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Greg Prince and Jason Fry
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

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The Unwanted Legend of Game Seven

Oliver Perez is taking the ball against Detroit Wednesday, starting in consecutive games or going on 132 days’ rest, depending on how you choose to view this terribly overdue Mets-Tigers matchup. Either way, our boys will be lacing up spikes that are not — no matter how much elbow grease the clubhouse staff has put into it — 100% clean.

Gum chewed more than four months ago is stuck to the bottom of our collective sole. It’s from Game Seven. I don’t think it will be easily scraped off.

Did you think it was gone? Just because the calendar turned from 2006 to 2007? Just because almost everybody said the usual things about moving on and putting it behind us? It doesn’t work that way, not in baseball, not with losing a humongous baseball game.

Now, that doesn’t mean the result from Game Seven is particularly foreboding where near-term success is concerned. In fact, as previously suggested, it could serve as motivation or inspiration for a team rocking the unfinished agenda angle. Or maybe it will be a drag on things. Mostly, I imagine, it won’t matter one way or the other once this season gets underway, not in a tangible 2007 sense.

But it will always be with us on some level.

Losses don’t loom any larger than those that delete you from the postseason. We’ve experienced five. Within that universe there is a subset: the winner-take-all/loser-go-home affair. We’ve lost three. Those are the toughest. But then you whittle down within the seventh-game defeats, the most exclusive club in all of sporting disappointments, and you find there is an even more elite group: the seventh game you lose at the very end.

That was the 2006 National League Championship Series, Game Seven. That’s the gum. That’s the legend. The Legend of Game Seven. We don’t want it. But it won’t come clean. We saw that as Spring Training got going and the indelible events of October 19 re-emerged with reflections and recriminations pinging all over the continent like a severely botched rundown.

In a perverse way (a very perverse way), I get a kick out of there being a legend growing from the ninth inning…or should we say The Ninth Inning? I’d prefer the legend be one that involves an additional base hit, but it’s more than just a rally come up short now. It’s baseball lore. Was Willie Randolph really confused? Did Jerry Manuel pull the strings? Is Cliff Floyd remembering things the way he wants, facts be damned?

Last week, Cliff and Willie and Jerry and David Wright all weighed in on what wasn’t even the decisive at-bat of the ninth inning, Cliff’s time up. He was only the first out. Two outs remained, yet three days of reporting was devoted to several sides of its story.

That’s how big Game Seven was.

Carlos Beltran barely puts down his bags at Tradition Field and he is asked by the Met media to relive the out that didn’t require all that much interpretation.

“It was a nasty pitch. I saw it, but I couldn’t do anything with it.”

On the other side of the boxscore, the happier side, Adam Wainwright quite justifiably revels in the memories, even the part where Valentin and Chavez reach him for base hits to start the ninth.

“Every fan at Shea Stadium was crushing me. All year I never heard the crowd. But I could hear them this time, and they were letting me have it.”

Then the kid decided he was going to get Beltran, no doubts about it, at least not in hindsight.

“I knew I was going to get the job done. I said to myself, ‘I am going to throw this curveball like it’s the best curveball I ever threw in my life.'”

So he did. And that was that.

No it wasn’t.

It’s not the end of the story. The story never ends. It’s in Limahl territory. Everything surrounding Game Seven will linger, will flare, will recede and then reappear when we’re not looking for it. Don’t be fooled by the enticement of a new season. This old business has been cobbled into our codicil. We’re passing this baby on for generations. And even though it is we who are stuck with it, it’s not just ours either. It’s baseball history, the kind that doesn’t carry an expiration date. It will be brought to our attention on and off for as long as anyone who remembers it first-, second- or third-hand sees something that’s remotely reminiscent of it. It will be an inconvenient truth, shallow shorthand for those who need a quick and dirty precedent on the fly.

