Hey! We beat the Cardinals today!
No, it didn't matter worth a hill of beans, except for the fact that while it was snowing, sleeting, spitting freezing rain and otherwise offering a thorough overview of vile weather up New York City way, down in Florida guys in Mets uniforms were beating guys in Cardinals uniforms. Numbers were being put up. Notes taken. Impressions gathered.
And Day 1 of the spring-training season brought the first of many “Oh yeah, that's what that feels like” moments to come: As the score zoomed from a happy Mets 9, Cardinals 0 to a less-happy Mets 9, Cardinals 4 and then to an even-less-happy Mets 9, Cardinals 7, I had that thought you only have in spring training.
I hope nobody important gave up those runs.
This feeling has a near-twin we'll meet later this month, namely I hope that just means this is his dead-arm period. But in the regular season things are not so cavalier. The closest thing in the regular season is I hope that means we finally get of Useless Pitcher X, but that one's cold comfort when it accompanies an L on the ledger. (And last year Omar let Useless Pitcher X, in his various disguises, rack up a heckuva lot of roster time.)
Anyway, final score Mets 12, Cardinals 7. Steve Trachsel, this year assuming an importance he probably never had before, walked the planet and gave up a three-run dinger in a bad inning and a no-credit remainder. (He had the flu; he gets a mulligan.) Someone named Juan Perez gave up a three-run shot to Albert Pujols — everything was unearned, but that's just silly. Rule Five dreamer Mitch Wylie worked two hitless innings. Xavier Nady went 4-for-4 with 6 RBIs; Victor Diaz, perhaps soon to be known as Victor Diaz Who Has Options Remaining, went 1-for-5. (And with that little bit of math, we know what the story in every New York paper will be tomorrow.)
Isn't it nice to talk about these things, instead of the phrenology of those first couple of gameless weeks? Never mind how Xavier Nady looked, let's talk about how Xavier Nady hit a grand slam off enemy pitching.
And it gets better: Tomorrow night's game is on WFAN.
Why, it's enough to make you imagine a world with actual games. Games that count. That are shown on TV. That are played in New York. And there are leaves on the trees. And light after 5:30 pm. And warm breezes. And tinny-sounding radios on the beach. And ice cream on a stick.
You know, life as it's supposed to be lived.