NEW YORK, NY – The whole thing came crashing down when Interleague play was implemented way back 1997. For yours truly, the years of claiming that the Mets, regardless of how SH!TTY they were, would beat the Yankees because: A) They matched up well against that particular Stank’s lineup and B) The National League was simply much better. Deep down (not that deep, really), yours beleagueredly knew that the Mets actually playing the Yankees in real games would spell doom. And I wasn’t wrong, folks. Let’s get to today’s headline: Subway Series Horror Stories for Mets Fans
It all started so well…
The First Game
Dave Mlicki cruelly teased us with a complete game, 6-0 shutout of the Stanks in the Bronx. All that I’d been saying for years had me looking like some savant on steroids. SIX ZIP?! At Stankee Stadium?! EGADS!!! Move over, Wile E. Coyote… I’m such a genius, not you!
Well, like the Road Runner’s unfortunate foil, my Bombers’ bombs blew up in my face.
Mel Rojas In Relief
If that’s not an oxymoronic phrase, then they don’t exist… This was the time the Subway Series was a Shea. The Metsies were holding a 4-3 lead when Bobby Valentine summoned Mel Rojas in from the pen – RIGHTY- with two on to face Paul “Roid Rage” O’Neill – A LEFTY. I was with former MTM contributor, Rex O’Rourke in field level seats between first and the rightfield foul pole. I looked at Rex, a Yankees fan, and said, “You’ve got to be kidding! Not Rojas. 3-run homer. Watch.” And guess what – Paulie Roids hit one that has yet to land. Game. Set. Match.
The Home & Home Doubleheader
Surely Dwight Gooden wouldn’t be the Mets at Shea wearing a Stankee uniform! The baseball gods would simply know that would be too much to ask of Mets’ fans to process. Cue the record scratch sound, folks. It happened. Doc allowed 2 runs in 5 innings to pick up the win. But the Amazins had a chance to exact revenge. To the subway we all went, after a full day of drinking in Queens, we now faced a full night of drinking in the Bronx. What could possibly go wrong?! Well, there was this villain named Roger “Roids Rocket” Clemens, kids, that would make it universally understood that baseball was no game – not to him, anyway. See, see tried killing Mike Piazza (or the first time), beaning him in the helmet. Pizza would linger on the ground and miss a week with concussions symptoms. Beer sales at The Stadium soared in the aftermath, as Mets fans were trying to drown their sorrows, as Yankees fans were celebrating their heroes… heroics? Anyway, this was July of 2000 and set the stage for…
The 2000 World Series
This was every horror I had ever imagined being born into reality. Honestly, I think I was the only Mets fan that DIDN’T WANT this series to every happen. At least not with an outfield of Benny, Timo and Payton. Oy. Vey. It was one horrific moment after the next:
–Timo jogging around third
–Franco & Benitez blowing the same game
–Clemens trying to kill Piazza (for the 2nd time in 2 months) with the broken bat
–Mike Hampton NOT retaliating because he and Roger were fishing buddies with the same agent
–Sojo’s bleeder vs a gallant Al Leiter
Was it still fun? Yeah. Being an in-stadium witness during the World Series to a second attempt on someone’s life was pretty cool. Roger that. And going to or watching the games with a gaggle of frenzied friends from both sides of aisle was sublime. Losing the 2000 World Series was simultaneously debilitating and cathartic. Yes, my team lost to the other team in town on the biggest of stages. BUT… I could stop the charade, now. I could stop lying to myself. The pressure was off. But would I want to see that again???
I’m not sure.
[Dis] Honorable Mention
Luis Castillo dropping the pop-up
Billy Wagner blowing a 4-0 lead.
Shawn Estes missing Clemens with a curveball 250 years after Roger beaned Mike.
We did manage to exact some revenge, though, as per the clip up top and the one below.