May 07, 2008

Equal Time: Shea is NOT the Center of the Universe - An Opposing View

Editor's Note: In honor of the Dodgers deserting Brooklyn exactly 50 years ago, we have decided to give "equal time" to a Dodger fan, transplanted to Florida, one Jeff Kagan. Without further ado...

By Jeff Kagan

In honor of the NY Mets vs. LA Dodgers series on May 5 –7, I now present...

Mike Scioscia Appreciation Day!!!!!!

October 9, 1988. Shea Stadium. The National League Championship Series - Game 4. The Mets lead the Dodgers, 2 games to 1, in a best of 7 matchup. If they win game 4 they will be up 3 to 1 with game 5 in New York.

The Mets are heavy favorites with players such as Gooden, Strawberry, Carter, Hernandez and Dykstra. The Dodgers counter with Orel Hersheiser, a badly hobbled Kirk Gibson, and…that’s about it. (Unless you count Tommy Lasorda!) No one, not even die-hard Dodgers fans, can name the starting line up of that team. (Franklin Stubbs? John Shelby?) The odds of that Dodgers taking the pennant are less than Gooden and Strawberry testing clean for drugs. [Editor's Note: LOW BLOW!!]

The Dodgers are down 4 –2 in the top of the ninth inning. Gooden is on the mound. The Dodgers send up their ferocious 5-6-7 hitters in this seemingly futile effort. John Shelby (yes, he batted 5th!) walks and sets the stage for Mike Scioscia, a career .259 hitter who has hit 3 home runs the entire season. Shea is going crazy in anticipation of taking one more step toward a championship that all New Yorkers believe is their birth-right. Screw that birth-right! The first pitch that Scioscia sees is sent screaming out of Shea to tie the score - and Dodgers' fans dare to dream!

Kirk Gibson goes on to hit a two-out home run in the top of the 12th to put the Dodgers up. Hersheiser comes in with 2 outs in the bottom of the 12th and gets the final out of the game as the Mets leave the bases loaded.

Hersheiser pitches a Game 7 shutout. The Dodgers go to the World Series to meet the steroid-strong Oakland A’s. Gibson hits the improbable homer off Eckersley. Hersheiser barely breaks a sweat as he wins the MVP!

And all because of a light hitting backstop who hit the home run to kill New York’s dream. And the Mets still haven’t a World Series since then.

Here’s to you Mike. Live it up! And let's see what happens when the Mets come to your home in Anaheim this June!!!

No comments: