Carlos Delgado has a way of looking like he is the center of the universe. He doesn’t look as if he wants to be the center of the universe. He doesn’t look as if he thinks he is the center of the universe. He looks as if he IS the center of the universe. To say that the man has presence is a ridiculous understatement.
He has this straight, broad front of a forehead, and this massive and powerful body. But he moves with such ease, and his gaze is so steady. He seems so perfectly relaxed as he makes the rounds of the dugout, laughing and smiling. It calms me down to look at him.
He is better than yoga. He calmed me down last night, by reaching over the plate to hit an incomprehensible home run to left. My muscles and lungs relaxed for the first time in 24 hours. I felt a coolness on my forehead.
Until Delgado hit that homer, I was miserable. Everything that was happening seemed fraught with menace. And the Cardinals were seriously beginning to freak me out. Is it my imagination or are they a very funny-looking team? Several of them look like angry babies, several of them have hair that falls unpleasantly on the back of their beefy necks, and then there’s that blood-purple flap of hair on Spiezio’s chin.
Whatever they are trying to do, by looking like this, was working. On me, at least. The Cardinals seemed a lot more menacing than their 83 wins entitled them to be. And there was something about the sea of red around them, and the hankies flapping like the hair on Spiezio’s chin or Belliard’s nape, that made me afraid and a little grossed out. Until that six-run inning. That changed everything.
Still, I can’t imagine these Cardinals being the Mets. And I can’t imagine the Mets being the Cardinals. Am I right? Am I being fair? Aren’t the Mets a particularly attractive and cool-looking team? Don’t they all have some of the dash of Omar? Or are they just familiar to me? Are Cardinals fans freaked out by the sharp urbanity of the Mets and the menacing seediness of my beloved Shea? Let them be.
I don’t think the Mets should be knocked off by this Cardinal team. If the Cardinals want to win the pennant, let them do it in one of these years when they are really good. They have enough of them. This is our year. And this is the Tigers’ year. This is the Series we all deserve, between two amazing, surprising teams, the best in their leagues.