Sunday, July 08, 2007


Games 85 & 86 - Mets

Astros 4, Mets 0
Mets 5, Astros 3 (17 inn.)
Record: 48-38

The sour, biting taste of bile in my mouth after a Friday night when the Mets played the role of hapless droids to Houston's Obi-Wandy Rodriguez was fairly severe. Jose Reyes lollygagged, the rest of the Mets just gagged. Another pitiful defeat in an increasing succession of them.

Some time back Rob and I expanded the MLC borders to include just a touch of our other passions; while it hasn't even approached triumvirate status, listening to music and drinking beer have been brought into our discussion of watching baseball with some regularity. Thank the Lord for that yesterday morning, as I had nothing to say about the Mets. In the past I might have had nothing good to say about them; now it was just nothing at all.

Enter Live Earth. For the unfamiliar (there was a startling lack of pre-show advertising for such an event, read here for the story on Live Earth from our sister station.

And so yesterday was dedicated to taking in nine international concerts broadcast on a couple of channels for twenty-some hours. While Rob may have muted the music for stretches to watch his Sox' extra-inning performance, I made a conscious decision along the way to forget about the Mets for a day. Lately, they simply haven't been providing the magic, the joy -- hell, even the mild entertainment, or anything not gruelingly painful.

What a mistake.

After a cocktail party in which I spent most of my time in the company of The Margarita Man (a cold character with no more to say than the writer's blocked East Coast Agony boys), I came home in time to catch, say, the 16th and 17th innings.

But I didn't. There was no reason to assume the Mets were still on, and besides, The Police were playing. I caught the last few bits of Live Earth; then and only then did I venture SportsCenter's way, receiving the mixed-emotion news of a Mets win -- and a very dramatic one at that, featuring the undisputed play of the year for the Metmen.

Carlos Beltran's game-saving, falling-down, edge-of the webbing snag in the dumbest part of the dumbest field in major league history (we've had wiffle ball fields with more thoughtful design) can be appreciated in highlight form, but it's really not the same as being on the edge of your seat in the 14th inning with the game on the line. I know -- I can try to tell people about Endy's grab last year, and they can watch the highlight, but if they didn't see it in the context of the moment, it loses a fair bit of dramatic oomph. (The Mets went on to win that game, right? I forget.)

Well, there's a lesson here, of course. (Even beyond "I am an idiot.") I can't rail mercilessly on the legion of non-committal milquetoasts for anything that qualifies as fair-weather or bandwagon behavior -- and I do, I really, really do -- and then turn my back on my team when they stub their toe. Or even when the fall down the stairs. (See the Colorado series.) Or even when they fall out of a window, plummet for a while, hit a tree, get knocked around on a few branches, fall some more, hit a rock, and tumble into a pond. Of quicksand. (See the first two-thirds of June.) I cannot bail out on them if I expect to reap the full reward when -- not if, but when, I pray -- they return to the mountaintop. (By that I don't mean Coors Field. They don't need to return there for a long, long time.)

And so, dear readers, you'll have to find the thrilling ins and outs of Game 86 -- a dead giveaway of must-see Mets, and I didn't even see it coming -- elsewhere in the 'sphere today. I'm too busy setting up my receiver to record today's contest while I squeeze in a round of golf. But make no mistake, if there's a choice to be made between the two, the Mets win.

Well, they'd better.

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