Watching the Mets Lose Two in Kansas City Is Hard to Take

first_imgView image | gettyimages.comThe way I see it, the Mets owe us big time for spending so many hours watching them lose two games in a row in Kansas City to a superior team. How they repay us is obvious. They have to host a victory parade down Broadway in Manhattan, and make sure we all have the day off so we can sleep in late.The opener on Tuesday was grueling enough—the longest World Series game in history measured by innings. By the time the final out was recorded in the 14th, five hours and nine minutes after it started, I was numb, both spiritually and physically. My eyes could barely see. My mind was shot.As they taught us by their debacle the following night, the first matchup was one the Mets had to win. All that effort gone to waste. I mean, on our part, as demoralized fans too masochistic to turn the damn thing off until some distant voice of reason, probably female, penetrated our consciousness with these words: “Go to bed!”After all, hadn’t we done our time already this season? Didn’t we stick with the Metropolitans back in July, when the needs of our families and our communities—hell, our republic, for that matter—went begging for 18 innings? It was July 19th, and the Mets only took a 1-0 lead over the St. Louis Cardinals in the top of the 13th inning, only to blow it in the bottom of the same inning when Jeurys Familia gave up a leadoff homer. No, I don’t want to remember it well—they did go on to prevail 3-1—but it came back to haunt me when Game 1 entered the midnight hour after he’d blown it in the ninth inning. I turned to my viewing companion, my son who had to get up even earlier the next morning than I so he could catch a train to the city, and asked him rhetorically, “How much longer should we watch this?”Well, the answer was obvious. To the bitter end. After all, past was prologue. We both stuck with the team in July, when the World Series seemed like a pipe dream, why would we be sensible now? Back then, Ruben Tejada—bless his soul, and curse Chase Utley’s—hit a sacrifice fly that allowed Wilmer Flores to score the go-ahead run. We got an insurance run on a squeeze bunt by Eric Campbell. Ah, those were the days, weren’t they? And let us recall that it was a day game, too.Tuesday night seemed to last forever. My son said he had a dream (perhaps a nightmare) later that it ended at 5 a.m. Let the record show it was over way before then. Apparently, we were not alone. The game was the most-watched World Series opener since 15 million viewers tuned into the 2010 matchup.This game, let’s face it, did have a little bit of everything. There was the first inside-the-park homer since the World Series of 1929 (and the anniversary of the Stock Market crash was this week, too, come to think of it)—and it came off the very first pitch that our Dark Knight, Matt Harvey, threw. That in itself is a rarity.And, laughing at their expense because it is Fox after all, there was a “rare electronics failure” that blew the game off the air—and onto our radios—in the fourth inning. Just like that, we all had to hunt for our AM dials, but just before we could settle in, the network figured out how to stream the international feed for domestic consumption. I just felt sorry for the hapless chaps back in the studio who had to make small talk while the engineers figured out how to override the meltdown. We haven’t seen anything like this since the Oakland A’s-San Francisco Giants World Series—dubbed the Battle of the Bay—was disrupted by a severe earthquake that struck in 1989 just as Game 3 was getting underway and knocked ABC off the air. By the way, the Giants were down two games to none. The bad news is that the Athletics went on to sweep them four-zip.Tuesday’s snafu also illustrates just how dependent America’s pastime has become on modern technology. The four-minute on-field delay was reportedly due to the replay capability being lost in both team’s clubhouses. We wouldn’t want to lose that, would we? Why, without replay capability, how could the game go on? Now, since it was Fox, nobody dared to blame the liberal media for screwing up, but the thought had to be in the noosphere. But they found the right switch and the game went on at Kauffman Stadium. For the record, the 2013 Super Bowl was delayed when the power went out in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. That’s a more old-fashioned problem, but it certainly couldn’t have helped the automaker’s brand since play stopped for 34 minutes.Once Fox resumed its World Series coverage, it was amusing when Joe Buck—he of the five o’clock stubble—told the viewing audience that they had enough quarters to keep Game 1 on the air for the rest of the evening as he traded microphones with Matt Vasgersian and John Smoltz, who were handling the game for MLB International. Little did Buck know that the night was still young.Going into Wednesday night’s game from the Mets’ point of view, they probably figured that all their East Coast fans could use some shut-eye but they took it one step further, and seemed to nod off at the plate, getting only two hits off the Royals’ mighty-dreadlocked righthander Johnny Cueto, who pitched the whole damn game, while our long-haired phenom Jacob DeGrom hardly struck anybody out and got rocked instead. Our reputed ace gave up four runs in the fifth inning, and then it was lights out for him. For good measure other Mets pitchers came in in relief and allowed three more before the game was mercifully over, 7-1 the final score.Sleep, perchance to dream, never sounded so good Wednesday night. For the superstitious, the Mets lost by one run in the first game of the 1986 World Series and by six runs in the second game—and that was at Shea Stadium, where we teach future generations the Mets beat the Red Sox in Game 6, and, just as important, in Game 7.Whether history can repeat itself this time against Kansas is a question that remains to be seen. Too many Mets fans woke up Thursday morning thinking the world had ended, let alone the Series. But let us remember they’ve only played each other twice, and they have at least two more games to go.So, the message to us all: stay tuned. And hope the blessings flow. 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Over 1 million: India joins US, Brazil in grim coronavirus club

