Mets fans

Turns Out, You **CAN** Go Home Again

One constant you’ll see me harping on in my existence is a place to call home.  I didn’t necessarily move around a lot as a kid, but never felt like I quite belonged anywhere, and as a result I think my moving seven times in a period of 13 years has been a thinly veiled (or not-so-veiled) attempt at finding a place that I could root myself in.  Even in New York City, where I’d always coveted, and always wanted to call home.

Yet one place I’ve always felt confident and comfortable in my own skin is at a baseball stadium.  Shea Stadium served that role for several years, from the time I was eight years old and I attended my first Mets game, till I was something-something when it closed down.

In 2009, I had a hard time adjusting to CitiField.  I was far from the only one.  There were moments though when I felt connected in 2009.  Like Fernando Martinez’s debut, and my friends and I congregated on the Shea Bridge, then unnamed.  The Catch of the Day stand had calamari, and people kept buying beers.  It was like an Italian family gathering.

Then there was the game in August, by then the Mets were decimated by injuries, and Fernando Tatis hit a grand slam to win the game.  I had seen Howard Megdal and Mets friend CharlieH at the game. This was also the same day that a mushroom cloud erupted and Omar Minaya essentially called out Adam Rubin for trying to lobby for a job.

I wanted to go home.  I wanted Shea.  I couldn’t identify with a team that had plan Z’s all over the place (as opposed to Plan A, Plan B, etc).  I didn’t know any of the players.  And a six-week injury was a season long furlough.

But I couldn’t get away from the Mets.  CitiField didn’t feel like home, but I had planned to spend some time on the road, visiting another stadium.

This was the infamous West Coast Baseball Trip of ’09.  It was the last summer I was single.  It was the last summer I traveled alone for a baseball trip (and yes, my solo trip to Rogers Centre last season does NOT count because I’d rather forget about it).

It was the summer I discovered home on the west coast.

It was Angel Stadium, or as Greg Prince once described it to me, “Bizarro Shea.”


The year 2009 was the year I met my now-brother husband/sister wife team in the Sollies.  While I met them at a Mets game at Petco Park, we became locked together for life.  Most of my west coast trips since then have entailed some time spent one way or another with them.  Whether that was them driving up to the Bay Area to see us at AT&T Park or going to the SF Zoo or even just taking a trip to Alcatraz.  Then there was the lost weekend of 2011 when the husband and I went to see them in their home quarters.

The Sollies say “home” to me.  They’re familiar.  They’re safe.

But Angel Stadium has a special place in my heart.  For baseball fans, 2009 was a tough year.  For one, young upstart pitcher Nick Adenhart was killed tragically by a drunk driver after his first game with Anaheim.  When I visited the stadium, I had it marked on my list, since I’d never been there, but I wasn’t expecting much.  I was blown away by the memorial outside for Adenhart.  It had been months, but still fresh in the mind of the fans.

Southern California baseball had experienced its hey day in the 1960s, which was when the stadium was built.  And there were many reminders of the decades past, not too long ago, around the stadium.  The “Big A” outside which had served as the scoreboard in the outfield.  More recent additions like the giant caps were outside by what was perceived to be the main entrance.  And for a team with only one championship, they really loved honoring their past, like having a Wall of Fame celebrating their stars, like Nolan Ryan…a guy most Mets fans can identify.

The Big A  Caps

Mets fans do love their history, and what was missing in 2009 was a nod to any of their history.  Most fans felt as though they were walking into a Brooklyn Dodger shrine.  And when I found Angel Stadium in 2009, it was exactly when I needed it.  I needed another home.  I love the West Coast.  I found it.


When I visited the Sollies in 2011, it was basically July at Christmas (or Thanksgiving, since it was November).  We decided to make it a baseball trip, where we visited Dodger Stadium and Petco Park for tours.  We worked in other trips, like Hollywood Blvd, San Diego Zoo and Old Town.  But the focal point was of course our bond over baseball.

