(Photo by Greta)
For the record, Shea Stadium is not a shit hole. In fact, I would venture a guess that the things that many people dislike about Shea are, in fact, the things that make it awesome. For example:
Shea is in Queens. You guys? Queens is awesome. Seriously. Stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason but I realized that it’s probably the only ballpark I’ve ever been to that wasn’t completely overrun with white people. All the announcements were in Spanish and English. Jose Reyes gave us Spanish lessons on the Jumbotron between innings and told us how to properly pronounce the lyrics to “La Bamba.” “Yo no so marinero. Soy capitan.” (I am not the sailor, I am the captain). Priceless information, that.
People also say that Mets fans are rude. Dudes, these people live in the same city as Yankee fans. They wouldn’t be out of line to be a whole lot ruder, if you ask me. Not once did I witness a single Mets fan acting all entitled or pontificating about the True Metsness of any one player. I did see an usher roll his eyes and yell at a woman in a sequined Carlos Betran tank top because she refused to believe that the stadium had an upper deck but she totally had it coming. You know what else I saw? Some jackhole at a rest stop on the Jersey Turnpike wearing a shirt with a Yankees logo that said “Got postseasons?” And that right there pretty much encapsulated why I can’t stand the smug sons of bitches. Just because you’ve been to the postseason in the past, you somehow think you’re entitled to it now? And we should respect you because of that? Or something. The logic is flawed. And also stupid. And also Mets fans are so much cooler than Yankees fans which I think was my original point before I got all uppity.
But on the whole, Mets fans are pretty damn cool. No, I don’t remember ’86 or Buckner or Mookie or any of that. And yes, I still cringe when I see the umpteenth repeat of the ole’ through the wickets play at first but you know what? I’m letting it go. Because Jose Reyes wasn’t involved in that game. Paul Lo Duca wasn’t involved in that play. David Wright wasn’t involved in that play. Hell, was David Wright even born yet? (Okay, he was 3-years-old. Jesus, I’m old). Anyway, this current Mets team is a hell of a lot of fun to watch. I mean, maybe not so much on the night I was there as they were in the process of losing to the Nationals but still, fun. The stadium is also enormous in that “this could totally be a football stadium if they’d close off that end there” way. But they can’t, because that’s where they’re building Citi Field, the new home of the Mets. I’m sure it’ll be lovely and new and shiny and all that, but I hope they don’t take away from the Queens-ness of it all. That’s what makes Shea, Shea.
And there’s that whole sharing Pedro Martinez thing. Which is totally the name of a book that I’m going to write about a touching coming of age story and the growth of a friendship between a Mets fan and a Sox fan. Right? Because I know that Pedro is theirs now, but he’s not really theirs. I mean, he was ours first. They can use him now so long as they remember where he came from.
And? Paul Lo Duca has “Stayin’ Alive” as his at-bat music and the picture they put on the screen during his at-bats is totally his impression of Blue Steel. It’s amazing. Paul Lo Duca can have drinks on me anytime. I’ll bet that dude has some stories to tell.
I could have done without the SCREAMINGLY LOUD meringue band that entertained the crowd pre-game (it was Meringue night, dontcha know?), as Shea is already the loudest stadium on the planet and the music was honestly painful. Earsplitting, even, and unnecessary. I know that Shea is located next to JFK and planes fly overhead all game but there’s no need to adjust the music volumes for that. I had a serious headache by the time the game started. Beer was needed to make it go away. Beer and hot dogs. But the hot dogs? Were delicious.