Alex Ciepley and I were in the Mets ticket office at 6:15 last night picking up our tickets (courtesey of Josh O) when we learned that Barry Bonds would not be in the line up. Without thinking I exclaimed, "Son-of-a...Bitch." An elegant-looking security guard took exception with my vocal critisism. "Hey, that's not very nice." I surprised myself a little by the comment, but it was an honest gut-reaction. "Aw come on," I protested. "He's the reason we came all the way out here." He repeated, "That's not very nice."
I got more sympathy from the gentleman who took our ticket at the gate. The guy was a dead-ringer for the barber character Arsino Hall played in "Coming to America." I expressed my disapointment that Bonds wasn't playing and he said, "Goddamn, you'd think you could find a way to play, even if he does have a little cold. Especially with all these people coming to see him." My pernt exactly. "Hey," I told him, "at least you get to be here tomorrow night."
Anyhow, by the time Mike Piazza came to bat in the first inning, I said to Jay Jaffe, "Well, even if we won't see Bonds maybe we'll be able to see Piazza make history." Less than a minute later, Yazzie homered to right centerfield to become the all-time ding-dong leader for catchers. There was less than 20,000 people at the park, but they stood up and gave Piazaa a rousing ovation. When it was over, Josh said to us, "That's the loudest it's going to get all season."
We had expected it to rain, and with the score tied at the end of the fifth, it came down in buckets. Having no investment in who won this replacement-level affair, and with a long trip home to the Bronx ahead of me, I decided it was time to split. The game would resume by 10:00 and Shane Spencer homered to boost the Mets to an 8-2 victory.
As disapointing as it was not to see Bonds, I feel fortunate to have seen Piazza get his record.