Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Game 1 - Mets
Kaz-ynski Singlehandledy Bombs the Braves

Mets 7, Braves 2
Record: 1-0!

Kaz-aam! Rock the Kaz-bah! The Kaz-by Show! Or, more appropriate for the geographic region in which he starred, Mat-soooooey!

Okay, so for my '04 opener, I opted for something New York Post-ish instead of a "In the Beginning," We the People," or "Call me Ishmael." (The Post ran "Kaz to Celebrate.") We are covering the punkish Mets here, not the reverent Yankees. Sue me.

As my moronic tirade of Post-Its alluded to, Kaz Matsui was huge in his MLB debut, smashing the first pitch of the Mets season over the centerfield wall in Turner Field, then doubling twice and walking twice. His performance and that of the entire club this Opening Night are an incredibly positive tone-setter for the year; the only thing negative about the night is the negative image of Opening Day 2003 reflected here. Beating the Braves in Atlanta has been an elusive feat for years; doing so with Glavine on the hill (in impressive fashion), with strong performances from an ensemble of players kept me smiling throughout the last three innings.

That I only caught the last three innings was the result of a great day at the ballyard, as noted by my counterpart in a more timely manner. The weather was April-perfect, the seats were top-notch (this is a direct slag on O's fans; I bought 5th row, $27 tickets last week), and the baseball was . . . well, it was baseball, which was all it needed to be. The bits I'll add to the Millar homer episode:

1. Rob failed to mention that he was chiding me mercilessly for failing to haul in the ball until the petite young lady (that he mentioned) on the other side of me, presumably obscured from his vision by the curves of my fatbody, popped her head around and expressed gratitude for my hesitation. I don't know what was more disappointing at the time, the missed glory of a home run catch or that he actually couldn't see a woman who'd been sitting next to me for twenty minutes.

2. After the ball landed out of reach, I had a moment of Ugly Americana. I realized that we were definitely on TV and instinctively threw my long arms into the air in celebration, forgetting for the moment that I'd decided to root for the hometown Orioles. Oops. Repeated SportsCenter viewings allowed me to pick myself out of the highlight, then laugh at my own idiocy for piling on with the hordes of Sox fans just for the millisecond self-location.

3. The poor sap who was in the can when the ball landed in his vacated seat came back, got the bad news, and began drinking beer at a rate which accelerated his penchant for inane anti-Sox comments far more than it activated his bad comedy checkpoint. After serving as arbitrator when Mr. Russell began pointing out the error of his unfunny ways, I last spotted the chap lunging over a couple of rows of empty seats at game's end to instigate a mini-brawl with some equally sauced, equally unenlightened Soxers. Good day at the Yards for us - for him . . . not so much.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. The New York Metropolitans start out with a convincing win over the poor Braves. (No need to add epithetical descriptors to "Braves" when we've just beaten them like this.) And after exactly nine innings of work, we are rolling! Isn't it way too early to think big? Of course! But does that matter right now? Hell, no!

The plummet down to earth could begin tonight at 7:30, but for now . . . life is good. There is little to no insight offered here today. Sorry about that; as discussed among many other philosphical discussions at the game yesterday, I am at my creative best when the Mets are dead-in-the-water losers with problems galore. Looks like it'll take at least one more game before I am back in my milieu.

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