With a great deal of Metsian guilt, I confess that I wandered around the house Wednesday night after the Mets took a 7-0 lead. Time to get some stuff organized.
Had to get ready for the Clown Car Thursday night.
Have I learned nothing in 53 2/3 seasons of watching this club? Imagine my surprise when I returned to the radio and heard Juan Uribe saying that in baseball you never know.
Still, the Mets have won six straight -- and there is talk about David Wright and Michael Cuddyer getting ready to come back. Ummm. That's all I'm saying.
Meantime, the summer doldrums keep getting postponed. Already a people's choice for his tears last week, Wilmer Flores evaded a tag Tuesday for a crucial run in Miami.
His slide reminded me of the sideways one-and-a-half gainer dive by Mickey Mantle in the 1960 World Series, to avoid Rocky Nelson's tag at first base, one of the great impromptu athletic moves ever seen on a baseball field. Wilmer Flores. Mickey Mantle. Same sentence.
Also red-hot is Ron Darling, who has made himself into one of the great baseball broadcasters. Darling spotted his lodge brother, Jon Niese, the on-deck batter, in a direct line with Flores, urgently waving for him to go wide to his right.
Everybody is playing up. In the usual August torpor, I have other things I want to write about, but the Mets have won five straight as of Wednesday morning.
"Pitching!!!!" Bill Wakefield, the best reliever on the 1964 Mets, says in an e-mail.
"Bandwagon!!!" texts the noted women's soccer writer, Laura Vecsey.
"Madhouse!!!" writes David Vecsey, our correspondent from the Mets' ballpark Sunday night.
David said he felt the season ratchet up in the eighth inning Sunday when Terry Collins let Noah Syndegaard deal with Brian Harper with two outs in the eighth. The kid blew away the kid with 99-mph heat. It is on.
I have run out of vapid attempts at profundity. It’s summer. Humidity saps the brain. I have seen family and friends, gone swimming, watered lawns and flowers. We went to Queens for the National Theatre in a movie house.We went to Hicksville for dosa. Mostly, the days and nights are built around the Mets
I sold myself to the devil last winter when the snow was piled high and there was nothing on television as usual.
Please, I bargained, just make this a good baseball season.
The devil has kept his end. The Mets are captivating, even when they lose. This is why baseball is the greatest game. They play every day.
This past week has been one of the weirdest stretches I have ever seen. You know all this already.
On Wednesday, Wilmer Flores heard rumors from the selfie crowd that he had been traded. Flores cried. The social-media gossip was premature.
My son and I texted each other: What’s wrong with Familia? Wait, can they trade Wheeler after surgery?
On Thursday, the front office clarified: no trade.
On Friday, the Mets got Yoenis Cespedes, but kept Flores.
(Gardening note: The Mets now have players named Lawns and Flowers in Spanish. Make of this what you will. Perhaps they will trade for a player named Árboles.)
On Friday, Flores ended the game with a homer. My son texted Well, that was obviously going to happen. I have never seen players embrace a teammate so fervently. Ron Darling said the same thing Monday night.
On Saturday, Cespedes flailed at sinkers. I worried he would turn into this year’s Foy, this year’s Samuel, this year's Vaughn, this year’s Bay, but he could be the great rent-a-slugger the Mets have ever had.
Lucas Duda kept hitting homers. I'm sorry I called him a lug.
I was building my Sunday around the dreaded 8 PM game.
Then on Sunday morning there was a charity soccer match from Wembley. My Arsenal and Chelsea mates watched – together again! – in Brooklyn. Wenger 1, Mourinho 0. Done and dusted, as somebody once said.
Sunday night was insane. Too bad ESPN was doing the game. The great Richard Sandomir critiques the office-temp superficiality of national broadcasts. Must read this.
On Monday, Cespedes and Conforto and Colon were magnificent. The Mets are in first place.
Can’t write now. Things just getting interesting.
“They may hate the cultural context they now find themselves teaching in, but they love their work. The Achilles’ heel of schoolteachers, one all too easily exploited by politicians, is that they love their students.”
(One of the best reads in the NYT these days is Margaret Renkl, in Nashville. In her latest post, Renkl describes the dedicated core of “born teachers” – the majority, she submits.)
(From Madeleine Albright in one of her final interviews in February):
“Putin is small and pale,” I wrote, “so cold as to be almost reptilian.” He claimed to understand why the Berlin Wall had to fall but had not expected the whole Soviet Union to collapse. “Putin is embarrassed by what happened to his country and determined to restore its greatness.” – Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, recalling her first meeting with the relatively unknown Vladimir Putin in 2000. – The New York Times, Feb. 23, 2022.