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Game 124 // Eighth Inning // The Kings of Queens

The Mets were on the edge of a giant cliff. The letters SWEEP written into the dirt of the plains below.

And then, this eighth inning.




It’s cold in New York, still.

The Yankees are getting all the attention.

The Yankees, so far, aren’t that good.


But the Mets, they just scored nine runs in one inning.

The Mets might be the best team in the National League.

How did this happen.




Well, it happened like this, down 4-2 in the 8th:

Conforto singled. Cespedes singled. Cabrera singled.

Frazier singled. Gonzalez walked. Lagares doubled.

Rosario walked. Conforto walked.


And Yoenis Cespedes, back up to bat with the bases loaded, did what we all knew he just might do.

He did this:




I feel, sitting many miles away in the Midwest, like I’m missing something significant in New York. Like that city, once again, feels like the center of some kind of universe. That it’s not merely rats and pigeons and filth and money and the crowded chock-full subway car of evil incarnate.

That it’s where things are happening.


Happening now, happening at the end of the 7-line train. Happening in Queens, at Citi Field, where the 2018 Mets of all teams are leading the National League.




I’m starting to feel that New York magnetism.

Like I’m off the plane at LaGuardia, the bus driver slipped me a pill, whisked me into a disco nightclub, and I’m dancing my ass off to Donna Summer songs wearing a Cespedes jersey, eye black on my cheeks, big gold chains around my neck, feeling like I myself just hit that grand slam. Feeling that New York thing, calling my name from the murky immoral depths of Midtown, of Wall Street, of far east Queens and every last corner of that city.

Citi Field, calling my name, sounding the alarms around major-league baseball.

That the Mets are for real.