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You Can Sometimes Get What You Want

I put in a request for a sitdown with the baseball gods prior to the start of Sunday’s 1:10 game versus the Phillies. I had what I believed were a few reasonable requests.

I asked if I could go the game.
The baseball gods said sure.

I asked for really good seats at a decent price.
The baseball gods countered with pretty decent field level seats, out in right, and a 50% discount tied into my having voted 35 times for the All-Star Game.

I asked what the hell that had to do with anything.
The baseball gods said to take it up with the Mets’ marketing department.

I asked why the Mets have to keep making with the cutesy little ticket deals and just can’t lower prices to begin with.
The baseball gods said they don’t traffic in philosophical questions, just requests.

I asked for an aisle seat.
The baseball gods said they’d do what they could, but warned me idiots would be walking by me all day, especially when I wanted to see what was going on in the game.

I asked why people do that.
The baseball gods said they really didn’t know.

I asked that the stupefying heat wave break.
The baseball gods said “done,” but warned me it’s July, so you’re gonna schvitz some regardless.

I asked for a Mets win.
The baseball gods offered no guarantees.

I told them I really needed a Mets win after starting my year 5-1 and having it crash to 6-11.
The baseball gods said they’d see what they could do.

I reiterated that I sat through a 20-inning loss, a two-hour rain delay that pushed a nine-inning loss past midnight and took the hit on that suspended game that had no business winding up on my record.
The baseball gods said they were sympathetic, but again, no promises.

I asked that Matt Harvey get the win if the Mets won.
The baseball gods said pitcher wins are immaterial.

I countered that here’s Matt Harvey, king of the pitching world, and you’re making him walk around with an absurdly slight 7-2 record.
The baseball gods said I should look at his interior numbers, that they’re very impressive.

I told them I practically roll around in his interior numbers, that they’re off-the-charts ridiculously good, but c’mon, you have Tom Seaver throwing out first pitches on Tuesday and Dwight Gooden overseeing distribution of his bobbleheads on Sunday and they were 25- and 24-game winners, and at this rate, Harvey’s gonna go like 9-4.
The baseball gods didn’t see what I was getting at.

I told them they’re making the heir to Seaver and Gooden look, at best, like Craig Swan.
The baseball gods reminded me Craig Swan was a very good pitcher.

I told them I loved Craig Swan in his time, but c’mon, Matt Harvey isn’t Craig Swan reincarnated. He’s these other guys.
The baseball gods said they got the point and they’d see what they could do.

I asked for a Matt Harvey perfect game.
The baseball gods said, “Get real.”

I asked for a Matt Harvey no-hitter.
The baseball gods said, “Too soon.”

I asked for a Matt Harvey complete game shutout in which all of his outs are recorded via strikeout.
The baseball gods asked me to consider the ramifications of such an outcome on Harvey’s pitch count and innings total.

I asked that Harvey go maybe seven and strike out maybe ten and leave with a shutout intact.
The baseball gods said they could work with that.

I asked that Harvey hit four home runs.
The baseball gods said they don’t entertain unreasonable requests.

I asked that Harvey be supported by a home run barrage reminiscent of what Yoenis Cespedes did the other night.
The baseball gods said the best I could hope for was the Mets’ version of that, which is maybe three home runs.

I asked that one of the home runs be hit by Marlon Byrd.
They said they couldn’t reveal any names in advance, but cautioned me that everything good Marlon Byrd does is going to make me unreasonably fond of him to the point where I won’t want to see him be traded, even though deep down I know there’s no great point in holding on to him.

I asked for three long bombs to be launched by Mets batters.
The baseball gods said Byrd’s could land in the second deck, but the two other homers would barely clear the left field fence and require video replay to confirm they went out.

I asked that the video replay work in the Mets’ favor.
The baseball gods said the video replay would be accurate and quick.

I asked that Terry Collins not overmanage the bullpen and not complicate any lead Harvey left him.
The baseball gods laughed but said they’d pass on the suggestion.

I asked that Phillies fans be very disappointed.
The baseball gods said they thought Phillies fans are very disappointing.

I said they might have misheard me.
The baseball gods said they heard me just fine.

I asked that no loudmouth jerk sit behind me all day.
The baseball gods said it’s a ballgame, you sit in front of who you sit in front of.

I said I put up with a loudmouth jerk on Fireworks Night who cheered for Cody Ross [1] to hit a home run off Matt Harvey, and Cody Ross hit a home run off Matt Harvey, therefore they owed me one.
The baseball gods said I’d still have to put up with someone who spoke loudly and drone on inanely about the obvious but he “probably” wouldn’t be outright vicious.

I asked that whoever sit behind me at least know what he’s talking about.
The baseball gods said the guy would “probably” get enough facts wrong to irk me because that’s just the way I am, but I should try to enjoy the game anyway.

I asked that the conversation behind me at least modulate in tone from time to time and not distract me.
The baseball gods said the inane baseball chatter would now and again be punctuated by stories that involved deeply personal matters and I was going to overhear them whether I wanted to or not.

I asked for a game that wouldn’t take forever.
The baseball gods said games don’t take forever, that all games end eventually.

I asked for a game that wouldn’t figuratively take forever.
The baseball gods said the sport I love is an intricate battle of strategy and tactics and that I should be Zen on the subject of game length.

I told them the last two games the Mets played were intolerably long [2] and a Harvey Day should be an all-around thing of beauty and not devolve into a total drag.
The baseball gods said Cliff Lee would start for the Phillies and I’d have to take my chances.

I asked that anybody wearing a HARVEY 33 shirt or jersey have the good sense to sit down and watch attentively while the man to whom they are paying tribute on their backs is plying his craft.
The baseball gods said this isn’t Phoenix or one of those places where people abide by that bit about being courteous to your fellow fan and not getting up in the middle of an at-bat.

I asked why somebody would go to the expense of securing a HARVEY 33 shirt or jersey and be lucky enough to have the actually HARVEY 33 pitching right in front of them yet ignore him.
The baseball gods invoked the “we don’t do philosophy” line.

I asked if they could fix it so the game would end in time for me to make the 4:02 at Woodside lest my friend and I have to wait around for the 5:02 because for some strange reason, the LIRR doesn’t have a 4:24 like it does a 5:24, go figure.
The baseball gods asked, “What do we look like, the MTA?”

I told them they made that stupid Fireworks Night game last just long enough for me to miss my connection at Woodside, which kept me from getting home until nearly three in the morning, and that on this they definitely owed me one.
The baseball gods stressed this wasn’t their department.

I told them that for all the Mets’ “take the train to the game” PSAs, it damn well is their department.
The baseball gods said they’d talk to the transit people.

I told them that for this to work, I’d need a game that ended in less than 2:35, I’d need the Super Express to not idle interminably on the tracks once my friend and I boarded and that I’d likely need the 4:02 to wait an instant for my friend and me to get down the stairs instead of pulling away in plain sight.
The baseball gods said I was asking for a lot of things to go very precisely and was overlooking that baseball is a glorious jumble of the unpredictable.

I told them to cut the Ken Burns documentary talking head happy horsespit and just get me and Harvey our wins and get me on my train before I strangle the guy sitting behind me for something as innocuous as referring to the Acela Club as the Delta Club because he hasn’t shut up for nine innings and just about anything could set me off by then.
The baseball gods said go to the game. You’ll probably come home happy [3] and only a little annoyed.

I asked if Harvey could hit three inside-the-park home runs and also score on a Jimmy Rollins four-base error.
The baseball gods said our sitdown was over.