CitiField, like Shea, is kind of peaceful when the Mets suck. Lately, I almost feel like I have the whole place to myself. Plenty of room to stretch out, relax and talk baseball with the nearest fellow sufferer.
Take the 11-3 Monday night shellacking by the Braves (and how different would the outcome have been if Beltran had gotten a better jump on and caught that opening bloop by Nate McLouth for an out instead of it dropping in for a single?), please. With the suspense sucked out of the proceedings early, I had a lovely evening conversing with my brother-in-law about my nephew’s first days at college, discussing what the Mets need to do to not suck next year, and pondering the weird, wacky and not always wonderful ways fans act at CitiField.
I admit it. I’m sort of a Felix Ungar type â€“ I’m actually at Citi to watch a game. I get there on time, I rest my bony white butt on a Mets pillow, I keep score, and I don’t leave my seat until the game is over. However, I accept that not every else in the stands is as baseball OCD as I am. For confirmation of this, I just have to gaze out beyond centerfield and see more people on line at Shake Shack than there are in the seats. (I got to Citi an hour early just to try the Shack â€“ and there was already a line! I had an easier time getting McCartney tickets.)
In that vein, here are the first three of my Top Nine CitiField Fan Things That Make Me Go Hmmmm (one for each inning):
9. Get Up, Stand Up: Please don’t yell at me to stand up and cheer just because you want to stand up and cheer. If you want to be a cheerleader, come to the game in a pony skirt, bobby socks and saddle shoes waving pom poms, and then we’ll talk. Until then, you stand up and cheer when you want to cheer and I’ll stand up and cheer when I want to cheer. Lately, the biggest cheers have been for the Pepsi T-Shirt Launch, and I’m definitely not standing for that. For one thing, the Pepsi Party Patrol never shoots T-shirts at the Excelsior Gold Section.
8. Boo Birds:Â It’s bad enough when we boo our own players because they are human and err (how’d you like it if someone came to your job and jeered your job performance?). But booing future Hall of Famers? For one thing, sort of like Mongo in Blazing Saddles, booing just makes great players mad â€“ and better. I’ve feel privileged to have been able to watch some of the greatest players of all time, and booing them just seems crazy to me. “Yes, grandchildren, I got to see Derek Jeter play. I yelled ‘You suck!’ at him.” (And don’t get me started on the classless illogic of yelling “You suck!” at players who obviously don’t. If you’re going to taunt, at least come up with something original.) But many Met fans seem to take a special joy in razzing the truly talented rather than just sitting back and appreciating them. Thankfully, Monday night’s crowd was so lethargic, it couldn’t even muster the usually de rigueur “LAAAAA-RY! LAAAAA-RY!” for Chipper Jones (admittedly a bubble HOFer â€“ discuss), merely some scattered boos. As my BIL pointed out, John Rocker deserved boos. Not Chipper Jones. Heck, the guy named his kid Shea! How many of you have named your offspring after a place where people hate you?
7. Ball Return:And speaking of Chipper, he homered into the left field seats â€“ and some nimrod threw the ball back onto the field. First, this isn’t Wrigley Field. Second, you celebrate like you won the lottery if you merely successfully emerge from a foul ball scrum, but a home run ball hit by a HOF â€“ or anyone, for that matter? Ah, who needs it. Third, an umpire or ball boy ends up retrieving the ball then tosses it to not so particular fans along the base line clamoring for it like baby birds when mommy bird comes back to the nest with a guileful of worms. Some rich kid in the field level seats gets a cool souvenir and you gotâ€¦what (other than sore hands), the approbation of the jealous drunks around you who couldn’t/didn’t catch it who don’t want you to have it either? Grow a pair, disdain the peer pressure, and cherish your once-in-a-lifetime memento.
Three more Things/Hmmmm in a day or so.