• The notoriously undependable pitcher who unearths a gem at the least likely moment? Just like Oliver Perez in Game Seven!
• The otherwise unremarkable hurler who turns unhittable when it counts like crazy? Just like Jeff Suppan in Game Seven!
• The catch and throw that leaves you rubbing your eyes? Just like Endy Chavez in Game Seven!
• The sense of inevitable momentum-shifting following a catch and throw that leaves you rubbing your eyes? Just like the bases loading after Endy Chavez in Game Seven!
• The immediate sense of doom that arises when the sense of inevitable momentum-shifting following a catch and throw that leaves you rubbing your eyes doesn’t pan out? Just like the bases being left loaded after Endy Chavez in Game Seven!
• The .216 regular-season hitter who jerks a two-run homer in the top of the ninth of a tie game that will decide who goes to a World Series? Just like Yadier Fucking Molina in Game Seven!
• The manager’s decision to bunt or not to bunt down two with two on and nobody out and not much bench? Just like Willie Randolph and Cliff Floyd and perhaps Jerry Manuel in Game Seven!
• The nasty pitch that nothing can be done with and/or the best curveball ever thrown in one’s life?

Just like Game Seven in the 2006 National League Championship Series, the one that hinged on any number of moves, actions, successes and failures, but stopped when Adam Wainwright froze Carlos Beltran on oh-and-two.

Quick aside: I was wheeling a shopping cart through my Pathmark’s cereal aisle several weeks ago, and suddenly staring out at me from the General Mills shelf was a Wheaties box. Not just any Wheaties box, but a Wheaties box with Chris Carpenter’s picture on the front. I did what any sensible Mets fan would do. I turned around every box of Wheaties so nobody within the sound of my angst would have to look at a 2006 World Champion St. Louis Cardinal selling cereal on the South Shore of Long Island.

Chris Carpenter didn’t even pitch in Game Seven. But that’s beside the point. Game Seven is everywhere we don’t want it to be. It’s the cupcake topped with a limitless layer of frosting if you’re a Cardinals fan. It’s a bottomless bowl of kale and lima bean stew if you’re us.
Yeech. Just like Game Seven.

It’s a contest with different meanings for different players. Oliver Perez has immediate prospects thanks to his six innings of one-run ball. Endy Chavez will bask in the terminally bittersweet glow of what he grabbed for as long as he can. Aaron Heilman, the reliever who made Molina famous, is either terminally hung up on it or getting over it as we speak. Jose Reyes may or may not be haunted by what he says the Mets suggested the Cardinals could do with their chances directly after Endy gave Willie Mays a run for his immortal money:

“Take your bags and go home.”

Jose’s too swift to be caught by a ghost, but it’s obvious the spirit of Game Seven hangs over Metsopotamia. Maybe not as a going concern — Carlos Beltran will live to swing another day — but it’s in the atmosphere. If may not get in the way of the manager, his coaches and their players as they pursue a second consecutive division title (and it certainly doesn’t have to), but we, the fans, will live with it from here to kingdom come.

How can I be so sure? Can I see the future? Don’t have to. I’ve been around the past.

More than five years ago I sat in a room of New York Giants fans who were commemorating The Shot Heard Round The World and communing with their hero of heroes, Bobby Thomson. They were thrilled, grateful, ecstatic all over again. “Thank you, Bobby,” one of them said, “for allowing us to break those Brooks’ balls 50 years ago.” Almost five years later, I sat in another room, this one dotted by more Dodgers than Giants fans. Guess who spoke louder, representatives of the contented ball-breaking contingent or those who were still trying to restitch the tender horsehide of their swollen memories 55 years after the fact?

When Joshua Prager appeared with Bobby Thomson and Ralph Branca last September to discuss The Echoing Green, his remarkable history of The Shot and everything after, it was the Dodgers fans who made themselves heard. The Lincoln Center Barnes & Noble had morphed into the Chuck Dressen Complaint Department. These people had waited five-and-a-half decades to register their official protests regarding what went wrong on October 3, 1951 (though I’m fairly certain this wasn’t the first time any of them had mentioned it lately). My Giants friends may still be satisfied, but not nearly as much as their Dodger counterparts are pissed.

Fifty-five years. Going on 56.

That very same week, HBO premiered Wait ’til Next Year, a touching documentary charting the downs and further downs of everybody’s favorite futile franchise, the Chicago Cubs. The heart of the story was 1969, a year remembered in these parts as the best of times, reviled in those parts as something far less. HBO dug up fantastic footage we never saw during Channel 9 rain delays, none better from our provincial perspective than the exclamation point — a local lady reporter filing a report from a desolate, rainy Wrigley Field on the second Saturday of that October. We should be in Baltimore playing the Orioles right now, she said. Instead, nothing doing.

“It’s a lousy day in Chicago.”

