Wow. So it is.
Look at the luminaries who bestrode the globe then for us. Hot Rod Hundley — did zip. Ryan Thompson — went 0 for 3, probably on about seven pitches for the afternoon. At least Fonzie hit a triple, which I guarantee we cheered wildly. (Bonilla hit a triple, which I doubt we did.) Doug Drabek started against us? Amazing. What, if anything, is Doug Drabek doing right now?
On the other hand, Craig Biggio was an Astro and was beating us. Some things haven't changed.
I remembered that Pulse had put up a three-spot in the first. Nope, a fin. Interesting how my memory, for once, was more optimistic than whatever part of my brain it is that attempts to predict the future.
I may have this conflated with another game, but I also remember that there were two early-twenties couples below us in the faaaancy mezzanine seats (they got sunburned too), whom I first noticed because the guys joined in the little flurry of hand claps for the “Friends” theme song, which earned them my immediate and thorough disapproval. We made a minor parlor game out of trying to figure out which woman was with which guy, with scant evidence to work with: The women sat and chatted while the guys muttered to each other and quietly got drunker and drunker, until in the late innings they basically had their heads on the back of the seats in front of them. At which point Jose Vizcaino, in his infinite wisdom, decided it was time to bunt, even though we were down 7-2 or something similarly hideous.
That was too much for Friends Guy #1, who leapt to his feet, blind with rage, and started screaming, “WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU BUNTING???!! IT'S 7 TO 2! WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU BUNTING???!!!!” For one thing, he was absolutely right — why the fuck was Vizcaino bunting? For another thing, he had a fairly impressive ballpark voice for a guy who'd clap along with the Rembrandts.
(Oh, and this solved the riddle of who was with whom — one of the women buried her head in her arms as her boyfriend/date became unhinged, racing down to the mezzanine railing to get three feet closer to Vizcaino, whom he kept berating as the Viz wandered around the batter's box, perhaps wondering, “Gee, why the fuck am I bunting?”)
If so, it didn't take: Even though the tiny sliver of surprise was lost, Vizcaino continued to square. “WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU BUNTING???!!!” howled Friends Guy #1. By now I was giggling like a damn fool.
Then FG#1 put his head down on the concrete wall in despair — only to lift it a couple of pitches later to stare up at the uncaring sky and wail, “STOP BUNTING!!!!”
If I've got the game right (and hell, after all that just humor me and say I do), that means there are two legacies of that ten-years-gone game: I still like to yell “WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU BUNTING???!!!” at Mets who commit this sin, then follow it with a belated moan to “STOP BUNTING!!!”
That and our solid decade of muttered commentaries, pissy/elated/philosophical/elegiac day-after emails and high-fives and bear hugs in the seconds after the rarer-than-they-should-be Met triumphs intense enough to transform a day. Every one of those exchanges has made the joyous games more joyous, the agonizing games more bearable, and the insufferably boring games actually interesting, even the ones where we wondered if Trachsel had frozen solid on the mound. So thanks, partner. Happy anniversary right back to you.
Now what say we celebrate by beating the crap out of some Mariners?