Forgive me for skipping the post-game (Styx) concert and fireworks show on my final night in Pittsburgh, but I was in an "unfun" kind of mood.
Now it's on to Washington D.C. and I make no guarantees that the travelogue will continue, because I'll be "with people" on this part of my expedition, but I'll try to sneak in the necessary postings.
* Thursday was a game that was for the birds, literally, because it made the highlight of my day the National Aviary, America's only independent indoor non-profit bird zoo. I didn't expect to enjoy it, but it proved to be a good way to kill a couple hours (30 minute walk from the ballpark, an hour's worth of entertainment). My favorite bird was one named "Franklin" after Benjamin, the inventor of the spectacles. Franklin had a 'stare-of-death' for those who walked past him, akin to the one I had as I walked out of PNC Park on Thursday evening.
* Speaking of which, Guillermo Mota has turned into pigeon-droppings and it's probably best that he not be used in any situations in which damage would be significant and meaningful.
* When Endy Chavez returns, he and Lastings Milledge should be playing every game in which the Mets have a lead in the last two innings. Their defensive value is too great for them to be sitting on the bench.
* In the last two seasons, I have attended three Mets road series. The Mets have won two of three on all three occasions (Atlanta, Washington, and now Pittsburgh).
* I tried to rank my favorite and least favorite visiting ballparks while waiting for the hotel shuttle this afternoon. My top 5 at the moment would be
AT&T Park (San Francisco)
Camden Yards (Baltimore)
Rogers Centre (Toronto)
Old Busch Stadium (St. Louis)
PNC Park (Pittsburgh)
My bottom 5 would be (worst-first)
RFK Stadium (Washington D.C.)
Miller Park (Milwaukee)
Minute Maid Field (Houston)
U.S. Cellular Stadium (Chicago)
Dolphins Stadium (Florida)
Others I've been to that didn't make the list: Turner Field, New Busch Stadium, Citizens Bank Park, Veterans Stadium, Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium, Wrigley Field, and Comerica Park.
I'll try to get into my reasoning at another time.
* My favorite one-liner from this trip, one uttered by the fellow sitting behind me on Tuesday. "It's actually called Pee and See Park, because you can even watch the game as you're headed to the bathroom." Runner-up, said to me by a female Pirates fan on Thursday night: "They built this ballpark, but then they forgot to build a team to play in it."
True Metyx know...Paul Byrd had one walk-off win for the Mets, against the Giants on August 21, 1995. He also took the loss in a Mets walk-off defeat against the Rockies on July 24, 1996. Marlon Byrd beat the Mets with a walk-off hit on September 7, 2003. ... The national bird of Belize (on display in Pittsburgh) is the Keel-Billed Toucan, which has a canoe-shaped bill and four-colored feathers (green, blue, red, and orange) ... According to their Wikipedia entry, Styx is one of a handful of acts that had Billboard Top Ten singles in three decades (70s, 80s, 90s) and under four different presidential administrations (Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush).