When I woke up on my friends' couch yesterday morning, one of the first things I saw was a SportsCenter crawl informing me Roy Oswalt had been traded to the Phillies. Not the first thing you want to see any morning, especially when you're about to head to Citi Field with four Cardinals fans. Well, technically, two Cardinals fans, one girlfriend and one girl just along for the ride. I ate my bacon and my donuts with a black cloud hanging over me, complaining that the season was officially over. It seemed completely insane to me that I had woken up at 9:30 in the morning to go catch a game at noon, but like the man said, buy the ticket, take the ride. As it turns out, my sarcastic taunts on the subway that R.A. Dickey would pitch a no-hitter were more accurate than my friends or I could have imagined.
That's getting ahead in the story though. The most important discovery of my visit to Citi is that before the game starts, the Mets invite you to send nonsensical text messages that will be displayed on the small scoreboards in left and right field. Since our visit coincided with the visit of every day camp and uncomfortably attractive camp counselor in the Tri-state area, the scoreboards filled up with nonsense like "Keith luvs [sic] Julie forever? [sic]" My favorite is displayed below.
There was also an umbrella giveaway, which delighted me more than most of the crowd, since I lost my Giants umbrella I got during my visit to San Francisco a few years ago. These are solid umbrellas, way more solid than I would think a team would give away, but I'm not complaining. What I did complain about was seeing that David Wright had been given the day off. "I didn't pay 25 fucking dollars to see Mike Hessman," I groused as we passed a group of children.
It was OK though, because Mike Hessman looks like a serial killer and that provided more than ample entertainment for me every time his face was splashed on the Jumbotron. I mean, it wouldn't be as funny if I were a sex worker and it was the last thing I saw as I ran through one of the swamps of Flushing, but I don't have to worry about that yet.
What were we talking about? Oh right, the baseball game. Even more entertaining than Mike "Mr. Brooks" Hessman was R.A. Dickey, hereby known as Rad Ass Dickey. To the family reunion sitting in front of us, I'm not sorry at all you had to hear me scream that at least once an inning. Half of you were Cardinals fans anyway. I'm also not sorry you had to hear me mercilessly scream taunts whenever Alex Cora was up, mostly because they didn't have any curses in them. Hey, did you guys know Rad Ass Dickey had a higher batting average than Alex Cora for most of yesterday's game?
Dickey had the Cardinals in the palm of his hand all game. No one on the Cardinals hit the ball hard, not even the feared Albert Pujols. In a rare instance in modern baseball, Dickey's pitch count was so low that I was able to start calculating the odds of him pitching a complete game by the sixth inning. It wasn't to be, but I can't remember the last time I was part of a standing ovation for a Met pitcher. It might have been 2005.
Ike took care of the rest, and my visit to Citi was an unqualified success. Except for some jackass behind me giving Carlos Beltran the Alex Cora treatment. The only thing stopping me from turning around and screaming at him (more than the one time I did) was my friend Dan telling me that when he went to the game Tuesday night, he saw people ejected from the stadium for fighting and it turned out they were both Met fans. Just a reminder of how tense things are in Flushing nowadays.