Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Meet the Mess - err, Mets: Some more thoughts on this weekend's Subway Series

Did you know that CC Sabathia and Mariano Rivera both had more RBIs in this weekend's Subway Series than David Wright did? The Yankee pitchers had one RBI each. The Met third baseman - nada. Strange but true.

Here are some more thoughts about the first-ever Subway Series at Citi Field:

At the Sunday game we attended, Squawker Jon and I saw Mr. Met pose for photos in Kiddie Field, the kid's section of Citi Field. Surprisingly, most of the people lining up to get their picture taken with Mr. Met were grownups. And many of them were Yankee fans!

Longtime Squawker readers know how much I dig Mr. Met. One of my favorite moment at Shea Stadium was when I got to meet the Met - Mr. Met, that is. So it was funny to see that I'm not the only Yankee fan who likes Mr. Met!

Anyhow, I wanted to line up and get our photo taken with the Met icon. I thought it would make a great pic for the Subway Squawkers blog. But Squawker Jon said no! Can you believe that? What is this, the no-fun zone? Sheesh.

* * *

On Monday afternoon, I watched the clip of Francisco Rodriguez's walk of Mariano Rivera. That's what great about the Subway Series - you never know when you'll see something you've never seen before.

Aside from the humor in watching Mo at bat, the funniest part of the walk was Alex Rodriguez's gleeful reaction in the dugout. Good stuff.

* * *

As previously noted, the food and drink selection at Citi Field is so much better than Yankee Stadium that it's not even funny. Message to Lonn Trost: Why can't a first-class organization like the Yankees have some first-class food available to all?

I've been to Citi Field four times this year, and I still haven't sampled all the great food there.
On the other hand, Yankee Stadium has a really good, albeit expensive, steak sandwich, and some pretty good, albeit expensive, sushi. And that's about it for great food at the new ballpark. That is, unless you have the money to spend on a luxury seat.

Citi Field even does better in the adult beverage department - many more choices, and cheaper prices to boot.

It's a shame the Yanks really spit the bit, as George Steinbrenner would say, in this department.

* * *

I noticed when entering the ballpark through the Jackie Robinson Rotunda this weekend that there are some Mets-related pictures inside Citi Field. Of course, you have to be on the luxury suite level to see the photos (oversized baseball card images of Met players.)

The Mets really spit the bit on honoring their own team. How difficult would it be to put up some photos in the ballpark?

And by the way, whatever happened to Dwight Gooden's autograph on the Ebbets' Club wall? Is it still being shamefully hidden?

* * *

Jon and I attended three of the six Subway Series games (all Yankees' victories.) We did notice that there was some intensity missing in the crowd, especially at the Yankee Stadium game we saw.

The most back-and-forth banter we heard was at this Friday's game. But it still wasn't as intense as in recent years. With so much to do in both ballparks, it seems like some fans are less focused
on the game itself.

What did you think of the Subway Series? Tell us about it!


Anonymous said...

The RBI thing? Strange but true? That's called small sample size...which isn't even a little bit strange.

You really need to get over ripping on the Mets. With the backup players that are currently starting, it would be the equivalent of the Mets bragging about beating the Columbus Clippers.

Jonmouk71 said...

I sort of agree that beating these Mets isn't all that impressive but had the tables been turned, I'm sure Met fans wouldn't have been all that sympathetic to Yankee injuries. And in spite of the fact that neither team made the playoffs last year, all I heard from my Met friends is how "we beat you 4 games to 2". On another note, Yankees pick up Eric Hinske from the Pirates (obviously Nady is done for the year) - how do the Yankees make that deal and the Mets with obvious shortcomings at 1B and outfield don't? Maybe Met fans should have spoken out at the Madoff sentencing because I bet the Wilpons took more of a hit than is being admitted......

Uncle Mike said...

There's nothing wrong with wanting to meet Mr. Met. After all, he's the one guy in a Met uniform who's never disappointed anybody.

Three of my favorite moments as a fan were meeting Dave Raymond, the original Phillie Phanatic, on the Veterans Stadium concourse; meeting Paws the Tiger at Tiger Stadium; and meeting Youppi at the Montreal Olympic Stadium. They're not just goofy-looking things, they are wonderful ambassadors for their teams.