first_imgIndia on Friday became the third country in the world to record more than one million cases of the new coronavirus, behind only the United States and Brazil, as infections spread further into the countryside and smaller towns.Given India’s population of around 1.3 billion, experts say, one million is relatively low – but the number will rise significantly in the coming months as testing increases, further straining a healthcare system already pushed to the brink.The pandemic has surged in the country in recent weeks as it spread beyond the biggest cities, pushing India past Russia as the third-most-infected country last week. “In the coming months, we are bound to see more and more cases, and that is the natural progression of any pandemic,” said Giridhar Babu, epidemiologist at the nonprofit Public Health Foundation of India.”As we move forward, the goal has to be lower mortality,” he said. “A critical challenge states will face is how to rationally allocate hospital beds.”The last four months of the pandemic sweeping India have exposed severe gaps in the country’s healthcare system, which is one of the most poorly funded and has for years lacked enough doctors or hospital beds.The Indian government has defended a strict lockdown it imposed in March to contain the virus spread, saying it helped keep death rates low and allowed time to beef up the healthcare infrastructure. But public health experts say shortages remain and could hit hard in the coming months.”As a public health measure, I don’t think the lockdown had much impact. It just delayed the virus spread,” said Dr. Kapil Yadav, assistant professor of community medicine at New Delhi’s premier All India Institute of Medical Sciences.The million cases so far recorded likely left out many asymptomatic ones, he said. “It’s a gross underestimate.”Rahul Gandhi, leader of the opposition Congress party, urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take concrete steps to contain the pandemic, tweeting that the number of infections will double to two million by August 10 at this pace.Millions of migrant workers, left stranded in the cities by the lockdown in March, took long journeys home on foot, some dying on the way while others left without work or wages.Several states including Bihar, to which many of the migrants returned, have witnessed a surge in cases in recent weeks as the lockdown has been eased to salvage a sagging economy.Babu predicts India will not see a sharp peak and decline.”The surges are shifting from one place to another, so we cannot say there will be one peak for the whole country. In India, it’s going to be a sustained plateau for some time and then it will go down.”  Authorities imposed fresh lockdowns and designated new containment zones in several states this week, including the largely rural Bihar state in the east and the southern tech hub Bengaluru, where cases have spiked.But officials have the struggled to enforce the lockdowns and keep people indoors.India recorded 34,956 new infections on Friday, taking the total to 1,003,832, with 25,602 deaths from COVID-19, federal health ministry data showed. That compares to 3.6 million cases in the United States and 2 million in Brazil – countries with less than a third of India’s population.Epidemiologists say India is still likely months from hitting its peak.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Minneapolis council majority backs disbanding police force

first_imgIn this May 28, 2020, file photo, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, center, listens as Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey becomes emotional during a news conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States. AP MINNEAPOLIS – A majority of the members of the Minneapolis City Council said Sunday they support disbanding the city’s police department, an aggressive stance that comes just as the state has launched a civil rights investigation after George Floyd’s death. Nine of the council’s 12 members appeared with activists at a rally in a city park Sunday afternoon and vowed to end policing as the city currently knows it. Council member Jeremiah Ellison promised that the council would “dismantle” the department.center_img “It is clear that our system of policing is not keeping our communities safe,” Lisa Bender, the council president, said. “Our efforts at incremental reform have failed, period.” (AP)last_img read more