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The Last Welcome Intrusion

Midweek afternoons were not made for watching baseball, which is why when the two get together, their appeal is so undeniable. Today was the final time in 2010 you needed several hours in the middle of your weekday to fully enjoy your Mets. Twenty-two games remain, some of them in weekend daylight, the rest commencing as the sun goes down. None will intrude on your midweek afternoons.

Too bad. It’s not necessarily convenient, but what a welcome intrusion the weekday day game always is. Don’t you love that your favorite thing can just happen in the middle of a Wednesday? Maybe you can’t give it your full attention, maybe you wind up missing the whole thing, but whatever you derive from it is unlike anything you get from most of your normal day-to-day machinations. For that matter, a Mets-Nationals game on the afternoon of September 8 is going to top the same contest if it were being held at night. At night, a September showdown between the fourth-place Mets and the fifth-place Nats, even one the Mets win [1], dares you to ignore it. During the day, though…that’s a day game. The Mets are playing a day game? That’s right! Man, I gotta check the score! Who’s pitching again?

It isn’t much, this last chunk of 2010 Mets baseball, but its status as better than nothing peaks on a day when it wanders into your afternoon, as if it made an appointment with you months ago. You work during the day. You go to school during the day. You have things to do during the day. Yet Mets baseball has decided to inflict itself upon your routine. You let it in, and for a little while the end of the season doesn’t loom. For a little while, it’s still summer. There’s still the sense it won’t get dark early and it won’t be cold soon. It’s baseball outside during the day, just like it was when you first encountered it in the street or on the playground or in your imagination.

Midweek afternoons were not made for watching baseball. But maybe they should’ve been.