Posts Tagged ‘Mets Fans’

That Raging Mets Fan May Not Be a Fan at All

May 12, 2009

During last night’s game with the score tied, 1-1, the Atlanta Braves had runners on first and second with two outs in the top half of the seventh inning. Mets manager Jerry Manuel had just taken out right-hander Bobby Parnell and replaced him with lefty Pedro Feliciano. Pitching to Braves catcher Brian McCann, Feliciano got exactly what he wanted, a ground ball. Unfortunately, Mets shortstop Jose Reyes bobbled it and failed to complete the play prolonging the inning. The Braves went on to tack on four runs upping the score, 5-1. It doesn’t take a baseball enthusiast to note that Reyes had made a big mistake.

The Mets sure-handed shortstop will must likely be criticized for what he was unable to accomplish last night. If the Mets hadn’t just won seven games in a row in convincing fashion, NY beat writers, local sports talk radio hosts, and all those fickle Mets fans would be calling for Reyes’ head. Prior to the Mets surge into first place atop the NL East, the team was catching an unbelievable amount of slack. Whether it was the inability of the Mets hitters to knock in runners while in scoring position or an over-taxed bullpen due to lackluster starting pitching, Mets fans were becoming steadfast believers that their team was heading towards a fate equal to that of the last two seasons.

Factor in a brand-new $800 million stadium that Mets fans consider unfriendly along with a free agent signing that stinks to high-heaven and you get self-proclaimed Mets fans who feel very strongly in the comments that they are spewing about. It wouldn’t surprise me if the majority of them were camped out in front of their HD TVs tuned to SNY shaking their heads and stomping their feet still reeling from the pre-winning streak performances of their favorite team. I gather that type of behavior will start to rear its ugly head once again. Why? The ace of their staff, Johan Santana, was tagged with his second loss of the season in which he again received limited run support.

It’s just a matter of time when the magnifying glass will be dusted off and young Daniel Murphy’s defense will be brought into focus. Manager Jerry Manuel’s mismanagement of the bullpen will be cause for concern and David Wright’s strikeouts will continue to mount. Yes, these are the non-stop reminders from so-called real Mets fans. Whose only intention is to unleash their childish criticisms and who probably would have never followed the Mets if they didn’t have such a high payroll. According to these fans, the sky is the limit as long as it’s not their sky and not their limit. I was happy that the Mets didn’t sign Derek Lowe. I’d rather spend an evening with Gary Sheffield than all day inside Mannywood. I knew Pedro Martinez was washed up. And most importantly, I like these Mets. So now I have to ask all those embittered Mets fans, do you?

Day Off Allows Mets Fans Time to Look into the Mirror

May 4, 2009

For those of you who have seen Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver, especially those viewers who consider themselves rabid Mets fans, the lead character of Travis Bickle played by none other than Robert De Niro can seem more relative to your current state of mind than you think. Like Bickle who spent most of his waking hours trolling seedy streets embittered with rage and filled with paranoia, today’s Mets fan has perhaps taken on a similar attitude. During these last twelve some odd games, with the exception of two wins against the Washington Nationals, fans have exhibited their share of irrational behavior. Consider recently when a distraught fan called up a local sports talk radio show to recommend that the face of the franchise, David Wright, be traded. Seriously?!

With each excruciating inning, fans have become defenseless to the rising anxiety and the false sense of hope. The only semblance of reality left is one that is laced with delusions of grandeur in which the end result forces one to act more vigilant. God willing the extent of a Mets fan taking matters into his or her own hands means boycotting the newly constructed Citi Field. Both antagonists share the belief that the only foreseeable remedy for removing the grease and grime that has formulated inside the cracks and crevices is to summon the almighty gods and have them send down a driving rain storm that will ultimately wash away all the bad things. This cataclysmic event does not suffice for Bickle, but for Mets fans, yesterday’s rainout could very well be the opportunity they have been praying for that will allow them to move forward in a brighter light.

Don’t Let the Door Hit You on the Way Out

February 2, 2009

This past Saturday, Mets fans gathered outside a dilapidated Shea Stadium to pay homage to an edifice that gave them so much in return. “These are the real Mets fans,” twenty-five year-old Chris Swann said. “Its 25 degrees and we’re standing out here, I’m loving it. I’m cold and I’m smiling.” Swann successfully organized the crowd of 100 people through various fan blogs and Facebook pages. The small congregation swapped stories of Mets lore, old and new. Fathers played catch with their sons. Older fans recalled the first year the stadium opened and younger fans tried their hardest to put a positive spin on Game 7 of the 2006 National League Championship Series.

It’s no secret that many Mets fans disagree with the demolition of the forty-four year old stadium. However, this is one Mets fan that is anxious to see it go. I, too, have fond memories of my father loading up the beach cooler with soft drinks and snacks during the summer months and enjoying the sun-soaked rays of Shea’s Field level seats. I can recall enduring the brisk April air that accompanied me while atop the Upper Deck at the start of a new baseball season. During the month of September, I have reeled in the comfort of the dark green seats of the Mezzanine. Adjacent to the Mets bullpen, my friends and I would throw down crumpled pieces of paper to the Mets relievers in hopes they would sign them and throw them back up to us. And, as I enjoyed a beer and a hot dog in a sea of Loge-blue seats, I was always on the lookout for any incoming foul balls. To top it all off, I have even participated in my share of the “Wave” and of course, July fourth-fireworks displays.

Experiencing all these great moments, you may ask yourself why I am so quick to let them go. I will tell you why. With respect to the last several times I have been able to visit Shea, my experience has been less than desirable. I will explain. A friend of mine was unable to take advantage of a couple of tickets he had. He offered them to me and since they were Loge seats, I thought, hey, great.

Leading up to the game, I had envisioned myself tracking a Carlos Delgado blast which would start at home plate and end by slamming into the scoreboard. Maybe, I would be lucky enough to witness a dazzling grab by Mets centerfielder Carlos Beltran. No chance. The seats were, in fact, located in the Loge section. That much is true. However, they were situated underneath an overhang from a section of the Mezzanine. Not only was there no circulating air but the only players I was able track were the pitcher, the batter, and the catcher. Everything else was covered by this obtrusive section of the ballpark that made you wish you were at home watching the game on your 19” TV.

One of the improvements guaranteed by those who built the new Mets ballpark was that all who would attend would receive a good sightline to the action on the field. I have a feeling the makers of Citi Field sat in my previous seats and could not help but ask themselves, “Who would want to watch the game from here?”

Another case in point, I unknowingly redeemed my tickets from a rained out game for a section of the Upper Deck that was parallel to the outfield grass. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this section of the ballpark, these seats are also parallel to the Diamond Vision screen. I understand some of you may be thinking to yourself, how someone could be unable to view a humongous television screen that is perched for all to see. Honestly, while the rest of the fans were smiling and laughing at various couples smooching during the “Kiss Cam “segment, my wife and I were sitting in our seats with blank stares on our faces wondering what the hell was going on. Not to mention the fact that any ball hit towards the left-field wall allowed for the leftfielder to suddenly disappear and force us to scratch our heads awaiting the outcome.

As I call for the demise of Shea Stadium, it should not be seen as a reduction of my allegiance to my favorite team. Like President Barack Obama, it’s time for a change. For those of you who stood atop a pile of gravel and dirt on a chilly Saturday afternoon hoping to get one last snapshot of the stadium that you grew to know and love, I commend you.