In a half-empty stadium – where the one thing that truly mattered was the smoky bacon dipping sauce for my “frites” – I unexpectedly watched a bit of New York City sports history Monday night from the right field bleachers while also achieving a personal milestone, of sorts.
David Wright, the New York Mets’ oft-injured third baseman, broke the team’s record for all-time hits during a 6-0 win over the punchless Pittsburgh Pirates. Wright’s achievement added significance to an otherwise meaningless September ballgame for two teams whose seasons are running short on time.
The game’s other takeaway: I avoided being thrown out of the stadium. This might seem inconsequential. And it would have been if not for my experience at Yankee Stadium in July. Wednesday night marked the first time I attended a New York City sporting event in its entirety without being escorted out by security.
Like I said, personal milestone.
A few other thoughts:
- I am considering becoming a Mets fan. Partly because I loathe the Yankees and partly because someone needs to root for the Mets in Citi Field. I would describe the Mets fans I sat near as relaxed and maybe a touch comatose. No one threw popcorn on each other. No one screamed discouraging words. That came later on the subway ride home – though the verbal fracas didn’t involve me, I am glad to report.
- Twenty years from now, I will not be telling people I attended the game where Wright broke the Mets’ hit record. Wright’s 1,419 hits, as my friend Tyler pointed out, amounted to an anemic record number for a 50-year-old franchise. For comparison’s sake, New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter has more than 3,200 hits. Apparently, the ball is harder to hit in Queens.
- I think I will just skip the part about becoming a fan and seek to become the Mets’ general manager instead. I would keep three starting infielders (first baseman Ike Davis, shortstop Ruben Castro, and Wright) and scrap the rest of the everyday players. I didn’t see anyone else worth salvaging. Damn Yankees are hoarding all the good players in New York, apparently.
- Mr. Met is not the No. 1 mascot in sports, as the public address announcer lied. Not even close. That’s like every restaurant along the Pacific Ocean saying they have the world famous chowder. Nonsense.