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Safeco Nights

A few impressions from a late night in Seattle absorbed via the television in New York before I drifted off to a dreamland in which the Mets don’t linger in distant American League cities where the designated hitter is de rigueur.

• The DH bites. We’ve been through this before [1]. We’ll be through it again. I’m glad we had a good DH in Curtis Granderson on Friday night. I’m saddened we had a DH at all.

• Interleague blows. I have to worry about the Mariners? The Mariners? I opened some packs of cards in March of 1977. Seattle Mariners were included for the first time. Their upside-down trident was clumsily airbrushed [2] onto the caps of vaguely familiars and total strangers. I was charmed. I never personally worried about the Mariners, give or take a playoff series, until they were deposited for a weekend set at Shea Stadium in 2003. Since then, every few years they wander onto our schedule, we onto theirs. Let us not treat the Mets playing the Mariners as normal. It is not. Nor should it be.

Friday night’s win [3] — up 4-0, down 5-4, triumphant at 7-5 — was the kind that would be rousing as get-all in pursuit of a playoff spot. Otherwise it was just tough to stay awake through, depending on your level of sleepiness (mine was high). The Mets are really good at winning when they do win. It’s the losing that’s holding them back. Where else do you get analysis like this?

• Rafael Montero turned in a performance that places him in the same company with the DH and Interleague. Well, he was good for four innings, whereas those other items are an affront at all times. Rafael was an affront by the fifth inning. He’s also our third-best starter right now. No wonder we’re not in pursuit of a playoff spot.

• Michael Conforto is from the state of Washington, in case you hadn’t heard. Hits well there, apparently.

• Someday I’ll look back on Neil Walker’s Met stats and be surprised he played in more than a dozen games. In my mind he’s been on the disabled list or just coming off of it for two years. Also, he’s from Pittsburgh, in case you hadn’t heard.

• They sell toasted grasshoppers at Safeco Field, we learned from Gary Cohen, who finds them delicious; and Keith Hernandez, who finds them repulsive. I’m gonna side with Keith on this one.

• Daruma of Great Neck, which makes and sells delicious sushi in the World’s Fare Market, should create an I’ll Hide My Eye Roll in honor of Tom Goodwin. Maybe that doesn’t sound any more appetizing than toasted grasshoppers, but it would show somebody is paying attention.

• The Mets have added to their bullpen AJ Ramos, acquired from the Marlins [4] for two low minor leaguers of some promise, which is what all low minor leaguers have, even Tim Tebow, until proven otherwise. Boy, will I be upset if the guys we traded become good. Boy, will I be upset if the guy we traded for allows a surfeit of baserunners and runs. Boy, am I otherwise without strong feelings that aren’t conditional on the worst possible outcomes. I understand Ramos, a veteran, is a marker for next year and might influence the trade market to make Addison Reed a more valuable commodity. That sounds good, I guess. I’ve gotten really zen about this stuff. As previously stated, I’ll root for whoever they put in front of me unless they put in front of me one too many DHs (which, for the record, would be one).

• Distracted as I was by personal matters [5], I didn’t issue a proper bon voyage to one of the signature Mets of the current decade, Lucas Duda, upon his trade to the Rays. I get how these contract-driven, future-thinking things work come late July, but I am genuinely sorry to see the big lug go. Stand-up guy, class act, heckuva slugger in spurts…and the last of Jerry’s Kids [6], those Mets who came to the majors under the tutelage of Mr. Manuel and stuck around to make a significant impact on the course of Metsian events. His 2014 production was a revelation, his 2015 contributions were essential, his eight seasons as one of ours a delight. He’s hit one home run for Tampa Bay already. I hope he hits many more soon. I mean really soon.

• Thanks to those good friends and thoughtful readers who have turned out to show their support at my recent appearances on behalf of Piazza: Catcher, Slugger, Icon, Star [7]. Same for those who tune in when somebody finds me worthy of interviewing and, really, anybody who has bought/read the book. I write for my fellow Mets fans, so it’s gratifying to know when I’m reaching my fellow Mets fans.

• Thanks even more for the kind sentiments regarding the passing of our cat Hozzie, who I continue to miss deeply. It means a lot to Stephanie and me that people who never met him would share their condolences. It would mean a lot to Hozzie’s brother Avery, too, but I don’t think he reads the blog that much.