Elster's World

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Amazin' Good Time

I was able to attend yesterday's Met game and Idecided to blog about it. As an aside, below this is my 200th post and some non-crime related fiction. If you missed it, you may want to take a look. Now onto post 201.

About 45 seconds after the Mets clinched the playoffs, I began pulling every string I could think of to round up some tickets to the games. I called people I barely knew, sent awkward emails for acquaintances and signed up for the Mets ticket lottery.

Who comes through? My dad of course. Dad always comes through so why would this be any different? He called me to tell me the good news – we had tickets to game one. Sure they were in the upper deck in deep right field, but who cares? A ticket to the playoffs is a ticket to the playoffs. It would be good to just be a part of the action.

So, ala ESPN’s Bill Simmons, I decided to keep a running diary of the game. Here’s what transpired (and as an aside, if you think I write this blog for anyone other than me, this post is 100% proof against you):

1:50 - After telling my secretary I have an “appointment” all afternoon, it’s off to mincha, followed by the world famous 7 train to Shea for some Mets baseball!

2:30 – Local is waiting in the station. Don’t do it. Gotta wait for an express. There are crazed Met fans everywhere. I have added a second goal to the afternoon (the first goal was having a great time) – getting out of Shea alive.

2:45 – Hmmm – no purple haired homosexuals with AIDS and not a homeless person in sight. What was John Rocker thinking. As an aside, I was hoping to be at Shea by now to soak up a little pre-game atmosphere. Alas. 2 feet to my right, a guy is explaining to his girlfriend the difference between Steve Smith (of my fantasy football fame) and ESPN’s loud Stephen A. Smith while she pretends to be interested. How do people of the opposite sex get married these days? On the bright side, her home made shirt is painted to look like a baseball.

3:01 I’m here!! Tons of jerseys everywhere. David Wright is blowing away the field, followed by Reyes/Beltran/Pedro. But there’s a fat guy in a Loduca, an old guy in a Seaver and, can that be…yes, a Ray Knight ’86 jersey. Now that’s good karma.

3:10 – I have just reached me seats and I am high. Luckily, I’m not afraid of heights. In fact, if I was any higher, I’d be viewing this game from the 747 that just made me duck. I don’t think even Delgado can reach us up here. Where’s Mo Vaughn when you need him? Luckily I did not bring my glove.

3:35 – Players start coming on the field for some pre-game sprints. In light of what happened to El Duque yesterday, you’d think management would have outlawed pre-game sprints on the outfield grass. Wright gets the biggest cheer as he comes out.

3:37 – Hey, there’s Joe. We are talking about the game. He seems excited to be here but resigned to a loss. I tell him I’m writing a diary of the game. He tells me he has his column ready and it’s basically an anti-Elster rant. Good times.

Note: Joe now tells me that he agreed with me that the Mets were going to win 6-4 (see below). Thus my comment about him being resigned to a loss is, well, slander. Or libel. Either way. My sincere apologies. Though he definately said the thing about the anti-Elster rant.

3:55 – 2 dogs and 2 pretzels - $17. 2 diet Pepsis - $8.50. Your dad taking just a pretzel and a Pepsi and giving you 20 dollars – Priceless.

4:15 Maine cruising after one inning. The mst exciting thing that happened was a fan touched a pop foul fly and got destroyed by the entire stadium. Apparently he’s an A-hole.

4:16 – Hey, the Dodger fan sitting a section away from me is an a-hole too. There seem to be lotsa a-holes in the park today.

4:17 – A potential rally falls short after Wright grounds out with 2 on. I’m waiting for Beltran to explode like he did in 2003. Can we legitimately expect 16 homeruns by hin this post-season or am I being greedy.

4:30 – Green to Valentin to LoDuca DOUBLE PLAY at the plate. What just happened? That was the craziest thing I’ve ever seen. The place is absolutely pandemonium right now. Is that serendipity or what. Uh oh, next batter doubles home a run. 1-0 Dodgers. But still, could have been lots worse.

4:45 1-2-3 for the Mets. D-Lowe is starting to look like a cross between Roger Clemmens and Sandy Kofax. I wish I was drunk right now.

4:51. Maine counters with a 1-2-3 of his own. Emergency starter my butt. He’s John Maine, ace of the staff right now (and sadly, I may not be joking). As Maine settles down, I think it’s time to get him some runs. Mets look flat on offense right now. On the bright side, the guy behind me knows all the words to Meet The Mets and New York’s Bravest just put out a huge fire in the center field parking lot.