I laughed my head off of course. Their pain is the foundation of my lifetime obsession not to mention the crux of my happiest childhood experience. I don’t remember many details from August and September of 1969, but watching the Cubs implode and the Mets rush by them, even in grainy film clips, brought back every wonderful new emotion I experienced as a six-year-old. It was a lousy day in Chicago? Who cared? It was a great year to become a Mets fan!

It’s awfully nice to be on the right side of these baseball cataclysms as I consider myself to have been by proxy for 1951 and was for sure, albeit on training wheels, during 1969. Oh, and 1986…Buckner. Beautiful. Always will be. SNY can try to reduce that World Series to wallpaper, but it never, ever, ever gets old to see that ball roll through those legs and trickle onto the outfield grass before nestling forever inside a puffy, cumulus cloud of heaven. Twenty-plus years that image has looped through my mind now and I’d challenge whoever said losing hurts more than winning feels good to a smirkoff. Make all the misguided movies you want about somebody else coming up short in Game Six. I’ll always have a better one flickering in my head.

But now I am on the other side of the fault line, more than I’ve ever been before. I’ve got Game Seven and it’s presented in Sensurround. This isn’t the unfriendly confines of a 1979 or a 1993, horrible in a thousand dreadful ways, but at least they’re private hell. This isn’t some obscure Luis Aguayo moment or even the relative anonymity of a five-game losing streak that prevents you from entering October. The whole world wasn’t watching in 1987 and 1998. It’s not even the one-two punch of Brian Jordan and Brian Jordan again from 2001, the worst I ever felt watching essentially the same two ballgames six wretched days apart. It killed us, but you still have to explain it to an outsider.

This, Game Seven, was the Mets when they were supposed to win. When they had their fate and the bat in their hands. That, I think, is what separates the 2006 version of Game Seven from the other slammed doors in Mets postseason history. We lost in searing fashion in 1999 to the Braves and 2000 to the Yankees, but those didn’t go to seventh games. Felt like they did, but they didn’t.

People still debate Yogi Berra’s decision to bypass George Stone in favor of short-rested Seaver and Matlack with a 3-2 lead over Oakland in 1973 (I actually heard a caller to WFAN bring it up last night). Really, they don’t debate it at all. Nobody except Tom Seaver has ever defended it with any kind of vigor. But those were those A’s and we were all probably kind of shocked to have crashed their dynastic party as deeply as we did. The cumulative effect of losing that World Series may have stung like mad, but neither of the final two losses against them, though both were close, was a 2006-style heartbreaker.

We weren’t supposed to beat the A’s in ’73. We were supposed to beat the Dodgers in ’88, but that seventh game got out of hand early. The turning point then was three games earlier, Scioscia versus Gooden. But planting the blame on a pitch or pitching decision from the ninth inning of the fourth game when…

a) the lead should have been more than 4-2 entering the ninth
b) the game went to the twelfth
c) the bases were loaded in our favor in the bottom of that twelfth
d) the series was tied with three games to go even after Hershiser got McReynolds

….smacks of revisionist history. It’s been said the Scioscia home run destroyed the era, that it tumbled a dynasty that never was. I lived through it. I don’t buy it. The Mets would have two years after ’88 of coming close and not winning. I simply remember the home run, in real time, as an unfortunate blow delivered by an opposition batter. Our not scoring earlier that evening or later that morning (and the next afternoon) is what struck me as the killing blows of that NLCS.

And we still could have won back in Los Angeles.

As engraved in after-the-fact consciousness as it became, I don’t recall Mike Scioscia’s dastardly deed being rewound and featured ad nauseum in the winter of 1988-89 or the spring that followed it on whatever media existed in those semi-dark ages. We lost that NLCS in seven games. Game Four was pivotal, but it was the fourth game.

Everything about Game Seven, our Game Seven like we’ve never had one before — the one we won, in ’86, was superswell, but is it the Game you think of immediately when you think of ’86? — is different from everything that preceded it. There’s been no Met loss like it. Whatever you think of Heilman’s Thursday pitch to Molina (Mota and Wagner each had a pretty lousy series against St. Louis, so maybe it was just a matter of time before someone in red got to Aaron), it’s the last licks you remember, the last lick in particular.

This wasn’t Jon Matlack instead of Tom Seaver and Tom Seaver instead of George Stone; or Doc Gooden instead of Randy Myers; or Kenny Rogers instead of Octavio Dotel; or Al Leiter instead of John Franco. This was Carlos Beltran. This was the Mets on offense, our most powerful weapon cocked and loaded, a trigger man left fingering what could have or should have been pulled.

