Sunday, May 21, 2017

Baseball Hell

Last night's Mets game somehow ended up being scheduled on FOX, which as we know always goes wonderfully for the Mets. Generally, when the Mets are on National TV like that, they get sloughed off on the lesser announcers, so I feared that I'd be stuck spending my evening listening to Matt Vasgersian screeching, although at some point I'd remembered that Kevin Burkhart is still doing games for them, and it would have been nice to have him announcing the game. Much to my dismay, the game was being called by Joe Buck. I didn't know Joe Buck still absconded to doing regular season games. If that wasn't bad enough, he was joined in the booth by Alex Rodriguez.

Seriously? Joe Buck and Alex Rodriguez? I feel like if I were sentenced to an eternity in hell, every Baseball game would be broadcast by Joe Buck and Alex Rodriguez. There was no game. It was just Joe Buck and Alex Rodriguez doing their own little show. Did you know Alex Rodriguez was wearing a Tom Ford suit? Joe Buck made sure you knew. Did you know Alex Rodriguez grew up as a Mets fan and idolized Keith Hernandez? Joe Buck mentioned that about 40 times, just in case you might not have heard him. Oh, that chuckleheaded doofus Ken Rosenthal was there, too. Joe Buck made sure you knew he spent 90 minutes tying his bow tie. But did you know that Terry Collins became the longest-tenured Mets manager? Joe mentioned that too, but in such a offhanded manner that if you coughed, you missed it.

There was a game going on behind all this, if you could pay attention beyond the white noise coming from the booth, and the Mets did play a solid game for the most part. Zack Wheeler pitched well for 5 innings before running out of steam in the 6th—the same problem he usually has where he throws too many pitches too early in the game. Michael Conforto walked 3 times, Jose Reyes had 3 hits, including the 2,000th of his career, and generally the Mets seemed to be having an easy time of things against Alex Meyer, who by the way is really tall and it's uncomfortable hitting against a pitcher who's so tall. Joe Buck told me that a few times.

At some point I kind of tuned out altogether, because the Mets were ahead and I couldn't deal with it anymore. By that point, I know that Robert Gsellman had come in and had two pretty good reclamation innings, and probably should have finished the game altogether, except that he'd been hit for, and so Neil Ramirez entered the game and immediately showed us all why he was floating around the waiver wire by allowing a walk and 2 hits, and then Addison Reed was brought into a messy inning and he was having a hard time too, walking in a run and giving up a hit, and suddenly Mike Trout was up with the bases loaded, and he swung, and I think when he made contact every Mets fan had a heart attack, but Reed must have thrown him a sucker pitch because he didn't hit it well and it only wound up being a sacrifice fly. Nonetheless, 7-2 had turned into a tenuous 7-5, and Reed managed to walk another batter to re-load the bases before he finally struck out Danny Espinosa to end the game—and we've already seen enough of Danny Espinosa with the bases loaded.

Phew. That was wholly unnecessary as far as drama was concerned, and it was on top of a wholly unnecessary night spent listening to the dulcet tones of Joe Buck and Alex Rodriguez, while Ken Rosenthal intermittently chortled and told us how awful the Mets are. Fortunately, it's back to our usual gang on Sunday, and yes, I know we're unnecessarily spoiled by getting to listen to Gary, Keith and Ron every night, but sometimes you need to listen to the lesser guys to remember just how good we have it. That would be the exact opposite of Baseball Hell.

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