5:10 – The guy two seats to my left goes “Homerun Delgado, I’m calling it right now” followed by…HOMERUN Delgado! My section is going nuts. We are all slapping fives. 2 batters later…homerun Floyd. We are all positively giddy right now. There’s blood in the water….unfortunately Shawn Green can’t smell it and makes out to end the inning. 2-1 Mets.

5:25 – Willie just took out Maine with 2 on and 1 out in the fifth. Talk about a short leash. Too early? Nope. Feliciano strikes out Lofton and Bradford induces a Nomar groundout. Give Willie that one.

5:47 – Mota sends the Dodgers down 1-2-3 in the sixth with 2k’s and 17 menacing looks. Mets holding a precarious 2-1 lead at this point.

5:54 – Delgado (3 for 3) singles LoDuca to third. Wrigth double scores two. 4-1 Mets. Grady Little decides to pull D-Lowe. Similarly to 2003, he’s an inning too late. Green attempts to kill another rally by striking out and after Valentin gets hit, Mota flies out to end the sixth. My dad and I debate Willie’s move to bat Mota instead of Julio Franco to try and bust the game open. I say it’s a sure sign the Willie doesn’t trust Roberto Hernandez to pitch in a big game. I can’t say I blame him but I would have liked a few more runs.

6:10 – a horrible decision by Valentin puts runners on the corners with no outs and almost kills Reyes. Dodgers make it 4-2, followed by a soul crushing double by Nomar to tie the game. Shea is a tomb right now. I’m nearly catatonic. Willie’s decision blows up in our collective faces. A Mota K “limits” the damage to 4-4.

6:28 – Reyes works out a walk to start things off. Crowd is stirring. After a LoDuca out, Jose steals second followed by Beltran’s third walk of the day. Up comes a sizzling hot Delgado…single! Mets back up 5-4, followed by a bloop double from Wright – 6-4 Mets. Shoot I lost my pen. Luckily dad has another one so I can keep torturing you. Floyd strikes out followed by a Shawn Green groundout. These two black holes are going to completely kill us in the post-season (and yes, I am conveniently forgetting that Floyd hit a homerun in the third).

6:45 – Three up, three down for a very focused looking Aaron Heilman. As an aside, teams starting Marlon Anderson have no business being in the playoffs.

6:54 – Delgado (4-4) up with 2 outs and the bases juiced. “We need a double and three runs to be comfortable,” I tell my dad. I clearly have no faith in Billy Wagner.

7:05 – Wait...it’s…can it be...it is…Enter Sandman.- It’s Billy Wagner’s theme sound. Let’s close it out and go home boyts.

7:13 – WAGNER IS KILLING ME RIGHT NOW. The fans in the upper deck and turning on him faster than the crew of the Bounty. It’s 6-5 with a runner in scoring position and Nomar up. Wagner gets him to strike out and the game is over!! Mets win 6-5. It should be noted at this point, as I slap hands with everyone in my section, that I predicted a 6-4 Mets win. Joe can back me up on this.

We all happily filed out of Shea to chants of Let’s Go Mets and, of course, the obligatory Yankee’s Suck chant. But we fans don’t have a Yankee complex or anything.

Couple of post game thoughts:

- The LoDuca double play, it turns out, is the first time in playoff history that 2 batters made out at home plate on the same play. And what made it cooler – after the game, LoDuca said he had no idea that Drew was even near home plate except the umpire tipped him off. Serendipity.

- In retrospect (and even at the time) I thought Willie should have pinch hi for Mota with the bases loaded. And I think he would have if he hadn’t dipped into the bullpen in the fifth. I’m getting the sense that we won’t be seeing much of Royce Ring and Roberto “Grandpa” Hernandez in the playoffs.

- Welcome to the post season Carlos Delgado. It seems to agree with you and David Wright too. Reyes got a slow start but finished strong.

- Shawn Green and Cliff Floyd and 2 horrendous defensive players. Add in Green’s four terrible at bats and I think we will be seeing a lot more Endy Chavez starting today.

- All in all, it was a great experience. The seats were high, the crowd was great, the game exciting and – most important – the Mets won. Gotta protect your house in the playoffs and the Mets took care of business.

Here’s hoping for a three game sweep so we can put Oliver Perez away.


  • "3:37 – Hey, there’s Joe. We are talking about the game. He seems excited to be here but resigned to a loss. I tell him I’m writing a diary of the game. He tells me he has his column ready and it’s basically an anti-Elster rant. Good times."

    That's simply false, and you know it. I was indeed excited. You predicted a 6-4 win, and I said that I agreed! I jokingly told you that if the Mets lose I'll blame you.

    " fan touched a pop foul fly and got destroyed by the entire stadium"

    Well yeah, he took the ball away from Delgado. Jerk.

    "I clearly have no faith in Billy Wagner."

    I'm starting to finally have a little nachas from Elster.

    " I predicted a 6-4 Mets win. Joe can back me up on this."

    Exactly, and my exact reply was "I agree." How could you say that I was resigned to a loss?

    "We all happily filed out of Shea to chants of Let’s Go Mets and, of course, the obligatory Yankee’s Suck chant"

    Pathetic. Not only don't Yanks suck, but the only team with a chance to beat them - the Twins - will soon be gone. I'm just about resigned to a Yanks World Series victory.

    " I’m getting the sense that we won’t be seeing much of Royce Ring and Roberto “Grandpa” Hernandez in the playoffs."

    Agreed, so why keep 12 pitchers. We could use Milledge on the roster.

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 10:34 AM  

  • I didn't hear you agree. if so, I apologize. Though the anti-elster part I definately heard.

    Yankee Suck chants are bush league. They are the best team in baseball right now. I did not chant yanks suck for the record.

    Wagner makes me nervous. Not Looper or Benitez nervous, but nervous.

    Ring makes no sense. Should have had Millege.

    By Blogger Elster, at 10:39 AM  

  • The "anti-Elster" stuff was clearly a joke. You're getting too sensitive.

    Wagner sucks. Funny thing is I've gone to three games this season with my friend Eric, who's what I'd call a very casual baseball fan - enjoys going to games but doesn't follow MLB regularly. First game we went to, Heilman did a good job in the 8th, Wagner came in the 9th with a two run lead, gave up two runs.

    Second game we went to, Heilman got a 1-2-3 eighth, Wagner came in the 9th with a two run lead, gave up three runs.

    Last night when Wagner came in, he was screaming - leave Heilman in, don't put Wagner in, he sucks. Fans looked at him like he was crazy.

    Wagner blowing saves is all he knows.

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 10:45 AM  

  • "Thus my comment about him being resigned to a loss is, well, slander. Or libel."

    Not slander, unless you orally repeated it. Just libel.

    I am never resigned to a loss and am among the loudest fans in the stadium.

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 10:47 AM  

  • I am not sensitive. The anti-Elster stuff is all in jest. The only contant I strive for here at The World is humor.

    Heilman was very focused last night. When he is that focused, he's untouchable in his inning.

    By Blogger Elster, at 10:53 AM  

  • wow that was a long post. i was waiting for this one ever since the game ended, but it was worth the wait. i loved the way you wrote it diary style. i have done the shorter version for some games i went to. next postseason game i go to (unfortunately probably not for a while) i plan on doing the same thing. keeps it fresh in your mind. gave me a taste of the real atmosphere that beat listening to the game on radio (even though i did).

    By Blogger bellanny, at 12:33 PM  

  • oh and thanks for not resorting to the Yankees suck chant. i like the reasoning. it makes no sense. if we didn't make the playoffs then feel free to rub it in, but that chant is far from the truth so don't delude yourselves. althogh it must be fun ;-) they should have started up a braves suck chant. i'm sure you waited a long time to be able to really rub that in.

    By Blogger bellanny, at 12:38 PM  

  • The funny thing about Mets Braves is that Mets fans only hate the Braves when they are actually playing them. Otherwise, we really don;t give them too muchb thought. We are too busy destroying out own team and overly focusing on the Yankees.

    By Blogger Elster, at 12:56 PM  

  • Now that Yanks lost today we can say "Yankees suck." Perhaps.

    By Blogger Joe Schick, at 4:33 PM  

  • Excellent news. If the Mets somehow overcome their pitcing woes and make it to the series, losing in 4 games the the yankees would be just a horrendous way to finish the year.

    And while "Yankees Suck" jeers may be unfounded "A-rod Sucks" jeers gain momentum every day.

    By Blogger Elster, at 5:10 PM  

  • sticks out toungue...A-Rod sucks chants are pretty much unfounded too
    sigh :-(

    By Blogger bellanny, at 10:25 PM  

  • 0-4 three k's. Unfounded??

    By Blogger Elster, at 9:15 AM  

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