Sunday, July 27, 2008

Anger Mismanagement

A lot of things bothered me about the Mets 14 inning, 10-8 loss to the Cardinals on Saturday.

Very few of these things happened on the field.

I mean, yeah the Mets left too many on the basepaths even though they scored eight runs ... and yeah, there were too many double switches in the sixth inning which I knew would come back and bite them if the game went into extra innings (which it did, with Country Time having to go two innings and Aaron Heilman having to go three, which against Albert Pujols is tempting fate waaaaaaaaaay too much.) But it doesn't get much more satisfying than Brandon Knight (The lost New Kid On The Block) bouncing back from a disastrous first inning to pitch five acceptable innings on the whole ... or more exciting than Carlos Delgado hitting two home runs (both of which were called by my Shea Stadium companion for the evening: "The Artist Formerly Known As Jinx" ... or more thrilling than Fernando Tatis jacking one to center field to tie the game in the ninth. I mean, the win would have been great, but I'm not going to waste my energy complaining about a game that probably would have ended 8-2 Cardinals if this was April or May.

No, I'm here to complain about what happened in the stands tonight. And please allow me to get right to the point:

You people who insist on standing at the bottom of the section having your friends take pictures of you while the game is going on in the background should never be allowed into a sporting event again.

Look, I know this is the last season of Shea Stadium. Fine. You want to preserve your memories. Fine. You want a picture of yourself in the House That Kranepool Built. Fine. But it's bad enough you stand at the entrance of the section between innings and block everyone from getting to the bathroom or the snack line before it fills up. Tonight, you took to standing at the entrance of the section while the play was going on and blocking our view of the game!

And believe me, I'm not writing this because of one bad apple ... or two, or three even. There were no less than 30 people who, either at the entrance of the section, or the top of the bar around row F which lied in between sections, had their pictures taken by their friends during play! DURING PLAY!

You know what's worse ... this wasn't happening from innings one to four while we're barely paying attention. This was happening in the fifth inning. The sixth! The seventh! This was happening in the BOTTOM OF THE NINTH INNING WITH THE SCORE TIED AT 8-8!!!

And not just one picture, mind you ... people were doing this in groups of seven or eight, one or two at a time! "Okay, let's take a picture with you on the right and me on the left ... all right, now switch places and let's take a picture this way ... all right now let's give the camera our bootylicious pose ..."


I mean really, does anybody come to a baseball game to ... pray tell ... watch a damn baseball game anymore? I swear to you, during the bottom of the ninth while the family photoshoot was going on, there was a couple in the tunnel within eyeshot of the game making out. 8-8 in the ninth, and they're making out. What drove me insane was that when the ninth inning ended, the couple then left the tunnel and went back into the concourse like "oh, now it's safe to leave ... we won't miss anything." Unlike all the action they caught while they were playing tonsil hockey.

All right, I see that I need to lay down some new rules to live by. Here they are:
  • If you came to a baseball game to get rip-roaring drunk, there are these hot new places that are especially made for you to do that. I don't know if you've heard of them, they're called bars. Check your local yellow pages for those.
  • If you came to a baseball game to make out, you should know that for the money that the Mets are charging for tickets these days, you can probably take that money and get an hourly rate at the Lincoln Motor Inn. This way, you can make out in private and even grope each other if you'd like ... beds are much more comfortable than plastic seats. You can even use the television to have the Mets game on in the background. I say this as a public service.
  • If you came to a baseball game to have family photo time while the game is going on so that you can capture the best of your family and the action of the ballgame at the same time ... there's a place for you too. Got a pen? Here goes: JCPenney! I'm sure if you ask, they'll key in a nice photo of Shea Stadium behind you. You could probably have JCPenney key in the Buckner play too so you can tell your friends you were there.
  • And the most important rule to live by ... as always ... sit down and watch the game!!!
The sad part is this: While this was the first time I've noticed this run rampant ... it's only going to get worse as the games left at Shea count down until the end. And at the new field: With only season tickets and day of game tickets being sold at lord knows what price, this new contingent of spectator will only spread like wildfire. But this is what Fred Wilpon wants ... this is what Bud Selig wants ... this is what Roger Goodell wants ... this is what Woody Johnson wants with his PSL's that are designed to drive out the fan who chants for his team at key moments in the game, and bring in the spectator who chants when the scoreboard tells him to ("Everybody clap your hands!" Screw you and don't give me orders!!! I'll clap on my own time, thank you.)

