Truth be told, I never had any use for “Friends.” It just didn't work for me — I found the characters dull or actually irritating, and so never cared what happened to them. But I did think the method for naming the shows — each show is formally known as “The One With…” or “The One Where…” — was clever. That's how we all describe episodes of our favorite shows anyway, so why not keep things simple?
So, what's the Friends-style description of this particular episode of Subway Series, the finale of Season 13? (Remind me not to ask for the Complete Season DVD. Easily the worst one since the 2003 DVD, the one with Jason Phillips and Roger Clemens on the cover. If either one of those DVDs shows up under the Christmas tree I'll know I pissed Santa off something fierce.)
Let's review some candidates.
The night started off as The One Where Taqueria Forgot How to Make Skirt Steak. El Verano Taqueria has become my favorite Citi Field food choice, ranking above even my beloved Shake Shack, and with the added benefit of a line that's usually about five minutes at the worst. Tonight it was more than 20 minutes, which I attributed to lines full of Citi Field newbies and general crowdedness. But when I got to the front of the line, I had to wait at least five minutes for an order of skirt steak. Huh? You have basically three menu choices and orders coming in every 30 seconds and you manage to fumble things that badly? How is that even possible? When I joined Emily, Greg and Jim in the Promenade it was 2-0 Yankees, I'd had to hear that awful news chronicled by the despicable Morgan and Miller and Phillips, and so I was already thoroughly pissed off. Still, this was a problem for one person, not 20,000.
Was it The One Where Daniel Murphy Got Too Cute? Well, yeah, Murphy needs to realize that you treat Derek Jeter like some malign force of nature to be contained or avoided. Don't think about outfoxing him if you're wearing a Met uniform, because it just doesn't work. (Oh, how I wish it were otherwise.) But let's give Murphy a pass — he was being aggressive and he's been a lot better at first than any of us would have guessed.
How about The One With Fernando Martinez Batting Instead of a Pinch-Hitter? That would seem to fit — and underline the point that one double doesn't disprove the amply demonstrated theory that young Mr. Martinez is hopelessly overmatched at a big-league level right now. I think everybody in the ballpark knew Brian Bruney would tempt him into a strikeout, and everybody in the ballpark was right. Still, this one's unfair — Ryan Church was a late scratch, so what option did Jerry have?
We could call it The One Where We Didn't Hit Chen-Mieng Wang. Yeah, except everybody saw that one coming, too. I had Wang penciled in for a seven innings of four-hit, shutout ball. Pessimistic, but not by much.
Besides, all this is overlooking the obvious. There's only one way we're going to remember this game, and we're going to remember it forever.
ADDENDUM: An added head-scratcher at Citi Field tonight was the number of Mets fans wearing inexplicable Met uniforms or t-shirts. McREYNOLDS 22 was old and eccentric, MILLER 25 more so, but neither is obviously crazy if you're a history-minded fan But what to do with the
guy woman in the SEO 26 jersey? Or the one heading down the rotunda steps in CEDENO 19? Or the one that took the cake, on the 7 train home: a t-shirt that said BURGOS 40.
BURGOS 40? Really? With all the others, you can at least think of a point in time during which someone might have gotten a little too excited and headed to Modell's. McReynolds was a capable player until he got done eating half of Arkansas, Miller was feisty and gritty if not particularly talented, and Roger Cedeno was decent everywhere except the outfield for a couple of months. Heck, even Jae Seo had a good game or two. But Ambiorix Burgos, owner of one win as a New York Met? Ambiorix Burgos who got hurt and then made news during his rehab from Tommy John surgery first by assaulting his girlfriend and then by being charged with hit-and-run in a case in which two women died? (And who then turned himself in to Dominican Republic officials wearing White Sox gear?) You're a Mets fan, and this is a shirt you a) actually bought; b) kept through all that; and c) decided to wear to show your bona fides against the Yankees?
There's only one explanation for the wearers of SEO and CEDENO and BURGOS shirts: These people are plants, Yankee fans sent to Citi Field in disguise to make us look bad. Which is unsportsmanlike and not terribly necessary: This weekend, the people down there on the field wearing Mets uniforms with their actual names on them had that covered.
ADDENDUM ADDENDUM: The wearer of the BURGOS shirt offers a winning explanation/defense in the comments. I recant my accusation that he's a Yankee plant and tip my cap to him instead. And somehow now even though our lineup is as crappy as it was last night and we're in as much or more trouble standings-wise, I'm more cheerful about things.
Need an antidote to what just happened? I'd suggest a liberal dose of Faith and Fear in Flushing: An Intense Personal History of the New York Mets, available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or a bookstore near you. Keep in touch and join the discussion on Facebook.