As we drove up Saturday morning to hit a Dodger Stadium tour, I saw the Big A from the highway.  And I had a feeling of longing.  I missed it.  And I’d only been there one other time in my life.  But we didn’t plan on taking a tour of it.  If they even offer them.  I hadn’t thought to look, because Dodger Stadium and Petco Park seemed more likely.

I’m rarely in Southern California, especially for business.  When I saw that I had a trip that brought me to the west coast in April, and lo and behold I got there with enough time to hit Anaheim and a baseball game at Angel Stadium, you best believe I took the universe up on that offering.

But my family grew.  Besides the Sollies, I got to see my esteemed podcast frequent guest and Whoomp! There It Is Jake! segment host, uh, Jake.  I also had reconnected with a former coworker who was now in SoCal, MB.  I purchased the tickets when I was waiting for my flight to Long Beach.


So many things…

Someone had asked if I felt that Shea could have been comparable to Angel Stadium, had it been decided to revamp Shea instead of tear it down.  The consensus was that Shea was old and decrepit (and smelled bad…but yes, I still missed it terribly), and because it was exposed to different elements of weather, the upkeep was probably more costly.  Eh, who knows, it might have still been worth it.

But when I get to Angel Stadium again, it’s a sigh of relief.  See, when I travel, I’m a complete spaztastic spaz.  And this day was no different.  TSA was intent on fucking me over.  My plane got delayed on the tarmac because there was some sort of switch sticking, and maintenance people had to get us to the gate again.  Of course, I wouldn’t have minded if a) this same shit didn’t already happen when I was on my way to Seattle last November or b) if I didn’t have a connecting flight to catch in Las Vegas.  Oh, and I’m already a nervous wreck disaster because I don’t like cross-country flights (though they are more tolerable since I flew to India, an 11 hour flight after a six-or-so hour flight to Germany).

Then I get in a car…in Southern California…during rush hour traffic.

I need serious help.

But when I was driving to the local StubHub office, I drove right past Angel Stadium.  A calming effect, if you will.  I could exhale.  I felt good.

It was home.


The Buzz Reached Shea Bridge

The Buzz Reached Shea Bridge

Urban legend has it that my dad once wore a suit to Opening Day at Shea one year.  When people asked him why, he said, “Well, it’s Opening Day!”  My family isn’t one to get all gussied for holidays or special occasions.  But Opening Day: that’s Christmas, New Year’s, Mardi Gras and 4th of July rolled into one.  When we’d drive there, or take the train, and Shea came into view, it was always a thrill, that first time of the year.

We had some defining Mo-Mets at Shea, and it was tough to get that at Citi.  Now I get the thrill when I see Citi.  We’ve had some good times, like 2012, with R.A. Dickey winning 20 games, David Wright breaking the all-time hit record and of course the Johan Santana no-hitter.

Last week, there was a buzz around Citi.  It had everything do with Matthew Edward Harvey.  Or as my friend Orlando (who is *NOT* a Mets fan) calls him, “The Truth.”


Even with the bells and whistles and focus on history at CitiField, there has been a disconnect between fans and the park.  It’s finally arrived.  With every Matt Harvey start, it’s bringing the energy of a Pedro Martinez start circa 2005 (by the way, FUCK PEDRO MARTINEZ), and the rock concert quality of a Doc Gooden start circa 1984.   Either one of those events took place at Shea Stadium.

Matt Harvey IS CitiField.

And should be for years to come.


I’m very fortunate to have found my place with the misfits by being a Mets fan.  Yet it’s the only place I’ve found that being weird is a good quality, an acceptable one.

This weirdness got me to the Sollies, and to Jake, and got them to drive from various places in Southern California just to come watch some baseball at my west coast stadium home.

There’s a piece of paradise at this place.

Is it the waterfall in the outfield?  Is it the combination of eras?  Is it that it reminds me of Shea on some level?  I’m not sure.

DSCN6233  DSCN6238

Perhaps it was because at a time when it was hard to accept that things were changing for a Mets fan, I found an oddly familiar home 3,000-some miles away.

I get there, and I’m comfortable.

I get there, and I’m home.

I’m where I should be at home.

