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joe strummer would have been a mets fan | metsgrrl.com

joe strummer would have been a mets fan

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Game 2 put us in the front row of the upper deck boxes, section 22, just a little out from third base. These came from the post-season rights to TBF’s Sunday plan; my plan’s mezz tickets were traded to get us in last night. I am tired and cold and definitely coming down with something, and have brought every article of clothing possible: Mets ski cap. Army surplus fingerless gloves. Brand new scarf I ran into the Gap to buy earlier today. Polar fleece hoodie. Long sleeve shirt. My vintage ’86 jacket. I didn’t have to break out the handwarmers until about the 5th inning. I am just warm enough, although I wish we’d had room for a blanket.

My voice is fading and my throat is sore, and with a five hour job interview lined up for 10:00am the next morning, I have to conserve my voice. So we can’t talk much to fill up the time before the game, because I have to talk quietly and it is hard to hear over the crowd murmur. We have time to kill, and we are the only one in the boxes right now, and none of our friends are here yet. So we’re kind of sitting there, quietly observing, when TBF gestures at the scoreboard.
“One of the things I always liked about the Shea scoreboard is that it had places for Left Field and Right Field umpires – but the only time those are ever used are in the playoffs.”
I look at the scoreboard. No, of course I’d never noticed before.
“And I always wondered, for years, when I would be at Shea and see those boxes used.”
I look at his newly-revised scorecard (of course he only uses his own, evolved over years and now managed in Publisher and PDF), and he has slots for RF and LF umpires, even though the rest of the year those fields sit unused. And once again I am envious, and sad, because of all the years I missed, how it just can’t feel the same for me to sit here right now as it does for him, and I’ll never know what that’s like.

Before the game, they were showing some sponsored highlights, including one about my favorite between-inning feature from this past year: Learning Spanish With Professor Reyes. I would always grab the binoculars as soon as it started to watch the dugout, where the Spanish-speaking players would always congregate down near the end of the dugout and watch Diamondvision intently, laughing and poking fun at Jose. Pedro always cracked up when this was on especially.

I can peer through the upper level railing without having to get up and down, and this is good, because I need to conserve my energy. “Don’t let me yell,” I admonish TBF. “Not even if we’re winning? Not even if Cliff hits a grand slam?”
“Well, a little bit, then.”
I love this side of the ballpark because I can see into the dugout, and it still fascinates me: Endy and Cliff on one end of the bench, playing air percussion (or maybe it’s real percussion, it’s not like I can hear them from up here). Wright going down the bench to handshake and high five everyone, then hanging off of the roof of the dugout channelling nervous energy. And then, who congregates around the dugout steps as the clock draws closer to gametime; it’s about who you would expect, Reyes itching at the bit to be up the stairs and out onto the field.

The game: For some reason I had no doubt that we would win. This was probably because I didn’t have the energy to stress over not winning.

Lo Duca’s hit bouncing above the fence.
“Was that a ground-rule double?” I ask TBF, carefully.
“Why, yes, it was,” he confirms, marking his scorecard with a big smile on his face.
Yep, I finally get it.

The mezzanine below us is loud and raucous. Every time Cliff is at bat:
“Cliff….” “FLOYD”
“Cliff….” “FLOYD”
I try to get our section to join in but do not have the voice to propell it further.

A gentleman behind us is calling out to Mr. Pedro Feliciano in a sing-song manner. This then turns into a song we begin to call “The Ballad of Pedro Feliciano”.
“ooooh Pedro…Feliciano….”
Louder now.
“Feliciano…hey Peeedrooooo….”
I guess you had to be there, but it was funny at the time.

The bus moving into the hitter’s eye that you have all heard about by now was greeted by a hearty chant of “MOVE THE BUS” from all levels.

Heilman comes on and this time, there is “London Calling.” “Joe would have been a Mets fan,” I decide. This goes along with realizations made recently that Townshend would have been a Yankees fan, apropos of nothing except random contemplation. No, seriously, though, Strummer would so have been a Mets fan. Joe would have been there through the bad seasons and the good seasons and would have rooted just as hard every year. C’mon, you can see it, can’t you? (If you even care.)

I shot a few photos of the on-field celebration at the end, but not too many; I wanted to go home. Unfortunately, so did everyone on our level, and although we are upper level veterans, never has it taken this long to get downstairs, and then up to the 7 train. The people on the train were happy and rowdy, trying to get the “Jose” chant going, trying to get a “Tom-MY Gla-VINE” chant going, and then when that failed, a “Close the door” chant, which finally gathered some enthusiasm.

I am happy, but exhausted and cold, and just want to go home.

The photo gallery from tonight is here.

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