Sunday, June 01, 2008

The Sun Shines Through

(Editor's note: Please forgive the potential weather metaphors that are possible with this post.)

The weather read like it was going to be more conducive to ducks ... er, I mean ducks and kites with keys on the end of them, than it would have been for baseball. But as I searched for the cell phone number of my game companion today (more on who that is later on) to ask if he was still into making the trek for Cap Day, knowing that we could wind up turning around and going home without seeing any baseball, that's when the sun started to peek through.

The rain that was forecast for pretty much the whole day (and had me anticipating a day/night doubleheader tomorrow) instead stayed away long enough for the Mets to come up with a stirring 3-2 victory at Shea today. The game worked out just like the weather today: cloudy and stormy early (Pelfrey giving up a run right off the bat thanks to his own sub-par stuff, and Jose Reyes ' glove doing an impression of a skillet on a throw from Endy Chavez that would have had Matt Kemp out by ten feet ... instead kicking the ball away and letting a run score), stabilizing in the middle (Pelfrey giving up two runs in seven innings for an outing that was more more laborious than his line would indicate ... yet probably saved his job) and very sunny late.

(Cue dream sequence music)

This is now starting to get about time where I start getting nostalgic about Shea Stadium. The first game I went to was more like "hey, it's the first game at Shea for me this year" (and I had no real time to sit and be nostalgic that game since I was too busy getting pissed off at the no run support for Pelfrey and trying to catch t-shirts shot out of a cannon ... and yes, I got one that day), so this second game was the one where it started to kick in. I sat in the right field mezzanine today, right near the seats that I spent so much time in during the late 80's, early 90's ... and when Carlos Beltran was up in the eighth as the tying run, I started to get some Darryl Strawberry flashbacks.

Strawberry's stats tell you that in close and late situations, he stunk. So maybe it was the idiocy of youth, or maybe it was the lack of the Internet to look up his numbers on the Baseball Reference website. But every time Straw came up, I had that feeling that something good was going to happen ... he always had the ability to jack one off the scoreboard. If I wasn't longing for Straw's close and late numbers instead of Beltran's (not terrible for his career, but awful for '07 and '08), I certainly longed for that good feeling to come back ... not like the feeling I get when Beltran's up. Damn, why can't Beltran hit one off the scoreboard every once in a while and send Shea rockin' like we always knew Straw could. I mean, things aren't as good now as they were then and back when I was young I had to walk uphill to school in the snow without any shoes or socks and I still believed Darryl Strawberry could hit the scoreboard mere minutes after rolling out of bed and ...

(The fwack of Carlos Beltran's bat brings me back to reality and ends the dream sequence music)

Holy crap! He hit one off of Jonathan Broxton! We never hit that guy. And Carlos Beltran roughed him up!

Broxton, as you know, is as big as a forest ... never mind the tree. So when Fernando Tatis came up, and we know that Tatis sometimes comes up to the theme from Superman, it was like a comic book battle between The Man of Steel and The Incredible Hulk. And with a bouncer up the middle, Superman won.

(Editor's note: Apparently this was a battle that actually happened in an actual comic book ... and Superman won that one too.)

And with that (and a one-two-three inning from Country Time in the ninth), the game was over, and the sun went away, knowing it was now needed more somewhere else.

***

There's a big milestone that happened today that I want to acknowledge.

No, I'm not talking about Manny Ramirez's 500th home run. (Although, that's worth acknowledging too ... not only because Manny is Manny, but also a beast of a hitter who's going to the Hall of Fame ... but because it came off our old friend Chad Bradford. And since former Mets have been muscling in on some milestone hits lately, I fully expect Ken Griffey Jr. to hit home run number 600 on Sunday against Royce Ring.)

Saturday's Mets victory was the 200th regular season win witnessed by my companion today: blogging buddy Greg Prince over at Faith and Fear in Flushing (a blogfest if there ever was one, especially with Mark from Mets Walkoffs stopping by as well). He even mentioned Manny Ramirez to me today in terms of having been through four losses before getting this victory, just as Manny waited a decent amount of time for number 500. Certainly, as Manny is going to the Hall of Fame five years after he retires, Greg deserves a place in the Hall of Fans if there was one. I'm happy to have been the Chad Bradford to Greg's Manny Ramirez.

***

Weirdest jersey of the day: The guy who came to Shea today wearing the Don Mattingly jersey.

The Don Mattingly Dodgers jersey. The one with the number 8 on it.

Dude, you topped my Todd Zeile jersey.

6 comments:

Ceetar said...

Damn, I saw the Mattingly Jersey, and somehow it didn't click for me. I must've been completed zoned out. I guess I just don't think hard when I see something Yankees or Dodgers.

I believe that was my 5th Mets win, and 4th at Shea for the season, but I know i'll be at a lot more, so the Nostalgia hasn't kicked in yet(and I'm not quite that old, my memories of Strawberry are all through hazy-kid glasses.) I do get excited looking at Citi Field though, I saw they've started putting actual seats in now, which was very neat. Then I turned and saw the wonderful junk yards and chop shops. Quite a contrast.

Timothy said...

So - as I hear about people's wins this year and all-time at Shea... I want to point out that my current Shea losing streak stands at 10 games dating back to last year.
I've seen Johan lose.
I've seen the Mets get blown out by the Pirates.
I've seen Joel Pinero act channel Cy Young.
I've seen hall of famer Tom Glavine throw batting practice during the most important game of the year.
Needless to say I'm not in a huge rush to get back to Shea.
Oh - and I was offered free tickets to go to last Monday's game... (a loss to Florida).

Demitri said...

I encourage everyone here to start a fund drive to collect money to stop Timothy from going to games.

I caused some problems for the 86 mets. I had been going to games at the Vet for the two previous years and was in the middle of an 0 for 8 slump while I was in attendance in the city of brotherly love. (Note my bad luck didn't translate at Shea, 4-1 there).

So I head down there with my dad (as a teenager) to witness the clinching game - magic number over the phils was 1), and they lose. and lose. and lose.

Good thing they were up something like 20 games or it would have really worried my.

The point is, we really need to respect baseball karma and jinxes, and to do whatever we can to prevent a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I know, I know, its probably a coincidence, but we have to blame someone right? It couldn't be the Mets mediocre play since June 1 2007 that could be the problem.

So yes, I know it wasn't really my fault. It was my fathers.

katherine said...

Yes Demitri! - I know just what you mean. I have discovered this season that when I watch on TV, the Mets lose, when I listen on the radio, they win. Then when you mentioned 86, I remembered the fateful 6th game of the World Series, I was so upset after Keith made the second out in the bottom of the 10th, I turned off the sound on the TV and switched to the Mets radio announcers to hear the final out.

Demitri said...

I had been recording the 86 world series. In game 6 after the Henderson HR, I stopped the VCR and threw the remote down.

So my VHS set of the 86 series (after 22 years) is missing the best part.

As a side note, I went into my parents bedroom to watch the final outs, thinking that I didn't want to be alone, and watched the improbable comeback on the edge of their bed. (Hey I was a fragile 15 at the time.)

I wish they saved that bed because I would have kept it in storage for times like game 162 last year.

Charity said...

I just need to say:

Welcome back Ryan Church <3