I’m now officially on the hook for two games of the three-game set against the Astros, on the last weekend of the season.

Here went my thinking: I was there for the first game played.  I was there for the Mets exhibition games, there for the Sunday workout following–under extraordinary circumstances: I had gone to the game Saturday, spent about six hours at a bar with friends, stayed up all night at a friend’s apartment listening to Radiohead and Bonnie “Prince” Billy, then rode out to Flushing once daylight was firmly secured.  Somehow between the Saturday game and my third hour at the park, I’d procured a turkey club in a diner take-out tin.  I have no recollection of how it came to be in my bag.

Indeed, The Wife will be in town starting Friday as well.  I skipped out on Parnell’s start against the Giants, about a month ago, to collect her from the airport.  Reasonably, I should be skipping out on this Friday’s tilt, as there is beyond nothing to play for against Houston, but it’s the last game with my two buddies, one a Yankees fan who is doubtful about re-upping; the other a Mets fan who won’t re-up unless the organization “shows [him] something” in the off-season.  Paraphrasing lightly: “I don’t think I wanna plunk down another three hundred dollars for suckitude and an inability to see balls hit down the left field line.”

So I can’t miss Friday’s game, especially since it seems John Maine and Wandy Rodriguez are going to swap teams for the day:

matchup.jpgI kid, Cerrone.  I kid because I love.  …Actually, given a choice between Rodriguez and Maine this season, I think I’m picking Rodriguez.

And The Wife has a good record at Mets games.  Provided the potential win doesn’t come with a blitzkrieg thunderstorm (…blitzkrieg thunderstorm?…) on Sunday afternoon, I think I’ll be quite pleased.

I’ve got to go to the last game there this season.  I absolutely must.  The ship is going down, having taken on far too many runners left stranded (see last night vs. Washington: L; 2-1) to stay afloat.  I boarded at Southampton, and have been dressed in my best; I’m prepared to go down that way. 

I don’t know what it says about my mentality that I’d buy a ticket to this Titanic metaphor for the missus; rest assured should the game get out of hand, I’ll tell her to save herself.

My Mets thoughts are consumed by the kind of thinking that’s making friends balk at buying into another season set of tickets.  What if they aren’t good next year?  What if the injuries sustained re-emerge?  Santana’s knee, Santana’s elbow.  John Maine’s shoulder.  Frankie Rodriguez’s back.  Jose Reyes’s legs.  David Wright’s cojones (or, as a Hungarian friend with short tendons likes to say: “cuh-Jones”).  I wonder if the MLBlog filter will pick up on either.

Make no mistake: we’re staring into a potential abyss here.  We shouldn’t be afraid of the abyss: baseball’s still fun; hope resides around every corner.  Technically, a team could open the season with eighty-one straight losses, follow that with an eighty-one game winning streak, and enter the record books with a not-impossible chance of making the playoffs. 

It’s the business side of things which futz with my head; if the tickets were free I’d be there every day.  But this is what one arrives at after six months of tickets and transit and beer and heatlamp chicken-and-fries baskets: it’s a lot of money.  And a lot of money spent watching a bad team hurts more than a lot of money watching a good team.

So along with controlling my profound dissatisfaction for certain relief pitchers and the decisions which lead them to holding the ball in pressure situations, I must spend the winter months squaring the circle on how much is too much to spend on the Mets.  Surely twenty dollars–the price I paid for two tickets in the Promenade level, roughly behind home plate, for the last game of the season, service rip and delivery rip (you EMAILED them to me) included–is not too much. 

And maybe a magical turkey club with cold, gummy fries will show up in my bag this time, too.

I developed a coping mechanism for Sean Green, by the way: when he showed up to pitch last night, I changed the channel and monitored my BlackBerry for general signs that the inning was over.  When it was, I flipped back.  I’m afraid I can’t apply that same method for the whole of the team.  Might as well stop breathing, while I’m at it.