Let’s just say we got some spring yardwork taken care of this week, and the underground sprinklers are good to go — after four tips to Lowe’s and more profanity than even the Mets bull pen can generate.
We even have a semi-late Deezo Friday Five to offer:
1) I have a love-hate relationship with Topps’ Heritage sets.
I love the idea of putting modern players in old-fashioned designs, especially with the level of detail that Topps provides. They’re usually beautiful cards.
But the downside is that they’re way too expensive and the sets are filled with short-printed cards, making them more expensive and impossible for me to ever assemble a complete set.
This year, the company’s Bowman Heritage has some photos that are so brilliant that it hurts. Topps had fun tinkering with the backgrounds. Some of the cards have old stadiums such as the Polo Grounds and Ebbets Field, and others have city icons.
Check out Tom Glavine’s card, which combines both elements of Shea and Citi Field under construction. Too bad Glavine is a known Met saboteur.
Then I saw this sweet card of Joe Smith with the Coney Island Wonder Wheel in the background. Clearly this is the best card of the year, possibly second to the 1972 Topps Tom Seaver.
2) Having trouble deciding who this shirt is aimed at. A real Phillies fan would want nothing that looks like a Mets logo, just like I wouldn’t even consider anything reading "Yankees" on my body.
Maybe this is for a Phillies guy who knows he should be rooting for the Mets, but just can’t bring himself over to the right side.
Or maybe it’s for someone who lives in Jersey between both teams and is just, well, confused.
3) Speaking of shirts, I’m convinced that Cafe Press has a shirt for everything.
A little back story here. My daughter and her fifth-grade friends started a little elementary school publishing empire, producing books based on the same characters, Mr. Otter and Mr. Otter Jr.
One day I read one of her books and was startled to see a passage where Junior was unhappy that someone at a fast food restaurant incorrectly filled his kiddie meal order and casually circled the place and lobbed a hand grenade through the drive-through.
The rest of the book had other acts of random mischief that prompted my son to say that, if the book was made in to a video game, it would be called "Grand Theft Otter."
I was contemplating counseling until learning that the rest of the authors were boys and the body counts in their tomes was far higher, and my daughter was just writing to appeal to their tastes.
Nevertheless, the idea of casually tossing a grenade has become sort of a family inside joke.
Then poking around Cafe Press one day I discovered a design of an otter, holding a hand grenade. Part of me was horrified that someone else would link otters and explosives, and the other part wondered if we could sue for trademark violations.
4) My softball team picked up a little hardware this year. And we were so close to something so much bigger.
After demolishing our opening round opponent, we faced the goon squad of the league that, as far as I know, has never lost game. I also think they play dirty, so there is some bad blood there.
We were having the game of our lives, winning through the top of the sixth as the skies darkened. The thugs tied the game in the bottom of the sixth, and lightening started to flicker and thunder roared. After much debate and confusion, the umpires suspended the game.
We resumed a week later, missing some of our best players and still held the punks scoreless for two innings before finally allowing them to push across a run. It was a sad, sad day.
We fell apart in our second game that day, against my church’s other team, after our pitcher got hurt and I had to take the hill.
Alas we turned it on again for the last game, allowing us to claim third place in the consolation round. Our other church team claimed second place.
Usually such a finish will get you only a flier telling when next season’s league fees are due, so I was pretty happy when the umpire came over with a sweet plaque. Someday I’ll hand it over to the church. Someday.