On Shea’s last day, the Mets exited playoff contention with a 4-2 loss to the Marlins and another bullpen collapse, this one starring Scott Schoeneweis and Luis Ayala. In the interval between the game and closing ceremonies featuring old Mets greats, fans reacted in customary fashion, per the New York Times: “They booed when Florida players came out to collect dirt from the basepaths. They booed every time the Mets announced anything over the public address system — ‘Our Shea Goodbye ceremony will begin in five minutes,’ was particularly unpopular. And they booed Mr. Met.”
Even some normally nostalgic local sportwriters gave Shea a less than kind send-off. “Shea? A dump, I’ve said longer and louder than I can even remember,” wrote Mike Vaccaro in the New York Post. “Blow it up. Tear it down. But whatever you do, get rid of it before it inflicts one more aesthetic atrocity on even one more pair of eyes.”
Mets bloggers were for the most part in a more valedictory mode.
Jason of Faith and Fear in Flushing called it “the little Game 7,” meaning 2006’s NLCS — “Oliver Perez, a scarily unknown quantity, pitching on three days’ rest… there was Endy Chavez, saving the Mets’ season with a sparkling defensive play in deep left… and there were the Mets, going home.” Though he’s still angry about the 2007 collapse, Jason says “My head is held high. My team fought hard and fought honorably…” He looks forward to next year, “in a place that’s different but that we already know how to get to.”
“Seeing Mike Piazza and Tom Seaver walk from home plate, out to center field, and ‘shut the door’ on Shea Stadium has me teary eyed even writing about it,” said the ‘Ropolitans.
“A large, round, drafty, leaky, noisy, older stadium,” said The Bugsey at cop board Thee Rant, “but it was from our youth, and in our memories.” On other thread, Ranter Yankees and Mets fans fought (“Yankees suck my ball bag … that doesn’t suddenly mean the Yankees were not the BIGGEST disappointment in baseball this year!!!!”).
Some had already moved on. Dom D’s Mets Fan Blog was pleased to hear that Jerry Manuel’s probably back next season. Scott Ross of NewYorkology was less happy about Mets GM Omar Minaya’s reenlistment: “Will he finally hire a major leaguer to play second base? What will he do to replace Billy Wagner?… Will he continue to man his bench with the likes of Trot Nixon, Damion Easley and Marlon Anderson? Clearly his boss trusts him to address these questions. I wouldn’t.”
It’s all football and sour memories now. See you at Citi Field, if we can afford it.