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Better Things to Watch

I liked the parts I watched, which is to say my splintered Wednesday night attention served me well for roughly 8½ innings. I was watching when Ruben Tejada slickened a tough grounder into a 4-3 double play. I was watching when Randy Wolf [1] proved reassuringly human and balked for the first time ever (ever!). I was watching when Jose Reyes added a couple more cha-CHING!s to his initial negotiating session. I was watching when Big Pelf made like a stampeding elk to beat wispy Nyjer Morgan to first. And I was watching most heartily and happily when Ronny Paulino rediscovered the lost species known as the New York Mets Three-Run Home Run.

It was such an oddity that even Jason Bay emerged from his fainting couch to see what one looked like.

Yeah, those were the good parts. The bad parts I had the good timing to avoid as I immersed myself in reruns of Modern Family and the DVR’d season finale of South Park. I didn’t watch Prince Fielder take Mike Pelfrey on one of his patented bratwurst-powered thrill rides. I didn’t watch Pedro Beato implode and Jason Isringhausen get sucked into the very same vortex of bullpen futility. Whereas I had watched every one of the Mets’ six runs cross the plate, I managed to miss Milwaukee matching them.

But through the magic of the remote control, I got the gist as things moved along.

My keen sense of timing betrayed me when I flipped back to SNY for the bottom of the ninth. Responsible reporting demanded I monitor every pitch. Personal satisfaction suggests I should have stuck with The Daily Show. Hence, I watched a Bison too far, a.k.a. Dale Thayer, entrusted with a 6-6 tie. I watched Craig Counsell — whose every sighting since about 2004 compels me to ask, “Craig Counsell is still playing?” — single with one out. I watched Paulino get tangled up in Rickie Weeks’s strikeout but not tangled up enough to throw to second and earn an interference call that would have sent Counsell back to first.

I watched Thayer’s journeyman essence again and sensed imminent doom. I watched Morgan — as good an advertisement as has ever been for the well-placed purpose pitch — drive Thayer’s last delivery down the right field line to score Counsell. I watched Morgan hop, skip and jump like he’d just won the sausage race. I watched what was about to be an exhilarating 6-2 triumph dissolve into a miserable 7-6 defeat [2].

Then I flipped to Jon Stewart and tried to forget what I just saw.