This Sunday, I get to run around the bases at CitiField. The Mets are going to let us season ticket holders dash to first base, second, third and home (sounds like a hopeful high school date) after the final game of the season. This is either going to be a blast or I’m gonna feel like a total dweeb, or both â€“ but I’m gonna do it anyway. (I’ll try and post some pics or video afterward; might as well share my geekiness with everyone.)
It’s obvious this run around is a salve, a bribe, the Mets’ idea of a make-good after this Bataan Death March of a season (and my pre-emptive apologies to any survivors of for using that horrific atrocity as a feckless sports analogy). I know it, they know I know it, I know they know I know it, they knowâ€¦oh, you know. But I don’t care. I’m doin’ it anyway. But it’s like giving someone a dollar after they’ve pelted you with rotten eggs. The Rotten Eggsâ€¦er, I mean the Mets (slight error), are going to have to do much better than a romp around the infield if they want me back in 2010 (that price cut is a start).
And here are the final three of my Nine Things That Make Me Go Hmmm.
3. Two Drink Maximum: There are security folks wandering around CitiField with shirts emblazoned “Alcohol Compliance Supervisor.” I like to jokingly observe this title to mean they are there to make sure we all drink our fill. But alcohol compliance seems to be a joke to other folks who mistake CitiField for a sports bar with a REALLY big 3D HDTV. Beer vendors not cutting off obviously toasted tipplers is a post-game vehicular fatality lawsuit waiting to happen. But it’s not the slew of suds sots swig that makes me go hmmm. It’s what inebriates are willing to pay. If you’re going to get sloshed, why would you pay $6.50 (plus the de rigueur 50 cents “keep the change” tip) a dose for it? Why not wait until after the game and buy a cheap six-pack? But I know how this works: you buy the first beer because you need something to wash down the hot dog and, what the hell, you’re at a ball game. On the second, you figure you’ve already blown your budget on the first beer. By the third, you’re too happy to complain. By the fourth, someone else is helping you figure out how many bills to give the vendor. This accelerating alcohol pricing apathy reminds me of this piece of logic from Groucho: “We’ll serve them a blue plate special that’ll knock their eyes out. After we knock their eyes out, we can charge ‘em anything we want!”
2. The Wave: Seriously, do I even have to comment further? Oh, well, we’re all here, soâ€¦ CitiField’s baseball-in-the-round construction has made it easier for a never-ending wave. I don’t mean to be a curmudgeon. People seem to get a kick out it, so who am I to complain. But at Citi, at least earlier in the year, fans waved in the middle of a rally! Really? The game’s not interesting enough for you? We complain about the price of tickets, then decide to entertain ourselves? All right, maybe I do mean to be a curmudgeon. But even if the wave is defendable â€“ what impels a person to bring a beach ball to a baseball game? It’s not like you’re going to go home with it.
And the top Thing That Makes Me Go Hmmm:
1. Sunshine Patriots: Ya know, I’m getting a little sick of hearing and reading “Oh, I can’t watch the Mets anymore,” etc. At my poker game a couple of weeks back we were watching the Mets, and my table mates (all Mets fans) poked a bit of fun at me when I reacted with a shriek when one of our boys got a hit or made a good play. “What’s the point?” they asked. I’ll tell you what the point is. What is it that defines a fan? Loyalty and fidelity, that’s what. I applaud folks who still come out to CitiField and root our boys on. Good on ya! These folks know you don’t only cheer for your team when they’re doing well. I almost hated it when Shea was rockin’ with rabid rooters. I wonder where all these people were back in the fallow 1990s when I had Shea practically to myself. A team needs its fans most not when it’s winning but when times are tough.
Does the following sound familiar?
“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”
If Thomas Paine were alive today, he’d surely be a Mets fan. Sure, the future looks grim. I could continue the Paine strain and cite some corny clichÃ©s about picking yourself up when things look the worst (the most effective was John Belushi’s “Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?!” pep chant in Animal House). But let’s just leave it as semper friggin’ fi and Let’s Go Mets!