I'm flipping around the dial a little after 8:30 this morning and what do I come upon? SNY is showing the Mets and Cubs, in Japan, from March 30, 2000. It was the top of the eleventh. Zeile is on first. Ordoñez is working out a walk. Mora comes up and walks as well.
I know what's coming next. And I'm getting quite sleepy thinking about it. Just as on March 30, 2000, I excitedly stifle a yawn as Benny Agbayani wallops a grand slam to dead center. It's 5-1 Mets.
It was déjà snooze all over again.
How odd (and perhaps par for the Snigh course) that the first time this game is shown since early spring 2000, the Mets' network of record shows it at approximately the same hour it was shown in New York originally. We had to get up before 5 in the blessed ayem for two mornings straight to catch our team open its season on the other side of the world almost eight years ago. We lost the first game on March 29 (Hampton's shaky Met debut, burn the tape) but battled the Cubs well past daybreak on the 30th. Can't tell you all the details of the second game because I nodded off in the middle innings on 3/30/00. Can't tell you anything that happened before the eleventh on 12/30/07 because I had no idea this game had been on since six o'clock…when I was asleep.
Of course I love being visited by my 2000 National League Champion buddies anytime, even early on a Sunday morning in late December (especially early on a Sunday morning in late December, in a way), but what's with the stealth SNY debut? They're finally cracking open the vault and they do it while most of their audience saws wood or, as a departed friend of the family once put it, cuts logs? Is showing your regularly scheduled installment of Beach Tennis so vital?
Lest you think this was an aberration or even poetic Tokyo throwback scheduling, Monday morning you will want to rise and shine or at least record SNY from 6:00 AM to 8:30 AM when the Mets-Brewers game of May 23, 1998 is rebroadcast. I don't have to tell you, savvy reader, what that date signifies, but for the record, that was Mike Piazza's first game as a Met, when the ex-Marlin appeared out of the tunnel dazed and confused yet lashed the ball to right in his third at-bat to give birth to a much beloved era.
Of course you want to show that with little advance warning at six in the morning.
To be fair, SNY is rebroadcasting two other favorites later in day, the Ten-Run Inning of 2000 (1:00 PM) and, for all you New Year's Eve revelers, the Subway Series game from 2006 in which David Wright drives home the winning run (7:00 PM). Of course the Ten-Run Inning was shown a couple of weeks ago and that Friday night Subway Series game is the only Met-Yankee affair whose images have been preserved, judging by how often SNY has aired it. I'm not sure why the stuff that's been seen and seen again gets better timeslots, but as long as Street Games gets as many eyeballs as possible, I suppose we can all rest easy.
Incidentally, 4:20 P.M. on December 31 marks the Baseball Equinox, the moment when we are as close to next season as last season. If indeed SportsNet New York is pouring on these Mets Classics and UltiMET Classics in its honor, then way to go, Channel 60 on my cable system. But when you go the trouble of dusting off games that have been lurking in darkness for nearly a decade, do you have to insist on having them compete with Sunrise Semester?