Thursday, October 19, 2006


Holy crap, I'm tired. But it's a good tired, because I'm happy that the Mets won Game 6 by a 4-2 score, to forcibly force a cliche-inducing decisive do-or-die-all-or-nothing-all-hands-on-deck Game 7 tonight. Just a few notes before I pass out:

* John Maine. What a great job by the rook. Going into this start, I thought he could either pitch 4 or 5 solid innings or get completely shelled, with nothing in between. Thankfully, he did the former, and for that I'm not even going to make a stupid pun regarding his name. And the turning point in the 1st, as he hot out of a bases loaded jam, and Reyes lead off the bottom of the inning with a HR. Shea Stadium was literally rocking, with the upper deck swaying in an alarming fashion.

(The best thing about witnessing a home run in person: you watch the ball reach its apex, and your brain extrapolates the distance the ball will travel, and you already know a few seconds ahead of time that it's going to clear the fence. Of course, it depends on what angle you're watching it from, but I could see this from our LF upper deck box seats, and it's a great feeling. You can't get that at home, HD or no HD.)

* Loooooooper! It was sweet to see Braden Pooper choke away 2 runs late in the game, which ended up being the difference. No, they're not booing, they're chanting Loo--wait, no, they're definitely booing. (Yes, I've used that joke a billion times, but it's still funny to me, and that's all that counts.)

* Billy Fucking Wagner. After another spotty effort, that's his new middle name. Sweet Jebus, can't he throw a 1-2-3 inning, or at least not piss away a 4 run lead, and 8 shutout innings by Mets pitching? Of course not, not only does he give back two, but he puts the tying run at the plate. He still throws hard (he hit 96 on the Shea gun) but it must not move at all, because he made So Taguchi look so good (again). It really harshed the buzz in the crowd when it was apparent he didn't have it. I've heard people curse Wagner's name before but never 55,000 simultaneously. (Scott and I agreed after seeing Heilman needing only 12 pitches to cruise through the 8th that he needed to start the 9th. Of course, Willie pulled him.)

* At first, the "Jose, JoseJoseJose!" chants made me think I'd just wandered into a World Cup match, but it creeped into my brain and I was singing it the whole way home on the 7 train. Note to Shea: stop with the sissy 8th inning Neil Diamond sing-a-long garbage. It's not some random game in May, it's not 1 AM and we're listening to a bar jukebox, this is the MLB NLCS. As for the other song choices: "Takin' Care Of Business" (BTO, 1973), "Time Has Come Today" (Chambers Brothers, 1967), and the entire The Who greatest hits album--who's DJing, Chris Berman? Can we select one song that's been recorded in the past 30 years? Somehow FOX sounds more timely and current by using "Just A Job To Do" by Genesis (from their 1983 eponymously titled album, thanks Karl), which is a full decade newer.

* Two guys in front of us each had a two-sided sign that when read together either said "BEAST" and "-TRAN" (for Beltran) and "DEL" and "GONE-O" (for Delgado). But since we could only see the back of them we couldn't figure out for a while what they were trying to convey. "TRAN BEAST"? "DELTRAN"? "GONE-O BEAST"? We tried out every combination. I don't know why I found that funny.

* Note for the designers of the new Mets stadium: PLEASE BUILD MORE BATHROOMS. I walked all the way to the mezzanine behind home plate just to find one that had less than 100 guys waiting on line.

* Does anyone know how that giant Shea Home Run Apple works? Is it remote control? Is it hydraulic air-powered? Are there a team of immigrant workers who live inside it? And what size top hat would that be, and would it fit on Barry Bonds' enormous head? I have to research this.

* Final note to the MTA: you suck. There's no reason it should take 8 hours round trip from White Plains to attend to a baseball game (5:33 PM to 1:39 AM, 3 hour game, 4 hours travel time, 1 hour of dead time). Because of our lateness we had to buy tickets on the train, and we anticipated being charged extra--but not $11 one way vs. the regular $6.25 price! Not only that, but the conductor wouldn't sell us a round trip ticket, forcing us to buy a ticket on our way back. All of this is ostensibly to force people to use the ticket machines, but I call it price gauging, so they can line the pockets of their corrupt officials and exceedingly overpaid union workers ($52,000 average, with subway operators makin $63,000!!!). (Meanwhile, the average NY teacher makes $53,663. Yeah, that's fair.) And when 20,000 fans head to the subway afterwards, it would help if you didn't have only 10 MetroCard turnstiles open. Or how about this: let people get on the trains for free! Yeah, right. MTA, if you want people to take mass transit, stop giving people reasons not to.

This Mets postseason has been a typical rollercoaster ride: anguish, delight, tension, excitement, fresh fruit, drama, frustration. The Shea faithful were great last night, but not in a "wearing the same color and swinging around hankies like a drooling zombie until developing elbow tendinitis" way, but in an ebullient yet cautiously optimistic way. The booing of Scott "Crimson Tickler" Spiezio was confusing, but the standing O given to Maine was chill-inducingly fantastic (and well-earned).

Game 7 tonight, Oliver "Massive ERA" Perez vs. Jeff "Campbell's" Suppan. Should be a hell of a game either way. I hope in the Mets' favor.


(I have some pictures from last night, I'll have to post them later.)

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