Saturday, June 28, 2008

Finally Showing Up At Shea

So I finally made it to my first Mets game of the season last night. Yes, I know, how could a noted blogger like myself fail to get to a game before now? Too much time in my my mother's basement wearing pocket protectors and inventing new stats, that's why.

I really don't know how things got so far away from me this year; perhaps its lingering emotion from last season's collapse. I usually make it to at least one game during the opening homestand, sort of as a celebration of the new baseball season, and then settle into a pattern where I go to games whenever tickets end up in my hands. This year, it just hasn't happened.

I met Joe around 7:15 pm in the parking lot, near the Diamond Club entrance. We sat on the hood of his car and waited patiently for Adam and Billy to show up. The area around Shea Stadium was appropriately crowded for a Mets-Yankees game, with all the spectacle of rival fans attempting to out-do each other in the competition to see who can act like the biggest fool.

Sightings:
* Kei Igawa. While we were waiting for the other guys, a black town car pulled up about 25 feet from us and stopped right in the middle of a turning lane, blocking all the traffic behind it. The driver jumped out, opened the trunk and started pulling Yankees bags out. Two Asian men got out of the back seat, one with Igawa's distinctive lips. Really, you can spot those things from 25 feet away. Igawa was pointed in the general direction of the Diamond Club entrance and left to his own devices.
* Mike Bloomberg. He's short, he's an elitist and his laissez-faire policies toward over-development are ruining my borough. He was also wearing a Nelson Doubleday style purple sweater draped over his shoulders, so he looked absolutely ridiculous.

Adam and Billy finally showed up and we walked to our seats just in time for the first pitch. The four of us bought a Friday night seven-pack in the offseason and this was the first game we actually made it to. The seats are surprisingly good - Section 24 in the upper deck - even though we spent the first two innings in Section 26 because Joe still needs a map to find his way around the place.

The game, of course, was terrible. I hate to say this, but Pedro is shot. There was a fifth inning at-bat against Derek Jeter where it all locked into place for me. Jeter kept fouling off pitches and it became crystal clear that Pedro just didn't have an out pitch anymore. When you can no longer put away a professional hitter, you're finished as an elite starter. Jeter eventually walked and the game got away from there. I was surprised Jerry Manuel even let him start the sixth inning. Rotator cuff injuries are career-killers.

We left in the seventh inning, once it became a contest between how many runs the Yankees were going to score and how many fights we were going to see. Joe insisted on going over to the Pine Restaurant in the Holiday Inn across the street from the stadium. He heard that some "fellow employees" were going to be there and we were hoping to get a free t-shirt. That never materialized, but I did run into one of my fiance's co-workers and one of my sister's best friends. I didn't get a chance to see my friend Bart, who left a message on my cell while I was already in the bar.

3 comments:

tim said...

Joe may still need a map but you followed him, didn't you? You have no one to blame but yourself. Poor Joe, you probably didn't let him forget it all night did ya'. Although in fairness, the guy works there and never has pretzels in stock.

Speaking of elitist: "noted blogger". You get a "jackass" for that one.

I was going to take off to go to opening day to go but you had to work.

Joeywalnuts said...

How quickly your thought provoking, hard hitting baseball blog has deteriorated into a school girl fantasy. Dear diary, I went to a baseball game today...While it is true that it was after 7 and we were in Queens, the rest of your ho hum recap has all the ear marks of your duplicitious lifestyle; total recall of all things imaginary... First off, we sat on my trunk, not my hood. Fitting for someone who don't know their ass from their elbow. And who pointed out Igawa, using his freakishly large lips as a road map to recognition? Without my insight, he would have walked on by with you assuming he was the short order cook from the Great Wall Restaurant. As for what section we were in, I sit where I wanna sit and you go where I tell you to go. I never made claims of "fellow employees", all I said was that I heard the Pepsi girls get good and tanked there after the game. But again, you go where I tell you to go. And who found Bart among 55,000 fans? ME! The lack of credit given where credit is deserved is a disturbing trend in these desultory posts of yours...

Judge Roughneck said...

Yes, we were on the trunk, not on the hood. My mistake. The hood is where the battery is, which you drained the last time we went to Shea by playng the car radio with the engine turned off.

Yes, you pointed out Igawa, although if we're going to be geographical sticklers then it has to be said that he was about 30 feet in front of us and never would've been able to "walk on by" me without recognition.

(Disclaimer: this blog is not responsible, nor does it condone, Joey's insensitive characterization of random Asians.)

As for the section snafu, if you really sit where you want to sit, then you wouldn't have moved to Section 24 when the rightful possessors of those seats asked you to move. But you did move, tail between your legs, because you don't have half the juice you think you have.

I said "fellow employees" because I thought it might sound a little pathetic that a grown man would want to go to a hotel bar in Corona in the hopes that girls who shoot T-shirts at local yokels might get drunk in front of him. But if you're comfortable with it, then so am I.

You didn't find Bart - Bart found you, and you didn't even remember his name.

Have I given you enough "credit" now?