…or we'll undress you on the scoreboard.
They say on any day or night you might see something in baseball you've never seen before, but a ball skipping up an outfielder's sleeve and rolling around inside his uniform as runners circle the bases? Never seen that before, can't imagine I ever will again. (Though, as Gary Cohen noted, the Mets won a game in 1992 when Daryl Boston got hit by a pitch that wound up in his shirt. Set your clock for 2020 and the Mets' next shirt-related adventure.) Actually, poor Ed Rogers did a pretty good job, all things considered, coolly reaching up and fetching the ball from behind his neck. He might have been better off having Julio Franco's single go up his sleeve too, considering his throw to the plate almost left Shea Stadium. (When the ump called obstruction on Miguel Tejada, I was briefly and intensely sorry that that sneaky traitor Lee Mazzilli wasn't still the O's manager.)
David Wright hitting a grand slam, on the other hand, is something I devoutly hope to see at regular intervals for the next two decades. Today's was particularly sweet for the way it erased all the frustration that had been building. Adam Loewen's “Bull Durham” level of wildness (Don't dig in there, boys!) made him appear ripe for a shellacking all afternoon, but it had been a weekend of waiting for shellackings that never came, hadn't it? Wright's drive (on a pretty good pitch) reversed all that in mere seconds, letting the crowd finally give the Mets the roar that a 9-1 road trip deserved. I won't ever understand people who think baseball's boring (which isn't the same as claiming I find every moment of it interesting), in part because all that nothing happening ratchets up the tension until it finally snaps with a big something happening. And then you think, “Oh, I see. The point of all that stuff was to make this a better story. Cool!”
Our lost Friday and Saturday night? We didn't even lose any ground, thanks to the Braves' continuing descent and the Phillies tangling with the juggernaut known as the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. And with that lead standing at a fairly luxurious 9 1/2, there wasn't even a thought of running the full varsity out there for a day game after a night game in wretched heat. That should be good for Delgado and Lo Duca at the tail end of the season, and it's not like we missed a beat with the JV: Ramon Castro looked like the 2005 edition, Julio Franco leapt and hit and ran like he was 27, and Eli Marrero made some nice plays out there in right. (Though his game saver in the 6th was mostly impressive because he had to salvage a bad route to the ball.)
And hey, points to Jon Stewart, who more than demonstrated his bona fides by recalling Jim McAndrew and Joe Foy. Stewart was the other end of one of my enormously rare NYC celebrity sightings: Emily and Joshua and I were walking through the Village when a guy who looked vaguely familiar glanced at my Met cap and touched the bill of his own with a smile. Waitaminute, wasn't that… I thought a few steps later. Yep, it was. He's one of us.