But at least the seats were good.
Actually, that's a severe understatement, the seats were unbelievable! To give you an idea of how good these seats were that were basically field level right behind the plate, the seat number started with an "X" to give you the feel that you were going to a trendy club.
(Actually, those blue seats that were added in front of those original orange seats behind the plate are like going to the club since they were actually chained off. All that was missing were the bouncers that kept you away from the models...just ushers that popped up out of nowhere like they were in a jack in the box to keep people out of those seats in the eighth inning after the cat was already let on to the porch at 9-3. Aah, ushers.)
The seats came courtesy of a commenter we know as "Kingman Fan", who I had the pleasure of meeting through the poetically indestructible Greg Prince, who I had finally had the pleasure of meeting in person (for those wondering if two bloggers getting together would create a more powerful and ground-breaking perspective the likes of which have never been seen before, all we really decided was that maybe Mike Pelfrey needs another trip to New Orleans...and he really didn't need me for that.) Now when I say "Kingman Fan", I really mean it. He had the authentic "KINGMAN 26" authentic jersey to prove it. He'll be happy (or disturbed) to know that he was not the last Met fan I saw today with a Kingman model, as another authentic Kingman authentic popped up at the Roosevelt Ave. train stop while transferring after the game.
(But the winner of today's "jersey you don't see every day" contest goes to the guy with the powder blue Milwaukee Brewer "VUKOVICH 50" jersey. Dude, you win. And did you know he played Clue Haywood in "Major League"?)
Unfortunately, the 1982 references weren't done there, as the Brewers and Mets both played like their 1982 counterparts, which is to say that they played like the American League Champs that they were and we...well we had Dave Kingman. Pelfrey was the Mike Scott of the group, and not the Mike Scott that had learned his "split fingered fastball" (which was a middle fingered fastball in the '86 NLCS), but the Mike Scott that was nicknamed "the human white flag" back in '82. Pelfrey didn't get a whole lot of help from his defense, which somehow turned a fourth inning Prince Fielder pop-up with the bases loaded into a double play, but not before Craig Counsell and Tony Gwynn Jr. tagged up and scored while the Mets were infatuated with getting J.J. Hardy out on the basepaths.
And really, even though the Brewers opened the spigots with eight more runs including Hardy's grand slam against Joe Smith, the game was over after the Mets "Hardy Boy Mystery" in the fourth (first and last time for that reference...promise). Not even David Newhan's pinch home run brought the crowd fully back into the game, as the prevailing thought was that the game should have at least been tied after the botched rundown. But Newhan's home run did send a guy named Pete to Barbados as it was the hometown home run inning, so somebody besides the Brewers fans in the stands went home completely happy.
Here are some things I learned for being at Shea for the first time this season. Some things most of you know (since I hope you've all taken at least one trek out to Shea before me in '07), others you may not:
- The bleachers are roped off into sections now. 50, 52, 54, 56, and I think 58 (kind of like jersey sizes, but they're actually a continuation of the upper deck sections). The bleachers is one spot that I have yet to sit in, because it's exclusively either group sales (I don't have that many friends), or Pepsi can night (I'm a Coca-Cola guy). So that's my mission before Citi Field takes its initial bow.
- Speaking of the new park, it has now become officially bizarre to see scaffolding directly behind the outfield. I thought it was weird when it happened in Cincinnati, especially since they tore down the outfield stands of Riverfront Stadium while construction for the Great American Ballpark was happening while the Reds still played in the old cookie cutter. But to see it behind Shea is just totally mind boggling and surreal.
- What is with the spinning Dunkin Donuts coffee cup in the left field bullpen which spins after a home run? It's gotta be the most out of place product placement gimmick ever. But knowing the way our franchise works sometimes, I could totally see that thing following us to the new park, while the Home Run Apple gets left behind or put on eBay because some think it's cheesy. This possibility scares me to death.
- This next thing was also noted here, but I can say it too because I came up with it all on my own, I promise. But do you find it weird that after a fan was banned from Shea Stadium for shining a light into Edgar Renteria's eyes, the Mets have Flashlight day? (I heard that the Mets are going to have reflective mirror night in June, sponsored by Dunkin Donuts of course.)
- During the fateful eighth inning, I ran to the food line behind the plate. I thought there was a really long stoppage of play because there were loud commercials hawking concerts and what not on the television screen. But while I was listening to that thinking I wasn't missing anything, Joe Smith hit Gabe Gross. And I had no idea the game was even going on. Can we turn down the commercials on the concourses while the game is going on, please? Dopey people like me get confused.
Sunday is Chris Capuano vs. Oliver Perez, and the Mets had better find a way to bounce back and take two of three from Milwaukee. Because, to paraphrase our ticket benefactor Kingman Fan, they're running out of body parts to shave.