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KIDS IN PHILLY. [6-30-07] | metsgrrl.com

KIDS IN PHILLY. [6-30-07]

Despite immaculate planning, and the fact that we could get to Philly blindfolded, we ended up running through the parking lot at Citizens Bank Park as the National Anthem was being sung, and then bobbing and weaving through the lines for Planet Hoagie and Tony Luke’s in order to get to our seats with about five minutes to spare – and even that was only because we knew where our seats were and parked as close to that side of the stadium as possible, entered as close to that location as possible, and that we both had been there before, and that we are pros at running through a crowd of people not inclined to move with any kind of alacrity.

Our seats, acquired day of sale, were in section 108. Further in the outfield than either of us would ever care to be (we’d rather be on the third deck and behind home plate than field level up the line), but they were nice seats (Coop was impressed, but then again, she was in the last row of CBP with her dad). It gave me a great photographic vantage of home plate that I would likely not run into otherwise. Et voila:

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It seemed that no sooner had we sat down but that the Mets were hitting home runs everywhere. Okay, it was only two, but it was right away, and it made us forget how hot we were (Have I mentioned that my Seattle-acquired car has no air conditioning? You really don’t need it out there.) and the goddamn traffic and morons who cannot drive and Philadelphians who cannot walk, or heckle. (More later.)

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Jose Reyes getting hurt before the All-Star break is not something we want.
“HE’S NOT HURT,” the hecklers behind us were yelling.
These hecklers were accompanied by a younger version. Unfortunately, these kids were so excited and so untutored in the art of the heckle, their cries ended up being a loud statement of something obvious, and not at all derogatory.
Such as:
Adult Heckler: “HEY, DELGADO, YOU’RE WORTHLESS!”
Mini Heckler: “HEY, DELGADO!!!!!! UM… YOU’RE #21!”

There were about 10 rows in the back of Section 110, to our right, with banners and signs and towels and everyone in a jersey or a shirt and a hat, who were standing and singing the “Jose” chant the second he stepped into the batters box. I quite liked them, although alcohol always tends to mute these groups as the innings progress, which is what happened on Saturday.

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Located many rows below them were a group that styled themselves as “KING PAT BURRELL’S FAN CLUB”.

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Very brave, when most Phillies fans yell, “HEY, PAT, YOU’RE WORTHLESS!” at him.

We were surrounded by Mets fans. Some annoying (the people behind us who talked nonstop, but had no idea what they were talking about), some amusing (section 110), some idiotic (whoever threw what looked like a grapefruit half at Shane Victorino). We ourselves were more in a mood to take photos, keep score, and eat crab fries and water ices. TBF tried chatting with the Phillies fans sitting in front of us, but they seemed to be in the mood to drink lots of beer, take off their shirts, and grunt laconically at each other. They definitely were not wanting to engage in spirited debate with TBF over the Phillies lineup order.

When I visited Citizens Bank Park for the first time last year, I was much enamored of the fact that the ushers enforced the common-sense idea of GETTING UP AND MOVING AROUND BETWEEN INNINGS, OR AT LEAST SIDES, OR FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, AT-BATS. This seems to have dissipated, or maybe they just got tired of trying to enforce logic against a bunch of drunk morons. Nevertheless, we observed it – oh, what am I saying, we observe it at *Shea* when getting up and down multiple times while a player is in the batter’s box seems to be mandatory.

As the game went on, and the Mets continued to win, the heckling degenerated into something along these lines, from the Pat Burrell Fan Club folks:
“DAVID HOMO!”
*clapclapclapclapclapclap*
etc. etc.
Most charming. And says so very much about the city, especially because that was the exact tone of the heckling I experienced last year.

5th inning:
“BELTRAN, YOU SUCK!”
*BOOM*
“Perhaps they might wish to revise that statement,” I offer, taking some photos.

