it would be, it would be so nice

October 9, 2009

Seriously I hope the music person at Dodger Stadium was on the ball (ahem) last night. Or at least played “Loretta” by the Nervous Eaters. Or, in honor of the game-winning hit, “Fist City” by Loretta Lynn. And I know I broke up with the Dodgers a decade ago, but this was just an amazing end to a game I wasn’t paying attention to at all until I saw the score in the eighth inning at the gym.

Ho hum series tied WAIT WHAAAAAAAATholliday

Since about June or so I’ve forgotten how wonderful baseball can be. Amazing how that realization is easy to come by when you’re watching two good teams battling it out.

Despite my defection (you can’t spell it without “defect”) to the Mets, as a native Los Angeleno I am hoping for a Freeway Series. In which case I’ll be rooting for the Angels, because I haven’t forgiven the Dodgers that much.

Otherwise, let’s go Twins and Rockies.

ETA: I didn’t hear this, but apparently Vin Scully said, “Matt Holliday is the loneliest man in all of Los Angeles as 51000 echo to the sky.” I miss that man.

“daniel murphy is our boyfriend”

April 6, 2009

I may have said that when this happened.

Also: “God, he’s so cute,” exclaimed Corey. Yes. Though I’m glad he deferred to Beltran on that fly to center. Get away from there, Murph! Not your territory, boyfriend.

Thanks to Matt Cerrone of for hosting the Opening Day shindig.

save the best for last

September 26, 2008

Thursday morning I was talking with my friend Stan, who kept shouting (via IM): “ALL YOU NEED IS A DAMN FLY BALL!” Yes, he’d been to Wednesday’s game, called me after Daniel Murphy’s triple (I got home just in time to hear it) and we both thought, “Game over.” I screamed in delight. I yelled “DO IT NOWWWWW” to David Wright through the radio.

And of course it didn’t happen.

So Stan yesterday morning asked if I wanted to go to the game. “Yes. Maybe,” I replied.

“Maybe as in you might have something else going on or maybe as in you might not be able to stomach it?”

“Latter,” I said.

And so he bought two tickets, and we wondered the worth of sitting in the rain, and deduced that yes, it was worth it.

Getting on the crowded 7 Express from Times Square, I put on some Irma Thomas and looked at everyone on the train in Mets garb. As what happens when I see someone in a Mets shirt or jersey on the street, I checked the name and number on their back. Reyes 7. Wright 5. Beltran 15. Delgado 21. Santana 57. Wagner 13. A devilishly handsome man in Martinez 45. A tow-headed kid in Murphy 28 (note to the Mets: please make those in adult sizes, thank you). And as the 7 rumbled over Queens I looked out at the dreary day, hoping for something magical at what was likely to be my last game ever in Shea Stadium. (“Unless there’s a tiebreaker,” Stan said. “We have to go to that.” Pouty, sometime during a Mets deficit, I said, “I don’t want a tiebreaker.” And I still don’t. I’d rather them take care of business this weekend, goddammit, weather permitting).

And then the big blue of Shea Stadium broke the expanse of gloomy gray, and I stared, turning off my iPod, wanting to soak it in. Walked around it before Stan showed up. My last time ever there, and I never knew it well enough, being a Californian, being a NY transplant, having only roughly 20 live games or so to my credit.

We settled into our Upper Box seats, Pedro being requisite early-innings-runs Pedro. (“Who the fuck is Micah Hoffpauir?!”) And as the rain began to fall I began to feel elegaic, for this stadium I love even if I didn’t know it well, for this team I became devoted to by default and then by adoration, and for Pedro, one of the greats, as he steps off the mound, points up to the sky (God? Dad?), we raise in response and applaud, he salutes with a pumped fist and points to the crowd. Amid the angst this team has put us through, amid Pedro’s own corporeal shortcomings, I remember this, and say to Stan, “We could have seen his last ever appearance.”

We moved for shelter way WAY WAYYYYY upper deck, and Ricardo Rincon serves up a meatball to…WHO THE FUCK IS MICAH HOFFPAUIR?! “Of course!” I yell. “Of course.” And the idiots behind us are screaming and cursing and booing, and I understand the impulse if I didn’t completely abhor the practice. These same idiots would later be arrested in the bottom of the ninth (including one sixteen year old who tried to get away from security, as his plump drunk sister screamed “RUNNNN!!!!”) for attempting to dislodge and steal seats in the upper deck (they were in the last row). I would’ve felt sorry that the group of them missed out on such an ending were it not for the superfluous use of “faggots” to describe various Cubs as well as the “big nose” Jewish jokes aimed at Scott Schoeneweis in the eighth. Sometimes you get exactly what you deserve, and more so.

And I think I got what I deserved. At 6-3, feeling cynical and sad, bitching to Stan that I’ve seen too many seventh inning stretches at Shea where something horrible happened just prior, making me not jolly enough to stand and sing “Take Me Out To The Ballgame.” But everything I did last night, I reminded myself, “This is my Last Ever ________ at Shea.” So I stood up. And I looked at the score. “All they need is at least three runs with nine outs. That’s a run every inning. They can do that. Right?” Stan agreed. “And the bullpen has to not allow anymore outs. They can do that. Right?” I asked. “Now that,” Stan said, “I can’t guarantee.”

But it happened. It happened in ways that encapsulate this season. It happened after terrible relief pitching (Rincon). It happened with big hits from unlikely sources (Ramon Martinez, Robinson Cancel). It happened with bad jokes (Stan: “Robinson! You better cancel your postseason tickets if you don’t come up with a hit!” Me: [glares]). It happened with miraculous, “How did that happen?!” plays (Ryan Church evading the tag…Cancel’s hit made me jump, and Fukudome’s throw made my heart sink, and I groaned “Oh no, he’s out…wait…HE’S SAFE?! WHAT JUST HAPPENED?!” and everyone around me thought the same thing, and we erupted together, high-fiving and hugging and screaming).

And I knew it had to be ours. And after Joe Smith, my beautiful Joe Smith, recorded the last three outs of the ninth (dealing with lefties along the way), I knew it had to be. I knew it couldn’t be a repeat of the previous night, even if the score was the same. Because Josex4 was up and singled. And even if Daniel Murphy was ludicrously asked to bunt (he can’t bunt, he can hit, especially in late innings, let him swing!), and even if David Wright again couldn’t get it done, and even if Carlos Delgado was treated like Carlos Delgado again and intentionally walked, they weren’t going to lose. And when Beltran smoked one past Hoffpauir, I knew I witnessed something special.

Cubs fan Michael texted me afterwards, “Happy to know that your finale at Shea was a good one.” I responded, “Best game I’ve ever seen live, esp considering the circumstances.” The circumstances being: a big comeback in a crucial game, the Mets fighting for a place in the playoffs, the last game I’ll ever see at Shea, and my first walk-off. I remember my previous games at Shea, none as memorable or important as this one. I remember various Sundays at Chavez Ravine, but they exist as hazy nostalgia with not much tangibility. I vaguely recall some at Anaheim, just there for the hell of it. But they can’t top this:

So thanks, Mets, I’ll always remember it. And thank you, Shea, it’s been a pleasure.

fistpumps of the day, 7/24

July 24, 2008