Admiring the Moment

On this grayest of Fridays, the City's streets are wet with such strange sadness. How could it have happened? I, and many others, wake still stunned. How is it that their season is already complete, without ring, without title?

The New York Mets went down last night, down with the rain, while the St. Louis Cardinals showered themselves in so much champagne. Bah.

But what a game it was. One for the history books. Yet such a shame; such a large part of me believes that the wrong team won. But how could that be? How could the wrong team have won? It's not possible. I must be wrong.

And you can say that it was only a game. And, in most ways, you'd be right. But how must it feel to be Carlos Beltran on this gray Friday? Only Carlos knows. And only Carlos knows how much of a game it was. Last night, he stood in a dream, stood in a fairytale:

The rain falling down all over Shea, the night dripping away, the stands standing still, praying for a hit. The end of the night now, no other time, the bottom of the ninth now, the Mets down by two with the bases loaded and, of course, two outs. It could be no other way. The Cardinals with their closer on the mound, the Mets with their slugger at the plate. Perfect, perfect. A fastball down the middle and strike one, taking all the way. A slow curve tipped foul, strike two. And Beltran stands there waiting with the crowd and the night and the twenty years in between. And he waits too long. He waits, he watches, and he strikes out looking. Looking. A perfect curve for strike three.

Maybe he was admiring the moment. I hope he enjoyed it, I do.