Tuesday night in New York was lovely, cool and not too humid. A few passing thunderstorms growled overhead, offering a spritz of rain before departing and leaving luminous orange and pink clouds in their wake. I spent the evening at the game and had a marvelous time. A friend who couldn’t be there was kind enough to pass along very good seats not far behind third base. Another friend and I spent a thoroughly grand three hours talking about baseball and kids and writing and the weird uniform of the mildly demented Mets fan across the aisle and other things besides. The young woman who sang the national anthem looked nervous but did a bang-up job. The security folks went about their business calmly and efficiently. The blue-uniformed woman providing in-seat food service was pleasant and speedy. The beer was cold and there was plenty of it. Our seatmates were at least 40% Cardinals fans, and they made more than 70% of the noise, but they were pleasant folk, as Cardinals fans tend to be. A little boy behind us practiced his Mets rooting at earsplitting volume, but all around smiled and encouraged him, as that’s exactly what lungs are for at the ballpark. The bathroom lines were short. The automatic towel dispensers worked without a bunch of kabuki gesturing. We left the park and the Super Express bore us speedily back to Brooklyn.
The baseball? I looked up from our conversation now and then and saw a Met heaving a ball over a teammate’s head, or craning his neck to spy a departing home run, or dropping a fly ball, or throwing ball four with the bases loaded. Whatever one of the teams on the field was doing seemed pretty incompetent, but I didn’t let it bother me — and the scattering of Mets rooters in the stands didn’t make much protest either, opting for shrugs of indifference. Which was a good choice: Why waste a nice evening dwelling on things nobody seems able to change?