In the heart of the communications capital of the world, I couldn’t say for sure what was going on one borough over. You can wire yourself up to the gills so you know everything at every minute the minute it happens, but if you find yourself one story beneath the sidewalk in an edgy Greenwich Village nightspot immune to the charms of 3G or 4G, then you simply have to accept sporadic word regarding Dillon Gee. There’s a TV on the wall, but it’s off. Does it even get SNY? There’s a radio in my bag. Could I even tune in the ’FAN here?
Wait a second…I’m not supposed to be watching or listening or browsing. I’m supposed to be reading — reading aloud. I asked other Mets fans to come be in an audience for me. But I did it while a Mets game was in progress. Surely this is a violation of the Greg Commandments, a sacred document handed down from Mt. Sinai (or was it Mt. Sadecki?) in ancient times, long before I had a book to promote.
Thus, for a couple of hours, I tried to make the most of temporarily Metless Thursday by filling its void with games where I knew the scores and eagerly transmitting the details that led to their satisfying conclusions.
Guys! Tommie Agee made two fantastic catches in the same World Series game…and I am on it!
Guys! Mookie Wilson hit a huge home run in this pennant race you’ve probably never of…and I am on it!
My games were old games. Great games — great wins (of course) — but games whose scores were established well in advance of Thursday night. 10/14/1969: Mets 5 Orioles 0. 9/20/1981: Mets 7 Cardinals 6. They and approximately 498 other great wins are lovingly described and contexted like crazy in my epic team history, the one I won’t come right out and demand “YOU GOTTA HAVE IT IF YOU LOVE THE METS!” because I’m not that kind of blogger, but between you, me and the home run apple from when the top hat was emblazoned with “Mets Magic,” I do think you gotta have it if you love the Mets.
You do love the Mets, right? And if you love the Mets, you love the hell out of the Mets. And if you love the hell out of the Mets, a four-volume history covering 50+ years and 500+ wins is not a surfeit. It’s a minimum. To be honest, I’m a little disappointed that each and every one of you hasn’t already written an epic team history.
But that’s OK, you can read mine.
You can also tell me the score of the game in progress on this rare occasion that I don’t have two eyes, two ears and assorted other senses and body parts committed to its proceedings. Here and there, in bits and pieces — to say nothing of dribs and drabs — I was able to make heads or tails of the action between the Mets and the Pirates through the kind updating of kindred spirits.
• Mets were up 1-0 early. Byrd with an RBI, apparently.
• Pirates tied it. Don’t know how.
• Gee taken out in the sixth. Probably the right move, it was hastily explained.
• 2-2 in the seventh, Ike allegedly with a big hit. (Note to self: must confirm Ike still capable of hit of any size.)
The deadlock is what I take into the street once the reading-aloud portion of the evening has reached The End. The flickering ESPN app beams that it is still tied in Queens. Or perhaps my phone claims it’s 2-2 but it isn’t updating. Curse you, technology, and how little I ultimately trust you. And why do I not spy a single television set in the window of a dining, drinking or other retail establishment doing its civic duty and showing the freaking Mets game?
But wait! The radio! Let me get out the radio! For the first time all night, voices that can directly guide me to the most current information possible! Josh Lewin! Ed Coleman!
Still 2-2! In the ninth! Parnell on in a tie game!
Then I’m underground. Then I’m technically still underground but in a spot where there is the slightest hint of AM reception. And then there is Joshie whispering in my ear what I needed to know and what I wanted to hear. “A happy final,” he says. “A walkoff,” he adds. A summation, he withholds until the postgame show, which will be airing while I am sitting on a train on a track under a station where I will just have to imagine what it entails, for there is no radio and no Internet to be had until the train leaves the station and the tunnel begins to give way to the fresh air of that borough where the mysterious doings of the reportedly victorious Mets unfolded in broad nightlight.
At last, the saving grace of #MetsTwitter: Umpteen #Mets fans and #Mets media communicating unto me the same welcome #Mets development in gratifying unison: Whitestone-Wondrous Mike Baxter was yet again the pie-faced pinch-hitter who made the happy final possible. Also, Parnell is 4-0. Also, Lagares did some fancy catching out in center. Maybe not Agee against the Orioles, but enough to put down the Pirates.
That’s basically all I needed and wanted to know. That’s basically all anybody who loves the hell out of the Mets needs and want to know.
Immense thanks once more to Gelf Magazine for inviting me to Varsity Letters and my gratitude to all who resisted the Mets and Pirates in favor of me and The Happiest Recap. Props as well to Christopher Frankie for surviving Lenny Dykstra and living to tell about it and Matthew Callan, who I could listen to Yell about 1999 and 2000 all night some night the Mets aren’t playing in 2013…and probably many nights when they are.