Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Amazing Mets

In less than six months, I traveled to 40 cities in the United States and visited all the stadiums in Major League Baseball. The only stadium that i didn't visit was Toronto because I didnt renew my passport in time, although I was a few miles away in Niagara. In this trip i experienced many beautiful moments, but one of the most memorable days was on Thursday, July 30.

That morning was partly cloudy and as I arrived at Citi Field the home of the New York Mets, curiosity was in the air. The staff actually thought I was their starting shortstop who played in the 2003-2011 season, Dominican born, Jose Reyes. When they finally realized that it was me, they were disappointed and returned to their daily routine. Arriving at the visitors locker room i met a young man who spoke about the impact that Jose Reyes left. The young man said that Jose Reyes, who was traded to the Colorado Rockies of the Toronto Blue Jays for Tulowitzki, was one of the happiest people in the stadium. The young man said, "Jose Reyes always had a big smile on his face", and the day he left it could be felt in the stadium.

If the madness that was going to happen on that Thursday wasn't enough, the previous night on Wednesday, 29th, strange occurrences happened. The Mets and the Milwaukee Brewers were negotiating a trade, and a rumor went out to the public that Wilmer Flores had been officially traded, and finally someone brought it to his attention. The poor young man did what any person in his position would have done, Wilmer was a bit emotional and he had tears in his eyes. He thought the team that he only knew and gave him the opportunity to achieve his dream was about to let him go. Some people began to bug him and it was seen all around the world.

If that wasn't enough that morning one of the players of the San Diego Padres was angry for some strange reason and was throwing a tantrum in the visitors locker room. Once the game took course it seemed as if all was going to run as usual. The Mets were doing everything correctly to guarantee a victory, and even at one point they lead the game 7-1; until the rain came. If you have heard the expression "when it rains, it pours", well, that was the case that afternoon.

As the game approached the final innings, the clouds also were approaching in the sky. The Mets were ahead by 2 runs in the top of the ninth inning with two outs, and the Umpire decided to stop the game so that the rain would pass. I wanted to celebrate the victory of the Mets, because they were on the verge of winning, and they were getting closer to taking first place in the National League East Division. Suddenly, I had a thought, which I posted on my twitter "Strange things happen to the Mets"; and thats what happened. After a 45 minutes rain delay the Padres managed to put runners on base, and like in a heroic story, Justin Upton, positioned himself in front of the pitcher and he hit a 3 run home run over center field. The Mets finally managed to obtain the last out, but the Umpire requested that the canvas return nad be placed over the diamond.

The crew struggled to place the canvas over the field. They were fighting against time, wind, and rain. Finally, with the help of well dressed, suite wearing staff members they covered the diamond, but by that time there were puddles on the field. After the rain stopped they removed the tarp and began to work in the field. The game would have begun almost immediately if the field have not been so wet. Finally it was time for the Mets to bat, and with a few faithful fans shouting and cheering their team on, the magic never arrived. The home team had cooled down, and finished in a very strange loss. There have been many strange games in the history of the Mets, but Gary Cohen called it "the strangest 24 hours that he had seen in 50 years". That game was one of the most bizarre that i had experienced in person.

Unfortunately they lost that game, and a defeat of this manner could have discouraged and damaged other teams, but what came from this strange game; was a young team that was more focused and dedicated. That same week, the Mets took first place for the National League East Division and never looked back. They won the division and managed to defeat the famous team of the Los Angeles Dodger, that had a star filled roster like Puig, González, and many more in away games. They lost to Ruben Tejada during that series in Los Angeles, who had previously played shortstop, but they went on ahead anyway.

This has been a bizarre year for the Mets, losing one of their best pitchers Jenrry Mejia for drug-related matters; even making the playoffs without their star third baseman David Wright, who joined them almost until the end of the season. The positive side of this crazy season is that somehow they managed to acquire Cuban born, Yoenis Céspedes. He started the fire that they needed to push through the Dodgers, Cubs and that are now on their way to the largest event in baseball, The World Series.

This is the first appearance in the playoffs in 9 years since 2006 and the first appearance in the World Series since 1986. Many critics doubted that the Mets would have a winning record. While I was working for the New York Mets in the affiliate Triple-A team Las Vegas 51 's, my high school buddy, Omar Quintanilla, was starting at shortstop for them. That same team was developing in Las Vegas, NV, and the last 2 years, the organization was preparing its future stars, and most of them appeared two years in a row at the playoffs in the Triple-A.

This year we are seeing the fruits of these young men. It was and is a great pleasure and honor to see how these young men have matured, and in the present are in the greatest moment any baseball player or fanatic of baseball would dream of, The World Series. What more can we say about this young team, but what they are known for and as, The Amazing Mets.

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