I admit it, the only parts I heard were the boring parts.
I got a late start on the evening, grabbing my iPhone as I dashed out the door. I fumbled my way into MLB At Bat and noted, with a certain cheerful approval, that it was already 2-0 Mets. Walking to pick up Emily in the top of the second, I heard a modest Mets uprising, with my phone cocked up by my ear and people on the street regarding me with the usual mixture of disdain/interest/envy. (I get the first reaction, but the other two baffle me: The game is on the radio. That’s the whole point. You could be listening yourself if you would part with an extremely modest amount of money and plan slightly ahead.) Willie Harris lined out to end the second, I met Emily and we got a cab, and the Tigers did nothing of note as we coaxed the cabbie down to Red Hook.
At the Good Fork we of course weren’t going to be listening to Mets-Tigers, though my wife made a tacit concession by not objecting to the phone placed on the table between us, silent but updating itself with Gameday highlights, the little batter figurine turning right and left as warranted. The Mets, I kept noticing, kept batting. There were two outs, but suddenly it was 3-0. Then Jose had tripled. Then it was 4-0. Every time I glanced over, the Mets still somehow weren’t out. Then, with Jason Bay up, there was that vaguest of digital-age pronouncements: In play, run(s).
They weren’t kidding. Bay had done something we all thought the Mets had forgotten how to do: He had hit a ball over the fence with a teammate on first and another teammate on second and yet another teammate on third. Hooray Jason Bay! Hooray everybody! My iPhone put up a silhouette of a new batter and a line of dispassionate explanatory text. Confronted with the Mets’ first grand slam in 299 days, I was somewhat more excited. Long ago, I had a Motorola SportsTrax, and in the first days I didn’t know how to use it or what it was telling me with its Artoo-Detooesque bleating and chriping. For some reason we had a work retreat scheduled for a Saturday in lower Manhattan, so around the fourth inning of a Mets day game we were sitting around some conference table drinking bottled water and eating Cosi sandwiches when my little pager went ballistic, whistling and blatting and flashing every part of its LED screen.
“Gentlemen,” I said after peering at the screen for a moment, “I believe that’s the grand-slam noise.”
An inning after Bay’s feat in 2011, the grand-slam noise sounded like this.
Me: Ha. No way.
Emily: You’re kidding. [appreciative laughter]
By the time we were done and walking back up Van Brunt, the fireworks were over and the Mets and Tigers were just trying to get back to the hotel and their homes (respectively) without aches and pains. (Seriously, how is it that Jose Reyes can go 4-4 and it feels like the undercard?) Perfunctory play-by-play took us as far as a bus stop, where my phone gave a final sigh of expiring batteries and lapsed into silence. I didn’t mind — if ever a lead was safe, it was this one. When I got home, SNY was showing a happy Bob Ojeda and Chris Carlin, and I knew all was well .
Sorry I missed it? Sure, a little. But glad it happened? You bet.