Work in Sports
Time to party
After 14 long years, Mets finally break out the jams
Updated: Tuesday October 17, 2000 7:52 AM
By John Donovan, CNNSI.com
NEW YORK -- It was Copa Cabana. No getting around it.
In a joyous New York Mets clubhouse, after locking up their first trip to the World Series in 14 years, backs were slapped, champagne was poured onto heads like so much cheap hotel shampoo and Barry Manilow -- Barry Manilow, for goodness sakes! -- blared from the stereo.
Yes, this was a New York kind of celebration. The Mets, who few picked to get this far at the season's start, definitely partied their way.
"I know I'm going to sleep well tonight," Lenny Harris screamed over the din of the room, packed with players, players' families, reporters, cameramen, coaches, trainers, clubhouse boys, hangers-on, cops, celebrities, the mayor of New York and, had to be, about a million others. "This is great!"
The Mets completed their manhandling of the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Championship Series with a 7-0 win, then took to celebrating and celebrating some more. Much of the talk throughout the party, which spilled from the clubhouse into the surrounding corridors at Shea, was about the Subway Series to come.
"I don't see any reason to pull punches at this point," Mets first baseman Todd Zeile said. "I'd love to see a Subway Series. I have unfinished business with the Yankees as far as I'm concerned. They've eliminated me the other three times I've had a chance to be in the postseason."
Yes, even the Mets now can admit they've been longing for a New York-New York matchup all along. In a room draped with plastic sheets, with actor-director Tim Robbins and his wife, actress Susan Sarandon, making the rounds, with pitcher Al Leiter yucking it up with mayor Rudy Giuliani, talk of the Subway Series was all the rage.
"It's going to be an earthquake in New York," said left fielder Benny Agbayani who, true to his pre-game promise, celebrated with his fans along the left-field line after the last out. "It's going to be electrifying."
There has not been a World Series matchup of two New York teams in 44 years, so the people of New York seem pretty primed for one. At least the people in Queens, inside Shea Stadium, did Monday night.
After Timo Perez squeezed the last out of a complete-game gem from starter Mike Hampton, the 55,000-plus fans at Shea started to scream "We want the Yanks."
They screamed other things, too, but this is a family Web site.
Native New Yorker John Franco led a parade of relievers out of the Mets' bullpen after the final out and was later seen, three champagne bottles in hand, headed down a corridor in the stadium toward his family members.
Closer Armando Benitez pulled general manager Steve Phillips close in the clubhouse, only to dump a bottle of bubbly slowly over his head.
Third baseman Robin Ventura was doused.
"It burns," he answered. "It's been burning for a while ..."
Harris carried on an interview while an entire bottle flowed over his eyes. "It's going to be crazy," he said of a possible Subway Series. "Pretty much riot-type of crazy. The National Guard will have to be here. Anything could happen when these two teams meet in New York."
And, all the while ...
Her name was Lola, she was a showgirl ...