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June 28, 2006

Mets v. Red Sox, Game 2

What's to say, really?

I can't remember the last time that I've been to a Mets game in person and seen the Mets win. It's been six or seven in a row now. And in most of them, the Mets haven't even shown up to play.

You know there will be callers who will call WFAN and suggest that Pedro grooved pitches tonight for his old teammates. It's absurd, but it'll happen, and it might even catch on enough to be a "story" for a day or two. What happened in reality is that the red hot Sox lineup demolished a Mets starter who didn't have his stuff today.

Tomorrow's the most challenging matchup of the series for the Mets, so I'm pretty much expecting to see the Mets lose, again. It does kind of suck when you spend so much time looking forward to a particular series of events in your life and then they pretty much blow goats. Oh well.

At least Lynn's hand is doing better today; she might go get X-rays but it's not hurting today nearly as much as we expected.

Mets v. Red Sox, Game 1

Tonight was the first game of the Mets–Red Sox interleague series. The Sox won 8 - 4, but that's the least of what there is to say about the game. Here's the capsule "highlights":

  • The game. Alay Soler had poor control and was pounded. Even many of the outs he recorded were hit very hard. On the other hand, Jon Lester was barely hit hard at all. He was wild though, which would worry me a bit if I were a Sox fan, but overall he seemed in control. Reyes was banged up when he was thrown out at home plate by Manny, but he stayed in the game. Nady was taken out after being hit in the wrist by a pitch. We (Lynn and I) knew the game wasn't going our way when Lastings completely misplayed a flyball near the Green Monster. Actually, I thought all three Mets outfielders looked shaky on flyballs for most of the early innings. Not sure why.
  • The ceremonies. Unbeknownst to me prior to today, the Sox staged a commemoration of the 1986 ALCS Champion Red Sox team today. While Bill Buckner couldn't attend (he's apparently in Washington state visiting a college with one of his children, but the Red Sox want him to know he's welcome back any time), luminaries such as Bruce Hurst, Dwight Evans, Jim Rice, and Wade Boggs (booooo Yankee!) were in attendance. Was quite enjoyable to have no qualms about celebrating that 1986 team along with all the Sox fans.
  • In enemy territory. For the most part, our interactions with Red Sox fans were friendly and good-natured. Two twenty-something Red Sox fans pointed out the guy on stilts following me around outside the stadium while holding up an "I love the Red Sox" sign (Lynn had already pointed it out), and we ended up agreeing that we all despised the Yankees. The fans around us cheered for the Sox without showing any abuse to us or the few Mets fans that were seated near us. One Sox fan nearby did yell for a body bag when Reyes was down after his collision at home plate, but I'm willing to give that one a pass. Pleasant all around, though it appeared less so for some fans in the bleachers.
  • The foul ball. During Trot Nixon's at-bat during the first inning, he hit a screaming line drive foul down the right-field line and into the stands. Into our section in the stands. Into our section of the stands and directly at my head. Now, I don't follow the ball at baseball games very well, and Lynn knows this. So while the entire section rose as one in reaction to this line drive on the way, I stayed seated, holding my scorecard and pencil, and then when I finally saw the ball slowly raised my arms. Lynn quickly saw everything that was happening, and from her stance to my right darted out her left arm to deflect the ball away from me. She was successful, but in the process got quite the severe bruise on her left thumb/palm/wrist. We spent an inning chilling with the Fenway first aid folks who don't seem to think anything's broken, but we'll keep an eye on it for the next few days. Who knows what would have happened if Lynn hadn't reached out her arm, but I feel pretty special to know that my wife risked herself to protect me. I also feel pretty badly about how the ball injured her, but I'll take care of her and make sure she's back to full health by the next time an errant baseball comes our way.

Our seats tomorrow are in the bleachers, so I don't think there'll be any line drives to worry about, per se.

June 27, 2006

Meta: Comments

It seems that for a little while now comments haven't been working properly around these parts. If you left a comment and it never showed up, my apologies. Future comments should work correctly once more. If you said something really important, feel free to say it again. :-)

June 22, 2006

What was he thinking?

