I started watching baseball in the summer of 2001. Prior to that I could not cared less about the sport. I was working building pools before I left for college and when I got home every night the Mets were on MSG.
I knew very little about the sport, aside from the fact that I hated the Yankees. So every night, I watched the Mets. They were not all that good. This was during the Mo Vaughn, Jeremy Bernitz era.
I lost interest during the Art Howe Dark Days. I naturally love an underdog, but that team was so bad, “underdog” didn’t really apply.
We go to Cape Cod every summer and around ’03 I started moonlighting as a Red Sox fan. This was during the Johnny Damon, Manny Ramirez era when the Sox were fun to watch.
Around 04-05 when David Wright came up, watching the Mets became fun again. 2006 felt magical. Every other game was a walkoff win, or a come from behind miracle. It felt like our year. Endy Chavez made what should have been the greatest defensive pay in Mets history. The stars were aligned for something special.
Then something went terribly wrong. Carlos Beltran stuck out looking, and with that curve ball, the Mets became a running joke.
Collapses in ’07 and ’08 left me wondering if the universe was getting us back for Buckner. I had very little hope for success this year. I just wanted to enjoy watching this team play baseball again.
They have so far delivered on that promise. Last night was magic. Johan Santana is a bull dog. Coming off of shoulder surgery that should have ended his career, he was able to do something last night that no other Mets pitcher in 51 years has been able to do.
Watching the last three innings last night was the best sports viewing event I have witnessed since the Buccaneers Super Bowl win. I feel like the universe is righting itself. It has been a long, dark ten years of sports for me. Johan undid all of that last night.
My heart was racing during that 9th inning last night. My greatest fear was a walk to Freese and Molina getting a hit.
It was pure magic. Thank you Johan.