This whole Mets-Phillies race really had my attention over the past few days.
First, I’m a baseball history nut. I just can’t get enough of it. And, the event of a team blowing a 7-game lead with 17 games to go is, well, something for baseball history.
Think of it this way: If you had a 7-game lead with 17 games to go, and the team chasing you went nuts, and they went 14-3 (a winning percentage of .824!), still, all you would need to do is go 8-9 in your remaining games to hold them to second place. Yes, you could close with a losing record while the other team played .800-baseball and you would still finish first. So, to lose that type of lead, you’re really blowing it.
Second, as I’ve stated before, I feel bad for Willie Randolph here. When you’re a manager and this happens to you, it goes on your resume and it never leaves – ever. When you hear “Gene Mauch” you think “1964 Phillies.” That stayed with Mauch his entire career. The same can happen here, now, with Willow. That’s sad.
Third, as to why this thing had my interest, is more of an experiment/study type thing.
As a Yankees fan, I know how I feel about the 2004 ALCS – especially how I felt at that time. I was angry, disgusted and embarrassed. (And, today, I’m still upset about it – in some ways.) But, I could not say for sure that I knew (then) how other baseball fans felt about the Yankees failures in that series – outside of Boston, of course – or how they felt towards Yankees fans at that time (or later). Now, having seen another team, close by, where I know many fans of the team, choke one up, I have some perspective.
Don’t get me wrong, as a Yankees fan, there’s a slice of me that feels good having this “seven and seventeen” card to play now whenever a Mets fan wants to get on my case about 2004.
However, it’s not like I now feel like I’m loaded for bear and need to start shooting at anything that poops in the woods. I followed the collapse, witnessed history, felt bad for a former Yankee, and, now, it’s over. It’s in the books and that’s pretty much it. I may not even mention it to my Mets fans friends unless they bring it up first.
Perhaps I feel this way because of the 2004 ALCS? Maybe the historic choke of 2007 by the Mets would resonate longer (or different) with me if not for the recent Yankees choke? It’s possible. But, since I cannot make the 2004 ALCS results go away – as much as I would like to – I’ll never know for sure.
To me, at this time, the great Mets collapse of 2007 is just another flashy news story that will soon lose it’s place in the headlines to the next great sensational new shocker.
Is this the way that non-Yankees and non-Bosox fans feel about the 2004 ALCS? Is it old and forgotten news already? Maybe not – considering the fact that it was Boston and New York, and the history and the hype there?
As Yankees fans, how do you feel about the great Mets collapse of 2007 now that it’s a reality?