Last Night at Shea
I was rather frustrated to see the New York Mets hold an on-line lottery to earn the right to buy not only Opening Day tickets but also seats for the Subway Series at the same time. That meant a ton of Yankees fans entered a lottery that skewed the chances for us diehard fans. As a result, the Greenbergers went 0 for 9.
Until Thursday. Remarkably, the three game series that started Friday had not entirely sold out so just before dinner, Deb received an e-mail from the Mets saying her name came up in a second chance lottery drawing. She wasted no time in ordering three tickets for the Sunday night game, the only day we were free. We then waited for Robbie to come home from college on Friday to share the good news.
Yesterday, we left at 5:30 figuring there’d be traffic as we got to the Whitestone Bridge. Well, first there was such incredible volume on 95 in Connecticut, Deb sat there muttering, “We’re doomed.” It didn’t help that as we crawled through the state, the traffic reports were already talking about volume building on the bridge and at all approaches to Shea.
On the other hand, we arrived 1:17 after departure (according to son) which was not bad at all. The bridge and Whitestone Expressway weren’t all that crowded, and we found parking near enough to the stadium so it wasn’t annoying. We took our seats in the upper deck, out in right field, and enjoyed the setting sun, the building cool breeze and the activity all around us.
We were cautiously optimistic, what with the Mets having won the first two games and the Yanks starting yet another rookie pitcher. However, history has proven that the Mets struggle against rookie pitchers for the first time. It’s a given. Sure enough, this 22 year-old, Tyler Clippard, looked great. He had command, threw a lot of first strike pitches and didn’t let himself get rattled.
John Maine, on the other hand, for the second game in a row couldn’t seem to find the strike zone. His strike to walk ratio was horrible and he couldn’t get anyone out. The Yankees’ bats finally woke up on a night when they had good pitching and together, they clubbed out six runs, holding the Mets to two.
Meantime, way above us, the Yankees’ supporters and Mets’ advocates began good-natured catcalling and chanting. By the fifth, though, things started to turn ugly and people were standing and watching as a crowd went from words to deeds. Apparently, since I could see none of it, chanting gave way to some food and full cups of beer being tossed. It got bad enough that some fifteen people were escorted away by security. Not long after, another scuffle broke out in the same area so more people left and this time NYPD officers came with stadium security. When another handful of people left, our area was ringed with uniformed people. And a third incident occurred. Robbie says he lost count around thirty people leaving the game.
Here’s the question: you paid $30-35 for the ticket, $14 to park, $7 apiece for the beer. Why waste all that, miss seeing the game and let yourself get so blotto you lose self-control? As it was, people all around stopped watching the game to catch a glimpse of the melee.
We remained where we were, watching, rooting, scoring and making the most of a forgettable night for the home team. They didn’t win. It was a shame.