Wednesday, April 28, 2004

"Our owner isn't named George"
the back of a Mets fan's shirt

When you think of NY baseball, you think of the Yankees, the Bronx Bombers. But the Boston Red Sox know of the other NY team that always gets second billing...the Mets.

Baseball is one of my favorite sports to watch live. Football is too expensive. Basketball goes too fast to see anything good from the nosebleed section you're in. Baseball is the best thing live and in person where even though you're in nosebleed country a fly ball just might head your way to let you touch the game.

On top of going to the local stadiums (PacBell and the Coliseum), I've also gone to Wrigley and sat in the center field bleachers with the ivy. That was simply fabulous! So, since we're in NY, we might as well try to catch a game. Even if you're poor, there's always cheap seats somewhere (bleachers and nosebleed) that will get you through the door.

We take the train to Queens and Flushing Meadows, home to Shea stadium and Arthur Ashe Tennis Arena. The SO enjoys his digital camera and takes hundreds of photos of people's backyards, graffitti on the walls, and all the other views of NYC he can get. The people on the train give him a slight sideways look, mentally note that he seems harmless yet are curious to know what he's doing.

We pick up the best seats we can get, field level right field. Mets are playing the Pittsburgh Pirates. I actually don't keep up with baseball stats or root exclusively for one team, though I'll have to say that I'm more of an Oakland A's fan than a Giants one.

The SO is a Dodger blue. They are sacred. He will kick you out of his house if you disparage the Dodger blue.

For me, I just want a good game, a close game that hinges on the slightest pitch, error, or throw. That would not be the case today. Today was a blowout of the Pittsburgh Pirates with most of the Mets fans leaving by the end of the 7th inning, not even long enough to stay for the 7th inning stretch.

Mr. Met, their mascot, comes around in the 5th inning to boost people's morale. Mr. Met is essentially a guy with a big huge baseball of a head, kind of like a cousin to Jack from the Jack-in-a-Box fast food franchise. See, Mets demand respect, that's "MR." Met to you, buddy!

There were numerous young kids near us as part of their Autism Awareness Day. They yelled to baseball players to throw a ball their way. For a few it was their first time at a live baseball game, they commented at "how small" players looked and how watching a game was much better on their high definition tvs at home. At first they were rooting for the Mets. But by the 8th they were yelling "Let's go Pirates! Let's go!" to which an adult fan who was 1) already pissed his team was being blown out and 2) thoroughly irritated by having a dozen 10 year olds around him quickly seethed, "SHUT UP!" which sent a string of fear in their eyes. A few minutes later another boy who apparently didn't hear the irritated man before tried to start the cheer up again but was quickly quelled by his peers, "ssshhhh...someone's going to yell at you! You're going to get mugged!" Children learn so fast.

It was a gorgeous day out. Perfect baseball weather. A plane every few minutes riding quickly (I believe from La Guardia). By the time we get to the last Mets batter with two strikes, the park is simply a wasteland with only a handful of (probably Pirates) fans still left. We stay too. Though the momentum is against them, the thing about baseball is that there is always a chance to turn the game around, unlike in basketball and football where you can calculate that it will be humanly impossible to score x number of points in y number of seconds. Until that last strike is called or the last fly ball is caught there is always hope. Just not today.

No comments: