It happened. It finally happened. The Mets are back on top of the NL East and going to the playoffs. It's hard to believe and feels very strange to type on a keyboard. And yet, it's been nine years since it last happened. Nine. That's a long time. So much so, that in the seconds before this group of players and coaches began celebrating being the NL Eastern Division Champions, the previous eight seasons flashed before my eyes.
I saw Willie Randolph, Jerry Manuel and Omar Minaya being fired. I saw Oliver Perez and Mike Pelfrey. I saw headlines from countless rumors, failed ideas, medical reports and financial news. I saw Endy Chavez's catch. I saw Tony Bernazard, Colin Cowgill, Brad Eamus and a thousand other names I shouldn't remember. I saw two seasons and a beloved stadium collapse in to a rubble.
And then I saw the 31,000 posts I've made since October 19, 2006, when Adam Wainwright's curveball started a downward spiral for the baseball team I love. And yet, some how, right now, watching grown men jump around like kids, watching David Wright and all he's been through spraying champagne, seeing these guys smile and laugh in relief, listening to fans be happy together all at the same time, it all seems worth it. The whole thing, all the drama, all the chaos, all the arguing and anger and frustration during the last nine years, it is all fading away like street signs in a review mirror. The future is now...
I'm not going to lie, I choked up a bit watching the celebration, because I'm so happy for the Mets, especially Wright. He's given his heart and soul to this franchise. And, while he's been paid quite well doing it, I know how important it is to him that you and I are proud of the Mets. I know how badly he wants to win. I can only imagine what he's feeling right now. I'm also especially happy for Terry Collins, Sandy Alderson and the team's owners, who have rightfully taken a ton of criticism the last few years. However, tonight, they can exhale and take pride in a job well done. Lastly, I'm most happy for you. Believe me, I know, It's not easy being a Mets fan.
This franchise has a unique way of embarrassing us at times, making life difficult and repeatedly daring us to stop being fans. Yet, like a great love, we all stick it out. We work through it. And today is why we do it... This is what watching sports is all about. It's about fun and entertainment and this season has been every emotion, every up and every down, every extreme, all ending at the top of the NL East.
I have to write it one more time: The Mets have won the NL East. I like that. Enjoy tonight. But, remember, this is a fun, talented and exciting team. They can win more than just this, and no one should be satisfied. There is more work to be done.
Matthew Cerrone (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | About Me) started MetsBlog.com as a project in college, generated 300,000,000 page views and 30,000 posts in 10 years, partnered with SNY and turned his hobby into a career. In 2011, SNY hired him to be Executive Editor and Dir. of Digital Content for their network of team sites, video content and podcasts.