For those of us who have been too used to hearing that lonely man theme from "The Incredible Hulk" while Benitez sulks off the mound at Shea after another one of his arrogant "location...I don't need no stinkin' location" pitches, like the arrogant pitch he threw to Craig Counsell in '02...or the arrogant pitches he threw to Lance Berkman and Moises Alou in '01...well this time, all we heard was happy, hard driving techno-pop as Lastings Milledge rounded the bases with the tying run (that synthesized ecstasy driven club music never sounded so good). Two dingers off of the sulking king in the tenth and finally, he's nicked up by his former team.
And I'm not afraid to tell you it felt great...and hours later, it will still feel great.
It felt great because it's another ghost exorcised in what is quickly turning into "Met Revenge Tour 2006". And this was a pretty big ghost to nab. He was nabbed by old and new alike, with Jose Valentin hitting the first solo HR in the tenth to make it 6-5 Gigantes. But Lastings Milledge's HR was much more than just a tying home run in extra innings. This was a game that Armando Benitez had in his pocket. The count was 1-2, and Elizier Alfonzo not only set up outside and low, but gave a quick reminder with his glove to keep the ball down. After all, Milledge has been chasing everything outside in his brief major league career. Instead, the arrogant one throws one letter high, inside half.
"Who needs location? I'm Armando Benitez! And I always beat the Mets!"Not anymore you don't, pallie!
And even though the Mets lost, even though they were done in by shoddy fielding by Reyes in the eighth, and Pedro Feliciano in the twelfth, the lasting (I really meant no pun there, really I didn't) impression that I will walk away with is the one with Lastings hitting an arrogant pitch over the outfield wall and pumping his fist...much in the same way Lee Mazzilli hit a game tying home run in 1986 against St. Louis during a "Game of the Week" (remember those?) with Bob Costas calling Maz's skip around first base "a war dance". Who remembers that they lost the game? An old friend became a new friend as he returned to blast one against the Cardinals...and it was part of the soundtrack that was 1986...loss or no loss.
Lastings Milledge is a new friend who took great care in high fiving the fans down the right field line before the eleventh inning. And his blast against old friend/eternal enemy insures that he is now forever a part of the bigger picture that will turn out to be 2006, no matter that the Mets lost this game.
(Disclaimer: I am a bitter old man...I get two wrapped up over things like what you are about to read. The following is a stream of consciousness, written before taking a breath, and after witnessing a tough loss. Enjoy!)
It's too much to expect that national sports anchors actually watch the sporting events they report. There are a lot of them that happen in a given day.
But is it too much to expect them to actually look at a scoresheet or a boxscore once in a while?
ESPNEWS' Dari Nowkhah had this take, among others, of today's Giants/Mets game during the score panel:
"Matt Morris and Steve Trachsel your starters...long forgotten in this one neither one of them very impressive..."Gee guys, sorry Steve Trachsel isn't a huge star like Barry Bonds, Barry Bonds, or Barry Bonds...but one earned run in seven innings, which your very score panel read, is significantly better than the definition of a quality start. Henceforth, Trachsel had an impressive outing, I'd say. Maybe if ESPN produced "Trachsel on Trachsel", the report of his outing would have been a little more in depth and accurate. Maybe you would have told us that Trachsel deserved to have a no-hitter to his credit. But alas, Steve Trachsel does not equal ratings, so his outing was unimpressive.
Where's the journalism?