Sunday, June 04, 2006

Mets Split A Two-Fer; Pick Up A Game

The Mets played a doubleheader of the old school variety - Patrons pay for the price of one game but get to see two. The only problem was that the weather was awful and by the end of the second game, which ended at around 11:30, the crowd at Shea resembled the size of those that used to show up at Olympic Stadium.

El Duque pitched well enough to lose the opener - and did - allowing five runs and eight hits over six innings in the 6-4 loss to the Giants. Tom Glavine started the second game and pitched well enough to win - but got a no-decision - as the Mets won in the extra-inning, walk-off fashion that's become almost routine.

Some bloggers will write today about the Billy Wagner vs. Barry Bonds rematch. Others about Armando Benitez thwarting a Mets comeback, or leaving in El Duque too long. I choose to use Transplanted Ex-Met Jose Vizcaino's efforts as a focal point. Vizcaino homered in the nightcap, and some lucky fan got to keep that ball as a souvenir. I would like to present now, in honor of Jose Vizcaiano, the heirarchy of celebration for retrieved MLB baseballs:

1. (the ultimate) - Of course, Catching a homerun ball by the home team. No matter the score, this is what it's all about.

2. Catching a homerun by the opposing team - this causes a bit of a quandry because your fellow fans are likely to encourage you to throw it back. They are idiots. Don't do this.

3. CATCHING a foul ball. Bonus for if it's a screamer, or you don't use a glove. By the way, if you bring a glove to a game, and you're over 13 years old, and you're not in homerun territory on a night when one of the players might hit an historic homerun, you're a geek.

4. Reaching over the railing and picking up a foul ball that is on the field. I am talking about a "dead" ball of course. If you interfere with the game by touching a live ball you should be ejected from the park and then forced to allow Moises Alou to pee on your hands.

5. PICKING UP a ball hit into the stands. I find it comical when a person will bend over, pick up a ball that happened to bounce under his chair, and holds it triumphantly up as if he's accomplished something. Sit down.

6. Having a ball tossed to you from a player on the field. This actually happened to me when I was about 19 by Jose Vizcaino. This is why, even though he had a big hit for the Yankees against the Mets in the WS, I can never truly hate him.

7. Grabbing a ball that was tossed by a player from the field, intended for the kid next to you. I attended a Red Sox/Angels game at Fenway a few years back, and showed up early to catch practice. Kevin Appier tosssed a ball into the stands, aimed at one of the kids, and it went right to me instead. Since I am not a heartless prick, I of course handed the ball to the kid Insane Ape was trying to through to. Of course it didn't hurt that I already had my Vizcaino-tossed game ball. Nice throw, Appier. So glad we signed you instead of Mike Hampton.

DEAD LAST - Anything close to the activities undertaken by the SNY 2,000 baseball guy to retrieve a ball doesn't even rank on this list. This is a guy who has ammassed 2,000 baseballs by running around Shea Stadium like a lunatic and begging players for baseballs. He would get much more cool points if he had just bought the damn baseballs. Who the hell cares? To me, 1,999 of those balls could have gone to some kid instead. Hey chump, save yourself some dignity and donate the balls to the local little league.

So there you have it. Thanks for the memories Jose.

Meanwhile, the Braves got swept in their doubleheader by the Diamondbacks and are now six games behind the Mets, while the Philles fell to the Dodgers to fall to 5.5 games back. Today at 1:10 (hopefully), Little Stevie Trachsel pitches the rubber game against Matt Morris (3-6). I'm blacked out with the game on Channel 11, so it's a Gameday Audio afternoon for me. Lets Go Mets!

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