There is a tendency to overreact to the last thing seen. And ya know what? It’s the best tendency in the world.
I was at Game One today and I had the most awesome time ever, it was the greatest game ever, the greatest win ever. The Mets are the most excellent team ever and the Dodgers suck like nobody else ever has.
Who needs it?
Let history steamroll and iron out the details. I just know that Shea Stadium was never as pumped for anything as it was for this mighty win. Except for the occasional ball one or strike two to the wrong batter, we were loud, we were proud, we were Mets. We didn’t shut up. I like to make the case for silence between pitches to permit necessary contemplation and all that crap, but this is the playoffs. It was fun to keep up the noise for nine innings. It was vital.
Besides, if it weren’t for crowd reaction, I might not have gleaned the turning point of the game and maybe all time, the eye-rubbing, throat-catching, you-gotta-be-kidding double tag at home plate in the second. I’ve seen replays since, but in person, here’s how it went, at least in my head:
Shit, it’s gonna fall in. It’s at the wall. C’mon Green, get to it. Get it in. Kent’s gonna score, but maybe we can get Drew. Somebody’s in front of me, let me peek around. Did he tag him? He tagged him! He’s out! Whoa, what’s that roar? Ohmigod, he tagged somebody else! Wait! He got Kent in the first place? And THEN he got Drew? Holy crap! There’s two outs and no runs on the scoreboard! HOLY FUCK! OHMIGOD!
It would have been so wrong to have not won after that and the Mets complied with all that was right. A brilliant day, a brilliant view from high atop beautiful Western Flushing. A fantastic crowd from the obligatory SUX! that followed every Dodger introduction (especially for hitting coach Eddie Murray but not for Marlon Anderson, though I imagine his goodwill has expired) to the spontaneous vocal accompaniment to Branford Marsalis’s “Star Spangled Banner” to every Met motion toward the good, whether Maine’s four innings, Carlos D’s four hits, Wright’s clutchrageous batting or every reliever providing relief. Billy Wagner gave up one run, but he wasn’t gonna give up two. How did I know? ‘Cause we wouldn’t let him.
For those of you scoring at home I went with the New York Giants cap, using the logic I applied in May when I wore the California Angels hat to psych out the Yankees. That’s right you Los Angeles fuckers, you’re not safe playing New York’s National League representatives on October 3 or October 4. Fifty-five years ago, it was a Shot. Today it was two tags. Go back to your crappy Ravine. Sure enough, I saw a guy in a Brooklyn cap on the train on the way in and I stared at him through three stops until he seemed unnerved.
I experienced a weird runup to first pitch. Around 12:30, I became very jumpy. Not “oh no John Maine is starting, Royce Ring is around, god only knows” nervous, just good old “it’s October and the Mets are playing and nothing — nothing — is more important because geez, this is exactly what we hope and pray and play for all the days of our lives” nervous. It was really here. Picking the Giants cap was a big deal. Fixing two turkey sandwiches on whole wheat and wrapping them in foil (I’ve NEVER thought to do that, even when I was a kid) was a big deal. Parking in a local municipal lot halfway to my train was a new and potentially momentum-affecting thing. Theoretically I wanted to treat everything like it was just another game, but it wasn’t. Shake things up. Lose that 9-13 record from the regular season. I’m 1-0 baby.
We all are.