Right Field

‘It Was Hotter in Cincinnati’

My wife and I were in the elevator on our way down to check out of a DC-area hotel over the weekend and we got in with a Latino guy with an extremely well-coiffed beard. He looked like he could have been out of “Entourage.” We were accidentally staying in a hotel where the Mets were staying, in town to play the Nats. It wasn’t until we got to the lobby and people called this guy “Angel” that I realized he was Angel Pagan. Then, an exchange he had in the elevator with someone else who had gotten in and was clearly with the team but not a player made sense. The guy said, “It’s going to be real hot today.” Pagan replied, “It was hotter in Cincinnati.” Only afterward did I realize the essential pathos of that statement. Pretty much for as long as baseball has been played on the Senior Circuit here in these United States, some player about to go out to the ball field in a hotter-than-hell locale in the middle of summer has had occasion to comfort himself with the thought, “It was hotter in Cincinnati…”

(I have no use for the Mets, but it was cheering to see this one slightly obnoxious little boy make out like an absolute bandit on the autographs. He was pushy and just young enough for everyone to stop for him. Out of the kindness of my heart, I only razzed him mildly about being a Mets, not a Yankees fan–although not mildly enough for my wife, who still thought I went too far.)

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