Payback

Time must have froze back on October 25th, 1986 after Keith Hernandez flied out to center for the second out in the 10th inning. The scoreboard read congratulations 1986 World Champion Boston Red Sox. With an out to go, silence fell over Shea Stadium. The crowd and players on the field stood motionless. Even a 737 airliner hung frozen in the sky as if suspended on a string as it left LaGuardia. Davey Johnson looked around and was puzzled as to what had happened. None of his players moved or responded to his questions in the dugout. Time had stood still.

A man on the field, where he came from no one knew, walked toward Johnson as if out of nowhere. Johnson left the dugout to confront the tall dark man who looked quite sinister. “Who are you? What is going on?” Johnson asked. “I have made time stand still at this very moment to offer you a proposition” the strange man said. “What would that be?” the Mets manger asked. The man said “I will let you win this game but someday in the distant future I will need to collect”. “What does that mean?” Davey asked. “It means there will be a game in the future that you will be sure to win but I must take it from you. “The choice is yours. “Win this game but lose a very important game in the future.” said the dark man. “You mean game seven?” Davey inquired. The man replied “It could be game seven tomorrow or it could be a game in 26 years. “It’s not for you to know”.

Johnson took the deal. There was no way after 108 games won in the regular season and an unbelievable battle in the NLCS against the Astros could Davey bear to see it all end like this. The deal was struck, the dark man disappeared and time moved forward. Johnson found himself in the dugout as the unimaginable happened. The Mets won game 6.

Over the years, Johnson forgot about the strange encounter…until last night. What goes around comes around Davey thought as he sighed heavily at the podium after an absolutely excruciating exit from the playoffs at the hands of the crafty never-say-die second wild card team Cardinals.

My little fiction is just that, but you have to wonder. Only in baseball could there be such a payback. As Yogi said in 1973 its never over until it is over. For Davey, the Nationals, and their fans, now its over and it has to hurt. From a Mets fan that knows more pain that most baseball fans, trust me when I say I feel all your pain down there in DC. You guys had a great year. I often wonder had the ’86 Mets failed in game six, would they have come back stronger, more hungry the next season. Had they lost game six maybe they would have won two or more world series to follow. The Nationals will grow from their sad experience and will be a force to reckon with in the NL East for years to come. However, I thought that about the Mets following the 2006 NLCS too.

So all the teams I rooted for are out. The Nationals, Reds, Orioles, and As were all defeated. It would have been so nice to see all new teams in the league championship series. But of course with me rooting for them, I should have known better. I hope my Mets karma had nothing to do with the ouster of these clubs. (Of course i know it did not).

You know who’s going to win it all? The Yankees, that’s who. Every time I think the aging, non hitting, A-Rod is finished Yankees are going away, they find a way to win. They can’t hit a lick but they pitched great and their ace came though yesterday afternoon. I would not be shocked if they score 38 runs in the next three games against Detroit. The experts would disagree but the Yankees managed to stay on top when their performance dictated otherwise for a half a season now. I predict the Yanks and Cardinals in the World Series. Really, how do you vote against St. Louis? They are unbelievable.

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