This was the crossroads of dominance (14 wins better, home field advantage) and doggedness (we get knocked down, but we get up again, you’re never going to keep us down). This was where our mythical, miraculous mettle would be proven to all. To the Cardinals. To the country. To us.
This — rookie pitcher walks Lo Duca to load the bases for Beltran who already has three homers in the series — was too perfect.

Too perfect.

Whether last October 19 represents the worst loss in Mets history is subjective stuff to begin with, but it’s absolutely unknowable on this February 27. There’s no record you can pin down to make the case, no Rennie Stennett or Sunny Jim Bottomley numerical explosion for your pinpointing pleasure. There is no PECOTA test that will reveal which is our worst episode ever of Lost. You can tell your statistics to shut up. It’s gloom plus gut multiplied by time and future circumstance, a formula impossible to convert to reliable equation at this hour.

If this was our one shot at the big time in this generation, then it’s perhaps as bad as anything between 1962 and forever. We remember Scioscia because after 1988 everything went downhill.

Yet if the Mets played a little more competently in a series at Wrigley in the summer of ’89, maybe they beat out the Cubs for the division and who knows what we do that October? (Not that beating us out in ’89 and ’84 and ’98 has done a damn thing to salve Cubbie fans’ psychic wounds from 38 years ago.) Likewise, a couple of hits here and saves there down the stretch in 1990 might have made 1988 a footnote bracketed by two championships. I doubt Aaron Boone remains quite as horrendous for Red Sox rooters as Dent and Buckner did because it was avenged in a timely manner…if the accomplishments of one season can be said to truly compensate for the shortcomings of another. Those Dodgers fans at the Barnes & Noble in 2006 didn’t seem particularly sated by the four pennants their Bums won in 1952, 1953, 1955 and 1956 to say nothing of Brooklyn’s world championship in ’55. Getting beat in 1951 apparently beats all.

Preseason predictions are uniformly useless, but on the eve of our first exhibition, I’ll proffer one anyhow: If we go five wins further in October 2007 than we did in October 2006, we’ll probably still gnash our teeth over Game Seven at a later date, but it won’t sting the same. In fact, it likely becomes character-building fodder for the greater narrative, a new and uplifting chapter in a franchise history that already alternates between life-affirming and clinically depressing with skip-stop service unpredictability. That championship train we’ve been waiting on is bound to show up eventually. One of these nights, the doors will open exactly where we’re standing and we’ll ride it express all the way home. Maybe that night is no more than one month of practice and seven months of achievement away.

And if we don’t exceed the bottom line that was smudged beyond creative accounting by last year’s stunning conclusion? Then the third rail, like that third strike, is something we’ll find ourselves looking at for a little too long.

26 comments to The Unwanted Legend of Game Seven

  • Anonymous

    Do Red Sox fans flagellate themselves this badly nowadays? Nope. At least, not since '04.
    We'll be back there again. And again, and again, ad nauseum/infinitum. In the meantime, we'll wrack up titles and pennants. Give me one 10 year stretch of such success, with only one WS trophy, and I'll be a happy Mets fan. Give me one WS trophy followed by years of crappy finishes, and I'll be– a Mets fan.

  • Anonymous

    I get it.
    There are days when I catch myself staring off into space, thinking…why didn't he swing. At least try to foul it off…..why…basese loaded with The Man at the plate….why.
    No denying it. It still hurts.

  • Anonymous

    Game seven . . . I was there. Row U (is there such a thing? I was one row from the top of the UD, in tickets won in the lottery). The eerie quiet in the stadium afterwards was worse than game five 2000 (a game I also attended; when Bobby V kept Al Leiter in for one more batter I actually turned away from the field so I didn't have to watch). However, the frantic joy after Endy's catch was possibly the most electric moment at shea — more electric than the did-he-didn't-he Steve Finley moment after the Todd Pratt HR. So to my problem — after taking a long break from Metsland — I needed to date other people — here I am back, and jonesing for a little Endy catch. However, youtube only has homemade Endy. I appreciate the Upper Deck vision, as I shared it, but I want Network Endy, the beauty of the snowcone in super slo-mo. isn't coughing it up as it should. Does anyone have a solution?

