For all my curmudgeonly posts, for all my whining, for as horrible as the end of the last two seasons has been…I find myself at peace tonight and looking forward to my new seats at Citi Field.
>Really was not in a mood to write a lot last night but here are my thoughts
- In retrospect doing the ceremony postgame was perfect. The last game was played, now it’s time to close it up and turn off the lights.
- I had no problem with Mr. Met pulling down the last number. But exposing a corporate logo for Corporate Field was HORRIBLE. Really was my biggest quibble with the ceremony
- I was shocked to see Willie there. Given how bitter he’s become in his old age (not a recent thing apparently – just read a Buck O’Neill book and Willie’s been feeling it for a few years) I never thought he woudl be there. Seeing him was one of the bigger thrills of the day for me – as I have said, he was one of the first Mets I remember cheering for.
- Yogi. He closed 2 stadiums in 8 days. Saw a bunch of the other players coming over to him and Willie on the field.
- George Foster? Yeah he was their first big free agent signing but was he ever really considered a Met? And after the crap he pulled in 86 (all the racist stuff) I was shocked that he was there.
- GREAT job bringing Wally Backman back. I think this was his first appearance at anything MLB related since his troubles in AZ. He has been a pariah and it really was great to see him. Now they need to hire him tomanage Buffalo
- Doc. Was great to see him. Some people in the stands were saying the Mets put up the $$ to get him out of jail for the ceremony and he is going back today. I got a pic of him and Darling coming together around 2nd base and hugging. That was a cool moment.
- All the 70’s Mets – Wow, my childhood was back. I know most of the crowd was cheering guys like Ventura and Alfonzo from the 90’s version, but some of my biggest cheers were for Swan and Flynn
- Touching Home. THAT was very very cool I thought – especially how different guys approached it. Loved Bud running anc jumping on the plate. A few kissed their hand and touched it which was nice. Piazza and Sever the last to touch was appropriate.
- Seaver throwing to Piazza. Tom going right up on the mound and Mike going into a crouch – chills. Being able to see Seaver throw one last pitch (even though it sucked) off the mound was pure bliss. I admit I got teary eyed (rip me if you want)
- Walking towards CF as the lights started going out – I can’t think of a better way to have closed the ballpark.
- Players not there mentioned up front – why not show their pics and some video on DiamondVision?
- Pete Flynn – nice to honor him
- Oversights: Biggest one was Bobby V. Is he the Mets Torre? And why not mention Torre for that matter? Other players I would have liked to have seen mentioned: Gary Gentry, Skip Lockwood, Neil Allen, Steve Henderson, Benny Agbayani, Roger McDowell
- Keith leaning was classic – perfectly in character
- Bud running in was also great – sums up his personality
- Current players – apparently they were told by management not to go out is what I am hearing
- Would have liked to have heard Seaver say something but s’ok that he didn’t
- Also thought it would have been cool to have a last sing-along of Meet The Mets
All in all it was a great way to say goodbye. I attended last week’s finale at Yankee Stadium and the differences between the 2 couldn’t have been more striking or more appropriate to what each place was. The Yankee Stadium finale was befitting of a coliseum – awesome in it’s splendor, honoring gods of the diamond. Shea doesn’t have gods – Shea has had players. Shea’s closing really felt warmer and more like saying goodbye to an old friend – again, perfect for the place.
It may have been a dump, but it was our dump. Goodbye old friend, you will be missed.
I’m still in shell shock so this is more of a memory dump than an organized thought.
I’ll start with the happy thoughts.
The ceremony was very nice. I heard the organization getting grief for having it after the game, but that’s how you close a stadium. The Mets saw the awkwardness coming and asked MLB if they could change the start time of the game but MLB said no. Sure the Mets could have scheduled the pregame for 11am, but it was pouring rain and would have gotten messed up. Ever been to an Old Timers Day when it rains? It sucks. (By the way Mets, bring back Old Timers Day).
So I’m not going to kill them for having it afterwards. In fact I applaud them because that’s how you do it.
