Sunday, October 24, 2010

Cosmic Retribution

Call it Schadenfreude or whatever, I'm really enjoying the way the League Championship Series turned out this year. Although it felt like October just started out with pure misery, just a continuation of what had been a miserable, forgettable season, with an outcome fait accompli, the Texas Rangers and San Francisco Giants refused to cooperate, refused to lay down at the feet of their supposedly superior opponents, and now find themselves playing in a most unlikely World Series.

THAT's why Baseball's a great game. You never know.

But more than that, it was the way these two series closed out that really felt good. We in Metville are all too familiar with this such outcome, with the guy who was probably the best player on probably the better team taking a called 3rd strike on a killer pitch. We've been taking crap from people for that ever since it happened. That image has been burned into our brains to the point where it's never going to leave, even in better times. It happened, and the Mets haven't ever really recovered. We went from one inning from the World Series, to a pair of final-day fadeouts, to abject embarrassment. It can happen that quickly.

Now, there's certainly no guarantee that the Yankees or Phillies await a similar fate. These are organizations that certainly have better pieces in place, and smarter people at the helm than the Mets did. But these are also a pair of fan bases that love to kick the Mets around. They laugh at us, particularly when it comes to Beltran and that called 3rd strike four Octobers ago. But now, the shoe is on the other foot. Now, it's their turn to watch their sluggers take that 3rd strike. We've suffered enough. Now, it's your turn to see how it feels. It's not so great, is it Philadelphia? You're the better team, at home, with the tying and winning runs on base and your best power hitter at the plate. The crowd is roaring. Their closer is sweating. Everything seems in your favor. But, in a blink, it's gone. And all of a sudden this random, ragtag team is whooping it up on your infield, and you're left with this image all Winter. We've been there. Now, it's your turn.

Hurts, doesn't it?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Restoration of Faith

Fittingly, the guy who was supposedly the best player on the better team, who at one point savaged the prospects of the supposedly lesser team, looked at strike 3 to close out the 2010 ALCS.

With that, some of my faith in the game of Baseball was restored after a long summer that tested my patience.

Congratulations, and Thank Yous are in order to Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz, Michael Young, Ian Kinsler, Colby Lewis, Cliff Lee, Ron Washington and the rest of the Texas Rangers organization for winning the American League pennant, kicking the Yankees in the nuts and making me believe in Baseball, just a little bit, once again.