Thursday, April 10, 2008

Eighth Inning Sign-Alongs

I didn't plan to write about this, but my most vocal reader mentioned it and I like to reward the people who spend the time reading my words.

The Mets are among the tackiest teams in all of professional sports. Some of it is all right - the Home Run Apple is harmless fun and I still think that Mr. Met takes a back seat only to the Phillie Phanatic in terms of mascot quality. But every time I go to Shea, I find myself holding my head in embarassment or aggravation, wondering what indignity I'll be subjected to next.

There are stupid sound effects between every pitch - every goddamn pitch!! - which make it difficult to carry on a conversation. That goddamn "everybody clap your hands!" bullshit makes me want to strangle every lemming that claps along with it. (I would've used "sheep" instead of "lemming," but that's a term reserved for the Agents of Karl Rove, right Christine?) And don't get me started about the bugle sound effect that is supposed to lead to the lemmings shouting "Charge!!" at the end of it. I've been calling it "the most inappopriate charge horn in the National League" since high school. The idea is supposed to be that you play it during a rally when the Mets are on the verge of a comeback - the Mets tend to use it with one out and nobody on in the second inning of a scoreless game or with two outs in the eighth inning of a game that they're losing 9-2.

The most infuriating wrinkle the Mets recently added to the "Shea Experience" was the 8th Inning Sing-A-Long, where the fans got up and belted out Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" togehter. Sound familiar? It should - the song became associated with the Boston Red Sox and their fans several years back. The Mets, for reasons entirely beyond my comprehension, decided to take one of the most cliched sing-along pub ditties in American history and present it as the team's new "special song." Stomach-churning.

Well apparently, someone at Shea finally got the memo that "Sweet Caroline" had become associated with the Sox and that the Mets looked like first-degree biters by trying to co-opt it. The team recently ran an contest from their website allowing fans to choose from a pool of 10 songs - the winner would become the new 8th Inning Sing-A-Long and would mercifully replace the current Red Sox Anthem.

Of course, "Sweet Caroline" was one of the 10 choices, but there were some other decent options that I could've lived with. (I personally voted for Billy Joel's "Movin' Out.") The Mets made one mistake, though - they allowed voters the chance to make their own suggestion in the form of a write-in vote.

Enter God bless the little scamps, they decided to have some fun with the competition - directing their readers to vote for Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up." You can guess what happened next.

I don't know who will win the run-off, but I have to say, I have always loved "Never Gonna Give You Up." I can sing the entire song in my sleep, and may try to do so at the wedding next year! It would be an incredibly cool move on the part of the Mets to acknowledge that they were had and to play along with the joke, even for just one season.


tim said...

If you sing that song at the wedding I may be inclined kill you.

Christine said...

Please don't ruin the wedding with that song. PLEASE! And I hate the cacophony of sounds coming from Shea too. But, aren't you gonna miss the old stadium?

tim said...

I'll take this one, Jack. First off, if he sings that song I'll stab him dead. I'm sure that you would rather be a widow then have the memory of that song tainting what will be the most important and special day of your life thus far, in fact, since I'm the paramount of taste when it comes to music, you should make sure he runs any musical choices by me first.

Second, Shea is, while being the home of various childhood memories of watching the Expos and Reds and a host of terrible Met teams sitting in an upper deck that could collapse at any moment from the constant air traffic that has shaken the stadium into submission for the last forty years, is a collosal blight on the Queens landscape, even for Corona.

First, it was already out of date in 1965. Second, it was supposed to be completely enclosed similiar to other stadiums built at the time such as Riverfront and Three River stadiums, which by the way have long since gone the way of the dod, and those franchises (Reds and Pirates) don't make any money so how they hoodwinked their (there, they're :D) respective cities into parlaying the cash for new stadiums is beyond me. The only thing they did to the stadium is put the neon lights of a pitcher and a batter on the outside. I thought that was kool the first time I saw it, but beyond that we are looking forward to opening a new ballpark and ushering in a new era of baseball in this town , while your (you're :D) yankees inexplicably walk out of the house that ruth built into the house that has a red sox t-shirt in the concrete of the vistiting teams clubhouse floor. I mean, read the signs, you guys are in trouble, and us Met fans are relishing the entrance into the age of aquarius, into the era where all will be revealed, when we finally gain vengenace for the Frank Tavares', Doug Flynn's, Mike Jorgensen's, Ellis Valentine's, Pat Zachary's, Neil Allen's et al of Met's lore as the the franchise take it's rightful place on top of New York City baseball.

Any more thought's there, Jackson?

tim said...

That is, other than pointing out the 15 typos.

Judge Roughneck said...

No, I think you hit the nail on the head. Shea was built as a multi-purpose stadium (and was used as such until the Jets moved). It's bad business for a city NOT to build multi-purpose stadiums, but they generally tend to be poor places to watch a baseball game. I've seen games at the late and unlamented Riverfront Stadium and Veteran's Stadium - they were charmless and soulless buildings. Shea is a dirty and ugly building saved only by the decision not to enclose it.

I won't miss it a bit.

j said...

I agree, everytime I go to Shea I try to give it a chance,
but always come away feeling the same way.