Today’s 3 Up, 3 Down is a dedication to the Joys and Aggravations of being a fan of the New York Mets. They are in no particular order.
1. Things Uniquely New York Mets, or what I call Metcentricities:
The best team song ever, I get goosebumps whenever I hear “Meet the Mets”. The best mascot ever in Mr. Met. Who doesn’t get excited when they see Mr. Met at a game? Citi Field has not only one, but two home run apples, and the neon skyline from Shea came over and adorns Shake Shack.
The numbers 14, 37 and 41 (soon to be joined by 31) serve as a reminder of good times. We have “happy recaps’, we “put it in the books”, and even sometimes “its outta here!”. Shea Stadium was the birthplace of the K-Corner and the Curtain Call. Guys like Choo-Choo, Tom Terrific, Buddy, Cleon, Tug, Mookie, Nails, Doc, Dwight, Rusty, David and Jose, are special parts of our history. Also let’s not forget Kiner’s Korner. All things unique and special about our Mets.
2. We’re Not Yankee Fans:
Next time you go on vacation during the baseball season, or just miss a Met game or two, instead of going online to find out how your favorite team has been doing, just ask a Yankee fan. There are certain Yankee fans who are not only happy to follow their team, they follow the Mets too (closet Met fans). Even though the Yankees are the most successful team in sports history, some Yankee fans are so insecure, they need to follow the Mets and throw dirt at them whenever possible. Most Met fans only concern themselves with the Mets and teams in our league. We are in no way as insecure as the Yankee fans.
3. Other Met Fans:
Through our various trials and tribulations, we Met fans share a kindred bond. How many times have you gone out on an errand wearing a Met hat or t-shirt and have a complete stranger stop you and talk Mets baseball? It happens to me quite often. It even happened last year on a family vacation outside on New York. Then we have forums like MMO, or other blogs, where dedicated fans talk Mets baseball and become friends. They say it’s easy to root for a team that always wins, but only special fans stick by a team that hasn’t won a World Series in 24 years.
1. Embarrassing Ownership:
It has to be said: there are times when Mets ownership is embarrassing, or maybe inept would be a better word. Besides the dealings with Bernie Madoff which has been spoken about to excess, there was the Opening of Citi Field. Seemed like ownership spent millions of dollars and built a shrine to the Dodgers to some. We all too clearly remember the criticisms when Citi Field opened in 2009. Those are only two of the many examples when you’ve had to scratch your head and wonder what exactly ownership was (is) doing.
2. Biased Media:
My newspaper of choice is the New York Daily News. Flip through the sports section of your local paper, and count how many pages are dedicated to the Yankees, and then how many are dedicated to the Mets. For every Met page, there are at least 2 Yankee pages. Look at how the media jumped all over the Wilpons about the Madoff Mess, yet never once mentioned that George Steinbrenner was twice banned from baseball. A few years ago, after Willie Randolph was fired as manager, the Daily News ran a headline “The Worst Firing Ever”. Obviously the news must have forgotten the four times Billy Martin, (and the various guys he replaced) were fired from the Yankees. We won’t even get into some of the anti-Met bias that is rampant on the national sport shows, both radio and cable. As Met fans, I think whenever we encounter this nonsense we need to provide an opposing point, maybe right here on MMO.
3. Things That No Longer Are:
There are certain things that made the Mets special that are no longer here, some are just a part of living, while others have just faded away. At the top of this list are the legendary voices of Bob Murphy and Lindsay Nelson. Mrs. Payson, Casey Stengel and Gil Hodges, are all sadly gone too. On lighter note, the Banner Day Double Header (and the banner parade) is gone. Also gone are those cool bullpen carts the baseball caps. Dellwood and Dairlea milk cap seats are gone, and so are scheduled doubleheaders. The Curly Shuffle and Spanish with Professor Reyes are gone too. The first two homes of the Mets; the Polo Grounds and Shea Stadium, are sadly gone too.