“I’m no theologian.  I don’t know who or what God is exactly.  I only know He’s a force more powerful than Mom and Dad put together and you owe him BIG.”

–Lisa Simpson, The Simpsons

I don’t quite know what possesses me to blog NOW, talk about the Mets NOW, get myself to a game on a weekday NOW, but it’s happening.  I’m going tonight.  Section 419.

One of the most fun things that can happen, at least as far as I’m concerned, is when a pastime becomes something you can turn into a hobby.  Why just watch baseball when I can also write about it?  Try and photograph it?  Analyze it?

Conversely, one of the most depressing things that can happen, (again) at least as far as I’m concerned, is when a hobby is taken away.  How can I write, photograph, or analyze baseball when I’m trying to earn a living, and that living is most assuredly NOT earned whilst writing, photographing, or analyzing?

That’s been my state since late November.  I have SO MUCH going on that I get paid for, followed by so much going on that I hope one day to be paid for, followed by so much going on that recharges me in a sense more social and spiritual (without the organized religion: I’ve not got velour burn from a church’s knee rest; I’ve got Missing The Wife Syndrome)… anyway, it’s too much to manage.

Damn it, it was so much to manage that there was no time to shave.  I grew a beard.  A pretty thick, pretty unkempt beard.  Picture Leonard McCoy on the transporter pad in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, excepting the Bee Gees jumpsuit and medallion, while including the confusion as to why “any object we don’t understand always called a ‘thing.'”

I got out to the park with The Wife on the first Saturday, however.  I was determined to be part of the crowd cheering on Jose Reyes (and, like Greg Prince of Faith And Fear, I didn’t get the whole “can’t cheer unless prodded” THING), and determined to see a game with The Wife in the event that she landed an internship which would keep her away from New York for the summer.  (She did.)  Camera battery was crying for a charge, so no pictures.  The black cap that’s carried me through the horrors of the last three years was tighter than it’s ever been, leading me to the sinking suspicion that my stupidity tumor has metastasized.  Yes, I figure I’ve got one of those.

And then, for those that saw the game:

Willy Taveras. 

Willie Harris. 

Tyler.  GODDAMNED.  Clippard.

I swear, my contribution to Twitter will be to popularize the hashtag #tylerclippard for any event, comment, or passing situation that produces an astounding, mind-bending, almost aneurysm-causing level of anger and frustration.  Yeah, I know Tyler Clippard’s not Charlie Gordon, but… but… ::sputtering:: TYLER CLIPPARD?!

Anyway.

I promised I would blog my thoughts Sunday morning on the twenty-inning farce/epic the Mets played against the Cardinals, under the banner of “If The Boys Can Sweat It Out, Then So Can I.”  However, to do just that would’ve actually meant staying up after the game to write, and I’d had a long day, and it was running into an even LONGER Sunday.  So there went that.

And, y’know, I don’t know that some of these boys are my boys.  Frank Catalanotto?  By default.  Alex Cora?  Good jump; still awful range.  Gary Matthews, Jr.?  He’s not even my favorite Gary.  There are more, but as a sometime comedian I’m governed by the Rule of Three, so I’ll leave it there.

But: some of these boys ARE my boys.  David, Jose, Jason.  Johan, Mike, Frankie.  Hell, Chowdah can hit .200 for the month of May as long as he keeps gunning guys down from right field.  And Angel Pagan I’ve had a soft spot for since Coney Island.  Which leads me to Ike Davis.

I am going tonight for Ike Davis.

Running out to the park when the team’s in the hunt and the place is electric is as easy as the money in your wallet and the recklessness of your spirit.  I’ve done those sprints and whether ultimately delightful or devastating, they’ve stuck in my memory and keep me sane when I absolutely must shut the television or radio off and focus on the work at hand.

But when your team is fighting the destructive efforts of media, fans, and plain-old reality, clinging to an idea of contention before ANYONE, ANYWHERE really begins to contend for ANYTHING, running out to the park to catch something at least intriguing and, at most, perhaps slightly, SLIGHTLY historic… well, this is hard to do.  Unless you’re a maniac, like I am (and my sister is; she’ll be joining me).

I wish I had been in the park when Keith Hernandez got his first Mets start.  Or Darryl Strawberry.  Or Dwight Gooden.  Or any number of electric players.

I don’t know what Ike Davis will be at the major league level.  It may take me two hands and a flashlight to remember his name in five years.  But I’ve seen him play several games.  And I watched some of him in Spring Training.  And, like I said, I’m a maniac.

So.  I’m no scout.  I don’t know who or what Ike Davis is, exactly.  I only know he’s got to be an improvement over Mike Jacobs and, for that, the Mets owe him a shot.

And I’ll be there to cheer him on.  Section 419, for half off the face value; those are the times we live in.  Let’s go Mets.

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