say a prayer for the broken hearted
What was it like, sitting up there, being at Shea last night? The upper deck shaking and the rally towels waving and the drums and the air horn and something that sounded like a washboard or spoons down on the mezzanine. What was it like, singing along to Bon Jovi and cracking up and smooching TBF because we both hate that song SO much, but last night at Shea, blasting out of the PA, it sounded like the best thing ever.
I want to describe how it felt so I can remember it, because I have never felt anything like that before. Anticipation and excitement and fear and pride and arrogance and ebullience. My cheeks are flushed, my heart racing, my stomach in knots. I can only imagine feeling this way at Game 7. Everything on the line. A season’s worth of hope, 6 years worth of anticipation, decades full of lost prayers.
Last night, it always felt this far from possible. Not once until the end did we have that sinking feeling of ‘we’re never going to pull it out’. Oliver Perez did what everyone said he could never, ever do. For the most part, we played well. We wondered where the bats were but believed they would be coming out any minute now. We may not have pitching, according to the experts, but everyone knows we can hit!
Watching everyone on the rail of the dugout: Cliff, Duaner, Billy Wagner, John Maine. Watching Maine and Wagner and Duaner high-five Perez every time he came back. Watching those jumps over the foul line. Watching his confidence grow every time he walked off the mound. Feeling like, we are going to do this. We are going to have to work for it but we’re going to do this.
The Endy catch. I couldn’t pick up my camera. It was slow motion of the ball going out and TBF’s face falling and then turning to watch as Endy leaped, came down, and threw the ball to second in time for the double play. The color returning to TBF’s face as he cheered like I have never seen him cheer before, not even for Bruce Springsteen. Watching him come back to the dugout and wanting to take a million photographs of his reception but wanting to watch it more.
Maybe the catch is what did us in. Because the catch made us feel like we had won, when it was still only 1-1.
And even at the end, the bottom of the 9th, when I know who is next in the order but I keep glancing over at the scoreboard as though I had never seen the lineup before, I still felt it was possible. And Jose and Endy brought us back to the edge of possible. Even the Cardinals fan next to us who was on the phone making his arrangements for next Thursday shut up for a few minutes.
((This was the same guy before the game overheard saying, “I just hope the game is close.” I thought he was talking about us and was going to admonish him for jinxing things until he put on his red hat.)
I would have loved for Cliff to be the hero but honestly just wanted him to get a base hit.
When that third strike was called on Beltran, the physical reaction was immediate, that of losing the ground underneath you. No! That’s it? It’s going to end like THAT? No. It can’t be over. It can’t be. I have tickets to three World Series games. No. We’re not going to lose here to them.
But we did.
By the time we got back to Greenpoint, TBF was at least vocal again. As we were walking down the street, I asked him:”Which is worse: to get this far and not go all the way, or to never have had a chance?”
“You can’t compare them.”
“Am I a moron for wishing that this had been the World Series? I feel like it would be okay if there was no more baseball.”
“No, you’re not, it would be much easier. It’s going to be very hard to watch the Cardinals play.”
I am not going to watch the World Series. As some of us were joking with Metstradamus this morning, we are hiding in the kitchen cabinet, and if Tommy Lasorda comes in to coax us out, I’m aiming for the ankles. He’s big, he’ll hit the ground hard.
[I would like to admit that I finally understand why people get into fights at sporting events. I wanted to throttle the Cardinals fans next to us. I wanted to "accidentally" fall into the woman next to me so that her phone fell down onto the mezzanine. And hearing about what the Cardinals were singing in the clubhouse makes me understand rage on the level TBF has against Roger Clemens. He uses words to describe Roger Clemens that he never, ever, EVER uses. Not that I care, it's just totally out of character for him.
Now, I get it.]
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