Well, there wasn’t much to recommend on the field to Mets fans tonight, as Oliver Perez’s peek-a-boo pitching talent went “boo” tonight — seven walks (though only one hit) in 2-2/3 innings, bringing to mind the Tim McCarver drone of old: “Oh those bases on balls.”

The Sillies had a total of 11 tonight from our guys, and won 5-2. Tough to win when you keep standing there on the mound and going, “No, really, take first base, I want you to have it,” like that kid offering Mean Joe Greene the Coke bottle in those old ads. Le sigh.

But in the announcers’ booth — ah, it was another story. When I first turned the game on, I saw this old-looking guy lumbering around the field in a Mets jersey after having thrown out the first ball, and I wondered, “Who is that?” And then I saw the number — 36 — and it became clear that that it was none other than Jerry Koosman. A few innings into the game, they invited Jerry into the announcers’ booth to talk about 1969 and what it was like seeing Cleon Jones squeeze that last fly ball to end the Series that year.

I just love stuff like that, it makes me think that maybe in 30 or 40 years Billy Wagner or somebody will be invited into the booth to talk about Lastings Milledge Shawn Green Lastings Milledge doing likewise this very year. Of course, if the Mets weren’t good now, I might feel otherwise — having Koosman in the booth reminiscing about Mets championships of old, with Ron Darling no less — might have me reaching for the 5-hydroxytryptophan (or at least a big fat turkey leg, the better to beat my monitor senseless with).

So anyway, back to the title of this post. “Rodney the Rodent” was a kid several years younger than my XH, who the latter says used to call regularly into some Dial-a-Joke line that he maintained as a teenager when he was living in Anaheim. He believes this person could very well be none other than Rod Barajas, the Phillies’ starting catcher tonight. He first became aware that Barajas was in the major leagues about five years ago when we were living in Phoenix, and I remember quizzing him about Rod then when he was announced for the starting lineup before a Diamondbacks game.

Me: “So you’re sure his name was Rod Barajas?”

Him: “Pretty sure.”

Me: “And he was a high school catcher?”

Him: “Yes.”

Me: “Near north Orange County?”

Him: “Yes.”

Me: “Well, it’s probably him, then. It’s not that common a name, and he’s the right age. Why don’t you try to find out?”

Him: “Hwmrhvrmrm…”

Me: “Well, how hard could it be? You go to a game during batting practice and yell, ‘Rodney the Rodent!’ and see if he responds, right? If it’s him, he probably will. Or call in during a postgame show and ask if it’s the same guy. I mean, this isn’t like trying to contact Gwen Stefani (a high school classmate of his). He’s a backup catcher, he’s probably pretty accessible as major leaguers go.”

Him: “Hwmrhvrmrm…”

Of course, he never did find out. Damn it, I wanted to check out that neat swimming pool they had in right field.

And it’s not like XH is a shrinking violet either — if he saw Linus Torvalds having a cappuccino at Backspace or wherever, he’d probably walk right up to him and yack like they were buds from a former lifetime. (OK, all you geeks are probably gonna descend on me now and tell me, all smarty-pants-like, that Torvalds doesn’t live in Portland anymore or that he never drinks cappuccino or that he wouldn’t be seen in Backspace on a bet. Fine. Be that way. Since I’m not married to a geek anymore I undoubtedly am operating with old data.)

But I guess he didn’t want to embarrass himself by approaching the wrong guy. I can understand that, in a way, but me, I’d want to find out for sure if there was even a chance I knew a major leaguer personally from way back. I’m a Mets fan. There’s not much pride left here to wound.