There I was, sitting on the couch in Hell’s Kitchen, the Mets game getting farther and farther into a scoreless abyss. The Big Bad Baseball Gypsy had been trying, for about 20 minutes, to convince me to come to a birthday party at the Peculier Pub. “Nah, man. I’m gonna watch the Mets game.” “Seriously, dude....you don’t have to watch the Mets every single second of your day.” Well, in that moment, I thought to myself, he’s right. I don’t have to watch the Mets right now. So, I got up, got my earphones out of my bag, started up the At Bat App and plugged in to Howie and Jim Duquette (Josh Lewin was on “assignment.”) “See? Exactly,” agreed the Gypsy. We waited for the inning to be over, turned off all electronic appliances, and walked out the door, leaving my Metsian recluse behind.
We hopped in a cab heading down 9th Avenue, making our way to the NoHo pub, one earpiece locked into the right lobe. At around 14th Street, Wright hit the deck for Ball Four. What happened next, I must say, I was not expecting. Howie actually sounded as if he were about to say, “GONE!!! A HOME RUN FOR IKE DAVIS!!!” As it got further and further towards that possibility, I waited with bated breath to hear what Michael Morse would do. Then, the exclamation that played out in my head was a reality. I pumped my fist, the Gypsy inquired, and I informed him of the current state. “Ya see? It all works out.”
“It ain’t over yet.” Though a part of me did feel that was all we were gonna need.
Once we got to Peculier Pub, the Giants Jets game was on every screen, of course. I expected nothing less (I had the same reaction to the score.) I was able to put on the illusion that I could socialize with one earpiece situated on my right side. Yes, of course I was happy to see the birthday girl and other people I hadn’t seen in a while, but clearly I wouldn’t be fully settled into that moment until other moments were settled. I sat in a booth, intently listening to how Rauch and Francisco would do after a brilliant Niese gave way to the two relievers. Frank especially made me naturally roll my eyes, falling behind, I think, every batter he faced. Then, another glorious call erupted through my cranium, as Mike Baxter made a spectacular catch to save Frankie from an extra base hit. Francisco seemed to settle down from there, striking the next batter out and getting the last batter to ground out, fittingly, to Ike. “See?” the Gypsy said. I took the earpiece off and settled into the night.
LET'S. GO. METS.