It figures that the Mets would celebrate the return of the New York Jets by putting up a touchdown against the team formerly known as the New York Giants ... and more importantly, against starter Tim Lincecum.
There's probably something perverse about saying that this win might be just as important if not more so than the three wins against the Phillies. Tuesday night was a classic letdown game for the Mets, first home game after an important and/or successful road trip. To have this version of that game go against a pitcher such as Lincecum would normally spell double trouble. It's kind of like when a pitcher coming off injury would throw seven innings, but the real test is how he feels the next day.
This next day, the Mets felt fine. Mike Pelfrey felt more than fine (think how good he would be if Rick Peterson was fired last year). And coupled with another Phillies loss, the Mets are all of a sudden just three half games behind the division lead. Best part: Carlos Beltran (three run dinger in the first inning) is slowly simmering and looks like he could be at the starting gate of his latest hot streak. There's no better time for Carlos to rev up with Ryan Church on the DL again with persistent migraine headaches (sounds better than concussion symptoms, doesn't it?)
And speaking of which, this latest run has basically clinched what Omar Minaya is going to do the rest of the way ... he may not buy, but he's certainly not going to sell. There really isn't much that Omar can do going forward with the bulk of the AA and AAA prospects gone in the Santana deal. If Carlos Beltran stays hot, he may not have to get anybody. But if Omar really wants to up the ante with the Phillies, who were denied in their pursuit of CC Sabathia, then he has to at least kick the tires on somebody like Adam Dunn. Because if Omar really has learned from his previous ways, then he's not going to continue to trust that Moises Alou all of a sudden has a healthy streak in him.
But I digress, for now. For now, the Mets are hot, Tim Lincecum is not, and Chris Russo is crying tears. This is a man who said on Tuesday that he'd rather win one out of three from the Mets and have Lincecum be a dominant winner than win two of three and have Lincecum get tagged. Hopefully, he gets neither.
Unfortunately, I need to note that the night started out with a fumble, as "Jets Night" wound up as a small disaster. The "meet and greet" with former Jets players, which was to celebrate the Jets time at Shea Stadium, was due to start at 5:30. At 5:40, the line to get into the tent at the picnic area hadn't moved, and wouldn't move until about 5:45-5:50. The Jets then signed autographs until about 6:30, when they had to go to the field for their pre-game ceremonies ... introductions, the removal of the number, and the first pitch.
Here's where whoever was handling the event blew it: When the players left the tent in the picnic area, everyone still waiting on line were told (via megaphone) that the players would return after their on-field ceremonies to continue signing autographs. The wait lasted 45 minutes, but instead of the players returning, it was official looking people with stacks of stuff and a big jar full of pins.
Needless to say, people were pissed. And Jets fans are not the people you want to get pissed off at you. I kept asking the officials if it was "bad news" ... they gave me that look that said "yes it is ... we just can't verbalize it yet".
The Mets did their best to appease the people who waited the 45 minutes only to not get any autographs, by giving everyone four free tickets to a future Met game, and a pin. Okay, but they were giving them out in two different lines, and one of the guys tried to kick me out of the tent after getting my tickets because I wanted to go to the other line to get a pin, like I was going to keep going from line to line so I could get 60 tickets to this game and sell them on eBay and then get my own infomercial on how I got rich and you can too. I just wanted a freakin' pin!
They relented. I got my free pin to go with my free tickets. Would you believe the Mets had loads of these pins lying around for just such an occasion?
It's hard to say who exactly was to blame for this ... usually in these autograph situations, there are always some people near the end of the line who are going to go home unhappy. And four free tickets is a pretty decent way to say "we're sorry". I just wish there was more information on the Mets/Jets websites to begin with on when picnic area seating opened, and exactly what was going on and what time the thing was going to start (and it would have helped to have it start on time) instead of just saying that it was a "meet and greet". I wound up neither meeting, nor greeting, anybody. But I did get to sit in the Shea picnic area for the first (and probably last) time.
I'm only hoping that it isn't a sign of what the Jets' actual season is going to be like.