Wednesday, September 12, 2012

This Weekend's Menu: Sausage And Cheese With A Side Order of Mets

I haven’t written here since Saturday and after today, I won’t be posting anything until Sunday at the earliest.  What’s the reason for this unusual hiatus?

It’s not because I’m upset over Frank Francisco’s unhappy birthday present to himself last night, as he turned a one-run nailbiter into a three-run cushion for the Nationals, which became magnified once Scott Hairston hit a home run in the bottom of the ninth off Sloth that would have tied the game.  (For those of you who don’t know, I refer to Nationals’ closer Tyler Clippard as “Sloth”, the hideously deformed character played by the late John Matuszak in “The Goonies”.  Read this piece from two years ago if you’re curious to find out why.)

It’s not because I feel like I’m going to jinx Jason Bay, who could break a 44-year-old team record if he continues to rack up the oh-fers at the plate.  In 1968, future World Series hero Al Weis posted the lowest batting average of any Met with at least 200 at-bats in a season, batting .172 in 274 at-bats for the Mets.  With 19 games to play, Bay is hitting .156 in 179 at-bats.

It’s not because I’m still swooning over my chance run-in with my second fav’rit Met of all-time, Edgardo Alfonzo, on Tuesday night at Citi Field.  (Mookie Wilson is my all-time fav'rit.  I hope that when I eventually do meet him, I don't screech like a Belieber.  No guarantees though.)  It was actually my second meeting with Fonzie, as we met earlier this spring in midtown Manhattan.  In that first meeting, he wasn’t happy that I didn’t have his last name on my personalized No. 13 jersey, but seemed to want to talk about “the movie with the bear” once he saw Studious Metsimus co-blogger Joey Beartran.

It’s not any of those things.  The reason why I won’t be writing for this site again until at least Sunday is because I’m taking the gang on a road trip.  The Studious Metsimus crew will be going to three games in three ballparks in three days.  There will be a Mets game thrown in there, but we’re also going to partake in some genuine pennant race baseball.

First, on Thursday night, we’ll be dialing in at U.S. Cellular Field in the South Side of Chicago watching the Detroit Tigers take on the Chicago White Sox.  Both teams are fighting it out for the A.L. Central division title and it looks as if that will be the only way for either team to make the playoffs, as the wild cards appear to be an East-West affair in the junior circuit, with the Yankees, Orioles, Rays, A’s and Angels all ahead of the Central division combatants.  As a bonus, Justin Verlander is due to start for the Tigers in this game against 16-game winner Chris Sale.

On Friday, we’ll be following the Mets as they take on Ryan Braun, Corey Hart and the new and improved former Met Carlos Gomez at Miller Park in Milwaukee.  The Brewers, who had been left for dead in the National League wild card race, have surged back onto the playoff radar.  With a 72-71 record after tonight's win, the Brew Crew is only three games behind the St. Louis Cardinals for the second wild card spot.  The Mets will try their best to play spoiler.

Finally, on Saturday afternoon, we’ll visit the friendly confines of Wrigley Field, where the Cubs will be entertaining the Pittsburgh Pirates.  The Pirates are playing for a postseason berth for the first time since Barry Bonds couldn’t throw out Sid Bream at the plate in the 1992 NLCS, even though Bream would have had difficulty winning a race in which the other participants were Jason Phillips and a three-legged tortoise.  They’re also trying to end their 19-season streak of finishing below .500, the longest such streak by any team in North American professional sports.

Had Barry Bonds* been using what he said he didn't use, perhaps he could have gotten a little more on this throw.

In addition to the games, we will also attempt to have some sausage and cheese on our trip.  Studious Metsimus roving reporter/culinary expert Joey Beartran will try to find a good sausage in Chicago, while his sister (and occasional Studious Metsimus contributor with her “Gettin’ Iggy With It” pieces) Iggy Beartran will look for a cheesehead hat in her size in Milwaukee.

From Thursday to Saturday, we will be indulging in sausage and cheese with a side of Mets.  We’ll be back on Sunday to recap the three games, complete with plenty of exclusive photos.  Three games in three days in three ballparks, all with playoff implications.  If the Mets won’t give us a September to remember by being involved in a pennant race, we’ll find our own pennant race to be a part of.  See you Sunday!

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