Thursday, August 09, 2007

Taking a Break from the Haiku

Last night, game number 113, I finally made it to Shea. It took a visit from Zisk's resident Hong Kong correspondant Throm Sturmond to get me out to Flushing for the first time this year. (Fatherhood's reshaped my life for the better, without a doubt, but it knocks going to ballgames down several dozen notches on the totem pole of priorities.) Throm was back in the states for a couple of weeks and making his first trip to NYC. A Mets game was in high order. A Mets/Braves game with El Duquee matching up against John Smoltz was even better, and we got what we hoped for--an early lead, a good pitching duel, and a late inning comeback, along with ample ninth inning drama. (Perhaps Virginia native Billy Wagner didn't notice the mugginess, didn't realize that it was already hot enough without having to load the bases with no outs.) Still, the best part of the game was listening to Throm's tales from the east, catching games in Japan (he's working on an article for the next issue) and traveling to as many neighboring nations as he can. I should have taken notes. At one point last night I knew the best places in Asia to gamble and drink and swim and dine, but the details got lost in the humidity and, getting back to the game for a moment, so did the Mets/Braves contest. The Flushing faithful seemed complacent, bored, even. The Wave generated as much noise as anything happening on the field. With a divisional rival, the divisional rival, at home in August, I'd hope that the game would move to the forefront, but it didn't. I was guilty, too. In addition to Throm's stories, the most memorable part of the night, for me at least, wasn't Moises Alou's game-winning home run. It was the sight of hundreds of baseball cards, a promotional give-away from SNY, fluttering from the upper decks. They looked like flashbulbs popping as they caught the light. Engaged fans might toss their free cards on the ground, leave them behind with the hot dog wrappers and beer cups, but they don't need to amuse themselves with projects that border on performance art. Are we in the Knicks Zone? That "Yeah, yeah, the regular season is just a warm up, bring on the playoffs" mindset that plagued the Knicks throughout the 90s despite winning as many titles as the Raptors? Is another divisional crown a ho-hum foregone conclusion?


Anonymous said...

Speaking of bored fans, did you see the piece in the Times this morning about the group of women who knit at the game? I'm sorry, I don't get it. I can knit while I'm watching the game on TV-- I can hear the play-by-play when I look down to make sure I'm not making a trawl net instead of a sweater. But at the game? You need to be looking at the field (or looking around for one of Bill Webb's camers crew). Otherwise, cough up those tickets to someone more deserving. :P

Jonah said...

from my blog :

last night i went to the mets game, a great game, the best i've been to this year.

the highlight? the come from behind victory was wonderful. but on this sweltering, humid night, the hottest temp at game time in six years at shea, the highlight was provided by the SNY baseball card giveaway.

when the mets tied the game in the 7th, people started throwing the shiny cards down from the upper deck. the throwing spread quickly throughout the stadium and soon the dark thick sky was filled with glittering cards slowing falling on the fans in the lower decks. eventually the staff in the sny booth threw a huge pile of cards out their window and the crowd roared.

america's pastimes together at last: baseball and littering.

Anonymous said...

That's why they gave up Seat Cushion Night some years ago-- all the seat cushions ended up on the field. After flying through the air.

I remember Six Pack Cooler Day some years ago. I was sitting in the loge, and there was a rain delay. Everyone put the six pack coolers on their heads. When you looked around the stadium, there was a majestic panorama of gleaming white cube-chaped heads.

Anonymous said...

PS, Can I just say that there's been some damn good writing on this blog lately? In the main entries and the comments. ;)

Mike Faloon said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone. Until recently, today to be exact, my computer froze every time I tried to read the comments.