Chase Utley has a way of ruining things.
May 28, 2016, should have been remembered for the festivities commemorating the 30th anniversary of the ’86 Mets championship team. Instead, this unseasonably hot and muggy, Saturday evening is remembered – fondly by the loved ones in attendance with me – as the night I absolutely lost my mind in the stands on multiple occasions after Noah Syndergaard and Terry Collins were ejected, thanks to that pompous, smug, dirtbag (it’s taking a lot to keep this PG right now!).
Photos from the pre-game ceremonies of the 30th anniversary of the ’86 Mets. The photo of me was taken by my lady Jen minutes after Thor and Terry were ejected. I needed a moment to “calm down,” while my friends in the background are seated without a worry in the world.
Before I get to that moment, I have tell you how much I was looking forward to this night. The anticipation for this game was driven by a combination of nostalgia for the only Mets championship in my lifetime, respect for many of my childhood heroes, and pure elation to spend an evening with friends, family, and more than 42,000 extended family members in attendance.
It didn’t matter that we were going to be subjected to a lineup featuring Ty Kelly and Eric ‘Soup’ Campbell. I mean, we were in first place at the time, AND when the Mets celebrated the 20th anniversary of the ’86 Mets they won with starting pitcher David Williams on the hill, so how bad could this evening be?!
Yup, I was wrong. It started off as a good pitcher’s duel and Thor looked dominant. When Chase Utley – Public Enemy #1 @ CitiField after breaking Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada’s leg on a cheap slide – came to bat, I remember the thunderous boos raining on the field. I didn’t say it outloud – mainly because I had $11.75 worth of chicken tenders and fries on my lap and was mid-bite – but I definitely had a feeling Syndergaard was going to send a message with some sweet chin music. I was perfectly fine with that, since Utley so deserved it. However, when home plate umpire Adam Hamari decided to make a name for himself by immediately tossing Thor on a pitch that didn’t even hit the batter, I immediately stood up and went ballistic. The video below gives you a flavor of the crowd heat at the stadium – and also gives insight into why players loved playing for Terry Collins.
Hindsight is always 20/20, but in retrospect, me screaming profanities at the top of my lungs, having veins pop out of my neck, and pointing at the air as if the umpire was in front of me was probably the least productive and inefficient use of my time and energy. But damnit, it felt good in the moment. Even more impressive, no tenders or fries were lost in the exchange!
Chase Utley: That’s the Bottom Line
Probably one of the most emotional and deflating games I’ve ever been to. It started positively – capped by my Uncle Paul dropping his drink in the parking lot in fear, thinking a stray wiffle ball toss was really a 98-MPH Syndergaard fastball.
And then Chase Utley hits two moonshots, the Mets offense goes into hibernation mood, and Kenta Maeda and the Dodgers bullpen went on to look like Koufax and the Nasty Boys (Myers/Charlton/Dibble) on the hill. Even more aggravating was sitting in front and behind of a group of Dodgers fans. UGH. Mets lose 9-1.
Were you in attendance for this game or watch from home? If so, use the comments section below to share your memories from this night.