I don't have any great love for the Kansas City Royals, but when I was 12 years old, in the fall of 1986, the Red Sox were one out -- one strike -- away from winning it all, and then this happened:
I searched Google for the video and pasted the link, but I can't actually bring myself to watch the damn thing. "It gets by Buckner..."
Don't click it, Sox fans.
That was the last time the Mets won a World Series, and they were two outs away from keeping themselves alive in the 2015 World Series tonight, when this happened:
Take that, Mets.
But I've been there. I've been that anguished fan watching it slip away.
I've seen a manager leave a pitcher in too damn long.
I've screamed at the TV when a fielding error or a bad throw to home blew a lead.
I love the human drama of sports, and baseball is (for many reason) my absolute favorite. I don't just love the Red Sox. I love the game, and tonight's game packed in the drama.
Because the Sox tanked this year, not even making the playoffs, I had no emotional connection to the outcome, except that ugly kernel of desire for the Mets to "get theirs" in some sort of sick trade/revenge for 1986.
Then I looked up their roster:
The oldest player in the team is 2 years younger than I am. Over half the men on the team roster were born after the 1986 World Series.
And that game that the Red Sox lost -- that wasn't the Mets' fault -- of course they wanted to win. So did the Red Sox. We just had a terrible mistake that happened to be one of a long line of serious mistakes.
And now I have friends who are Mets fans, and I feel empathy for their pain, not schadenfreude.
I still love the Red Sox just as much as ever, but maybe I'm old and wise enough that I don't hate the other teams simply because they are our opponents.**
So Congrats to the Royals, their city and their fans. It's been a long 30 years, eh?
Great season, Mets. Keep the faith for next year.
** Except the New York Yankees. Yankees Suck!"