My heart going boom boom boom…
In the first at-bat I saw today, Mike Piazza came up with two on and took Ramiro Mendoza high over the left field wall and up on to the roof of the VIP tent. We went ahead of the Yankees 7-6.
In the second at-bat I saw today, Mike Piazza put a charge into a John Smoltz pitch and rocketed it over the right-centerfield wall. In the blink of an eye, we had overcome a five-run deficit and were tied at seven.
In the third at-bat I saw today, Mike Piazza blitzed the first offering from Terry Mulholland on a line straight to the left field auxiliary scoreboard. It bounced back onto the grass but not before it capped off a 10-run inning.
In the fourth at-bat I saw today, Mike Piazza ran around the bases to no musical accompaniment. What I remember was the one long cheer, punctuated only by the rustling of miniature American flags.
I would have liked to have seen one more at-bat from Mike Piazza. But after eight seasons, I had seen all I could possibly hope to see.
…son, he said…
To be uncharacteristically generous about it, I got all I needed from the Mets in Game 162, Home Game 81, The Log Game 19 (10-9). Except for Anderson Hernandez bolting from the schneid, none of what I hoped would happen happened in terms of team or individual goals (the only Mientkiewicz sighting was when he warmed up Takatsu, for cryin’ out loud), but, in a perverse way, just as well. The victorious, alone-in-third, 84-78 Mets would have had me overly giddy and believing we were just one or two players away. The Rockie-topped, tied-for-third, 83-79 Mets are a reminder that those one or two players are, to borrow from Dick Young, Walter Johnson and Babe Ruth.
We’re not bad. We’re not great. We’re all right. On the final day of the season, that, lovely weather and a few friends are really all I need.
The Mets are no doubt a strange organization with a physical plant to match. They sort of, kind of operate in a half-baked, half-assed manner, but here we are, us and them, still doing business together after all these years. They have what we want and they know it. Still, I will miss finding my way to Shea between now and sometime in April. Queens is just another borough with a series of railroad tracks until then. Whatever it is I do on ever chillier and darker Sunday afternoons, it won’t be nearly as much fun.
And when they brighten and warm, whoever catches won’t be nearly as amazing.
…grab your things, I’ve come to take you home.