Good things that happened on Saturday:
At some point during the game, TBF went to get crab fries. I took out my phone in case he needed to ask me something, and was glad I did because there were several text messages and missed calls from Coop. Including one informing me SHE HAD HER PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN WITH OLIVER PEREZ. I see a text message telling me she’s at Section 108. I turn around and wave, gesture at the dozen empty seats, and she races down the row (in the middle of the at bat. I know, I know.) She sits down, says, ‘holy crap, look at your seats’ and takes a picture. She then tries to coerce her father to join us. No dice. I get the photo-with-OP story, and she dons her oxygen tank and goes back up to the summit.

The Philly Phanatic. While he has his virtues, this is not one of them:

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“Boy, if I had the money to afford those seats, I’d be pissed as hell to have that thing blocking my view,” TBF says.
“No, if you had those seats, you’d be a Phillies fan, and you’d be like, ‘Dude, it’s the Phanatic.'”
“No, I’d be calling security.”
“You’d think it was cool.”
“I’d think it was a lot of things, but cool would not be one of them.”

CAPTION THIS PHOTO:

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“Hey Carlos, Pat’s or Geno’s?”
“Are you serious? Geno’s won’t serve either of us. Gotta be Pat’s.”

I want to like Chase Utley. I do. I recognize his talent, and wish we had a second baseman half that talented. But my dislike of him grew throughout the weekend, mostly because of the fact that he uses “Kashmir” by Led Zeppelin, and only “Kashmir,” for every at bat. My image of him as an arrogant fuck has only increased. Then again, see above re: second baseman.

At least Led Zeppelin was slightly better than Shane Victorino’s constant use of “Buffalo Soldier”. The only at bat music I appreciated at all was Greg Dobbs’ use of “Hail Hail” by Pearl Jam, and that’s just because of my own personal preferences. That said, the use of music at CBP in general is to be commended. The sound system is great, and the music is fresh and exciting and CURRENT. That’s the most frustrating thing of all to me at Shea. I don’t understand who the music used is supposed to appeal to. If you want to increase the young fan base, who are the ones who are going to pay attention and care about the music (not to mention the PLAYERS), shouldn’t you use music they can relate to? Fine, throw in the occasional Stones or Who to pander to the oldsters. I suspect the problem is that whoever programs the music at Shea wouldn’t know how to cater to the Latino and African-American part of the crowd (something glaringly, glaringly absent in Philadelphia, a factor I never realized about the city before). But it’s something I’d really like to see change. Music can be such a huge part of raising energy and setting tone.

Bad things that happened on Saturday:

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But I loved Johnny Maine trotting out there to run for Sosa. TBF noted that he looked like a giraffe.

Being this close to Shawn Green, I noted that his legs were not as scrawny as they appear from a distance:

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There was a mutant across the aisle from me who would start to heckle, “HEY SHAWN…” and then not finish the thought. I was disappointed to not be able to enjoy him in full discourse. I can only imagine.

I am not sure who threw something from the 300 or 400’s at Shane Victorino. And it’s easy to blame a Mets fan, but what would we get out of it? The Mets were winning. Victorino’s expression after the throw, however, places him in the “People I would want on my side in a bar fight” category:

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We took our time leaving the ballpark, mostly because it’s such a novelty to not have to bolt and run, getting a few shots of the on-field festivities and the pitchers leaving the bullpen, and then of ourselves against the stadium backdrop. As we were taking off our Mets colors before getting into the car, someone behind me kept saying things like “Yankees…” “Derek Jeter…” “Yankees…” and it took us both some time to realize it was from the car just behind us, waiting to get out, and that they thought they were heckling us. Can someone, anyone, explain to me how this is a heckle? Especially this year? But in any year, how can you compare a player with 10 years more experience with a 20 year old?

We finally got out of the parking lot and headed up to Chinatown for dinner, and then back south to our hotel for much-needed sleep. Some major event in Philly that weekend (which looked to be the NEA convention) priced us out of our usual Hyatt at Penn’s Landing and the only remotely affordable accomodation was at the airport. We went to a Red Robin, had a ridiculous drink, and watched Baseball Tonight with no sound, which is starting to become my favorite way to watch it.

Check out the Flickr set from the game, with more bonus footage!

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