Before I start this post, I want to mention that I used to be a moderately cool-ish person. Our host runs a very good record label and has seen 61,000 bands perform live, and owns all of the records that all of those bands ever put out. I can say that I saw Pavement in Detroit and Yo La Tengo on Channukah and Juju of the Beatnuts a bunch of times while I was record-shopping, back in the days of my apparently vanished youth. And I also saw Blonde Redhead a bunch of times even though I don’t really like them. My point is this: my Thursdays didn’t always involve an elaborate choreography of TV flippage. I used to ask cooler questions than “will there be time for Colbert?” Anyway: here’s what I was doing while you were doing something cooler.
I think it’s less a function of the NBA’s presumed problems than it is of my own personal manias that I went into tonight planning to watch the Mets first, eat sushi second (yeah) and watch the NBA Finals third, if time was available. As it turned out, I wasn’t even able to pull that off. My sister and her boyfriend returned from the Far East today with two things on their mind. Well, three. One was not eating noodles for the first time in three weeks. Another was giving me this t-shirt they’d bought (I think it’s made out of Tyvek) featuring some Balinese caricature of Albert Einstein and the words “Bali Genius” across the top. The third was watching the Cavs. Our plan to go to dinner together fell through. We ordered in, and my sister’s Akronian boyfriend dialed in on the Cavs while I flipped back to the Mets during commercial breaks.
As it was, I was able to see much of John Maine’s sturdy-unto-heroic seven innings, which was what the Mets needed from their de facto ace in order to avert a sweep by the kind-of-hated Phillies. The Mets’ newly low-octane offense — Omar needs to call up this dude…or something — put three runs up against the Steve Carltonian Cole Hamels, and Maine made that stand up for seven innings. And it stayed good until the top of the ninth, when Billy Wagner served up a no-doubt dinger to Pat Burrell (above), who apparently can only get hits off Mets at this point in his career, to tie the game. I flipped back to the NBA Finals out of disgust/deference-to-guests, and thus missed the shitshow that ensued: Scott Schoeneweis and Joe Smith combining to give up three runs on four hits and two walks in one inning. Antonio Alfonseca was simply unhittable — by which I mean paunchy, possibly drunk and clearly very hittable, but still too much for the demoralized and slumping Mets — in the bottom of the tenth, which I got to see, and earned his third save since, like, 1997. The good news for Mets fans is that Carlos Delgado (3-5, with a moonshot homer and a lovely opposite-field double in the 10th) is dialed in; the bad news is that everyone else is hitting like David Newhan. Your recap, via Yahoo, is here. Yahoo’s dude watched the whole game, so there’s probably more detail in there than here. Their writer, though, will not mention that Phils winning pitcher Mike Zagurski looks like what would happen if Bob Horner ate Randy West. That’s why blogs are still your best media value.
And that NBA Finals game, I watched that, too, kinda. It should surprise no one who has read this blog — I let others speak for me, but I’m not down with the Spurs — to know that I was pulling for the Cavs, but they were every bit as excruciating tonight as they were against the Nets. LeBron was back to the LeBron he was for the vast majority of the postseason: missing shots, getting pushed outside, forcing passes, and generally making those of us who remain not-quite-fans wonder what it was we are ostensibly witnesses to. I know that the real LeBron is the dude who got on some feel-like-makin’-love (to your eyeballs) 48 Special shit on Detroit in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Finals. But he was awful tonight, going 4-12 with 4 assists and 6 turnovers. The Spurs continued to be the Spurs: finding the open man, falling back on the slashing, incorrigibly annoying Tony Parker (above, a game-high 27 points on 12-23 field goals) and Tim Duncan (the predictable 24 and 13, with 5 very noticeable blocks) when necessary. I have a feeling this won’t take long. Your final: Spurs 85, Cavaliers 76.
As for the sushi, if you were wondering: we ordered out, from the place my girlfriend and I usually go to. And so the week-long non-celebration of my in-a-book debut continues. Clicking that link will take you to “Living On The Edge of the World: New Jersey Writers Take On New Jersey,” a new anthology in which I have an essay, but about which I haven’t been able to get excited, for some reason. I think it’s because I’m too preoccupied with unimportant things, although I welcome other suggestions. Too busy watching homemade Brad Dourif tributes on YouTube (note: do not click that link)? Too tired from writing every freaking card in the next iteration of this Topps product (note: don’t click that one, either)? Or can I just blame the Spurs/Mets bullpen? Because that’s a lot easier for me, honestly.