My 3½-year-old son’s new favorite player

Rod Bah-ha-has.

Instead of actually writing on my Writing Night, I instead “watched” tonight’s Mets-Reds game from my laptop via’s “Gameday” feature (well, I was actually following the pitch-by-pitch representation of the game, featuring  the gray immobile avatar of a baseball player batting against an invisible pitcher (perhaps it’s Space Ghost with his cloaking wristbands set to “on”) hurling hooking multi-colored laser beams through his visible strike zone. Where was I?).

Here’s the situation: Mets leading 4-2, trying to snap their three-game losing streak, with fairly effective and heavily worked reliever Fernando Nieve suddenly giving up back-to-back solo homers to the Reds with two outs (how does this always seem to happen with two outs?), tying the game at 4-4 in the bottom of the eighth.

I silently watched Johan Santana’s implosion Sunday night on ESPN while folding laundry, trying not to shout with my toddler son asleep in the next room. I muttered “I can’t believe it” (barely under my breath) while watching Monday night’s loss in extra innings on SNY on a homer by Laynce Nix. So “watching” the Mets falter while not actually watching it on a TV (or listening to a radio, for that matter) was both a new experience and too familiar.

And then Rod Barajas came to the plate.

One pitch (’s invisible Space Ghost hurler threw a fastball with a SPD of 94, a BRK of 3″, a PFX of 12″, and presumably a 213.4 dose of gamma radiation), and Rod Barajas gave the Mets a 5-4 lead in the top of the ninth with a homer “on a fly ball to left center field.”

How about that?

My son, age 3½, loves to say the Mets’ catcher’s name. I set him up with a “who catches for the Mets?” and he smiles when he says it as part of our little conversational game, though it comes out Rahd Bah-ha-has.  I think he knows there’s suppose to be a rolling “R” in there.

K-Rod nailed down the save to preserve a Mets’ 5-4 win. So when my boy wakes up in the morning and asks how the Mets did last night (as he’s done for these last few weeks), I’ll tell him the Mets’ catcher won it for the Amazin’s, and he can smile again over our crunchy toasted English muffins.


Postscript: Can we ban black from the Mets’ uniforms? Or at least the black jerseys? It’s not the Nineties anymore, when black was The Color, or even the O’s or Ooo’s or Aughts or whatever we called the last decade. Plus, and I think I’m on to something here, the Mets lost the last two games in shocking fashion while wearing the black jerseys. Tonight they won in pleasantly shocking fashion in their road grays (which I found out they were wearing after arriving home and turning on the post-game report on SNY). Nevermind that their win streak ended on Saturday while wearing the grays. I think it’s more than a mere coincidence.

Postscript, May 6: Between his timely home runs and this, he’s starting to becoming my favorite player too on these Mets.


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