BLOOD ON THE BRICKS. [6-11-11]

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It was a beautiful day at a beautiful ballpark with the Mets just steps away from .500 and R.A. Dickey was pitching and it was Jose Reyes’ birthday. This was a winning combination, at least on paper.

At least on paper.

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It was one of those games, you know, where the Mets almost do things right, but not quite. It was one of those games where they hit singles that should have been doubles and doubles that should bring the runner home and throw pitches that should be strikes or at least catch the guy by surprise but instead go further than the hurler intended it to. It was an almost game, and almost was not nearly enough, not tonight.

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And it was not enough for mistakes to be made around the third base area, and I know Daniel Murphy does not play third base every day and no maybe Justin Turner wouldn’t have gotten those balls either but I think he would have come closer to getting them than Daniel Murphy did and TBF is muttering things under his breath about Daniel Murphy and then he made that one reasonably decent play that kept the ball from going down the line and for some reason I am in a mood where I am defending Daniel Murphy, and I say something about, see, look, a makeup, and TBF goes off on a muttering tirade that the only thing that could POSSIBLY make up for the previous grievous transgression would be for Daniel Murphy to hit a fucking grand slam in the next fucking inning.

I stopped trying to defend Daniel Murphy shortly after that.

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Jason Bay actually got a hit, miracle upon miracles. He also got booed, soundly, by people wearing yellow and black, every time he came to bat. We kept praying that he would decide that this was the moment he would take his revenge. Alas, this was not to be. I still do not understand the booing. This is not Carlos Beltran, Bay was traded, and to boo him is, quite honestly, one of the dumber things I have seen baseball fans do. I like Pirates fans. They are polite. They are pleasant. They are not obnoxious jerks. There were two morons next to TBF who were making fun of him for keeping score – not because they thought it was an old-fashioned thing to do, but because they honestly did not understand what he was doing. Other than that, the people around us were paying attention, they were engaged, they were interested, and they did not spend the game chatting to each other only to leap up every time the team walked back to the dugout and demand balls. They were happy to discuss their team with us.

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And yet, they called Jason Bay a bum and yelled invective (okay, the Pittsburgh version of invective). He was so nice at BP. He signed for every person who stood there, whether it was the asshole autograph hounds or the Pirates fans tossing him jersey after jersey with 38 on the back. They also tried to trash talk R.A. Dickey and I said something about finding me one player on the Pirates who had a favorite author, much less be able to name one.

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It was not a terrible loss, but it was not a good win, and there were a lot of Pirates fans there tonight. There were two weddings (one group – where the bride and groom both had their own gloves with them, and the party was dressed in black and yellow – posed for photos behind the Pirates dugout during BP, and another couple threw out a ceremonial first pitch), they started the wave and got it going early in the game, and it was a rollicking good time if you were a Pirates fan. If you were a Mets fan, you were likely doing what TBF and I were doing, which was high-tailing it up the aisle as the fireworks went off and the pirate on Diamondvision yarrrrr‘ed.

It was a good day. We had breakfast at a place called the Dor-Stop, in a Pittsburgh suburb between the airport and downtown that had the most amazing pancakes (and to use the Zagat rating, “worth a detour”), we spent a few hours at the Warhol Museum (which is just a block from the ballpark), and we were eating sandwiches in a half-empty Primanti’s and watching the end of the A’s/White Sox game while Huey Lewis and the News sang about the Power of Love or whatever other godforsaken song should have been left in the 80s where it belonged.

And there is another game. At least there is always another game, for a while, as .500 continues to elude us.


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