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Report From Citizens Bank Park North

Things that went wrong in one Mets fan’s day:

* The Mets didn’t get a single runner to second base. What a dull, listless game this was. I remember Chris Carter nearly letting a ball go over his head in left and Jose Reyes smacking a single off Roy Oswalt. Everything else isn’t just forgotten — it didn’t register in the first place.

* Jerry Manuel continued to dare the Mets to fire him early, spouting insane nonsense about winning games as justification for sticking a Quadruple-A warm body in Luis Hernandez on the field while Ruben Tejada sits on the bench instead of continuing to learn lessons that could pay off in 2011. This has gone far beyond Jerry’s usual genial stupidity and become out-and-out dereliction of duty. By trying to smear lipstick on his pig of a record, Manuel is stealing wins from his successor and from 2011.

* There is no sign that anyone in the Mets’ dysfunctional joke of a front office is interested in stopping this. Perhaps their time is taken up by egging the press on in publicly shaming players, in hopes that will stop sportswriters and fans from remembering who gave those players dumb contracts in the first place. I differentiate between the treatment of Castillo and Perez and that afforded Beltran, by the way. Castillo and Perez were bullied by people who should man up and release them, but they had lousy excuses for being Walter Reed no-shows, so I’m not too worked up. Beltran had a reason for his absence, and what’s been done to him is character assassination that’s both shameful and self-defeating.

* Customer service continues to decay ominously at Citi Field, with concession lines moving at the speed of continental drift as workers shuffle around with glazed looks in their eyes. At one point Greg asked me, “When did this place turn back into Shea?” I just shook my head sadly.

* It rained. I’m trying to figure out how this is Jerry Manuel’s fault. He certainly didn’t help, how’s that?

* If going by noise, the crowd was perhaps 45% Phillies fans. I know a body count wouldn’t reflect that — it’s no particular surprise that fans of a team gunning for a division title and watching Oswalt made more noise than shell-shocked fans of a bad, boring, star-crossed disaster. But our row had more Phillies fans than Mets fans, and there were speckles of red everywhere you looked.

* As a bonus, the guy behind me was the single stupidest fan I’ve ever sat near who wasn’t wearing a Yankee hat. I didn’t mind that he was cheering full-throttle for the enemy — that’s his right. What got me was that he’d apparently never been to a game: On one utterly routine 6-3 groundout, he inhaled sharply as Wilson Valdez scooped up the ball, babbled “c’mon c’mon c’mon c’mon” as Valdez lobbed it over to beat a jogging Met, then exploded with joy when the ball plopped into Ryan Howard’s mitt. He did this for 27 outs. I wanted to strangle him, learn CPR, revive him, then strangle him again.

* The U.S. Open exists.

* Game 2 of the Cyclones’ New York-Penn League Championship Series was rained out, foiling my shot at seeing a climactic Game 3 in which the Cyclones could win a title. Game 3 will still happen if the Cyclones win Game 2, but it would be on Tuesday night, meaning I can’t go. Stupid Jerry Manuel.

Things that went right in one Mets fan’s day:

* Jon Niese pitched well, got one of the Mets’ four hits, and drew a walk.

* I got to sit companionably for a bit with my co-blogger and Stephanie, his lovely, kind and patient wife.

* The sight of my kid in a green raincoat and screaming yellow blingy giveaway sunglasses. Imagine if “I’m Still Here” came with a flashback of Joaquin Phoenix in character, but as a seven-year-old. It looked like that. Made me laugh.

* The food’s still good. Carnitas = win.

* The game was boring and depressing, but it was over [1] in a tidy two hours and 15 minutes.