(Written at 7 AM, posted at 3 PM.  Brilliant.)

It’s early and, truth be told, I’m still a bit hungover.  This will be somewhat disjointed.  But there will be pictures.  Everyone likes pictures.

First, let’s get the wiseacre business out of the way.

This is what a Met with an extra-base hit looks like:

second base.jpgThat’s Daniel Murphy there, of the Jacksonville Murphys.

This is what the scoreboard looks like when the Mets notch a run:

scoreboard.jpgThat’s all for sarcasm at present. 

Section Five Twenty-Eight was fortunate enough to have the presence of the guy I’m calling “Big Man” in the house with us (the mascot I mention in my rambling, devoid-of-line-breaks bio).  We were all concerned, and muttering hopes for his well-being.  And then, like a shining beacon… my eyes crossed just now; I did indeed type “beacon” and not “bacon,” right?… he appeared:

big man.jpg…in all his Beltran finery. 

And along his back-up band of relatives, thus excusing his early departure. He had a kid with him who wanted to hit some balls off a tee over in Kiddie Field, so there you go.  Four beers chugged. Two bought from groups in other sections, as though the gaggle up in Promenade Left are collective macrocosms of players in that Goodfellas scene at the Copa.  I like it.

The man’s a celebrity, and as with all celebrities, we’ve gotten a little too involved with his health.  He’s got a long way to drive, and it was a Wednesday, and the man appears to have lived a fun life already.  So we began to chant, “Sip!  Sip!  Sip!” when another beer materialized in his hand.

Baseball, in the in between moments–and there were many, as Oliver Perez decided to pitch in a gear normally reserved for sloths, slugs, and the infirm–can be quite entertaining in the stands.  Others have already picked up the mantle for Big Man.  In the manner of Spartacus, we had other revelers shouting “Section Five Twenty-Eight!” and doing damage to their own livers for a change. 

I tell ya, it’s great for branding.  I should have some business cards made up and leave them with the poor lambs still trying to sell season tickets.  Or at the sausage stand.

By the way, Sean Avery was on the Kiss Cam.  He did not kiss the woman seated next to him, and I think it’s because they just happened to be seated together, and not actually together-together.  Donald Trump was ALSO on the Kiss Cam.  He nodded, waved, then planted a deep one on what someone in the men’s room later described as “a fine piece of filet gumbo,” which is perhaps my FAVORITE superlative to bestow on a member of the fairer sex.  A kudo to you, sir.

The question of songs one would have play as one entered the batter’s box came up; this is similar to the old joy of picking the song to be played as one enters relief, but has the benefit of multiple choice: first time in; second time in; clutch situation.

The oddest suggestion was “What’s Going On?” by 4 Non Blondes.  It’s frightening that three fairly grown men did not need the help of the three women across the aisle from us to belt a verse and the chorus:

“And so I cry sometimes when I’m lying in bed
Just to get it all out, what’s in my head
And I, I am feeling a little peculiar
And so I wake in the morning and I step outside
And I take a deep breath and I get real high
And I scream from the top of my lungs,
‘What’s goin’ on?’

And I say hey… hey…
I said HEY! What’s goin’ on?
And I say hey… hey…
I said HEY! What’s goin’ on?”

Songs are universal.  Especially gems such as those.

And then Daniel Murphy made perhaps the best play I’ve ever seen in the infield, in person or on television.

**

It’s not The Catch.  It’s not Johan fielding the ball off the barrel of the broken bat.  But if ESPN runs a piece calling out the worst Mets plays of the season, in EARLY JULY, then calls Murphy’s behind the back toss to Bobby Parnell the “Web Gem Of The Year,” either their calibration and their motives are off, or the Mets do indeed have the concurrent capacity for dreckitude and amazibility.

I’ve watched it about twenty times.  The ball settles in Parnell’s glove.  As L.A. Dodgers first baseman Mark Loretta’s foot plants onto the bag, Parnell’s glove closes around the ball.  He maintains possession.  There’s your out, Mr. Loretta.  Thanks for playing.  You had a hit and knocked in the first run with it, and that’s more than your opponents last night had been able to say in a while.  So no talk of luck or lack of luck, please.

What thrilled us was it appeared, rightly, that Murphy would have to be like unto The Flash to grab the ball so far away from the bag, then get into position to fire to Parnell.  No one thought it was going to be a behind-the-back toss like that.  We were instantly on our feet, all of us, all around us.  Unbelievable.

**

I was in attendance for Manny Ramirez’s passing of Jimmie Foxx on the home run list.  Good for him.

**

ground rules.jpgCiti Field’s ground rules include the following admonition (paraphrased): “Please refrain from using foul or inappropriate language.”  I took that picture after I took this picture:

oliver perez.jpg…which is of Oliver Perez heading for the bullpen to warm-up.  You can tell by the high socks.  Faux-hawk is, thankfully, obscured by the ball cap.

There were children present all around me and my group yesterday, which made watching Ollie and getting frustrated by Ollie after his fourth pitch and Ollie’s fist pumps after getting out of hells of his own making very difficult.

I am so thankful to be done with an Ollie start and escape unscathed.  I have no evidence to refute my various claims regarding the man, and as I of course did not wish harm on the Mets, I’m still safe from the blade of hindsight.  Nevertheless, my personal calculus for last night runs thusly:

Seven walks, including walking the bases full in the third, after getting the first two outs (negative)

+

Holding Manny Ramirez hitless each of the three times he saw you (positive)

=

Zero.

So he did not do any further damage to himself, in my eyes.  I can now think about other things for the next few days.  Delightful.

Good job, guys.  Catch you this evening.

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