Saturday, October 21, 2006

RIP, 2006 Mets

Real-life friends of the CP will be laughing in a just a minute, after I admit to you all that I, Coaster Punchman, actually shed a tear at the end of last night's game. In fact, I may have shed more than one.

Early yesterday afternoon one of my clients called to tell me she ended up with an extra ticket to the Mets game, and invited me to go with her. She is a MAJOR Mets fan, almost to the point of freakishness. But since I am a diehard fan of the Mets' Single A minor league team, the Brooklyn Cyclones, we are a great match. I treat her to at least one Cyclones game every summer out at Coney Island, at a great little stadium right on the ocean. I love minor league stadiums. Cozy. Intimate. Cheap. Unfortunately, I have not been as lucky with the players as Susan Sarandon, but that's fodder for another entry.

Anyway, not to rehash the heartbreak of the unfortunate end of the Mets' season, but.... damn! I would have hated to be Carlos Beltran, bottom of the ninth, bases loaded. Who the fuck could handle that kind of pressure? It SO could have been a Kirby-Puckett-game-six moment.

But alas, it was not to be.

The strangest part of the evening was when, moments after Beltran's tragic strike-out, the crowd sat in stunned silence while the Cardinals ran out onto the field to do their triumphant war dance. Since there was no cheering or any other noise to accompany them, it was almost like watching it happen in slow motion with the sound on the TV muted. I said out loud "look at that! They're dancing around in complete silence!" This guy in front of me turned around and said "I know! Fuckin' weird!"

As annoyed as I get by extreme fanaticism over professional sports, I have to admit I was quite moved by the dedication of these fans. People everywhere were teary eyed because the end of the game had been so intense before the big let down.

As I stood and waited while my client used the restroom, I watched people exit the stadium. At one point a man about my age walked toward me, his arm around the shoulders of a red faced, sobbing boy of about ten. Although the Mets' loss was not a tragedy by any means, the image of this brokenhearted boy remained with me the rest of the night and throughout most of today.

Is this really happening? Could I actually be turning into a baseball nut?

(to be continued)


jin said...






What's that?

Anonymous said...

I always looked at it this way. I love my Braves, they are a damn good team. They may not have made it to the big dance every year, but they damn well won other important titles. Look at what the Mets achieved-it is still good and they deserve accolades for that.

Dale said...

No worries, you're just a regular nut who happened to be at the game.

Melinda June said...

It's cool to like baseball.

lulu said...

Baseball is one of the few things that is still right with America. I love baseball, which is sad because I root for the losingest team in baseball. Go Cubs!

Coaster Punchman said...

Jin, I'm sure there are some minor league teams near Manitowoc. Get going!

Old Lady, I agree.

Thank you Dale! May I have another?

MJ, you're right. And liking a minor league team is cooler, hipper, and just plain better than than liking the majors.

Lu, I'm sorry to have to break this to you, but I hate the Cubs. Always have. I can see why you'd like them, having lived within blocks of Wrigley - so I'll give you a pass. But if you liked them even when you were in Mt. Plastic, that's just sad.

lulu said...

CP-My family has lived in that neighborhood for over 100 years. My grandfather used to cut school when he was 10 to set up chairs in the bleachers in exchange for tickets to the game. I bleed Cubby blue; it's in my DNA.

Coaster Punchman said...

Ok, you're excused. The rest of the North side white suburban kids are not.

Tenacious S said...

Some of us were raised to be Cubs fans. My dad's family lived a block off of Addison, just past the Kennedy. My earlist memories are of my mom sitting at her sewing machine watching our beloved Cubs. I remember taking the bus to many games as a little kid. It's what we did for *fun*. Even though we eventually moved out to the suburbs, they remained a part of us. I think the Cubs are part of what make people from Chicago so nice. We embrace adversity, smile in the face of loss and ask for another beer.

Coaster Punchman said...

Ten-S, you also get a pass, by virtue of your father's childhood address.


Beth said...

I shared your grief. I'm a Mets fan via my undying love for Tom Glavine. *sigh*

Coaster Punchman said...

Nice to hear, Beth. I have not professed undying love for any individual Met. I only know that as an organization they are much more on the up & up than those Damn Yankees. Hey, that reminds me of a Broadway musical - why is that?

Beth said...

Tommy Glavine is a cute, funny liberal. There are few liberals in baseball, about as many as crying players. And he lives about 15 miles from moi.

"Damn Yankees" is rather catchy; maybe you can MTM it.

Tenacious S said...

I think I'd like to do one of my Psych term papers on Masochism and Cubs Fans.