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GET OFF MY CLOUD. [4-13-11] | metsgrrl.com

GET OFF MY CLOUD. [4-13-11]

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I have sworn to myself that I am not going to be fatalistic, that I am not going to be negative, that I am not going to wear sackcloth and ashes and rend my garments and act like the 2011 season is over with each Mets loss in 2011, not when we are 12 games into 162 and there is a lot of baseball to be played. I promise myself this. I promise, and I sit down to watch or listen to each game with a positive attitude.

Which is then promptly dashed to pieces and I feel like an idiot.

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Tonight, of course, was no different, except for the fact that (after last night’s rainout, which I also had tickets for), I am back at Citi Field, this time as part of the group of credentialed bloggers. We attended the manager pre-game press conference, we attended batting practice, we got nice seats for the game. (More on the pregame activities in a separate post.) It wasn’t windy and it was just a tiny bit rainy as the 7 o’clock hour descended. An adorable group of third graders sang the national anthem, Felix Millan threw out the first pitch (as part of a group of Mets alumni at the ballpark tonight), and Jonathon Niese was on the mound, facing off against the Ubaldo Jimenez-less Rockies. Given that Jonathon Niese pitched my favorite game of 2010, I was very optimistic.

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I was even more optimistic when Selfish Carlos Beltran hit a double in the first inning, bringing in Daniel Murphy. The Mets were productive again in the second inning. By the time Daniel Murphy hit a double in the 4th inning, I thought, You know, we got this.

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Until the fifth inning, when there were runners on second and third, and the decision was made to not walk Troy Tulowitzki. I looked up, and saw a 2 on a purple uniform, and thought maybe I had it wrong, because surely we were not going to pitch to him, and so I checked the scoreboard, and no, 2 was Troy Tulowitzki.

“TERRY!” yelled TBF. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING??”, thus solidifying that my reaction was 100%.

WHY ARE WE PITCHING TO HIM, I typed furiously, as though it was going to make any difference, as he launched that ball into right field, one of those home runs where the ball hits the bat with a sound that you know where it is going, you know, you don’t have to look up, you don’t want to look up, but in some kind of odd torture I force myself to watch as that ball sailed through the foggy night sky, cutting through the lights and the raindrops before I lost track of it, watching purple uniforms run around the bases.

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But, you know, it was one run. It was just ONE RUN. I was not going to start saying Kaddish over one run.

Mr. Met comes out to wait for the Pepsi Max Party Patrol. He comes out from the tunnel out on the right field side, and waits down by the handicapped seats for the inning to end. If the inning takes a while, he’ll grab a seat, put his feet up. He’ll pose for photos. If the Mets are struggling, he’ll try to lead a chant of “Let’s Go Mets”. Tonight he almost got hit by a foul ball, and then demonstrated how scared he was. When the ball was retrieved and the entire section stood up waving for it, Mr. Met joined them, and then became unbearably sad when he did not get the ball.

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Before you give me a hard time for paying this much attention to Mr. Met’s activities – firsg, he is an amazing mascot, because he acted all of this out, and two, wouldn’t you rather have watched that than what was on the field?

I’m not sure when this became The Game In Which We Walk Chris Ianetta Three Times. I mean, I know when the third walk happened, and I know when the second walk happened (right after Spellcheck [yes, I am stealing from the Cubs fans] hit his HR, making it 5-3), but by god, what kind of law of averages were the Mets playing with tonight?

At this point in the game, we were truly miserable. It was cold. It was damp. It wasn’t rain so much as some kind of aggressive mist better suited to San Francisco or Seattle than New York. There were huge billowing clouds of it obscuring the upper deck and causing flares in the lights. I had my camera covered with a rally towel, TBF had his scorecard covered with the baseball towel (it’s the crappy towel that goes in the baseball bag so we can wipe down seats when it rains). I have added layers, but I can’t add any more without starting to getting into Michelin Man territory and I don’t want to leave my seat and, you know, something might happen.

