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My One Day Vacation

Mike SteffanosWednesday, September 6, 2006
By Mike Steffanos


Thanks to a doctor's appointment and a game that was regrettably rescheduled by Mother Nature, I spent a whole day away from the blog for the first time in quite a long while. The day was far from a total washout, however, as the doctor's appointment went well, and the game being rained out didn't keep it from being a great Mets evening.

As I mentioned yesterday, I was meeting Greg Prince from Faith and Fear in Flushing at the game. We've corresponded and left comments on each other's sites a few times, but this was the first time we met in person.

I left my doctor's office for the train station in Fairfield, CT, about 4 pm. I could tell at that time in the way the rain was beginning to pick up in intensity that there was a 50-50 chance that the game would go on. When I rolled into Grand Central Terminal about 5:45 it was looking a little worse. I hopped onto the subway, and when we crossed over to Queens and came above ground, I could see a steady, persistent light rain. Still, I thought to myself that I had seen them play ball on worse days, and tried to keep a good thought. Greg called me on my cell while I was on the subway train and informed me that he was on his way, and that Ed Coleman had said they would still attempt to play the game.

When I exited the subway at Shea Stadium, the rain was coming down much harder, and it started to look more like a rainout. I called Greg, who was on the train coming in from his home, to see what we were going to do, and we decided to meet inside and play it by ear. I no sooner hung up and started walking towards the stadium when people walking the other way informed me the game was washed out. I called Greg back, and we decided to meet at the subway and head back to Grand Central to grab something to eat and talk some baseball.

What followed was one of the more enjoyable conversations on baseball and life that I ever had. I was almost exhausted by the time we got to GCT, but the conversation really revived me, as did the food. I hadn't had time for more than a quick cereal bar all day, and I am not a small person. I made that food disappear pretty quick. For all that, the conversation was even more satisfying. We talked about Mets baseball, and bloggers we respect -- both veteran and rookie. Greg recaps our evening well on his own blog.

The blogging community is something that I'm proud to be a part of, and Greg is one of the very best. I'm convinced that he will be an important baseball writer someday, and I let him know that I'm going to find some way to take credit for his success. Being the generous guy that he is, Greg humored me on this.

I caught the 9:37 train back, and I was feeling happy, but getting quite tired. After I got off the train in Fairfield, I still had a 40 minute ride home. That turned into over an hour thanks to an accident that completely shut down the highway for half an hour. I was sucking wind pretty good by the time I walked into my house after midnight. That's when I saw all of the kind comments and emails people had sent.

Blogging isn't always easy. It takes a lot of time and effort, but the payback is in the sense of community. Great conversation with a fellow blogger, and then some welcome encouragement from some of you. I don't think it gets any better than yesterday.

Sandlot ball is alive and well
Received this email last night:

Hey Mike,
I was reading online sites about sandlot and thought it was cool when i saw yours. We are a sandlot organization out of St.Louis and have been playing since 1998. We are now high school senior and freshmen in college. We created our field and even made our own website....ENJOY!!! The website also contains pictures.

Kenny [Last name omitted by me]
Commishioner of Weasel Field in South St.Louis
http://expage.com/weaselmadness

I really got a kick out of some kids who still enjoy baseball the old fashioned way. Thanks, Kenny, for letting me know.

Bergen Record: Milledge and Humber
J.P. Pelzman writes about the contrast between 2 recent call-ups. Phil Humber is just happy to be with the Mets after coming back from Tommy John surgery, while Lastings Milledge hopes to earn his way onto the post-season roster.

NY Sports Day: Phil Humber
Joe McDonald interviews the talented young right-hander.

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Comments (6)

This series of tubes we call the Interweb is indeed a wonderful thing. I learn more from a few minutes on here every day than I've ever learned in an hour through the old-school media.

When I was a kid, I'd spend at least an hour a day poring through the considerable bulk of the Newsday sports section, staring at the box scores of games, most of which I never saw. Today, before I get into work, I've got half a dozen talking points for my fellow sports nut co-workers.

The simple fact that the blogger's opinions are not blindly accepted as the gospel truth makes Mike's Mets (and the other really good Mets blogs) so much more enjoyable. With the boys having such a good year, I'm sure that only adds to all our appreciation. I can't imagine what the atmosphere is like in the Kansas City Royals blogosphere these days.

Thanks again, Mike, for a style and flair that just can't be touched by the guys who get paid to do this.

NostraDennis -- I really appreciate the kind words. I imagine someone blogging a really bad team would try to concentrate on what was happening that had implications for the future, but you're right, it would be tough to put the time and effort in for a really bad team.

Man, I used to play baseball like that. Me and my friends would just go around parks challenging guys to play. We were the Goodfellas and we kicked ass.
Now? No more time anymore. Having a job ruins it for everyone.

The problems of blogs? Stupid people. Go to Metsblog.com and you'll see and read some amazingly dumb stuff with no logic. Sometimes when the community is too big you attract some wierdos and dummies.

Benny -- Actually, it was bad knees that ruined sports for me, having a job just finished it off.

We get a few of the "wierdos and dummies" sometimes, too, but the guys like you make it worthwhile anyway.

Wow! Thats major sandlot ball. We played stick ball,no gloves just a broom stick and a spallding ball. We played punch ball( no bat, you punched the ball) or slap ball, box ball( in a small area,few guys )If only two guys, we played "stupe" ball(I have no idea how to spell it) you throw the ball at the point of the brick step of your house making "it" the batter. Fly balls,ground balls, foulballs each game had its own ground rules as with each home court had. In Brooklyn we played one block against another or one side of the street against the other side of the street. We all had stat's and who was the allstars of each team. It seemed so important to win and you would dive on pavment to make a catch and coming home with scrapes and black and blue marks all over your body was the norm. Everybody had baseball cards with the back loaded with stats on each player and somehow you remembered each one,that was our blog in the dinosaur days. We played a stick ball team one time that all had the same colored t-shirts and that was a wow.We beat them anyways.ITs nice to know sandlot is still around.Anybody want to play "stupe" ball,except I have no stupe I only have a deck with staires. Thanks for letting me rattle on. It just brought back so many memories of my sandlot ball.

Rev -- That's great stuff. Those memories of games as a kid are still the fondest ones for me.

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