At work there have been signs printed up and placed on some doors around the building. They say something to the extent of (name and number replaced to protect the questionably innocent):

For complaints about the work in the garage, call C_______ H_______ at 617-###-####.
Every time I see this sign, I wonder if C. H. put it up himself, or if his a mortal enemy was exacting some cruel revenge. I mean, who in their right mind advertises themselves for complaints only? Madness, I tell you, pure madness.

Hypothetically speaking...

Would I rather see one of my main sports teams win their sport's championship, or would I rather see Team USA win the World Cup?

In order from least preferred (but still very preferred!) to most, with a bit of commentary:

  1. Devils. Along with the Broncos, the Devils have been the overall most successful one of my sports teams in my life, especially in the past 10 or 12 years. Success spoils me a bit, especially in the sport about which I care the least.
  2. Team USA. It would be a shocker of shockers, as unlikely a World Cup outcome as I can fathom. (OK, I can fathom more unlikely outcomes. But it would be a jaw-dropping stunner.) But... I'm just not particularly emotionally invested in them. And despite giving the sport a fresh chance as I try to do every four years, soccer is still boring as sin. Sorry, everyone-else-in-the-world-and-most-American-intellectuals, you're just wrong about this one.
  3. Nets. They've come close, and with Jason Kidd getting older by the minute it's unclear if they'll have any other sort of real chance at a championship any time soon. I'd love to see them bring a new trophy to New Jersey after all the years of futility and now all the close calls, but I think the NBA Playoffs are so incredibly boring (compared to all the other sports), that I just can't get too excited about them.
  4. Broncos. The current Broncos team has so many great stories that it would be fantastic to see them win. Plummer's turnaround from his Arizona days, Rod Smith's last hurrah, Champ's revitalization of a a defense led by Al Wilson and John Lynch, etc. etc. And the team looked poised to take that step last year, before falling flat against Pittsburgh. Even having been treated to back-to-back Superowl wins 8 years ago, I'd cherish another championship run for Denver.
  5. Mets. OK, so this doesn't come as a surprise to anyone reading this blog (let me know if it does), but I ache every year for the Mets to win the World Series. I feel like even the 2000 team snuck up on me and most other fans by surprise, and wasn't a World Series caliber team at all. This year, the team is exciting, unpredictable, and balanced in just about every way. They're fun to watch, and a large nucleus of the team will be together for years to come. They have the talent to win the World Series, but the regular season can be as cruel as it is long, and the playoffs are where hearts are broken, mended, and torn apart once more. But to emerge from the chaotic tension as champions of baseball is oh so sweet—how could any sports fan want anything more?

Second-best, in a sense

With the NBA and NHL neatly wrapping up their seasons last week, it's time for a brief moment of reflection on the previous three major professoinal sports seasons. Perhaps we can learn something about the current baseball season as well. Pay attention, now:

What does this all mean? Naively, it means that my sports teams are pretty damn good right now, but not quite good enough. I worry that all three of them might be a bit worse this coming year, though I am a big fan of Javon Walker.

In reality, though, it means that every baseball fan out there should be rooting hard for my Mets. If you're a Red Sox or a Yankees fan you want to be facing the Mets in the World Series. If you're a fan of the Phillies or the Astros or any other National League team, you want to be facing the Mets in the NLDS or NLCS. If this pattern continues in October, I'm not sure exactly what sort of slam you'd call it, but it surely wouldn't be a very grand slam.

But beware, all you aspirers to baseball supremacy. The Mets aren't going down this year without a fight.

I'll be at all three Mets–Red Sox games next week at Fenwy. After Tuesday's appetite-whetting matchup of Alay Soler vs. Jon Lester, the other two games feature dream matchups. Pedro returns to Boston against young star Josh Beckett on Wednesday, and if things hold the course until then, the series wraps up with Tommy Glavine taking on Curt Schilling on Thursday. Let's go Mets!

June 5, 2006

When it comes right down to it...

...what more could a person really possibly want than to relax late in the evening and listen to a baseball game being called by the easygoing, comforting, witty, and always-knowledgeable Vin Scully? I prefer the playcalling of Gary Cohen (or Howie Rose, for that matter) teamed with color from either Keith Hernandez or Ron Darling to just about every other broadcasting team in baseball, but it's a rare and special treat to enjoy Vin Scully calling a Mets game.

It comes awfully close to heaven on earth. Thanks, Mr. Scully.