“Harvey’s Better” But It Just Doesn’t Matter To Pete Falcone

pete falcone (16)Like most everyone else, my favorite moments of this Mets season to date have revolved around Matt Harvey. Matt has been nothing short of special and has quickly created a buzz around town. In particular I loved when he clearly got the better of Stephen Strasberg, and that our fans spontaneously came up with that chant of “Harvey’s Better.” It was fun, it evoked the moment, and it came from the collective minds of the masses, not a video board operator. The best chants do, and we have had our share. The big one, “Let’s Go Mets!” goes all the way back to 1962. Up until then the prevailing chant at a baseball game was “We Want a Hit!” That is so needy, right? And specific. Hadn’t those fans ever heard of on base percentage?

But we Mets fans in 1962 we weren’t demanding a hit. The team won 40 games, how crazy can you get? Nope, we just wanted them to do something. C’mon guys, let’s go already! Right?

Let’s Go Mets!

I have to say, although “Let’s Go Mets” is a chant that has endured and still feels right my personal favorite chant was one I heard only once in the late summer of 1979. The summer of Bill Murray’s first movie, “Meatballs.” And for one game, on August 2, 1979, that movie and the Mets came together.

The Mets were playing two and had already lost the first game to the Phillies. No big shock, losing was commonplace in 1979, a 99-loss campaign. For game two, in our attempt not to be swept, the Mets were pitching Pete Falcone.

Pete Falcone, a Brooklyn kid, was immensely talented, with an excellent fastball and a knuckle-curve. But he was often called high-strung, and confidence issues plagued him. He bounced around the major’s and by 1979 had landed with the Mets. I remember it was frustrating to watch Falcone pitch. It wasn’t that he was terrible, but he left you wanting more. Like today, that overall feeling of wanting more was pervasive in 1979.

Falcone had good stuff and was locked in a 1-1 game heading into the seventh. Greg “The Bull” Luzinski led off with a double; Falcone’s shoulders slumped, and it started. In the section next to me, about four guys began chanting as loudly as they could,

“It Just Doesn’t Matter!”

Some people laughed and a few more joined in. Falcone rallied to get the next three Phillies and strand “The Bull.” When Doug Flynn led off in the bottom half with a single it started in again, louder now as more and more sections joined in. Now, at this point in that doubleheader, there might have been 5,000 hardy souls left at Shea, I’m not saying this was a deafening roar. But it had caught on, and when Frank Taveras smacked a double to give the Mets the lead it had become the chant of the evening.

“It Just Doesn’t Matter!”

By the top of the ninth the fans still around were ALL standing and chanting it. Or, at least that is how I remember it now, it was probably 30 of us. Of course that might also have been everyone, this was 1979.

“It Just Doesn’t Matter!”

And closer Neil Allen ended things with a strikeout and, well, a meaningless Mets win in the dog days of August.

But it was fun, which is the real idea of the entire thing by the way. Sometimes you have to laugh. So if the season goes off the tracks again this year, maybe one game instead of subjecting us to Kevin James screaming “Let’s Go Mets!!” on the video screen, we could go with some vintage Bill Murray.

Because even if we win, all the good looking girls are going to go out with the Yankees anyway because they have all the money.

 

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5 comments

  1. Man, now you’re throwing Pete Falcone at us. Next it’ll be Nino Espinosa or Kevin Kobel. Perhaps even John Pacella!
    It Just Doesn’t Matter!

    • Michael Geus says:

      We have an entire ten-week series planned on John Pacella but we are holding it until the off-season when things aren’t quite as fascinating around the team.

  2. Alan K. says:

    I recall Falcone was very religious and there’s a story that after Falcone once claimed that his bad pitching was the Lord’s will, Jim Frey who was a Mets coach at the time, asked Falcone to ask the Lord if it was okay for him to throw a strike. I like the idea of playing It Just Doesn’t Matter”on the video screen. That might be enough to get me to show up at a game this year..

    • Michael Geus says:

      I always remember the radio announcers taking about how it was Falcone’s dream to own a supermarket some day. Not a chain of them, one. I always wondered about that ratio, one player dreaming of owning a supermarket versus all of the owners of supermarkets dreaming about being a major league player.

      That grass is always greener on the other side.

  3. “Just end the season”

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