  • Anonymous

    Fantastic analysis, Greg. I'm sure you're right about the old B-Dodgers fans not appreciating what they had and having that SHRTW ringing in their ears over half a century later. That's because they compare themselves not to the hapless likes of the Washington Senators, but to the golden perfect Y——s, whose every Series win got dangled before their noses like a yeasty jockstrap, year after year after interminable frickin' year.
    Likewise, today's Mets fans tend not to think about how good we have it compared to fans of, oh, the Texas Rangers, the only team in baseball older than the Mets that has never won a pennant let alone a championship. Or fans of the Mariners, similarly danceless for their entire 3-decade existence and still stumbling around with their spikelaces crazyglued together.
    Nonono, we want our own four-peat, yeah, that's right, even being as good as the now-heavily-tarnished-and-not-so-very-perfect Y——s isn't quite enough, we have to be better, damn it, better! We have to shut up all those pinstriped minds for good and maybe make Willie feel not so bad about himself that he had to don the uniform of that other team in order to get himself a real MLB leadership role. Aaron Heilman isn't John Wetteland, boo frickin' hoo. No, and guess what? The Phillies would kill for Heilman on their staff anyway.
    And trust me, I'm telling myself all this as much as I'm telling you.

  • Anonymous

    Most nights I lie awake in excess of an hour before falling asleep. I always have, as long as i can remember. I guess it's insomnia. I lie there in sensory deprivation and thoughts just come to me and flutter through. One such fluttering notion that's come to me a few dozen times since October:
    It's not really a dream, because I'm fully aware that I'm awake, but it's like I'm watching a movie in my head. I'm a fly on the wall, watching myself watch Game 7. Each time, Beltran takes the oh-two pitch and just barely taps it, blooping it over shortstop. It lands perfectly symmetrical between Eckstein, Taguchi and Edmonds; they each arrive at the ball right after the first bounce. Two runs score. Anderson Hernandez dances off second and nearly gets picked off. I spill my beer in celebration, like the entire fricking beer, all over my pants. I grab the head of the guy next to me and say “I told you” into his ear. Next batter, Delgado, first pitch, he pulls a hard grounder past Pujols down the line. Hernandez scores standing up. Beltran nearly collides with Wainwright running from second base to the plate to be part of the celebration. I don't even know how to celebrate. I'm literally just bouncing off people around me, throwing my hands around and whooping. The guy at the end of the bar buys a round of Jameson shots; “World Series whiskey,” he tells us.
    Come to think of it, this comment had no purpose except to get it out of my system. When the Mets lost Game 5, I began to let go and try to ease the pain of eventual loss (yes I'm ashamed), but as soon as Wright got that RBI in the first inning of game 7, I was back all in. Like a mirror image, or more appropriately a photograph negative, I was finally starting to get a little bit past the way the season ended, but as soon as I saw “Mets vs. Tigers” it all felt like October 20 again. I don't want a 2007 seaon, I want my Game 8.

  • Anonymous

    Check out this link to Endy's catch, with Gary Cohen making the call. I honestly can't stand Buck or McCarver, so this clip suits me just fine.

  • Anonymous

    While I certainly think Willie blew it by not bunting in the bottom of the ninth, one could make the case that the game was actually lost in the bottom of the sixth, right after Endy's miraculous catch. The Mets had second and third with one out when the Cards opted to intentionally walk Shawn Green. Jose Valentin came up with the bags full, only needing to make a little contact. He didn't. That was the turning point.

  • Anonymous

    God, Elliot, you write like me. Scary. In some alternate reality, you and I have a supercool stream-of-consciousness-perfected Mets blog.
    So, how much do you hate the Braves, then?

  • Anonymous

    Endy's catch was the end to a brilliant dream I was having. A dream that went on for about six months. When I awoke, the Mets were the Mets again, and the Braves were dressed up as the Cardinals.

