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4: GET UP | metsgrrl.com

4: GET UP

Raining in FlushingBy 3:30 today, I was chain-drinking cup after cup of Yogi Tea Cold Formula, and people kept saying, “Why are you going?” and I kept saying, “I’ll just go and leave early if I feel crappy.” TBF brought orange juice and Gatorade and extra water and I had fleece and fleece and wool and wool and my magic offering to the gods, a navy blue plastic rain poncho. Early this morning I made the tactical decision to leave my sneakers home and wear my LL Bean moccasins, which are to wear in the snow, but are excellent for early spring days at Shea…or rainy September ones for that matter.

Yep, I looked like a freaking GENIUS tonight.

We were settled into UR Section 16, Row A, and as TBF filled out the lineups on his scorecard and I struggled into the first layer of polar fleece, he made some comment about “wanting more of a positive attitude. C’mon, let’s remember the immortal words of Tug Mc Graw.”
I rolled my eyes.
“No, seriously. You gotta believe.”
“I’m HERE, aren’t I?”
“I think we need a little more enthusiasm than that.”
I put on another layer of fleece and sighed. I was not going to ever meet his level of enthusiasm or willpower. He was imprinted at a young age, he was going to sit at Shea every night this week for every single minute there was baseball and nothing would budge him. Nothing. But there was no shame in heading home early for illness or cold or crappy on-field performance, and I am not him.

I would see how the night would go. After all, the Cubs had presented us with their Suck-Ass Lineup.

Famous last words.

But I didn’t leave, not when the first drops of rain drifted aimlessly down from the sky, not when they fell with more intensity, not when it officially was Raining and we got increasingly nervous that once we hit the 5th inning that this would be An Official Game and we would be sent home. I didn’t leave when a steady stream of people started to make their way towards the tunnels and up the steps of the 7 train. I didn’t leave when the Mets left ducks on the pond, when Rincon replaced Pedro and promptly threw a pitch that got knocked into our bullpen and brought home those same runs we took Pedro out to avoid. I didn’t leave when the score seemed impossible to catch, or at least, impossible for the 2008 Mets to catch.

I did not have my camera out as Pedro left the field for what might be the very last time. We knew it, he knew it, and he waved and tipped his hat to the bedraggled rats who were still left.

The rain fell, and the fans left, and for some dogged reason I sat there and screamed and yelled and clapped and cheered and chanted LET’S GO METS. I danced in my seat under the rain poncho. I sent text messages back and forth to Seattle and Houston, who were pulling for us, too.

Truth be told, it was actually kind of fun. It was fun because I wasn’t miserable, because I was layered and warm and toasty and dry. I had gloves and an extra hat and in my bag there was still a scarf and a shawl. Maybe if I had been soaking wet and cold it would have been different.

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The 8th inning. I am watching Ryan Church run down the line towards home and I see the catcher standing there, and I know it is pointless and fruitless and my heart is in my stomach and I am regretting eating anything earlier because it’s just making me nauseous right now… but What? WHAT? WHAT???!!! He reached for home THREE TIMES! Or at least that was what I remember, each time me thinking, “They’re surely going to get him NOW, right?”

“FUN-DA-MEN-TALS CLAP CLAP CLAPCLAPCLAP!” Your loss is our gain!

And then we came to the bottom of the 9th inning.

Daniel Murphy, god love him, had what seemed like one of the worst at-bats in the history of at-bats.
David Wright, god love him, just couldn’t make it happen. People are yelling, “David, you suck.” TBF turns around, like he has all week, and points out that David is having his best season ever and just broke a Mets record the previous night. This line of reasoning does not register with them.
“Okay, this is what we want anyway,” he says as Delgado steps up… and the Cubs promptly pitch around him. I will not share with you what I yelled at that moment, but it had to do with their lack of manhood and general cowardice.
And then, Carlos Beltran. You know, I like Carlos Beltran just fine, unlike many other members of our fine community. But I just did not think he would do it. I didn’t. Even though I was on my feet and screaming with the kids standing on the walkway below us, and yelling LET’S GO METS with the crazy guy in the MARTINEZ 45 jersey and rally cap who was banging beer bottles against the railings so hard he had to keep looking for new ones, and offering words of wisdom along the lines of DON’T FUCK THIS UP, WE WANT TO GO TO THE POST SEASON, YOU MOTHERFUCKERS, deep inside there was a little voice telling me that we were going to the 10th or the 11th inning in this bleeping rain and I was going to get home at bleeping midnight and the Mets were going to lose AGAIN.

It was like a rocket took off from the infield. Screaming, jumping, and I am braced against the rail trying to get the mob on the field in my viewfinder, while the rain falls on my face. I don’t know what’s raindrops and what are tears.

And like last night, the scoreboard reminds us:

BELIEVE.

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And right now, I think the Mets actually do.


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