The Queens Comet

Check out the standings. The Mets are 23 and 32, 6 1/2 games out of first. South of the Expos and north of the Cubs, in a division where Philadelphia is out in front. Sonny Liston said he'd rather be a lamppost in Denver than mayor of Philadelphia, but this is hardly an excuse for electing Frank Rizzo. Nevertheless, Philadelphia has a batter in the top ten. The best hitter on the Mets these days is Tug McGraw.

Something is wrong. First the Mets traded Tommie Agee, the man with the most quadrophonic name in organized baseball. People used to come from miles away to listen to the 12-year old squirts who formed the core of the Mets' support bellow: "Ay! Gee! Ay! Gee!" The Mets traded him because he was supposed to be a troublemaker. He and his roommate, Cleon Jones, were supposed to be fomenting revolution. This is the sort of analysis you expect from Eric Sevareid. Sure enough, Mrs. Joan Payson, who owns the Mets, turned out to be a big contributor to the Committee to Re-elect. Tom Seaver and Ed Kranepool and so on used to appear on Sesame Street about once a week, but still...what about the Cambodian kids?

No wonder my little brother took to watching professional wrestling. It may not have the spontaneity of baseball, but at least if one of the fans gets so excited that he starts throwing beer cans at a performer, he doesn't go on television afterwards to announce that you gotta believe. They haven't got wrestling down to a creed yet, I guess--maybe it wouldn't be suitable for airline billboards, anyway.

Of course, my dad still has his copy of the Willie Mays Song. You may not remember this hit from the past--it came out as a 78-rpm single around 1954, it's got a happy chorus about how Willie is Leo's Pride and Joy, and whenever the chorus says, "Say, Hey," Willie comes on obediently and says, "Hey." They probably didn't market it right, either, but in any event, a friend of mine last year discovered a bunch of wild-eyed autograph-seeking juveniles around a pink Cadillac with California plates parked near Shea Stadium with a tape-deck inside and some tapes on it. The top tape was called "Sounds of Erotic Love." My friend claimed the car was Willie's.

Corrupting those kids. No wonder the Phillies are ahead. In my weaker moments, I think of switching to the Yankees.


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