonderful; I couldn't stop sobbing, seeing guys like Ed Kranepool, Jim McAndrew, Cleon Jones, Yogi Berra, Tom Seaver, Rusty Staub, Darryl Strawberry, Gary Carter, Art Shamsky, Wayne Garrett, Dwight Gooden, Mike Piazza, etc. etc. on the field again in Mets jerseys.
I completely lost it, looking around and realizing that I would never be in there again, watching each guy touch home plate for the last time, and Tom taking the mound and throwing the last pitch to Mike.
Then there was nothing left but to leave, completely in tears walking down the ramp and into the parking lot, and I'm getting choked up all over again as I write this. I realize that I'm truly grieving for a lost loved one.
So long and farewell, old friend.
October 6, 2008
I wanted to score at least one more Mets game from Shea.
I was asked by my friend Greg Prince if I was going to score the final game at Shea. No, I replied, because I wanted the last game I score at Shea to be a playoff game. Thanks to Mr. Schoeneweis's "talent" to turn popgun hitters like Wes Helms into Ken Griffey, Jr., that opportunity was wrenched from me.
The last game I scored where the Mets played at Shea was on 23 September: Mets 6; Cubs 2.
It was nice. But I wanted more.
So did every other Mets fan.
We deserve better.
October 6, 2008
It was a BITTERSWEET day in more ways than one.
(1) We were hoping for a Mets win and a Brewers loss and ol' Shea would be alive for at least one more day. Except for the Beltran HR; you could have reported the Mets offense to the missing persons bureau. When the final score came from Miller Park, we were crushed but determined. Surely the Old Shea had one more comeback in it but when Delgado flied out to left in the 8th and Church made the last out in the 9th. Oh so close but yet so far away. (With Apologies to Frankie Valli.)
(2) The Florida Marlins post-game "celebration" was totally uncalled for in my opinion. They acted less like Major Leaguers and acted more like the Alpha Beta high school jock jerks who had pushed a 14-year skinny asthmatic kid down a flight of stairs.
(3) The farewell: What can I say? I was on my feet, cheering each Mets great and there were a few surprises (Willie Mays, Dave Kingman) and then the emotional home plate touching and the last pitch from The Franchise to Metal Mike.
But the clincher was when The Beatles "In My Life" played and both #41 and #31 walked to the outfield to close the door on a wonderful place that I have visited many times since the mid 1970's. Then I took some more pictures and I left with a few tears and a lump in my throat.
I'll finish with this quote: "GOODBYE MY FRIEND; I'M NEVER GONNA SEE YOU AGAIN." Peace!