As if it weren’t painful enough to watch Tim Lincecum and company dismantle a major league lineup – playing slightly fast & loose with the term – to the tune of sixteen strikeouts…
As if it weren’t ridiculous enough to see a closer with a Mohawk & a trapper’s beard throw seven consecutive strikes in notching his eleventh save in ten opportunities…
As if it weren’t galling enough to handle Buster Posey, but be destroyed by Mike Fontenot, Citi Field looked like the home of anyone BUT the New York Mets on Wednesday night. The garb of the majority of the fans in the stands matched the motif of the outfield walls: of the few who were there on the frigid night, most were sporting the orange and black of the World Champion San Francisco Giants.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I have a warm spot on my heart for the 2010 SFG. As one-half of the spiritual progenitors of the current NY (NL) team, they were the team I thought I would have rooted for, had been born a decade or 2 earlier. I expressed this hope elsewhere (http://myentireteam.wordpress.com/2010/11/02/id-like-to-think/). Last year was all very nice and very good and very heartwarming, but it was last year. Now the Giants are just another enemy to be dealt with and for whom I have no residual affinity. Go out & beat ‘em, like I want you to beat everybody who comes into our house.
And therein lies the problem. Wednesday night, our house wasn’t our house. It was given over to a pack of front-running bandwagoners, a mob who maniacally waved their over-sized SF blankets and wore their stupid panda hats, even thought the man known as Kung Fu Panda (Pablo Sandoval) was currently 3,000 miles west, nursing his surgically repaired right hand for at least the next four-to-six weeks. The fans of the World Champion Giants barged in to our quarters and acted every bit as much the smirking overlord as any Yankee or Red Sox fan. They outshouted a pitiful little “let’sgomets” chant with a full-throated “LET’S GO GI-ANTS” (clap, clap, clpaclapclap) straight out of a Meadowlands December. It was all you could hear on the TV.
And it made my skin crawl.
There has been much made of the idea that Citi Field really has very little to do with the Mets and is really an homage to Fred Wilpon’s boyhood ideal, Ebbets Field. In its first fitful months, it bore precious little Met-memorabilia or identity. It looked like Generic Retro Mallpark #20. Over the next two-plus years, it has been morphing into the home of the Mets – a little too slowly for some of us (myself included), I’ll grant you – and the team seems to be finally settling in with its odd dimensions and quirkiness-for-its-own-sake. For the lose season I had a ticket plan, it felt like home, because that’s where my home team played.
Last night, it reverted to genericism and the feeling that we are strangers in our own home. If Mr. Wilpon takes nothing else away from the current doom-and-gloom atmosphere and encircling naysayers, it should open his eyes wide that the Giants – THE GIANTS, his ancient enemy – trod into his home and soiled the carpet. It might even increase the impetus to sell.
From an emotional standpoint, this might be the final straw for the House of Wilpon.