The great American writer William Faulkner wrote "The past isn't dead. It isn't even past." This could be the Mets's mission statement. The past has been a series of things fans would say never goes away, and the truth is the current Mets even playing in a new stadium cannot escape it. The ghosts of Hodges, Stengel, McGraw, and many others hover over the field, with every game being as much about what has transpired as what is going on at that moment.
So last night Mets fans everywhere were smiling because the past no longer mattered. The disappointments, the wait until next years, the arrogant Yankees fans, and all the Letterman jokes were meaningless. All of this is courtesy of Johan Santana, the best lefthander who ever pitched for this team. On this night Santana not only achieved what no Mets pitcher has ever done, but he exorcised the demons of the franchise in the process.
It seems only fitting that the night began being all about Carlos Beltran, now a St. Louis Cardinal. It was his big return and the buzz was that he was going to hurt his former team. On the mound was the infamous Adam Wainwright, he of Game 7 in the 2006 NLCS who in the ninth inning threw the third strike past Beltran who stood like a statue with the bat on his shoulder. Game over. Cardinals go to the World Series and the Mets go home and more skeletons are in the collective closet. Now Beltran and Wainwright are teammates and staring across the diamond together as Mets history is accomplished.
Santana has been a revelation since returning from his surgery and becoming the pitcher the Mets knew he could be. He is cut from the mold of a Tom Seaver or a Jerry Koosman. He is all class and all about work ethic and team spirit. He goes out there and pitches and never complains, and on this night he realizes the dream for himself and for the fans.