Today is my birthday. I have many things to be thankful for: K-Rod becoming a Met, the many warm wishes from my fabulous friends and family, my Giants clinching the NFC East, college basketball is in full swing, and yet I can’t help but feel a little empty. This would be due to the fact that I found out when I woke up this morning that my favorite Met in recent history had been traded to the Seattle Mariners.
Endy Chavez was an unsung hero in his 3 seasons as a Met. Chavez made one of the most miraculous catches in the history of baseball at Shea Stadium, when he robbed Cardinals’ third baseman Scott Rolen of a homerun in game 7 of the 2006 NLCS. After such a spectacular play, Chavez had the awareness to launch the ball to the cutoff man Jose Valentin, and double up Jim Edmonds at first base to end the inning.
It is noted in the anoles of baseball history as simply “The Catch”. The score was tied 1-1 and a homerun would have been an insurmountable dagger as the Mets could not hit Jeff Weaver if he was throwing beach balls underhand from four feet away. Consequently enough, the catch was in vain as the Mets lost the game, the series, and the season in a fashion in which only they can consistently recreate.
Chavez continued to excel defensively during his tour of duty in Queens, and despite his hitting style, almost always seemed to come up with the big hit in crucial stages of important games. Chavez will truly be missed by the Met faithful, especially yours truly.
My last memory of Endy in a Met uniform will always be a pleasant one. In the season finale, and last game ever played at Shea Stadium, Endy was put in as a defensive replacement in left field when a rocket off the bat of Jorge Cantu in a tie ballgame threatened to end the Mets season earlier than anticipated. Chavez sprinted back to the same familiar left field wall, leapt up and made another incredible catch to end the inning. I have never been to a sporting event that was louder than Shea after Chavez made that catch. The stadium erupted in a chant of ENDY CHAVEZ (clap clap clap clap clap!!!) for what seemed like forever. It gave me goose bumps then, and recalling it still gives me goose bumps today, despite the unfortunate outcome of the game, and the season for the Metsies.
This was a move that management had to make to consider the future of the franchise. We are proactively taking steps to solidify our bullpen despite giving up our most consistent reliever last season, Joe Smith. NOT AARON HEILMAN!! I will, however, miss the opportunity to boo Heilman after games as he would drive away, ashamed of his behavior, in his silver Audi Q7 SUV. I am glad Heilman is going as far away from Queens as any other location in the 48 states. So to Aaron I say goodbye to bad rubbish.
Joe Smith on the other hand, I believe I speak for all of us at the LLR and say you will be missed…Some for different reasons than others.
I wish Endy, and Joe all the best of luck in Seattle, and look forward to one day having you guys come to Citi-Field for a warm reception. May a prosperous career follow you to Seattle, or wherever you may end up.