Election Day has come and gone, and Bill de Blasio has won a second term as New York City Mayor. Here's that time he wanted to come hang with The 7 Line Army at Citi Field during the 2016 Wild Card Game.
I don't think I ever told the whole story from that night. I rarely leave the section during an outing. I eat before the game, and try to hold out as long as possible for a bathroom break. I ran -- literally ran -- to the men's room between innings around the 5th, and my phone started blowing up as I was doing my business. Not exactly sure how, but word spread that the mayor wanted to meet up.
We were filming for Loyal 'Til The Last Out with Sports Illustrated at the time, and as I returned, one of the producers was waiting for me at the top of the section. Did I want to wait there for the Mayor during the late innings of a scoreless Wild Card Game? Absolutely not. I saw the look of disappointment on her face, and I apologized. I'm sure she's thinking, "Hey, this is good for the documentary," but I couldn't bring myself to miss another second.
It wasn't a slight to office of the Mayor, or de Blasio as a person. To be fair, it could have been almost anyone and I would have had the same response. We were witnessing one of the greatest postseason pitching duels in modern history, and I wasn't taking my eyes off of it.
I head back to the seats thinking that was that, and then one of his people (Andrew from the video) came down to introduce himself. I explained to him that we're a very diverse group with many members employed by the city, and that it might not be the warmest of welcomes. But if the Mayor wanted to hang, he had to come down to us. I wasn't trying to big time the Mayor, but I wasn't walking him down the steps. Now, I thought for sure that was that.
He knew what he was getting in to walking down those steps. Some boos rang out, but many people posed for selfies, and The General himself (NYC Sanitation employee) got in a double handshake with a, "Thank you, Mister Mayor." My thoughts on his policies aside, I respect Bill throwing himself to the wolves. There's no way out once you're down in that front row, and if it went poorly, it would be a long walk back up that flight of stairs.
He asked if running The 7 Line was my full-time gig. I told him, "It is, until I run for Mayor." He looked around and smiled.
"You certainly have the votes."
As for the game, you all probably remember how it went. Noah Syndergaard was dealing. Seven innings with 10 K's. The HEEEEE STRUCK HIM OUT chants were the plenty, and my voice was shot for days later. Addison Reed tossed a scoreless 8th, and then it was Jeurys Familia's turn. He gave up a three-run dinger to Conor Gillaspie, and the wind was immediately taken from our sails.The place went silent.
Bumgarner was his normal dominant postseason self. He went the distance, and tossed a complete game, four-hit shutout. Our season was over.
But that's how the whole Bill de Blasio scene came to be. Loyal 'Til The Last Out was a thrill to be a part of, and it should be airing again pretty soon. We'll keep ya posted. Can't thank Josh Oshinsky and Sports Illustrated enough for believing that T7LA was worthy of a full length documentary.
If you're hitting the final home game on Thursday at Citi Field, swing by the Marina Lot to see some friends, maybe meet some new ones, and responsibly wash down your sorrows before heading inside.