Well, kind of.
Long Beach Island is so far from New York City in terms of feel that it's always a mild surprise to remember that it's not far at all in terms of distance: They get WFAN down here and SNY is on basic cable. Which makes it not unlike keeping track of the Mets at home, except here the game competes with the sound of the ocean instead of whatever the heck it is one's neighbors are doing.
I hope Emily and I can be forgiven for not following last night's game with razor-sharp intensity: We had to get a comically tired child fed, pajama'ed and into bed, unpack all our stuff and figure out what needed doing this morning so we can get down to the serious business of not doing much at all. (I was proud of myself that within half an hour on LBI I was oozing up Long Beach Boulevard at about 30 MPH, in no particular hurry to get anywhere. It used to take me a couple of days to force the West Side HIghway out of driver's muscle memory.)
Oh, and the fact that it was quickly 5-0 Astros took the edge off a bit, too.
And yet how far we've come: We kept watching, which was partially because that's what we do but also because these days you never think this team is done for until the 'F' appears. And indeed, with nobody out in the eighth it was 8-3, and then there stood Carlos Delgado with two on and two out, one good swing away from making it an honest-to-goodness ballgame again. (And if Duaner Sanchez hadn't been singularly unimpressive in attempting to clean up after John Maine, Carlos would have been the tying run.)
OK, so Carlos didn't get that one good swing — he was just off a hittable fastball from Tim Byrdak and then grounded out, and an inning later we'd lost. But man, what a difference a couple of months makes. Back then, if the Mets were up 8-3 I'd have been trying to figure out how they'd blow it. Now, they were down 8-3 and I thought, What the hey, we have a chance. I was wrong, but if you're measuring how far we've come, it really is the thought that counts.