Saturday, May 17, 2008


Today, I go to my local coffee shop to buy tea--don't ask me why. Now, I'm more of a coffee guy than a tea guy, so I have no idea what I'm doing ordering loose tea--anything beyond packets of Twinings or Bigelow (like you get at the supermarket) is out of my league. The woman I'm dealing with at the counter is obviously a coffee person too, so I'm getting no help. I very tentatively ordered a quarter pound of Darjeeling something or other, and after she measures it out, she hands me off to a guy with tattoos at one of the registers.

"That'll be $5.88, champ," the tat guy says. It's a bit familiar of him to have a nickname for me--I don't come to this coffee shop that often, and I'm hardly a regular. I have singles, so I count out the bills to hand to him.

"Here's your change, champ." There's a definite sneer to the way he says it. I don't get it. Did I do something wrong? Was I rude? No. Maybe I made a stupid choice with the tea--mispronounced it, or it's some vile concoction that they've never found anyone fool enough to order?

I wave off a plastic bag for the tea, and walk out to my next errand. It's about two blocks later that I realize what the guy was going on about. The cap I'm wearing is the one with the "2000 World Champions" patch on the side. I actually don't like the look of the patch on the side of the head, but other fitted lid shrank a bit, and this one still fits like a charm.

So what was the tat man's deal? I tend to think Red Sox fan whenever someone is randomly rude to me--horrible prejudice, I know, but it seems to be the way that the demonstrative Sox fan living in New York City rolls. But then I remembered that it's Subway Series time again, and that maybe he was a disaffected Mets fan, still mourning the loss of the 2000 Series. Given the timing, he might have thought I was wearing the cap just to rub the rhubarb of any Mets fans I might meet. His reaction would be somewhat reasonable, even if it's still rude.

Win or lose this weekend's series, at least I know now what I'm wearing the next time I go to buy coffee.


Before the season, over at BP, I predicted that "the first Mets/Yankees game that Johan Santana starts" would be the season's game to watch. Santana now being a Met after spending much of the winter pursued by the Yankees--a decision the Yankee brass went back and forth on, very publicly--this wasn't exactly a courageous call. Little did I know that general timing (and a Friday rainout) would make this game even more momentous. We have a split on the players who were rumored to be headed to Minnie if Santana were coming to the Bronx: Melky's showing imroving power, but Phil Hughes is hurt and Ian Kennedy is ineffective. Both New York teams limped onto the Subway, and rumors were rampant coming into the series that Willie Randolph's job hangs by a thread in Flushing. And in the first inning, that thread was looking a bit frayed--the Captain took Johan deep with Damon on base to give the Pinstripers a 2-0 lead.

But that was as good as things would get on the day. The Mets got three runs in six innings off of Andy Pettitte, who again alternated an effective start with a bad one. The YES Network guys praised Kyle Farnsworth as he was coming into the game, which was a certain jinx, which drove things out of control. In the ninth, the Yanks brought the tying run to the plate without any outs--but it still didn't feel like the result of the game was in any doubt. 7-4 final.

The thing that killed me--that's been killing the Yanks all season, really--was the pair of six-pitch innings the Yanks handed Santana in the middle of the game. It seems like this team just isn't dedicated to working the count the way previous Yankees squads have. Part of that is just what happens when you replace Jorge Posada with the Moel-lina tandem, and A-Rod with some combination of Morgan Ensberg and the Attorney General. But those understudies only account for one of those innings, but what about the other one? Why is this All-Star offense puttering around?

It's only May, but it's getting late, early. Anyway, here's hoping tomorrow night's game doesn't get rained out.

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