My sleeping habits of late make Saturday night/Sunday morning snoozing a twinbill. I tend to flake out on the couch for several hours sometime after the stray Channel 11 airing of Frasier and find myself surprised to find myself still on the couch in the dawn's early light. I'll stay up for a bit, force myself to bed (five hours on the couch the refreshment equivalent of ten minutes leaning against a pole) and eventually nod off once Ed Randall talkin' baseball has lulled me toward the end of the alphabet…zzzzzz. If there's no game, I'll roll over and over and over and try to stay asleep until King of the Hill. But if there is a game, I will flick the FAN back on as soon as I have enough alertness to do so.
And when I do, on Sundays like today, an alarm goes off in my head when I hear Howie Rose or Tom McCarthy or Ed Coleman whisper an unexpected name into my ear.
“Gomez on deck.”
That's all I had to hear to pop out of bed in the bottom of the first. There was enough motivation, hearing it was already 2-0 Mets on Easley's homer and that now it's 3-0 with Castro driving in Wright, but Gomez? On deck?
Tell me I'm not dreaming.
Yes, Carlos Gomez became a New York Met while I slept. My first thought was “Is Alou OK?” I saw him leave yesterday's debacle but didn't know it was that serious. I assumed Moishe was sent to the DL. My second thought was “Gomez? Already?” I knew Milledge was hurting in New Orleans, but I wasn't expecting to see — or hear — the kid so soon. My third thought, just ahead of “I really have to go the bathroom,” was “Milledge….”
Wasn't it just a year ago we were all happy to love Lastings at first sight? Now Gomez, like Milledge in May 2006, like Alex Escobar in May 2001, like Preston Wilson in May 1998, like Darryl Strawberry in May 1983, was nudging in as the future on a fine spring day. It's always surprising when it happens. It's never clear what will happen next. Darryl became Darryl. Preston was sent packing. Alex couldn't hack it. Lastings is in limbo. I began wondering what the days and weeks and months and years that follow would hold for our newest wunderkind. Would they follow at all? Would they be postponed after a glimpse? Would this be the start of something magical?
The start was certainly promising. Two hits, two runs, a spectacular sliding catch, key components to an Oll-out rout of the Brewers. I learned Carlos the Third was technically replacing Pelfrey, sent down to universal satisfaction, which means maybe Alou really is day-to-day. It also likely means a new pitcher will be here by Thursday, probably not El Duque, who knows who else. Carlos Gomez may be a one-week wonder for now or a mainstay for the summer and seasons to come. He was sure a pleasant sound to wake up to today.