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it’s cloudy out in pittsburgh | metsgrrl.com

it’s cloudy out in pittsburgh

It’s all my fault. No, really.

It’s all my fault because I didn’t wear my lucky baseball jeans. I started wearing these last year because they were stretched out perfectly and I could roll up the legs when it was hot and they became the baseball jeans. Unfortunately, though, the baseball jeans have major holes that I have not yet had time to patch, so I didn’t want to sit in them for a seven hour drive to Pittsburgh, and I decided that I would just pack them and wear them to Sunday’s game.

So, there, I admitted it. Blame me.

PNC Park is fantastic. The drive was a breeze. The entire day was wonderful. There are so many Mets fans here we started joking that this was Shea Stadium West. Our seats (front row, right field bleachers, bought from a season ticket holder on eBay) were grand. We got into the park early and were behind the visiting team’s dugout before 90% of the park (season ticket holders can get into the lower seating bowl 30 minutes before everyone else). A group of happy, rowdy Mets fans showed up not long afterwards (you probably saw us on SNY or the local news), and we proceeded to do the roll call for the entire team while they were stretching. I mean EVERYONE, from Jerry Manuel to Endy Chavez to Mike Pelfrey. The players tried to keep their composure, but the ebullience and good-natured enthusiasm radiating from the crowd – at an away game! – kept cracking them ALL up. TBF caught a ball from Cliff. I would be jealous except the one-handed, barehanded catch was so impressive it overshadowed any residual envy I might be feeling. Everything was great.

The game, however, was another story altogether.

Despite Willie assuring us during BP that tonight was the night – WILLIE! Willie Randolph, who is never emotional, never gives anything away – I had a pit in my stomach from the first inning on.
TBF: “Are you okay?”
MG: “I’m fine.”
TBF: “Are you sure?”
MG: “I don’t like how El Duque looks.”
TBF: “It’s the first inning.”

later:
TBF: “Are you sure nothing’s wrong?”
MG: “I’m a little tired. I could use some coffee.”
TBF sprints to the nearest concession stand before I could say boo. I wasn’t really that tired, it was an offhand comment, but clearly my mood was alarming enough to cause concern.
TBF: “Is that better?”
MG: “Where are the hits?”
TBF: “It’s tied, 1-1. It’s the *Pirates*. We have the best bullpen in baseball.”

I just couldn’t shake it, you know? I kept sitting there, fidgeting, couldn’t get comfortable (and we had TONS of room, once again, a set of bleacher seats far more comfortable than our mezzanine seats). Keep fiddling with my notebook, my camera, the binoculars. Drink water, close the bottle. Sit up. Lean forward. Binoculars. TBF is keeping score, as usual, and talking to the usher. He keeps asking me if I’m okay, I reiterate concern, he counters with some statistic that is meant to be comforting. I squint. I look for the pitch count, to anchor me in the game. Something was just wrong. Something didn’t feel right.

By the 9th inning I was trading insults with the amateur hecklers behind us. One guy had it in for Cliff, yelling something about how much he got paid. My response: “Yeah, it’s 100 times more than you make at the 7-11.”
“Cliff, how does it feel to be mediocre?”
“You mean like all of the players on the Pirates?” TBF responded.
“You don’t deserve to be a Mets fan,” this 7 year old kid (really!) started.
I turned around. “No, actually, this is what being a fan is, you defend your team.”
He didn’t have much of a response, and I felt kind of bad.
“And that’s how we do things in Flushing,” I announced, turning around and waiting for Heilman to get that third out.

You know how the rest of it went.

I can’t even say “oh, it was a pitchers’ duel” because we just SUCKED. El Duque did not have it. Mota did not have it. We thought Heilman would save our souls but as soon as I saw that ball headed our way I knew that we were finished. We gathered up our Jack Wilson bobbleheads (NOTE TO SHEA: EVERYONE GETS A FREAKING BOBBLEHEAD, NOT JUST KIDS) and sulked our way across the Roberto Clemente Bridge. “Tomorrow,” every Mets fan we ran into assured us, “We’ll get them tomorrow.”

Yeah, but it was supposed to be today.

I have AMAZING photos, but managed to forget the card reader in Brooklyn. They will accompany my PNC Park writeup, after we clinch TOMORROW

please?

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