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The seats provided gratis by the Mets were in Section 113, 13 rows behind the dugout. Do not get me wrong: it is amazing to be that close to the field. But sitting there was a nightmare because people constantly went up and down the rows without regard to the play on the field like nothing I have ever seen before. No one does that in the upper deck. Maybe it’s because it’s harder to scamper like a mountain goat up and down those steps, but I could not believe how many times people walked up and down the aisle in the middle of an at-bat. It wasn’t even that quick, almost sheepish “sorry-I-know-I-shouldn’t-do-this-but-I-am” – people just stood there, took their time, looked for their tickets, debated whether they were in the right location, checked their stocks, ordered a beer, and then bothered to sit down.

Worse than that is the constant jumping up and screaming for foul balls. I can’t get photos of the players coming back to the dugout at the end of a half inning because everyone, young and old, jumps up and waves their arms wildly and screams at players and ball boys and security guards. They did that every time there was a foul ball. They did that every time the ball boys went to fetch stray balls. Everyone, of every age. Guys who were standing up and waving would then stand up and yell at other guys when the ball went to someone over the age of 7, lecturing them that those balls were “for the children”. Several guys started yelling at Jimmy the bat boy. They took up a chant that Jimmy sucked, Victor (the other ball boy) was better.

Did I mention that this was going on in the middle of the inning, while the Mets were at bat? And that these individuals would not engage in any LET’S GO METS cheer we (or anyone else, like the hyperactive 12 year olds across the aisle, who were awesome) tried to start? These are expensive tickets. These people travelled all the way out to Flushing on a school night to watch a baseball game, and yet, it seems like 9 innings of drinking beer and screaming for foul balls.
“When we are rich,” I said to TBF, “We will not sit behind the dugout.”
“We’ll just sit in the first row,” he said.

What made me even sadder is that the group of fans behind the visitor’s dugout seemed like an awesome group of folks. They yelled. They cheered. They clapped. They stood up at appropriate moments. Every time a Rockies player returned to the dugout, they heckled them like John Cleese heckling King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I wished we were over there, and then felt guilty because I had an awesome free seat 13 rows behind the Mets dugout.

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Taylor Buchholz decided to not totally suck. We debate how long this season will be if none of the starting rotation can go more than 5 innings on a regular basis. The Mets get a run back when Angel Pagan manages to make contact with the ball. Angel has a weird dirt patch on his uniform. Everyone is obsessed with photographing it.

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I get to see Pedro Beato, who is my new favorite pitcher, in action. I like him not just for his willingness to throw high and inside to Shane Victorino, but because of his effectiveness out of the bullpen thus far. (Of course, now that I have said this, I will have completely jinxed any future appearances.) I get to see DJ Carrasco, he of the high socks and stirrups, and awesome walk out song about “I’m the DJ”.

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[Speaking of walk up/on music, if you can help with the Mets Walk-Up Music Collaboration Project, please do.]

Troy Tulowitzki is finally walked. When he came to the plate, TBF stood up and held 4 fingers in the air, with as much venom as one can stand up and hold four fingers in the air.
“WHY ARE YOU WALKING HIM NOW??” yelled the guy across the aisle from us.

We still are optimistic about our chances of catching up with the Rockies, only for nothing to happen, fly out, ground out, Scott Hairston.
“We could’ve gotten this production out of Frank Catalanatto,” TBF mutters, filling out the scorecard.

Even at the end, I am unwilling to admit defeat, packing my camera away, and then taking it out again, and then packing it away, and taking it out again, only to have to sprint up the aisle at the end of the game, as the notes of “New York State of Mind” drift out of the PA as the rain increases, and haul ass to the 7 train, where we sat silent and slightly grim.

But if I could get out of work tomorrow for the doubleheader, I’d be back at Citi Field in a heartbeat.

12 games in. 162 to go. Let’s Go Mets.


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