The New York Daily News’ Fillip Bondy (shown above left, with Bobby “The Brain” Raissman) used last night’s Mets’ debacle as a fine excuse to drop an old story about injuring Marvin Webster’s knee with a giant portable computer, along with complaining “there is nothing that reporters hate worse than a comeback on deadline.”

First I sent a œMets lose column to my editors at the end of the eighth inning. Then after Marlon Anderson™s three-run double, I sent a œMets win column in the middle of the ninth. Then after the Marlins scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth I sent a neutral column, because the game went into extra innings and wouldn™t be finished in time for the City edition (which actually circulates in the suburbs “ go figure). That column was used to hold space for one edition, until I filed an updated œMets lose column for the Racing Final.

This was about as terrible an evening as I can remember, and not only for Willie Randolph.

It would have been a great night to be a Marlins™ fan at Dolphin Stadium, but of course there was almost none in the place. Attendance was announced generously at 15,132. Many of those fans were rooting for the Mets, and many had left before all the dramatic plot twists.

You come to places like this to be reminded that baseball is basically dead in most of America, and that New York is one of the last oases of good taste that prefers this often elegant sport to football “ everywhere but on the sports talk shows.

Is baseball dead in Philly, Colorado, San Diego, Chicago, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Southern California or St. Louis? 35,000 + turned up in SF last night to see a meaningless game between the Bonds-less Giants and Reds. More than 42,000 desperate souls made their way to Busch II to watch the 67-86 Astros hang 18 runs on the fading Cardinals. How is it that baseball’s minor leagues — which at least check, featured no franchises in the Bronx or Queens, have shown a steady increase in attendance year after year?

Perhaps — and this is just a crazy guess — the lower than low turnout in Miami to see the last-place Fish has more to do with a football stadium ill-suited for baseball, and an ownership group ill-suited for anything besides a dildo convention? Given the Marlins’ contentious relationship with local officials and their blatant flirtations with Portland, Las Vegas, etc., just how eager should the Dade County populace be to giving the club their hard earned money? How many Marlins games has Fillip Bondy paid to attend recently?