It's always fun to see the Mets win a game in person, and since the Yankee game last month was such a debacle, last night was the first time this season I sat in the big ballpark from beginning to end. Back in Section 24 of the Upper Deck we were, thanks to the Seven Pack, but I was the only member of the ticket-buying crew to actually show up at Shea. Angst needed a night off after working two straight weeks, Freddie Mercury was probably preparing for the weekend of debauchery in Philadelphia and WJS simply never showed. I grabbed Angst's ticket earlier in the week and offered it to T-Bone, who was happy to accept.
(Oh yeah, no more real names on here, unless specifically requested by that person. Angst will probably ask to be called Joey Walnuts instead, but I won't give him the satisfaction. If I'm going to hide behind my Judge Roughneck moniker, might as well give everyone else a nickname too.)
We got to the park right before first pitch and settled into our seats with a Brooklyn Lager in hand. T-Bone is getting snooty about his beer in his old age and we had to walk halfway around the Upper Deck just to satisfy his alcohol needs. All matter of conversation ensued, so much so that I looked up and it was already the bottom of the second inning. I was pleasantly surprised that the Mets had toned down the white noise from the PA system a little bit last night; the usual noise assault was much more muted. Merengue Night every night, I say!
Sometime around the fifth inning T-Bone and I decided to go back to the Brooklyn Lager stand and ran into The Swedish Chef, who has actually called me earlier that night to see if I wanted to go to the game with him. He was sitting alone, so we offered him one of Freddie Mercury's/WJS's seats and he joined us for the rest of the game. The Administrator texted me to tell me he was in the park too, but never came by to say hello.
The Swedish Chef is not a particularly fervent baseball fan and enjoys going to games more for the spectacle then anything else. Predictably, he is excited about Citi Field and the many food options that will be available to the casual baseball fan. He is also looking to buy his first personalized Mets jersey and offered to buy the black Piazza jersey from me. No dice, my man - but I'm sure you can easily get one personalized at your local sporting goods store.
Other highlights? Pelfrey was super sharp again and T-Bone is so proud of himself for plucking Pelf off the waiver wire of our fantasy league in mid-May. Merengue Night brought a surprising amount of energy to the proceedings; in past years, the park would be half-full into the seventh inning when the Puerto Rican and Dominican flags would suddenly arrive en masse awaiting the postgame concert. Oh, and some day when I'm old and gray(er), I'll be able to tell my kids I saw Argenis Reyes's first career home run.
Manuel's bullpen management in the eighth and ninth innings left something to be desired. Pelfrey couldn't start the eighth with only 103 pitches under his belt? Feliciano couldn't have pitched the last two innings of what was ultimately a blowout? Whatever.
Another postgame trip to the Pines ensued, although T-Bone and I were very close to hitting the links in Flushing Meadows instead. Maybe next time. Angst decided to meet us there and we took over a back booth, yapping the night away while fending off the commercial advances of the Presidente girls. ($20 for a bucket of Presidentes!? Not after having bought a bucket of Yuenglings for $6.75 the night before!)