It was very cool to see Yogi & Mays, Stearns & Swan…and Lee Mazzilli in his proper #16 (that settles that once and for all). Nice that Dwight Gooden showed up. Nice to chant Dar-ryl. I think the fans are a little carried away with the 2000 Mets and apparently Robin Ventura is the 4th most popular player in Mets history.
Seaver walking down the right field line brought me back to Opening Day 1983, and it was very fitting to have him throw one last pitch (even if it bounced half-way home). That was a good way to close out the mound. Seaver & Piazza nearly hand in hand walking out to centerfield, the lights go out, we go home. Very nice. A mind’s eye picture I won’t forget.
That’s how I’d like to remember Shea.
Now let’s head backward through the day for some not so happy thoughts:
After they blew the playoffs they made us sit there for half an hour so they could line up some bizarro black & white pictures. They actually had measuring tape to line them up in some precise formation and then proceeded to ignore the pictures during the ceremony.
– Then they kicked it off by introducing executives nobody ever heard of. Was also lame in pregame to have vendors. Nobody cares.
– No mention of McDowell, Cone or even the king of second place Bobby V?
– Ray Knight where were you?
– Mookie why the baby attack. Show up.
– Davey same thing.
– coulda done more for Bob Murphy & Lindsey Nelson
Then there’s the game. What a shock, the bullpen blew the season. We all saw this coming a week ago – several posts right here on The Mets Police about it. They blew a game, we all booed, and it sucked the life out of the ceremony. That sucks.
Looks like Omar gets his 4 year extension. Omar says Jerry is staying. That’s cool. Time to root for the Rays-Torre World Series.
Bye Shea – it wasn’t pretty but it was often fun.
It somehow seems fitting that the poll for The Dopiest Moment In Mets History ended in a three way tie. How absurd, but isn’t life as Mets fan often absurd. So in chronological order….
Winter 1984 – The Mets leave Tom Seaver unprotected.
I think my favorite Shea moment of all-time was Opening Day 1983 when Tom Seaver walked in from the bullpen along the right field line. The Franchise was back, and all was right in the universe. Sure he only won 9 games in 1983 but that was more about the team sucking than Tom sucking (check the stats). Also for a brief while in April he led the league in triples. Tons of fun.
Some genius in a bow-tie decided not to protect him in the off-season, and the White Sox claimed him. Why would you want Seaver in a Mets uniform winning his 300th game. Who would grab a future Hall of Famer off the wires?
There were 45 wins left in that arm….and ironically he would be in the dugout when the 1986 Mets won the World Series. Too bad it was on the third base side.
June 1989 – The Mets trade Roger McDowell and Lenny Dykstra for Juan Samuel.
I still don’t understand this one. These were two of the most beloved Mets, both performing well and they trade them within the division for a bum. The Phillies are probably still laughing. This is one of those moments you never forget – I was on I-80 coming back from a rafting trip in Pennsylvania, we could barely pick up WFAN and we thought they said that McDowell and Dysktra had been traded. That doesn’t make sense, why would they do that? This was one of many “Mets don’t understand their fanbase” moments. Well, at least we’ll always have Mookie Wilson. They would never trade him.
November 1998 – The Mets bring Bobby Bonilla back????!!!
Speaking of not understanding the fanbase -if you think the 2008 bullpen gets booed, you should have been around for Boo-nilla the first time. After killing the Mets in a Pirates uniform, this was the first of the “if you can’t beat ’em, sign ’em” signings that I hate. (Another one was Tom “Cylon” Glavine who was paid by Atlanta to be the ultimate sleeper agent).
Bonilla got separated from a guy named Barry Bonds, who turned out to be the slightly better of the two, and sucked. Everything Johan Santana was, Bobby Boo-nilla was not. Lazy, check. Douche, check. Clutch, uncheck. They couldn’t get him out of town fast enough. Then what do they do in 1998, they bring him back. Like we were going to love him. Idiots.
So it’s a three-way tie for the Dopiest Moment In Shea Stadium History (although a blown save today might re-open the poll). Hopefully Shea closes out on a high-note, and the dopey moments are few and far between at New Ebbetts Field, home of FredWilpon’s Dodgmets.