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Graduation Season

Steven Matz [1] graduates to the big time on Sunday. Or the Met time, at any rate. The efficacy of Sandy Alderson’s doctoral thesis in mathematics — the GM contends six starters will fit snugly into five slots [2] — remains to be seen, but official confirmation that the last lavishly hyped pitching prospect of the current generation is indeed on the cusp of arriving atop a major league mound was cause for joyous celebration Friday night.

So we celebrated. And it was joyous.

To be fair, Matz’s impending promotion served primarily as happy coincidental backdrop for the real reason festiveness was in the air at Citi Field. Steven Matz was on the way and Noah Syndergaard [3] was on the hill, but center stage belonged to another young star: Melanie Spector. Someday you’ll find Melanie in your program at the Met, her budding vocal talents having been honed at the Manhattan School of Music, an institution that will be fortunate to number her among its ranks come fall. Until then, you can find this freshly minted graduate of Leonia (N.J.) High School at the Mets.

Talk about having your priorities straight! [4]

Talk about having your priorities straight!

Melanie’s been a Mets fan since birth. I’ve seen the pictures. I’ve seen her in action. I’ve seen her keep score. I’ve seen her repurpose the rituals of prom night [5] and put them to vivid use for Harvey Day. And now I’ve seen how she puts a bow on her high school career.

Steven Matz leaving Las Vegas has nothing on Melanie Spector taking Manhattan.

Friday night, Stephanie and I were honored to attend Melanie’s graduation party, which of course took place at Citi Field — she and her parents Garry and Susan wouldn’t be anywhere else on an evening the Mets are home (assuming there’s no conflict with the Metropolitan Opera, where Susan plays oboe and Melanie takes copious notes [6]). The occasion called for a grand setting, so they booked an Empire Suite. Actually, any spot in the ballpark is grand when it’s chock full of Spectors, but the suite was an excellent touch. It was right behind home plate; it came with a buffet from which Shake Shack burgers let forth a siren song of fierce temptation; and premier cultural icon Mr. Met dropped by to say hello, albeit extremely sotto voce. Mr. Met, like our hosts, demonstrates excellent taste.

The Mets provided only two hits against their Red nemeses, but one of them was a leadoff home run from Curtis Granderson [7] and the other was a catalytic triple from Dilson Herrera [8]. The three-bagger, legged out in the fifth, led to the quintessential June 2015 Mets rally: a two-out walk followed by a two-out walk followed by a two-out walk. Three good eyes, twelve helpful balls and one additional run. Staked to an enormous 2-1 lead, Syndergaard protected its honor through the eight before Jeurys Familia [9] closed the production with equal dollops of verve and panache.

Bravo for the Mets! [10] Brava for Melanie! Our thanks to her for thinking to include us on such a special night. She is destined to experience many special nights ahead in whatever venue she chooses. We were truly tickled to have been a part of this one.