I hope our 7 inexplicably stalling at Bliss Street in Queens is some kind of sign that we'll have more nights like this one. Well, maybe not so much with (switch to Prof. Frink voice) the cold and the blowing and the mist and the brrrr, but with the beating the Nationals and the Floyd bomb and the Piazza productive groundout and the Glavine. It was only last year, I just found out, that the MTA restored the name Bliss to the 46th Street stop. So maybe that's a sign that we can look forward to more of that sort of thing — the bliss — as the season progresses.
Weather kept down the crowd. ThunderStix didn't make much of a ruckus, save for the lone souse in our row, and I think that was him knocking his head against his bottle of Bud. Shea being Shea, I assume they handed out one stick per customer. “Ya like noise? Bring yer own!” You'll recall ThunderStix were all the rage at the 2002 World Series. It is now 2005. Next week, the trend-conscious Mets will lure kids by giving away Pogo Sticks (though they won't stop at this floor).
Didja catch the Clydesdales and the Anheuser eagle in the parking lot? All that animal action must've scared King Felix and the feral cats from making their nightly rounds. Usually they're out to tailgate by 6:30.
I'm surprised Glavine gets as much support as he does in these parts. We sat a couple of rows behind a fellow in a GLAVINE 47 shirt. I wanted to ask, what, were they out of ROACH 57? It's not so much that I consider him a Brave as that I know he's still Glavine. I've been told both that he's a decent guy and that he's a total jerk. I have a hard time believing one of those. As long as he's paid to don our duds, I wish him success and safe cab rides. The second he takes them off, I don't really care what happens to him.
At the moment, I feel the same way about Al Leiter. Pity. He was our front man for so long that it feels petty to dump on him. He really did care about being a Met, about getting 100 Met wins, about being mentioned in the same Met breath with Jerry Koosman. (I'm certain that if he ever stumbled upon our One Hundred Greatest Mets ranking of him, he'd give me an earful; “28? 28? Behind Kingman? C'mon, I'm greater than Kingman!”). Yet there's something about Al departing that set off the sense of relief you'd see in an '80s teen movie, specifically the scene in which the popular kids who ran the school finally got theirs from the supposed nerds. Old-Timers Day 2010, Al won't get booed. Next Marlins start at Shea, he shouldn't count on it.
I wasn't thinking about Glavine's record or Leiter's record when I bid you adieu at 11:05, emerged into the din of Penn Station at 11:06 and decided, à la Timo, to not run full-out to catch the 11:07. I was thinking of my own record. For the third time ever, I'm 3-0 to start a season. It's happened twice before, in 1998 and 2000. After my fourth game those years, I was 3-1. In what they call a quick turnaround, I'm due back at Shea early Saturday afternoon to try to scale Mount Fourandoh for the first time ever. They say it might rain. They say it might Seo. I kinda hope it rains.
I'd like to soak up a little more of tonight's bliss before going back into battle. By pinging from Shea to Penn to Long Island, I got an additional treat. As both home teams were indeed home, there was a convergence of fans waiting for the LIRR. Mets fans. Yankees fans. We looked happy. They didn't. Shortly before the 11:36 was called, a couple of fellow travelers walked by wearing gear in the same family as mine. “METS!” they said. “METS!” I answered. We slapped palms. We knocked fists. We went public with our bliss. A Yankees fan standing nearby had nothing to say and nobody to knock. We won. They lost.
It was worth the extended commute.