A Year In New York

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Day 75: The Hokiest Team in New York

September 10th · 4 Comments

In case you haven’t been paying attention, 2008 is a momentous year in New York baseball. Both the Yankees and the Mets are playing final games at the stadiums they’ve occupied for decades and are erecting giant cathedralplexes next to their old ones. It’s the sort of moment a New York blogger ought to experience, but even a crappy seat at a Yankees game costs $100. I didn’t really look into the Mets. Who cares about the Mets?

Then, yesterday afternoon, my friend Brendan walked into the office and asked if I was coming along to the Mets game. Retail ticket price? $7.50.

A group from Paragraph, mostly the same crew I played softball with, took the 7 subway line into Queens and on to Shea Stadium. I’d heard about Shea’s stunning ugliness, especially the bright orange and blue seats, which is as good a starting place as any to bemoan the Mets: They’re National League, which sucks, and haven’t won the World Series since 1986, and are in the perpetual shadow cast by worldbeating Yankees, and the only consolation was that tonight the Mets would play the Washington Nationals, who are even sorrier.

Our section was nosebleed and forbade the drinking of beer. I looked around at the sea of blue baseball caps and Jose Reyes jerseys and could see that Shea was too enormous for a slow, ambling game like baseball. It cried out for linebackers and cheerleaders and giant rock concerts. It had none of the charm or intimacy of the stadiums in, say, San Francisco or Baltimore, which is exactly why the team built its new stadium, Citi Field, so titled because, unlike the Yankees and their Stadium, the Mets had to corporatize the name for some extra dough.

We had sausages and peanuts and flagged down the water guy for a few bottles, which at $4.50 were almost as expensive as our seats. The Jumbotrons harangued the fans to applaud every time the Mets got a hit. The home team dismantled the pathetic Nationals, scoring six points runs at the bottom of the third inning alone.

I asked my seatmate Matt, a teacher and a New York native, about the difference between the Yankees and the Mets.

Matt explained that, after the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers lit out for the West Coast in 1957, the Mets were cobbled together as a sort of consolation team (thus the garish colors: Giants orange and Dodgers blue). While we talked, that song “I’m a Believer” by the Monkees blared from the sound system. Any idiot knows the lyrics to that song but the Jumbotron displayed them anyway, emphasizing each word with a bouncing ball.

Matt shook his head with disgust. “You know what the difference is between the Mets and the Yankees? You don’t get fuckin’ Karaoke at Yankee Stadium.”

So how do Yankee fans know when to applaud?

“The fans consider the storied history of the Yankees and they applaud.”

He gestured down toward the Mets’ mascot, Mr. Met. It was the seventh-inning stretch and he was firing T-shirts into the crowd with a gun. Mr. Met is a big baseball with arms and legs and a permanent, goofy grin.

“I mean, just look at that guy,” Matt said.

Tags: Sports

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 lynda // Sep 11, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    Had I known you were going to dis the Mets I would have never partaken of your peanuts!

  • 2 Bill // Sep 11, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    Well blogger man where do I start.
    I seems a good thing that we didn’t pay you a visit this coming weekend. The Two Yankees tickets you would have sprung for would cost you and Joo a couple of nice dinners out in the Big Apple.

    One does not refer to baseball runs as points under any circumstances. A good father would have taught you the correct terminology.
    I take umbrage with your statement that ” Any idiot knows the lyrics to that song..” referring to “I’m a believer”. While your mother and I know the lyrics to most of the Monkeys songs, dah, we just don’t happen to know that one

  • 3 You! // Sep 11, 2008 at 7:07 pm

    And here I thought that Day 75 was going to be all about the cupcake showdown. Not only did I have to suffer through the damn game, but then I have to suffer through a recap with nary a mention of the delicious Paragraph Bake Off! 😉

  • 4 mohi // Sep 15, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    Ok, well, I’m a philly fan, so I don’t mind you dissin’ the Mets.

    But c’mon! NL teams have won 3 of the 7 MLBCS played in the last decade. The Mets are at the top of their very difficult division (for now). Who do the Yanks face? Only Boston, whereas the Mets have to go up against the rich dynasty of the Braves, and the Philly spoilers.

    Besides, of course the Yankees have a great team–I’d have a great team too if I could buy every good player out. That’s why Yankee fans clap. They’re like, remember how Johnny Damon was with Boston? We stole him fair and square, and that deserves a round of applause! Root, root, root for the rich team, if they don’t win it’s a shame!

    I myself would rather be clapping at goofy Mr. Met.

    Btw I think there are cheap seats to be had at Yankee stadium, but you have to sit with the bleacher creatures, who I would wish on no one.

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