Thursday, October 26,2000
We're running out of time to be Boys of Summer.
But don't count us out.
They still make you win four games. The Yankees have three. We have one. Our backs have been to the wall every step of the way. I know, I know, this time it's the world champions who have pushed us back to the wall. But if you think we've lost our will or our fight then you don't know us.
Why can't we be Miracle Mets?
Is Yogi's number listed? I want to hear him remind me that It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over.
All hands on deck now. Because the last thing we want is the Yankees dancing on our Shea grave tonight and celebrating as Kings of Queens. We must find a way to take the 7 train to Game 6 in The Bronx, and then Game 7.
We must remember that it was no small accomplishment breaking through against El Duque in Game 3 and ending his World Series dominance. We must remember that it was no small accomplishment ending the Yankees' 14-game October reign of terror.
We feel things are a little different in our house. And we're playing by our rules: no DH. It feels like a National League game again.
But the Yankees don't seem to care, do they?
They refused to let us feel Amazin' again.
We battled and battled and battled but wasn't it Bill Parcells who used to say There are No Medals For Trying?
We had been Amazin' again Tuesday night because we came out with the same attitude that got us here. It's the attitude you have to have no matter what you're doing in baseball. It's like, you know what? If you're gonna beat me, you're gonna beat me with my best stuff. I'm not gonna open a door for you. Here it is, hit it. And it's the same thing with swinging, like for me. I want to pick out a good pitch and I want to put a good swing on it. If you make a perfect pitch on the outside, I take my hat off to you. Everything in life is dictated by your attitude. We were gonna come out swinging.
The first two games, the Yankees came out and took our aggressiveness away. You say to yourself, "Something's gotta happen." You start pressing a little bit. We were more relaxed. More confident. You can talk about beating the world champions but it's just talk until you do it. We did it once.
We just said, "Bleep it. Let's battle the way we know how." And you saw what happened. We played like the team we know we are. And we had more fun. And we felt a little bit of charge from our fans.
But that was just one small step for Metkind.
Damn Yankees wouldn't let us take that critical second step last night.
They know how to win at this time of year and they know how to win the one-run games. They have such a veteran presence, and that Paul O'Neill is some kind of champion.
It's all about pitching, and they outpitched us.
It's a special feeling when you hit a two-run home run in front of your fans in the World Series, but, trust me, I'd much rather be talking about how the Mets got off the deck to even the series, but I can't.
Bobby Jones held the fort and Glendon Rusch really clutched up with those strikeouts of Jose Canseco and Bernie Williams. And Johnny Franco, who deserves this stage as much as anyone, was Johnny Franco.
But David Cone, who has the heart of a lion, came on for Denny Neagle and got me in the fifth and Jeff Nelson is as tough as anybody and Mike Stanton was a bulldog and Mariano Rivera is simply the best.
But please, don't count us out.
It's pitch by pitch now, at-bat by at-bat, inning by inning.
And there isn't anyone I would rather have 60 feet, 6 inches in front of me than Al Leiter.The guy lives for the Big Game, and here comes the next biggest game of his life. Of all our lives.
Intense? He's a psychopath. I love catching Al. You would figure having an advantage being right-handed against him. He's got a hard cutter that bores in on right-handers and he throws a real heavy ball.
We work well together. If I don't call the right pitch, I'm a pitch ahead of him or a pitch behind him. Al's kind of one of the event coordinators on the team. When we go on the road, it's like he gets everyone together. I love Al. He won the Roberto Clemente award, you know? Al is one of the good guys in the game, one of the guys in the game that should be really looked up to.
Maybe the holy water from the Holy Land that I splash on my back before the game will work tonight.
If the Clemens incident has helped us, the way it has helped is guys are so burned out by it that they're wanting to play baseball. Myself personally too. It's kinda like, all right, it happened, it's done, guys are like, "Let's play baseball."
So no matter how dark it looks, don't count us out.