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SEEMED LIKE A GOOD IDEA AT THE TIME. [5-1-10] | metsgrrl.com

SEEMED LIKE A GOOD IDEA AT THE TIME. [5-1-10]

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Mets v Phillies
Citizens Bank Park
5-1-10

Coming out of a 9-1 STREAK (yes I’m calling it a streak, given that other media won’t – I’m looking at you, WFAN), it seemed like a great decision to find some tickets for the weekend series and head down into enemy territory. Halladay vs Pelfrey? The newly-minted almost-ace, the dude who had finally risen to meet the expectations we had always had of him? One of the matchups of the season so far? How could we possibly resist this siren song? We prevaricated, as we always do, debating resources and common sense, and after saying “no” twice, pulled the trigger on a pair of fairly reasonable StubHub’bed tickets Friday morning.

And then, Friday night happened. I was down in South Jersey at a concert, listening to the game before the show started, checking Gameday between every song. It probably seemed more magical to me than it actually was if you were sitting at home watching it on TV because I listened until a little after 8 and then the rest of it was text messages, Twitter and Gameday on the phone. “That ball is – caught by Jeff Francoeur!” “That ball is – over Shane Victorino’s head!” I was laughing in the middle of the street, out loud, talking to myself like a crazy woman. The Mets, the 2010 Mets, the Mets that everyone thought were just going to roll over and play dead were in Philly and were smacking the cover off of the baseball. The decision to go to Saturday’s game, when we were throwing Michael Pelfrey, seemed genius at the time.

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Don’t get me wrong – I didn’t think the Mets were going to tee off of Roy Halliday. I knew this was not going to be anything resembling a high-scoring game. It was Doc Halladay – when his name was announced today, I clapsed my hands to my heart and shook my head sadly. “He’s dead to you now,” TBF correctly interpreted. I was still going to enjoy watching Roy Halladay pitch (to a certain extent) and enjoy taking pictures of Roy Halladay. I was not going to enjoy the Mets not getting a lot of hits, but all I honestly cared about was whether Francoeur was in the lineup today, because I worried about that quirky corner of CBP where there’s that stupid window for the groundskeeper’s office. I wanted Francoeur in that corner, contusion or no contusion.

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Pelfrey’s body language was good, I declared at the end of the first inning. It’s all voodoo, it’s completely irrational, I’m sitting in the 200 level trying to intuit from a distance what someone I don’t know is thinking and feeling. When he walked out to the bullpen I announced that he was ready for this, that he was going to rise to the situation. I wasn’t biting my nails. I had every faith and confidence. I was hopeful it would be a memorable performance from Mr. Pelfrey because quite frankly he deserved it, but quite honestly I would have settled for competent. Against Roy Halladay, competent would have been quite a lot.

You know what else would have been quite a lot? COMPETENT FIELDING. I scrolled through something in the car on the way home and saw chatter to the effect that the Mets didn’t have a chance today, what on earth were we expecting. Anyone who said that can go take a long walk off a short pier.. Apparently the person who wrote that watched a very different game than I was at, because there were several chances to prevent the Phillies from scoring, and several real chances for the Mets to come back. it’s not like the Phillies shelled us to the tune of 6-0 in the first inning and then we had to figure out how we were going to come back against Roy Halladay. Yes, except for Jason Bay, no one on the team had extensive experience facing Roy Halladay, but it’s not like we’re in the 1900s with no access to video and scouting reports, and there were multiple chances to knock in a run or two. They just didn’t.