  • Anonymous

    You guys are sounding like Boston fans. The best thing about being a Met fan is that every “next year” is going to be '86 all over again. We dont dwell on the past, and we dont feel sorry for ourselves. Thats how we fight against yankee fans even though they have an overwhelming advantage over us. Game 7 happened. Let it go. Being a Met fan is about believing that in 2007 we're going to get our first no-hitter, our first MVP, one of those kids is going to be the next Gooden, MIlledge finally matured and is going to be a star, Hiellman and a bag of balls and bats are going to get us a top starting pitcher, and we finally get our championship. And if none of that happens, it's cool, cause it will in 2008. That's what being a Met fan is all about. While everyone else is moping around brooding about the past, we're defiant and believe that no one will be better than us…next year.
    And if Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore end up in a movie about the Mets…I will blame some of the people on this posting board

  • Anonymous

    Thanks a lot, Greg!
    Last week when I saw video tapes of Met players in Port St. Lucie taking their first swings in the batting cage, shagging outfield flies, fielding grounders and tossing batting practice pitches I thought I had finally put the agony of game seven behind me. But now you've convinced me that, just like those New York Giant and Brooklyn Dodger fans of 1951, I'll always be haunted with the memory of what might have been, no matter what fortunes lay ahead of us. The pain will never leave, even if we face St. Louis this year and sweep them four games in a NL Championship rematch. Although revenge is sweet, it will be just like Bosox fans who upon their unbelievable 2004 comeback against the Yankees thought they finally cast aside the curse of the Bambino only to realize that after the euphoria subsided, they would again grimmace at the thought of Bill Buckner, Joe Morgan and Bucky Dent.
    What have I ever done to you to deserve this?

  • Anonymous

    Limahl territory? I read the word and decided there's no way he's referring to the odd lead singer of the Supergroup Kajagoogoo but, in fact, you were.
    I, for one, have moved on and refuse to think about what was and what could have been. I couldn't be more ready for this season even if David Wright had spent the winter repainting my house blue, black and orange and hanging old plastic squares from cables around it's exterior. Game 7 is frozen in Mets lore but the boys are in Florida where it's warm and Limahl is nowhere to be found.

  • Anonymous

    All I know is that I'm watching the Mets today. You couldn't get me away from the TV unless you hired a team of elephants to drag me.

  • Anonymous

    He means Valentin was “too shy” about just making contact to lift a fly ball in the sixth inning. Right Greg? :-)

  • Anonymous

    I feel all the obvious Limahl references have been made and that no non-obvious Limahl references exist.

  • Anonymous

    Let's hope today is the beginning of a Bananaramariffic season.
    And the Culture of the Club is as it was last season.
    And that they don't forget the ABC's of the game.
    Because I'm not sure they'll find The Fixx on the bench…

  • Anonymous

    One thing leads to another.

  • Anonymous

    Oh, for crying out loud…

  • Anonymous

    Crying Out Loud? Isn't that a Meatloaf song? So subtle…

  • Anonymous

    Or the opposite of Melissa Manchester.

  • Anonymous

    i don't know if this is wrong…but i would have been delighted to lose the world series last year. wouldn't have cared about a sweep, even. all i wanted was that catch to help save the pennant, and for cliff to summon up bobby thomson and kirk gibson in one big swing and one slow hobble around the basepaths.
    sappy? probably. but isn't that why we're here? if all we cared about was the championships, wouldn't we wear different NYs on darker blue caps?
    the giants lost the world series in 1951, but their fans don't seem to mind.
    of course, there probably wouldn't have been a world series at all last year…because i seriously think shea might have come down. at least this way i'm still alive.

  • Anonymous

    It's reasonable conjecture, even after a) watching the Tigers fumble the pigskin in five consecutive quarters against the Cardinals, thus leading me to believe there's no way we could have lost to them and b) seeing the Tigers this afternoon and finding myself fuming at them by misguided projection for not being our opponent last October, as if that was their doing.
    In other words, yeah, I understand.

  • Anonymous

    Braves crossed with Cardinals…

  • Anonymous

    Your recap of game 7 made me Midnight Blue…

  • Anonymous

    sure, we could have beaten them. but in the mid ninth, if you would have offered me a sure victory before a definite defeat, i would have taken it, no questions asked.
    apropos of nothing, you guys are fantastic. after game seven you brought me to tears more times than i'd like to admit. thanks for everything.

  • Anonymous

    The third (and final) pitch to Beltran isn't the one that sticks in my craw; the first pitch is the one for me.
    Wainwright was seriously rattled, he's just walked LoDoca to load the bases. Earlier in the inning LaRussa was signaling to him and f'ing Molina to “slow down, slow down”.
    Rattled. Nervous. Bases loaded. And I seriously believe that his quick pace, his overly quick pace, caught Beltran off guard. It was an unintentional quick pitch that was grooved. If Beltran's just a little more ready, or Wainwright a hair slower in starting his delivery, Beltran hits that grooved pitch for a bomb. A BOMB GODDAMMIT!!!!