Recently, I was forced to take a sabbatical from blogging due to a chronic case of new fatherhood. In the time I was gone, the Mets went on a torrid nine-game winning streak, and are currently making good ol’ Cholly Manuel test the limits of his WaWa-brand Depends.
Aside from Wagner blowing the All-Star Game, things are good here in Metsville. However, I have bigger concerns.
When I was a week old, my dad looked at me lovingly, held me close, and told me to earn my keep and get a job. Likewise, when my little girl entered her seventh day, I felt that it was time for her to learn the ways of the world.
Being an impressionable young lady growing up in Rhode Island, it’s feasible that she could succumb to peer pressure and become a Red Sox fan — that is unless I start training her immediately. And what better time to reflect, ponder and educate than everyone’s favorite midsummer naptime, the All-Star Break. The following is a transcribed conversation between me and my daughter Sophia, about the finer points of the 2008 New York Mets, during the Amazins’ last game before the break.
Me: Okay, baby girl…your very first Mets game is about to start. Are you comfortable?
Sophia: Other than this ham fisted hack job you did on the Huggies, I’m fine. But I could get a better change from that guy in the park with the twitchy harelip. Honestly, dad, they really can’t make these things much easier. Two pieces of velcro and a tug, genius. Don’t be surprised if I dump on your microfiber.Me: Oooh…look at the pretty colors on their shirts.
Sophia: They should have worn the pinstripes.
Me: [clapping baby's hands] Yay! Look at that nice man diving for the ball!
Sophia: [pulling hands away in disgust] Easley’s making it very hard for Jerry Manuel to decide who starts at second when Castillo comes back.
And now that Argenis Reyes making a name for himself as well, this only gets more confusing. I may have been a sperm when they signed Castillo’s extension, but I knew they’d regret giving Luis four years.
Me: Look sweetie, Mr. Beltran just made a nice catch!
Sophia: That thing on his ear…Is that a mole, a tumor, or just what’s left of his twin? I’m surprised he has any peripheral vision at all! At least he’s hitting in the clutch and taking less third strikes.
Me: UH-ohhhhh….I think my princess made a stinky!
Sophia: Damn skippy I did. And I’ve got more at the ready. That “gift” was for anyone who ever suggested that we release Carlos Delgado to sign Richie Sexson. I know he’s not the hitter he used to be in Toronto, or even what he was in 2006, but a healthy, productive Delgado equals a winning Mets team, Daddy. Stop saying mean things about him, or I’ll give you a diaper so full of epic goodness, the Atlanta Center for Disease Control will surround the house in a latex dome.
Me: Okay, kiddo. This nice man is Jose Reyes. He plays better now that Willie Randolph isn’t the manager anymore.
Sophia: Wait, the Mets had a manager other than Jerry Manuel? He’s been in charge my whole life! Someone get me a flow chart…
Me: There you go - new diaper and fresh powder on your tush. You’re all comfy now…yes you are, ohhhhhhh yes you are!.
Sophia: If I missed David Wright’s at bat, I’m gonna scream from midnight till you have to get up for work. He may still have some fielding practice ahead of him, but he’s proven that he can play through slumps, handle clubhouse adversity, and provide a calming beacon in the storm.
Me: Daddy needs some grown up juice.
Sophia: It’s barely 2pm! Nice early memory, pops. I’ll be sure to tell my shrink about this special bonding moment when I’m 35, single and living in a basement apartment outside Des Moines. FYI, maybe we’d be a little closer if you didn’t have a Coors-fueled gut that puts me near the adjacent room whenever you hold me.
Me: I’m back, baby girl! Did you miss Daddy?
Sophia: I may be a week old, but I hardly get nostalgic for concepts like “30 seconds ago.” While you were downing the cheap stuff, that guy with the hair helmet said the Mets are likely to be without some guy named Moises for the rest of the season. Who is this Moises guy, and why haven’t I met him?
Me: Oooooh…look at the guys throwing the ball. Isn’t that fun? Someday we’re gonna play catch, munchkin.
Sophia: Yeah, it’s real fun knowing that we have to go to the bullpen in the fourth because Pedro felt “a pop.” Are we really banking on him being around for the entire second half? If we are, it’s gonna take a lot more than a 9-game winning streak to catch the Phils.
Me: Uhhhhh-ohhhhhhh….that’s big bad Matt Holliday. Maybe in a few weeks we’ll be cheering for him, but for now, booooooooooo!
Sophia: Yeah, whatever Dad! Like the Mets really have the talent to trade for an All-Star. Even Xavier Nady will cost more than the Mets can offer. Looks like we’re gonna have to promote someone, or try and get Ryan Church back out there before his soft spot has time to properly heal.
[Sophia leaves for a quick bite at her favorite Irish pub, The Left Breast.......time elapses...]
Me: Welcome back, monkey butt! Daddy missed you!
Sophia: [smacking lips] Yeah, yeah. What did I miss — wait, is that Ramon Castro? His face looks an **** that crawled up the **** of another ****. But, at least he’s hitting better than Brian Schneider. Maybe they should platoon them more often.
Me: Wanna horsey ride?
Sophia: I can’t even hold up my own head, and you want to bounce me while your other hand cradles your sixth Silver Bullet? No thanks, slapnuts. Now turn me around before I call Maury.
Me: That’s Billy Wagner, sweetie. He makes the ball go faaaaaaaast.
Sophia: Yeah, I nearly sprained my neck watching that lead fly away. He’s okay, I guess, but he’s lost a lot of his control since mid-May. What would you think about maybe splitting the closing job with that Aaron guy who has been playing a lot –
Me: Okay, baby girl. It’s time for you to go nappy time. Billy just closed the game, and the Mets have won nine in a row! Yayyyyyyyyyyyyy!
Sophia: I’m not done! We haven’t even discussed possible transactions at the deadline, the upcoming Phillies series, or the fact that this team might have finally found its identity! Ohhh, there’s a late night feeding in your future, old man. You just wait… Until then, I’m just gonna scream balls until you lose hair faster than Liz Taylor.
Me: There, there, munchkin. I know it was scary for a while, but it looks like everything’s gonna be alright.