It's a long way from Brooklyn Heights to Keyspan Park. It's even longer when you decide that in order for the journey to count, you should really start from the “Welcome to Manhattan” sign 2/3 of the way across the Brooklyn Bridge. And it's longer still when you decide that, what the hey, it'd be quicker to get to that sign by walking across the bridge from Brooklyn, then turning around. And while 100% humidity doesn't make distance longer, it sure makes it feel that way.
Oh, and the Cyclones game? Started an hour late, then was suspended in the fourth inning. When the tarp came out for the second time, Pete and I had no debate over the proper course of action. “This ain't no playoff game,” I said, and we were gone as fast as our wet, swollen, possibly damaged feet could carry us. (Which wasn't very.)
There are some things that make distance seem shorter, though. Like beating the tar out of your personal tormentors, 8-1. Like Pedro Martinez authoring a low-speed masterpiece and hitting the shower early because this one was safe and we'll need him later. Like having Eddie Coleman and Gary Cohen for company in one ear as one Brooklyn neighborhood slowly turns into another. And better yet, there were Met fans in those neighborhoods. The guy on the northern edge of Midwood who took our picture was wearing a Met cap and beamed when I pointed at it and said we were up 4-0. (“Against the Braves?” he asked. I wondered why the heck he couldn't be sitting on a bench on Ocean Parkway with a radio, but hey, not everybody can be Superfan.) Later, pushing through Gravesend, a man went by on his bicycle, transistor radio strapped to the handlebars, giving me Eddie and Gary in momentary Doppler studio. It wasn't until we were at Keyspan that I heard about Leiter and his rejuvenation. (Which didn't bother me one bit: A Marlin got traded to the AL team in town, whoop-de-doo. Though I gotta say Al did look good in that uniform.)
An 8-1 win makes every glass of .500 seem half-full, but I was relieved to hear Gary Cohen — not one for sugarcoating things — pooh-pooh the idea that a split in July was something to fret about, and to include the Mets in his list of talented teams that could have a run in them. Gary didn't say this, but he seems to expect the Mets to put that run together. You keep waiting for it, too. And so does Willie Randolph.
That makes three smart guys expecting this franchise to clear the cobwebs and go on one of those 14-3 tears that makes a season look a whole lot different, while I — the perennial doubter, the thrower of towels, the wanna-be trader of Hall of Fame catchers — walk to Coney Island in the rain. Here's hoping there's an obvious lesson in that, even if it is at my expense.
And whaddya mean there's no game tomorrow?