The only entertaining, non-Reyes aspect to Tuesday night's blowout loss (to be confused with Monday's night's blowout loss, but try to keep them separate) was a conversation between Keith and Gary that led to a startling revelation:
Keith Hernandez was upset that the Shea DJs That Be blasted “Who Let The Dogs Out?” after the Mets won Game Three of the 2000 World Series.
Gary Cohen seemed startled. I was actually shocked into laughing, something I hadn't done any of since the Mets boarded the Acela in Washington.
Keith's got it in for the Baha Men?
Yes, our Mex was hot (in the non-Paris Hilton usage sense) that the Mets were somehow rubbing it in the Yankees' face that they had just won a game. Never mind that this had become the Mets' anthem across late September and October. Never mind that the Yankees assaulted every victim with Frank Sinatra's latter-day warbling. Never mind that baseball stadia play songs after baseball games. Keith thought that “Who Let The Dogs Out?” fired up the Yankees, that the playing of a team fight song (you can debate among yourselves the efficacy of the song in question) slapped them in the face, that it was inappropriate given that the Mets still trailed the Series one game to two, that is was no wonder Derek Jeter hit Bobby Jones' first pitch over the fence the next night.
Keith is very fucking weird sometimes.
Of course this was also the same postseason in which the Athletics apparently had the inside track on the ALDS in Oakland until someone behind the scenes brainlessly beamed the pregame press conference onto their DiamondVision during Game Five BP. Eric Chavez was up on the big screen answering a question with a little youthful bravado, declaring the Yankees had been great but now it was the A's time to shine. Down on the field, the doddering Yankee dynasty turned up its hearing aid and was aghast, just enough to have a big first inning and hold on for dear life. That helped gild their path to the Subway Series if you believe in the power of video board material.
I don't know what Citizens Bank Park plays when the Phillies win, as they've been doing with alarming regularity this week. Given the Mets' failure to do anything with Cole Hamels, Randy Wolf or Jon Lieber — cumulative score: Phils 27 Jose 4 — it oughta be “It's The Same Old Song” by the Four Tops.
Shea blares BTO's “Takin' Care of Business” for wins, an excellent tune if a dubious message. It's very presumptuous and not a little generic, but at the last two wins I attended, I couldn't not rock out down the exit ramps and neither could my companions. In that sense, I suppose it works and I wouldn't screw with it. But they've gotta do something about the loss music.
Where is it written in the unwritten rules that we have to leave Shea like Schleprock? The two songs used to see us to our cars, trains and ferries this year have been Natalie Imbruglia's melancholy “Torn” and Coldplay's wistful “Clocks”. I like them both in other contexts, but quit dictating my emotions. Quit telling me that in a little while now, if I'm not feeling any less sour, I promise myself to treat myself to a visit to a nearby Serval Zipper tower. I feel bad enough as it is without the manipulative musical accompaniment.
It was worse in 1998 when, for reasons known only to the person who chooses these babies, every loss brought on a recording of the theme from Jurassic Park. It was mournful and instantly reminding that we had just been stomped back to the Stone Age by the Braves or Expos or somebody. “New York State of Mind” was a more benign bye-bye. One assumes somebody said to somebody else, “The Yankees use 'New York New York' whether they win or lose. We should do something like that.” Yeah, but you only used it when we lost. Some folks like to get away, take a holiday from watching Kevin Appier or Bruce Chen get lit up. Thankfully, we're no longer in a “New York State of Mind”.
Unfortunately, we still do lose home games from time to time (or in my case, a lot of the time). I humbly suggest to Mr. Vito Vitiello, Shea's producer, video/entertainment services and the guy who I believe makes these choices, to try “Right Back Where We Started From” by Maxine Nightingale the next time our boys fall short.
Ooh and it's all right
And it's comin' 'long
We gotta get right back
To where we started from
Love is good
Love can be strong
We gotta get right back
To where we started from
Between the indefatigable lyrics and the deft deployment of what sounds like a beta version of The Clapper, this is the happiest goddamn song I know. It's like “Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy” without Ren & Stimpy irony. My dear friend and our occasional illustrator Jim Haines once told me I like happy, snappy songs as if I needed to get vaccinated for it. Well, yeah, I like happy, snappy songs and there's nothin' wrong with it (Ms. Nightingale's 1976 smash is No. 262 on my All-Time Top 500). At the risk of shoving a happy helmet firmly onto everybody's head, I think everybody should be happy when happy songs are heard.
But we're not happy when we don't win? Yes, that's exactly it! We need something to boost us out of our orange-and-blues, something that tells us the sun will come out tomorrow without explicitly using that saccharine number from Annie. Getting back to where we started from this year means getting back to our winning ways. And most of the time those winning ways are only a day away.
Or, if you're waiting for a wakeup call from the operator at the Westin Philadelphia, maybe never.