Of course, the Yankees don't need a mascot. They have John Sterling. He is kind of shaped like a mascot... And some mascots are really dumb. Like the Pirate Parrot in Pittsburgh. And while the Cardinals' Redbird mascot looks silly enough, did they have to name him Fredbird? Come on!

The Staten Island Yankees have Scooter the Holy Cow. The Brooklyn Cyclones? At first, I thought it was an Eagle, after the old Brooklyn Eagle newspaper. Nope, it's Sandy the Seagull, named not just for the Coney Island beach but for Brooklyn native (and Fred Wilpon classmate) Sandy Koufax, with a "little brother" named Pee Wee for Reese.

We will not get over ripping on the Mets. As Jonmouk suggests, after all the trash their fans have talked about the Yankees, including when the Yankees were better, they deserve it. Besides, the Columbus Clippers have won more Pennants than the Mets.

As you can see, in some ways, the 1984-90 Met glory years, which included my high school days and some frustrating Yankee seasons, shaped my fanhood even more than the 1976-81 Yankee era, the first great baseball team I was aware of. (I didn't quite see the 1970s Oakland and Cincinnati teams at their best.)

The 1980s were a rough time for a lot of reasons, and not just because of lousy music, worse cars and a President who drove me up the wall. A great era for baseball -- but not for a Yankee Fan. It's like I've gotten over 95 percent of it, but there will always be that 17-year-old kid who'd still like to be able to say, "You Met fans are so dumb to be rooting for them. They've never won the World Series in my lifetime" -- and suddenly it's no longer true.

Met fans were so smug in the 1980s, and based on what? In the end, one World Championship, and one other Division Title. That's all they got between late October 1973 and September 1999! An entire generation! Their mouths were writing checks that their team couldn't cash. In contrast, Derek Jeter had topped that at age 24. Come to think of it, Willie Randolph (in the preceding generation) topped it at age 23.

All that talk for them... All that action for us. Case closed -- and well before this season's games between the teams. Whether the current players deserve it is debatable; whether Met fans deserve it is a big fat yes. (Not to be confused with John "the Big Fat YES Anchor" Sterling.)

Ryan O said...

By high school days you mean that when you taught high school before you retired, right Uncle Mike?

Jonmouk71 said...

Uncle Mike - my high school days coincided with the 1965-70 era, when the Yankees were really bad - and the Mets won their one "miracle" championship. I well remember being tortured in HS by Met fans: "The only sellouts at Yankee Stadium are Bat Day, Ball Day, and Ralph Houk Underwear Day - every fan 14 and under get one of the Major's jockstraps...."

Anonymous said...

What?!? You mean there are Met fans out there as loud-mouthed and obnoxious as Yankee fans? REALLY? A New York team has pain in the butt fans? Seriously? Wow. Next you're going to tell me that Chicago fans are just as bad.

Both teams have fans that will get on the nerves of the other team. Both teams have fans that will revel in the failings and shortcomings of the other team. It does not matter that, for all intents and purposes, these teams are not rivals. It does not matter that the past 7 seasons have ended badly for both teams, and who knows what will happen this year. It does not matter because it's baseball.

Baseball, with the longest, most frustrating, and potentially heartbreaking season. Baseball, the sport that requires nothing less that true devotion to appreciate. Baseball, ingrained in our hearts and souls from childhood.

Most of us don't support these teams because of front-running or jumping on the band wagon, though both teams have their share of those fans - the Yanks especially. We love these teams because we were bred to love them, because of summer days spent melting in the stadiums or sitting in front of the TV. These teams are part of our lives and building blocks for happy memories.

So Yankees fans will mock the underachieving Mets and Mets fans will mock the underachieving Yankees. Payroll numbers will be tossed around. Jinxes will be invoked. We will complain about how much the other team gets away with while our team gets picked on. This will happen and it will be great, because it's all part of the process.

And if nothing else, our friendly hosts, and the folks leaving comments on these blogs are nothing less than entertaining.

Proud, Blue and Orange bleeding, Yankee "hating" Met fan, who has to admit, even though it causes her great pain, that she kinda likes Nick Swisher.

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