cautious optimism

So South Georgia was on fire. I thought that would dovetail nicely with history as the rampaging Mets charged into Atlanta to face the Braves, their biggest rivals. Well, it didn’t turn out quite that way. Whoops.

Every sports fan must have those irrational moments where they feel like their actions, behavior, attitude, routine, etc. dictate the performance of their favorite player(s)/team(s). I felt that way this entire series.

Tuesday: going to Copper Door Tavern with Stan (2 for 1 burgers and 2 for 1 beers!), feeling cautiously optimistic about Jorge Sosa’s chances against his former team, as well as the Mets’ offensive chances against Kyle Davies. WELL. Too often I’ve felt, good or bad, the Mets lately have been allowing early innings to set the tone of the entire game, and they did exactly that when, with runners on first and third, slumping Carlos Delgado grounded into a double play to end the early threat (I found out later that it was Delgado’s fifth GIDP of the season. Somehow it feels like more). Sosa was lights out for exactly one inning, and then the Braves smacked him all over the place. Still feeling cautiously optimistic, as the Mets were only down 5-1 (Stan: “Way to not be an alarmist”), Aaron Sele proceeded to give up a 3-run homerun to Davies (the pitcher!). At this point I went, “Bah!” gathered my belongings, went home, and drank some whiskey till I passed out. I then realized that, aside from last week’s walk-off walk against the Cubs, the Mets have always lost when I watch them at Copper Door. Maybe I should stop going there (but oh the food and drink specials!).

Wednesday: I went to see an apartment, and in doing so walked by a bar that was playing the game. The first thing I see is Oliver Perez inducing a short pop-out to David Wright, which makes me smile. I get the apartment (the guy was wearing a Yankees hat; I totally rubbed the series win in his face, but he seemed to enjoy talking shit on Clemens and Giambi, so go figure), go see friends at our weekly trivia night (nerds! Also, confusing the Buzzcocks’ “Orgasm Addict” for the Exploding Hearts? SHAME), drunkenly head over to Alligator Lounge, where I see Baseball Boyfriend #2 Joe Smith warming up to relieve Ollie, who seemingly pitched another beaut (three in a row!). This makes me completely ditch my friends, as I end up going ga-ga over Joey with a guy missing three of his front teeth. Joey, of course, goes 1-2-3 in the eighth (including just a killer smackdown of Larry Jones, who looked like a fucking idiot trying to chase Joey’s junk…hrm, interesting diction there, eh? Baseball is so gay). Then I’m told Baseball Boyfriend #1 David Wright hit ANOTHER dinger earlier in the game. How good is he? SO GOOD. Wags does his thing, and I’m zippy with victory. I finally go hang out with my friends, and end up talking to a very cute boy who likes baseball who also was invited to this Big Gay Literary Party that I was going to attend the next day. We make plans to meet up. I turn into a seven year old.

Thursday: Glavine vs. Smoltz? Kill that homophobe (link via Toasted Joe), I think. Do not let him get a milestone (win #200) against us. Smack him around. WELL. That didn’t happen. Neither did anything with Cute Boy Who Likes Baseball, though we did talk at Big Gay Literary Party for a bit before he got swept up in Big Gay Literaryness whereas I just kind of awkwardly started chainsmoking and downing whiskey straights on the balcony. I called up Stan to check up on the game (him: “2-0 Braves, top of the fourth, Lo Duca on third”/me: “Oh, we’ll come back. That’s nothing.” Decidedly more-than-cautious optimism). When I get home, I see that the Mets mounted a rally in the top of the ninth, only to have it end with a pop-up by Jose “Dear God, Please Don’t Call Me Samson” Reyes. It’s nice to know that the Mets can’t score when given the opportunity, and neither can I.

This recent power-outage is troubling (the Mets’, not mine, though man…forced celibacy sucks). It almost seems like so Reyes goes, so go the Mets. When he’s on base, he can manufacture runs on his own, can spark the team to do some quality hitting. When he’s not (and he hasn’t often been lately), all we can hope for is a Wright home run, it seems (which has generally been the case). Where is the small ball? The situational hitting? For most of the season, they’ve been quality at that. I hope it comes back soon. I hope Delgado, down in the lineup and with less pressure, gets something going. Beltran’s 2-3 game last night is comforting. And Lo Duca seems to be waking up too.

Things to rejoice: Wright’s fantastic May, silencing his April critics (are you guys serious? How could you think that he wouldn’t break out?). The rebirth of Ollie Perez (I love watching him when he’s on, it’s just electric and joyful). Joe Smith’s inhuman calm under pressure (I bet he’s good in the sack…WHAT?).

Tonight, El Duque comes back. I am cautiously optimistic about his return. I would love to be given a reason for brazen confidence, however.

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