OK, it was kind of amusing and kind of cool to watch a 44-year-old man with a history of gout beat out a bunt single. (I mean, gout? Seriously? What is David Wells, a Dickens character?) It was less amusing and less cool when this little adventure didn't result in that 44-year-old man laboring on the mound and getting tattooed by the Mets. No, this time it was the Dodgers who did the tattooing, pouring on the kind of two-out rally that's been Metsmerizing of late.
I was supposed to be at this game — back in July, Joshua's chance to run the bases got rained out, and a kindly friend got us superb seats for today's matinee — the next available dash. Hello ESPN Sunday Night Baseball, goodbye kids running the bases. (At least I assume — if there were exhausted, sugared-up toddlers pinwheeling around the Shea infield at 11:30 p.m., I feel for their parents. I also wonder what the hell they could have been thinking.) Fortunately, Joshua seemed to have forgotten — he accepted that his mom was going to Shea without her boys with only perfunctory complaints. I can report for the first time ever I saw someone I know in the stands at a televised game — late in the proceedings, Emily and Co. alerted me, after a lot of fruitless studying of paused TiVo on my end, that they'd moved from their seats behind the on-deck circle to the blue ones behind home plate. She spent most of her time behind the NYM 2 on the ESPN status bar. I am happy to report that she of course did not wave at the camera.
I amused myself with Joe Morgan and Jon Miller — Joe referred to Sean Hillenbrand, the Mets' acquisition of Marlon Byrd and why Rickey Henderson hasn't retired yet, which is about par for the course for the world's least-attentive baseball analyst. (Joe did at least excoriate Milledge — whose pitch selection recalls Ryan Thompson's at the moment — for his headfirst dive into first.) It was left to Peter Gammons to deliver something of substance. Brad Penny said — ha ha, actually, I just wanted to see how that looked on the screen, since I could not conceivably give a fuck about what Brad Penny says about anything. Let's take that again: Gammons said
Pedro had called Guy Conti from down in St. Lucie to warn that Guillermo Mota, the trusty den mother when it comes to making sure opposing baserunners get home safe, wasn't striding properly and therefore was tipping his changeup. Conti said Mota had made adjustments in the bullpen and looked great — and Mota then promptly turned in two unblemished innings. Part of what makes that story worth dissecting is that all of us desperately want it to be true. (I don't like Mota and never will, but since he's here, we may as well make use of him.) But what struck me was how I instantly believed it because, hey, it's Pedro. Has any player ever had so large a role on a team despite five months of not throwing a single pitch in anger? If Gammons told me that Pedro Martinez had passed the time in St. Lucie by coming up with a cold-fusion reactor that reversed global warming, I would have exclaimed over the genius of Pedro for several minutes before wondering idly about his credentials as a physicist and climatologist.
Update: This seems like a garble of a story about Sosa, not Mota, one that happened a long time ago. Memo to self: Stop greeting apparent good news without shred of skepticism or even recent memory. Also: Get off pipe.