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For humor, note the humor in the juxtaposition of the bear and Jayson “Unibomber” Werth

I think that the worst thing about being at a road game is when your team makes stupid mistakes. You can deal with them not getting hits, you can deal with runs being stolen by stellar plays from the opposition, but there’s nothing you can say in response to taunting or trash talking about boneheaded plays or fundamentals executed poorly, except something like “Yeah, we really sucked two seconds ago.” Of course it doesn’t help that Phillies fans treat a routine double play as though it was a season highlight that you’re going to see on Baseball Tonight for the rest of the year, but when you’re sitting there wearing REYES 7 and REYES 7 drops a ball he shouldn’t have dropped you just want there to be a button on the arm of your seat that you can push so you can disappear for a few seconds. You don’t want to get into a heated discussion about how Jose just isn’t 100% yet and when he is he will really piss you off with what he will do out there, stealing your runs and dancing along the base paths to torment your pitchers. He got the loudest boos today, which delighted me to no end. Clearly, he has really gotten into the Phillies’ fans heads.

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One of the reasons we deliberately picked seats in the 200s was because we hoped it would mean less rabble – although I have been in the 200s at CBP and listened to Phllies fans insist, loudly and often, that every member of the Mets regularly have intercourse with other members of their sex. (For the record, I have no problems with this should it be true, but this individual hurled this assertion with such vehemence it was clear he was not a member of P-FLAG.) We honestly didn’t have much trouble today at CBP – the worst insult I ran into was on the way out, when a girl stopped texting for half a second to tell me, with a disinterested yawn that “The Mets suck so hard,” before returning to her urgent messaging needs – we just sat near some of the stupidest people ever. I think the problem is not that we end up sitting near a larger degree of moronity than you do, it’s that I am an inverterate eavesdropper (it’s the novelists’ disease) and so instead of all of the chatter being background noise, I hear it loud and clear. There was the woman behind me, who hadn’t been to a game since 1990, showed up three innings late because of “traffic”, and then complained that my hat was getting in all of her pictures and she was going to have to delete all the pictures that had a Mets hat in them. (For the record, I’d like to state that I wear the same New Era hat that everyone else does, although I will confess that after I overheard this that I fussed with it as much as possible.) The worst, of course, was when one of the men in their party proceeded to relate a tale about attending a Subway Series game and how he went to Yankee Stadium because he is a Yankees fan. A Phillies fan and a Yankees fan – doesn’t seem possible but yet, my ears did not fail me.

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In front of us were two families. In one, the teenage girl stared at me with disdain so often I had to keep pinching myself from telling her to take a picture, it would last longer. On the other side were a set of grandparents, a mother and her daughter. To my delight, this woman was carefully trying to instill good baseball fundamentals in her 5 year old, explaining to her carefully what was going on at all times. Aside from being Phillies fans, these people were okay. It was the mental giants behind us that made me want to gouge my ears out with a red hot poker. TBF had two guys next to him who first tried to mock him for keeping score (which he always ignores), and then tried taunting by asking questions whose answers could be found out on the scoreboard (“So what’s Pelfrey’s ERA now? 4-something?” “It’s right there on the board, dude.”) or elementary-school level idiocy (“Do you ever call him David Wrong?” “Think of that one all by yourself?”)

The Phanatic came out with a giant gun shaped like a hot dog and shot it into the crowd. Ron Darling, you should be banished from the SNY booth for the next two weeks and forced to go out and do Kevin’s job for daring to say that the Phanatic was the best mascot in baseball. He is cheap and tawdry, and goes for the easy laugh. Mr. Met is cheerful and dignified, and always a gentleman. When someone was trying to take photos of the Phanatic on the dugout, the Phanatic obliged them by stopping and posing – by turning around and pulling up his jersey and waving his butt in their face. On the other hand, that’s generally how I feel when I visit this city for baseball, so perhaps I should just applaud the honesty of the gesture.

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I am happy to report that the crab fries at the Chickie & Pete’s stand still live up to their reputation, that the lines out at the cheesesteak vendors in Ashburn Alley are still ridiculous, and that we are still pros at where to park at CBP in order to have the quickest exit possible (and no I am not betraying our hard-won secret). We had dinner at a fantastic place up in Northern Liberties called the Silk City Diner, and then headed back north.

And believe it or not, despite it all, I’m still sorry we can’t go tomorrow, when our ace will be on the mound, and hopefully the story very different.

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