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subete = come on board: 7-21-06 | metsgrrl.com

subete = come on board: 7-21-06

Somehow, we forgot that tonight was also Merengue Night. In fact, it didn’t occur to us, despite the female security roughing up (that was so not a ‘pat down’), the free t-shirts reading “Los Mets de Nueva York” (omg, this is my new favorite Mets shirt), and the fact that during our usual meander up to the mezzanine we were accosted every time we turned a corner: “Can I help you?” “Where are you going?” Um, to our seats, the ones we sit in every Tuesday and Friday, I mutter under my breath. Upon arrival, Diamondvision clued us in: “Ohhhhhhh.” Oh. We like the idea of Merengue Night – we came last year too – but forgot the lesson we learned last year, is that tonight for most people is about merengue and not about baseball. And we never end up staying for the concert afterwards, because by the end of the night we just don’t want to deal any more.

Despite the deluge, we were going to watch the Mets play baseball tonight come hell or high water (literally). There was too much work and not enough baseball this week for Mets Grrl. I caught half-games or ends of games all week, both good and bad (Duaner! What were you DOING?) I did get to see Vernon Wells hit that killer long ball off of Mariano the other night. Cut to Rivera, and – me: “Oops, I think Mariano said a bad word.”) TBF wasn’t even willing to entertain the concept of there not being a game tonight, and at 5:45 the decision was made to get in the car and head out to Flushing, where we navigated security more appropriate to Riker’s and made our way to section 12.

And, magically, 50 minutes late, our 2006 Mets took the field.

I spent the early part of the game coveting the Banco Popular thundersticks, with Dominican flags on one side and LETS GO METS on the other, but not enough to get out of my seat and go look for them. Besides which, thundersticks are great in some contexts, but it’s noisy enough on Merengue Night already – both good and bad. I loved that the crowd was ALIVE, but I also hated that this crowd didn’t give Cliff Floyd the standing ovation he so f’in righteously deserved after That Catch – THAT CATCH!

“Cliff Floyd: The Magic is back,” I cackled on the way home, fist-bumping with TBF.

The clear favorites tonight – yeah, big surprise – the Carloses and the Joses. And – out of nowhere – I almost missed it, it was so busy and noisy and people getting up and down and up and down and saying hello and changing seats and waving flags – that GRAND SLAM from Mr. Valentin. He deserves to be called “Mr. Valentin” now, joining Messrs. Floyd, Wright and Delgado, LLC.

John Maine was consistent. “But did he DOMINATE!?”I mocked Ed Coleman on the way home, listening to the after-show. I know it’s the baseball term, but it’s just so overblown that I can’t use it as a descriptor, ever, and keep a straight face. I do know that I didn’t experience the usual young-starter nail biting that I would go through with, say, a Brian Bannister or an Alay Soler. I did appreciate his intro music, “What I Like About You” by the Romantics. However, either he’s letting someone pick his at-bat tunes for him, or dude has seriously eclectic tastes in music, because he used an Usher song and some heavy metal mosquito music that I insist is something like the Scorpions, but TBF argues is something he’s familiar with, in more of a Whitesnake territory.

While I completely appreciate Jose Valentin’s contribution tonight, I have to say that – personal prejudices aside – the Boyfriend of the Game was decidedly Mr. Cornelius Floyd. When he went back for that catch – That Catch! – I didn’t think he’d make it but it wouldn’t be Cliff F. Floyd (you can guess what the F stands for) if he didn’t try. You never watch a game and think, Gee, he could have hustled a little bit more when it comes to Cliff Floyd – ever. Yes, he gets HBP and maybe sometimes might exaggerate just the tiniest regarding the extent of his injuries, but he is Cliff and he plays with his heart full out and this is why the mental battle is so tough for him.

I think. You know, playing armchair psychiatrist here.

The best sight tonight for me was after that inning – That Inning – after that second big catch of Floyd’s out near the bleachers, him walking back to the dugout arm in arm with Beltran, and seeing Wright and Reyes waiting outside the dugout for him to return.

There was so much to love about tonight, but first and foremost was that I finally felt like I recognized the team playing on the field again. They played nine innings tonight. Let’s keep it up.

And, Let’s Go Mets.

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