Thursday, September 11, 2014

Citi Field becoming another Grant's Tomb

I went to my first Met game in weeks last night, and the place was so empty that even the Shake Shack line was manageable. It brought me back to the bad old days of the late '70s after the Tom Seaver trade, when Shea Stadium was referred to as "Grant's Tomb" in honor of notorious chairman of the board M. Donald Grant. Once again, the Mets have done their best to destroy fan interest in a once-thriving franchise.

In 1979, the Mets finished last in the league in attendance with 788,905, an average of 9,261 per game. Back then, they gave actual attendance, rather than tickets sold. Last night, 21,260 tickets were sold, but I guess a lot of those fans had something better to do last night, because they were not at the ballpark.

I remember when the Mets used to have a scoreboard quiz in the ninth inning asking the fans to guess the attendance. These days, they could bring a couple of fans out to second base and have them manually count everyone in the stands.

I was on the shorter line at Shake Shack when the starting lineups were announced. You can generally tell when the Mets are being announced because of all the cheers, but not last night. 

But the lack of interest in the game also meant that our tickets in section 409 behind home plate cost just $6 each. You have a much better chance of being featured on the big video screen if you are into that sort of thing. And I had no trouble getting a seat on the subway back home. They were even still running expresses back to Manhattan. Perhaps the MTA did not realize that the U.S. Open was over.

As for the game, I hope one day to be able to boast about the fact that I saw Rafael Montero's first win. (I also saw Mike Pelfrey's first win in 2006, but nobody is asking for a framed copy of that ticket.)

It was somehow appropriate that Montero had a no-hitter with two outs in the fifth, but had already thrown so many pitches that you knew he would never get to finish one.  Kind of like the Mets trying to tease us that they are still technically alive for the playoffs, which has no chance of happening, either.

After 1979, Met fans finally had renewed hope when new ownership took over. Nelson Doubleday and Fred Wilpon arrived to save the day. Yes, it was a long time ago.

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