I prefer not to think of this as an obscene gesture, but as a salute to 45 great years at Shea Stadium. The Marlins' 4-2 win on Sunday ended the Mets' season, but please, let there be no tears. Did you really want Shea to go out in some bland early-round playoff game? This is a much more appropriate way to end it; with the bullpen blowing a late lead on the last day of the regular season, as God intended. And mercifully, it's over. Finally, Oliver can withdraw the troops. And, according to this, you expected as much. If there had really been poetic justice, the last out ever at Shea Stadium would have been made by Endy Chavez. But no; his grounder in the ninth only went for out No. 2. Ryan Church did the honors two batters later, flying to center to end the season for New York; meaning that the Mets will not play in Ocober for the first time since 1994. Who better to preside at the funeral than Lupica, whose column on the whole thing is here. In a bold example of participatory journalism, the hobbit-like columnist watched part the game from "behind section 312," providing many anecdotal examples of mingling with the little people. But that only lasted a couple of innings, at which point he returned to a private box to mingle with Darryl Strawberry. But now let us hand the mic to Faith and Fear in Flushing, for some final comments.
There is no Shea Stadium. Contemplate that, would you? Consider the width, breadth and depth of that statement. Shea Stadium was. Not is, but was. Shea Stadium constructs all its sentences for the rest of time in the past tense. Shea Stadium was over there. Shea Stadium was where we went. I used to go to Shea Stadium. This is a situation unlike any I can fathom. I cannot fathom this situation at all. I saw it end. I heard it end. The gates all but shut in my wake. It's no longer where I go. It's where I went. It's unfathomable. Shea Stadium's not there. I didn't want to leave it, but it was going no matter what I did.