And if this is who is going to be surrounding me at the ballpark or at the stadium or at the arena, then I will gladly take my ticket money and put it towards a 43" flat LCD screen and watch my sporting events from the comfort of my living room, while I'm blogging about the next thing that bothers me.

(Editor's note: My friend says I have anger management issues. I wonder if he figured that out when I was yelling at these people to sit down, or during the 11th inning when I yelled at Aaron Miles to go back to his treehouse and make me some cookies. I'm not sure.)


Anonymous said...

Experienced a sudden outbreak of family photo posing in my view-blocking midst in the bottom of the tenth. I think the Mets were trying to win the game a lot at that point.

As you've no doubt thought to yourself, what the fudge is wrong with people?

MetFanMac said...

Oh, lighten up ;-)
It was a fun game! It was a good game, pretty well played, and watching the Mets has become fun again. Everything else is just quibbling.

Anonymous said...

Gee Metstra, I'm not used to you being so restrained and reserved. Why don't you tell us how you really feel? :)

(I can't believe I just did that--I hate "emoticons")

Anonymous said...

I was at the game as well and, as usual, was similarly frustrated by the wave. The Mets are rallying. There is very exciting action going on on the field and my section is cheering the wave or booing when, G*d forbid, there is a section actually watching the game and the wave mercifully dies. I hate it!!!

metswalkoffs said...

Well, with all the money that will be coming in from luxury box sales at Citi Field, maybe they'll pay the ushers a little bit more there, and they'll actually try to stop all the during-inning traffic.

Or not.

Metstradamus said...

But Mac, quibbling is what I'm good at. Gives my life meaning. :)

Schnecky, don't get me started on the wave. Luckily it wasn't prevalent last night, but I think it's because of the general apathy permeating the crowd. For a game like that there wasn't a lot of oomph from the fans.

Anonymous said...

RE; Aaron Miles, are you sure you didn't mean, go put on a yellow hat and stand in my garden?

Anonymous said...

Our Tuesday-Friday seats in Section 12 in the Mezz present the problem you describe. And for the past three years, every game is a litany of


and now it's degenerated into my plaintive cry:


the worst thing these days is - we get looks from other people in front of us when we yell. they can't believe that our view of the plate is really blocked while that nice grandfather has his picture taken with his son.

i don't get it. if it's that important for you to get your photograph taken with the scoreboard behind you, why aren't you getting to the game early and making it happen?

we had to call security friday night because enough was enough and this one guy flipped us the finger while he stood there taking photo after photo.

it's the one thing i won't miss at citi field.

Anonymous said...

Some other things that bother me at Shea:

Doing the wave in the middle of key moments. Then having the guy who started it yelling at everyone who stayed in the seats and actually watched the game. I could see him somewhere after the game...."Yea so did you see that sick wave at Shea today? I'm the guy that made it possible"

People yelling in their cell phone "Can you see me??? I'm waving! Look across the field in the green seats near third base!! No? Can't see me? I dont see you either" There must be something about seeing someone from 600 feet away that's special. If someone could fill me in on what that thing is, I'd love to know.

Richard Adragna said...

Has it ever occurred to those people who insist on taking family portraits during the game to take them BEFORE THE GAME STARTS?!? If George Carlin, God bless his memory, were still alive, I'm sure that he would add those dummies to his list of people who ought to be killed.

Anonymous said...

If the powers that be were smart, they'd keep Shea opened going forward and allow all of the people that want to spend money to buy tix so that they can stand up when their turn comes and watch others do the same fill the stadium every day and do a continual wave while a game goes on next door. Any time someone is caught starting or doing the wave at Citifield they could be sent next door to join in on the 'fun.' They can use the extra funds to build an underground parking garage which would help solve the resulting parking problem. I'm calling the Wilpons now and I'll let you know what they say.

Ed in Westchester said...

We should use Hockey game rules at Shea.
You do not leave the tunnel until a stoppage in play.

That's what Ed does at all sporting events he attends.

You stay in your damn seat until the middle of the inning, or during a pitching change. You return at a similar point in time.

it is called common courtesy.

Metstradamus said...

Theresa, can Aaron Miles get me a good deal on a flight and a hotel?

Richard, I thank you for waiting to take your profile picture until well after the hockey game.

Ed, believe it or not, I once got admonished at MSG by an usher for waiting to take my seat until a whistle. I called him out on it and he gave me a nasty look. I think he wanted to fight me.