Last night was one of those games which proved the Number 1 on this list:
Top 5 Reasons the Internet Was Invented
5. Looking up all those people from high school you haven't heard from in 25 years... and remembering that there are some you missed, and some you didn't.
4. Trash-talking on message boards. It's not just for sports, you know.
3. I know what you're thinking, but women like it, too.
2. Having the world's largest library on your desk (actually, now, in your hand), and the librarian will never shush you.
1. So we no longer have to wait 2 mornings to see a late baseball score in a newspaper, we can get it immediately.
Last night's game, however, is one I could have gone without hearing about until tomorrow morning's Home News Tribune came in.
As they say in English soccer, "Three-nil, and we fucked it up." Good A.J. showed up for 4 innings, but Burnett then turned into Bad A.J., throwing too many pitches in the 5th, and the Seattle Mariners scored 2 in the inning. Boone Logan was not the answer in the 5th, and Luis Ayala let 2 runs score to make it 4-3 Seattle, which turned out to be the final score.
(Neither the tying run nor the winning run was, however, Logan's Run. See what I did there?)
WP: David Pauley (3-0). SV: Brandon League (13). LP: Ayala (1-1). This, after the aforementioned Home News Tribune did a feature on the aforementioned Ayala just a few hours before. Nasty foreshadowing, or a print version of Michael Kay's Curse? (The Curse of Kay is when Kay cites a statistic of stunning consistency, such as a batter hasn't struck out in a month or a new pitcher hasn't allowed a run to the opposing team in 2 years, and the stat gets reversed in that very at-bat.)
How about those Seattle fans? Almost asleep until one out to go, then all that Starbucks coffee kicked in and they acted like they just won the Pennant.
Like they'd know. The mugs! Coffee mugs!
Tonight, at 10:10 PM Eastern Time, Ivan Nova goes up against Felix Hernandez, who, like LeBron James, has been nicknamed "The King" without winning a damn thing. Is the guy who thought that nickname up the same guy who, 10 years ago, starting printing up those "SEATTLE MARINERS 2001 WORLD CHAMPIONS" T-shirts in June? (Hey, it worked for the Mets in '86... )
Speaking of whom, I want to get something serious out of the way before I turn to one of my favorite activities, taking the piss with the Mets.
Gary Carter has been diagnosed with 4 small brain tumors, and his doctors now say they are 90 percent sure the tumors are malignant.
While it appears he can be treated, brain cancer is a bastard, and frequently recurs. Carter, a.k.a. the Kid, the only nonpitcher in the Hall of Fame who has yet gotten there based partly on Met service, is 57, and if this diagnosis is accurate, even if he beats it the first time, his chances of making it to 65 are not good.
I wish otherwise, and hope he fully recovers.
Now... Like another Met legend who was so stricken, reliever Tug McGraw, Carter is a Met who can prove he does have a brain.
The current Mets, well, they put their fans through the wringer again last night. They started a 3-game series at Pity Field against the team that is their closest rivals and always should have been their biggest rivals, the Philadelphia Phillies, and trailed them 2-0, and came back to lead 3-2 in the 8th. But the Phils scored 1 in the 8th and 3 in the 9th, as Francisco "K-Rod" Rodriguez made an absolute mess of things. The Mets pulled a run back in the bottom of the 9th, leading some Met fans to invoke Tug's old line of "Ya Gotta Believe!" But, as is so often the case with the Mets, it was not to be. Phils 6, Mets 4.
The Yankees are now a game behind the Boston Red Sox, although even in the loss column. The Tampa Bay Rays are 1 1/2 back (1), the Toronto Blue Jays 4 (4), and the Baltimore Orioles 3 (4) -- the differences in the number of games played explains that, and explains why, even though they're not in first place, the Yankees still have the highest elimination number of any team: Any number of Yankee losses and wins by the first-place team adding up to 113, and the Yankees are ineligible for the AL East title. The Sox and Rays are at 112, the O's 110, the Jays 108. The Yankees are ahead in the Wild Card standings, but, as we saw in 1995, 1997, 2007 and last year, we don't want that, we want the Division Title.
In the NL East, the Phillies lead the Florida Marlins by 2 (1), the Atlanta Braves by 4 1/2 (5), the Mets by 8 1/2 (8), and the Washington Nationals by 9 1/2 (9).
Jeter 2977 23
Rivera 572 29
A-Rod 622 141
Magic Number N/A
Hours until the Red Bulls play again: 2, tonight, at the Vancouver Whitecaps, the first first-division soccer match between teams from the cities in 27 years, when the original Whitecaps faced the original New York Cosmos.
Days until the next Yankees-Red Sox series begins: 10, starting Tuesday, June 7, at Yankee Stadium II. Under 2 weeks.
Days until the Red Bulls play another "derby": 14, on Saturday, June 11, against the team that should be considered their biggest rivals, the New England Revolution, at Red Bull Arena. Just 2 weeks. The next play the team that is usually considered their biggest rivals, D.C. United, on Saturday, July 9, at Red Bull Arena. And they next play their closest rivals, the Philadelphia Union, on Thursday night, October 20, at Red Bull Arena.
Days until Derek Jeter collects his 3,000th career hit: 29 (still estimated to come on June 26 -- his 37th birthday). Under a month.
Days until the next North London Derby: As yet unknown. The 2011-12 Premier League season begins on August 13, so it can't be any earlier than that. The schedule -- sorry, forgot to speak English there, the fixture list -- is usually released in the 2nd week in June.
Days until Rutgers plays football again: 108, on Thursday, September 1, home to North Carolina Central. Under 14 weeks.
Days until East Brunswick High School plays football again: 102, on Friday night, September 9, and the opponent and location are TBD. That would be 15 weeks.
Days until the Devils play another local rival: As yet unknown. The next season's schedule hasn't been released yet, save for the season-openers at the neutral but hockey-loving site of Helsinki, Finland, games that will include the Rangers. That will be on October 7. Figure the Devils' season opener will be the next day, which is 177 days from now. Figure they'll probably play a local rival, either the Rangers, the Islanders, or the Flyers soon thereafter, maybe a week after, so, tentatively, I'm going to say the number of days is: 140. That would be 19 weeks.
Days until the Rutgers-Army football game at Yankee Stadium: 168. Just 24 weeks.
Days until the next East Brunswick-Old Bridge Thanksgiving clash: 180. Under 6 months.
Days until the last Nets game in New Jersey: 330 (estimated, as the 3rd Sunday in April 2012 is the 22nd). Less than 11 months, unless new owner Mikhail Prokhorov decides he'll stay in the Prudential Center, the great new arena he's already got.
Days until the 2012 Olympics begin in London: 426 (July 27).
Days until Alex Rodriguez collects his 3,000th career hit: 737 (estimated).
Days until Alex Rodriguez hits his 700th career home run: 859 (estimated).
Days until Super Bowl XLVIII at the Meadowlands: 981 (tentatively scheduled for February 2, 2014, although it could end up being moved back a week or 2).
Days until Alex Rodriguez hits his 756th career home run to surpass all-time leader Hank Aaron: 1,479 (estimated).
Days until Alex Rodriguez hits his 763rd career home run to become as close to a "real" all-time leader as we are likely to have: 1,593 (estimated).
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