I heard the children talking about the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday morning, but it hadn't occurred to me that there would be a conflict. However, just after 6pm when they heard me announce that the Mets were playing the despised cross-town rivals and it was on t.v., they knew. I felt a small pang of guilt as I uttered, "The game should be over around 9 or so", although I knew the song contest started at 8. Regardless, I settled in as they shuffled off.
Picture the scene. I'm in my big, comfortable chair. I have a beverage at my right hand and the remote at my left for enhancing the volume at key moments. I couldn't have been better positioned to enjoy a baseball game on a Saturday evening. And, as I sat there watching the start of the game I thought about how great it was to be able to see this here. I was blissful.
Ninety minutes or so later and I couldn't have been more relaxed. The Mets' superstar pitcher, Pedro Martinez, was displaying all his artistic skills dismissing Yankee after Yankee. By the time they had completed 8 of the required 9 innings I had probably never been more confident of a victory in such a game.
Well, there's a reason why Yogi said of baseball, "it ain't over til it's over". Twenty-five minutes later and I'm raging. I'm yelling at the t.v., at the Mets, at the manager and relief pitcher in particular and at my kids for acting like children. I'm pretty sure there were birds chirping outside my window at 8pm, but there was just an ugly silence by 9.
The Mets blew a 4 run lead in the last frame and lost it later in the 11th. When I eventually calmed down into a dull moan/anger I invited the family back in to watch the last 45 minutes of the song contest. The first thing I saw was the eventual winners, who looked like the 4 (well, 5 really) horsemen of the apocalypse. I knew then that this was a sign that I had been punished for not letting the children watch this blasted contest. It was all my fault.
UPDATE Mon 9:45: Some measure of redemption last night with a 4-3 win in the "rubber game". Still, I'm nothing if not greedy. The Mets should have had all three.