Padres 5, Mets 1
Mets 7, Padres 0
Padres 5, Mets 4
Mets 13, Dodgers 9
Mets 4, Dodgers 1
Dodgers 8, Mets 6
Mets 5, Dodgers 4
Scroll back to the midsummer posts of Years 1, 2, 3, or 4 of this vehicle, and the lull from which Rob and I may or may not be emerging at this moment should have been expected. Every July or August for the past 14 years we've rounded up a dozen or two of our college compadres, made the pilgrimage down to Nags Head, NC, and entered a cosmic warp that sends us back to 1990 Williamsburg, VA. Our latter-day scraggly visages and portly figures remain, but the minds, souls, and livers all revert to heyday form. It's really a beautiful thing, according to this beholder.
And like every good hangover, the one we're currently fighting through is predominantly physical withdrawal and exhaustion, with a dash of melancholy that the fun has quieted for another year and a tablespoon of peace that we lived through it and have another chapter of silly memories. The bottom line, however, is that cognitive thought and productivity are laughable notions at this point.
A little text from this time in seasons past:
Didn't see a ton of ball while struggling to recapture my youth... 2 losses to the Twins stung slightly, but the fact that I found out about them reading the Sports section of The Virginian-Pilot on a porch overlooking the ocean dulled the pain to a near-imperceptible level.All this, just to prepare you for the ill-informed, incoherent blah-blah-blah that follows.
And, as nearly always, I spent the whole time in blissful ignorance of the Sox progress, save for a few minutes perusing the box scores in The Virginian-Pilot. As a result of my coastal meanderings, I only caught one of the Sox’ previous 6 games, and boy, did I choose poorly... Fortunately, I was so tired and hung over that I couldn’t muster enough energy to be more than mildly irritated.
Thank God I was drunk for the past 6 days, because I would have been one pissed off mofrackie if I had to watch the Sox self-destruct while sober. I didn't actually watch any of these games, except the 5-3 loss to Baltimore (in which the Sox raised hopes by loading the bases in the 9th before dashing them on Nomar's wild swing on strike 3). In hindsight, that was a good thing, because watching 3 losses in 4 games to the O's would likely have driven me to the destruction of something valuable.
Much like Mr. Russell, I was neck-deep in nothing remotely connected to the New York Mets: sunny skies, warm ocean waters, and cold beers, without the sunny & warm parts. Hung over SportsCenter recaps of wins and losses (equally proportioned, for once) were the unnecessary updates to the season. Discussions with the one other Mets fan at the beach ranged from cynical to hopeful and took potshots and solace intermittently.
As if waking from a coma, the box scores, highlights, and Sunday afternoon win left me with the following questions:
- Marlon Anderson? When...?
- Wait -- Jose Valentin got hurt again?
- Where is Damion Easley?
- Who the hell is Chip Ambres?
- Holy cow, Anderson Hernandez is back up?
- Where is Paul LoDuca's bat?
- Where is Moises Alou's quad?
- Will Tommy Glavine ever reach 300?
- Is this team actually good enough in its current iteration to contend?
It's going to come down to it.
The Braves and Phillies have been mirroring the Mets' every dip, soar, free-fall, and re-ascension for months. Right now the Mets are Maverick and Goose and there's a pair of MiGs shadowing them at every turn. Can't shake 'em. You don't have time to think up there. If you think, you're dead. Well, okay, that's a little more extreme than the reality, but in truth, it's no time to be checking standings, looking at the schedule ahead, and trying to calculate. (Let the Red Sox do that: the Yankees play 53 of their 73 second half games against losing teams, most of them AA poseurs with names like Devil Rays, Orioles, and Royals.)
It's not time for any of that for the Mets, though. It's simply time to keep piloting ahead, dodging trouble, and fighting to come out on top.