Since I don’t have cable and get most of my Mets coverage through MLB.com, the Sunday night games on ESPN when the Mets are on present a special challenge to this out-of-town Metsie. MLB.com blacks out the video, but allows access to each team’s radio broadcasts. So I had to ask myself if I was in the mood to trundle out to a sports bar so I could see last night’s Mets-Yankees contest, knowing that the place I usually go will have the video but not the audio. Would I rather hear the game or see it, especially given that I’d have to pay extra (in bar food tabs) for the latter?

In the end, I decided to listen. For less than one inning. As soon as Paul Lo Duca got hit on the elbow in the first inning, I had a baaaad feeling. (I found out later he left the game with a nasty bruise in the fourth.) Then, when A-Rod hit the two-run homer in the bottom of the first, I knew it was over. Yeah, I gave up that quickly. Just turned the damn thing off. And I was right to. I am rooting for a team that is not merely losing a bunch of games, but is violating the very cosmos by remaining in first place.

Jason has a post today on Faith and Fear in Flushing which illustrates this point quite vividly. Jason, who kindly watched and listened to the entire broadcast on ESPN so I wouldn’t have to (how thoughtful of him!), gives us chapter and verse here about how Jon Miller and Joe Morgan (who are, y’know, supposed to be objective journalists and all, smirk) made the entire broadcast a Pinstriped Panegyric:

Watching tonight’s game, you’d never guess who was in first place and who’d only just closed within double digits. You’d have no idea which team played an all-or-nothing game to go to the World Series and which was sent packing in the first round of the playoffs. If it wasn’t Jeter’s radiance it was Clemens’ heroic journey back to the bank or Ron Guidry’s ancient glory days. Those guys in the other dugout? Um, there was Jose Reyes, discussed mostly as Jeter’s foil. And a couple of mentions of David Wright. El Duque got a retrospective of sorts — of his days as a Yankee.

Eeef. That’s certainly in line with the kind of media coverage that both the Mets and Yankees have had all year, isn’t it? We get the message, over and over again, that America — hell, that God, with a big G and everything — just doesn’t like the Mets. How dare they be better than America’s Team? How dare they? It just can’t happen. We’ll just tell the Mets they’re nothing over and over and over again, and tell the Yankees how great they’re supposed to be over and over and over again, until both teams believe it, and each goes back to its rightful place in the world — the Yankees dominating, the Mets being everyone’s chew toy. Good work, boys, you did your job. Except that there are about, oh, eight million Mets fans who have an itsy bitsy prahblum with that.

Now, if I’d been living in New York, I’d probably have sucked up every Metsochistic bit of that broadcast, because I’d probably be surrounded with commiserating friends and coworkers who’d reassure me that this was a temporary blip, that the team was still loaded with talent, was still in first place by 1.5 games, that they couldn’t go on playing .100 ball forever and scoring two runs or less per game forever. It’s true. You can’t suck that badly all season if you try.

But here, all I can think is, “No Alou, no Endy, no Pedro, no Duaner, Delgado is old, Beltran is way overrated, we’re faaaaahcked.” Hell, I’d even take obnoxious Yankmee-fan coworkers at this point. They’d help me strengthen my pro-Mets case.

And no, I couldn’t make the Yankees flowers either. One look at that navy yarn and it was puketime. I just. could. not. do. it.

I understand frontrunning in theory, really I do. But in practice, how do you make the leap? How do you just not care about the guys you used to care about anymore, to the point where you actually enjoy seeing them get beat? When you can’t switch and you can’t stick around, what’s left? Let’s go…baseball?