Sunday, October 2, 2016

Silent Finale

The Mets finished out their 2016 Regular Season campaign with an innocuous 5-2 loss in Philadelphia, the second time in a week in which the game might be more remembered for the emotion displayed by the home team and their fans. This wasn't the abject sadness of last Monday in Miami, this was your more standard Baseball Farewell, as the Phillies gave Ryan Howard the grand sendoff in what would be his final game with the team. So the game itself, which was as Keith Hernandez noted early, being played by teams that have one foot on the bus already, was background to a series of ovations afforded to Howard.

Our stance on Howard here is rather predictable. After hitting 131 Home Runs and driving in 784 against the Mets, we wish him well and hope he signs with the Anaheim Angels, far, far away from us.

The focus now of course turns to the San Francisco Giants, who wrapped up the second National League Wildcard spot by virtue of a rather easy 7-1 win over the Dodgers. This was sort of pick your poison for the Mets. In one respect, I suppose you'd rather play the Cardinals, just based on the fact that the Giants will have Mr. Postseason, Madison Bumgarner, pitching for them on Wednesday night. But the Cardinals appeared to be gearing up for another stupid Postseason run of their own, where they get every break and any team that gets a little peppy immediately is turned to mush by one of Genius Mike Matheny's LaRussian Mind Tricks. So I'm glad that they're not relevant in this story altogether.

That being said, Bumgarner is no treat for the Mets. Noah Syndergaard is no treat for the Giants either, however, and sure, you can point to Bumgarner's track record, but it's not as though Syndergaard hasn't been through the crucible of the Playoffs before. Remember this?

He should be OK.

Meanwhile, the other noteworthy farewell on this day was that of Vin Scully, who called his final Dodgers game this afternoon in San Francisco after 67 years with the team. I talk a lot here about awful announcers, especially those who are feted on a National stage, and part of the reason it's easy for me to pick on bad announcers is because I've been spoiled my entire life, having grown up listening to Bob Murphy, and for a generation having Murph and Gary Cohen on the radio, and now for the past decade, Cohen, Ron Darling and Keith.

But can you imagine what it must be like for the Dodgers now? I would have to guess that for close to 75% of Dodgers fans, this is all you know, absolute and utter brilliance from the booth on a daily basis. And I know that in recent years Vin hasn't done road trips East of the Rockies so maybe that's something, but man, that's really going to be a culture shock.

Vin Scully will of course always hold a warm place in the hearts of Mets fans as he's the one who manned the mic for NBC back in 1986, and so it's his voice that we hear every time we go back to that year. He usually let the pictures tell the story; to wit, he goes silent for about 2 1/2 minutes after Ray Knight scored the winning run in Game 6, but perhaps his ability to sum things up afterward goes overlooked.

Someone uploaded some uncut footage of NBC's Broadcast of Game 7 of the World Series from '86, and we know what went down, but as time passed and NBC eventually signed off the air, back came Vin for one final word. I have no idea if this will start in the right place but if it doesn't, just forward to about 10:00 in and listen.

Now That's what I call a signoff.

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