Now that Citi is getting to that point with me, I guess the need to visit my west coast home isn’t necessary or as longing.  Still doesn’t mean I can’t miss it when I don’t see it.

Post-Traumatic Mets Disorder: Coopie Drinks Because You Torture Her

I wasn’t always a big drinker.  In fact, I probably can’t even classify myself as one anymore, since I’m no longer in my 20s, and don’t like being hungover ever since it takes me like three days to recover from ONE bad night of drinking.

But there was a period of time that made me drink, and it correlated to a time period with being a Mets fan.  And it was during some of the best of times too, as a fan.

It is one name, though, one name in particular that makes Coopie reach for the bottle.

Or one time, actually.

And that’s Jose Lima Time.


The game that actually Coop associates with drinking heavily is a game with positive memories, one that certainly gives the warm fuzzies.  And that’s late 2005, the Mets are pushing for what was to be an elusive wild card.  Ramon Castro hits a home run against Ugueth Urbina, sailing into the old Pepsi Porch in Shea Stadium.

I drank very heavily for two reasons.  One is that I didn’t have to work the next day.  Two is that the game was so close, and I really wanted them to win.

Yes, I convinced myself I was taking one for the team, by drinking.  Heavily.

I didn’t leave drunk, but I felt like I did something for the common good, by switching that energy.


Turn the clock to almost a year later.  It’s 2006, and the New York Mets are enjoying a bit of a renaissance or a Metaissance.

While the Mets offense seemed to be gellin’ like Magellan, the pitching left a bit to be desired.  Besides Tom Glavine having himself a bit of a Glavinaissance (see what I did there?), the rest seemed to be chosen by the method of seeing what shit stuck to the wall.  Oh, but except for Steve Trachsel who this chick has some sort of Stockholm Syndrome associations.

Oh and did I mention Trachsel, at that point, was the longest tenured Met?

A brighter spot was John Maine, who came to the team via trade.  Then there was El Duque Hernandez, the oldest 37 year old alive.  (Seriously, the guy does not age).

In no particular order, the Mets threw the likes of Glavine, Trachsel, Maine, Duque, Brian Bannister, Alay Soler, Geremi Gonzalez, Mike Pelfrey, Dave Williams, Victor Zambrano, and Pedro Martinez into the starter role.

Did I forget someone?  I feel like I did.  After all, there were so many starters who took one for the proverbial team that season.

Oh wait, now I remember.

Jose Lima!



The date is July 7, 2006.  The Mets prove to not be fluky, and they have a strong hold in the NL East.  Yet, the pitching continually is a question mark, with some questionables being thrown into the mix.

At this point, I had attended probably the most Mets games I had in my adult life.  In fact, due to all the money I was spending on one-off games (plus my dad’s weekend plan), it was that weekend that I decided to take the plunge and take a closer look at full season tickets.

Not sure why that specific weekend.  It must have been the alcohol talking.

Jose Lima made four starts for the Mets that season, and subsequently four losses with 17 1/3 innings pitched.

On 7-7, I was in attendance.  I went directly after work, and went to my seat in Field Level.  Dontrelle Willis made the start for the then-Florida Marlins.

It’s a wonder I can even remember **that** much.  Believe you me, there’s not much I remember of that night.

In fact, when Dontrelle Willis (remember? The starting pitcher for the Marlins) hit a GRAND SLAM in the third inning…that was when the beer guy became my best friend.  When I was still talking about Lima in the seventh inning, still convinced it was HE who was out there, and not Darren Oliver (who apparently did not give up another run, which should have been my first clue that Lima was no longer in the game), I learned something.

That beer was the solution to all things bad in baseball.   It certainly made my memories of Lima more appealing.  Well, my lack of memories.  Because I had wiped it out mostly.

I kept drinking.  And drinking, and drinking, and drinking.   Oh, I ate something.  Drinking.  More drinking.  The people in the box next to us offered me some cookies.  I declined.  I kept drinking.

I remember saying something to the effect that, “Jose Lima is awful, why is he still out there?” And to which my box-mates in the field level said, “Uh, you do know he was taken out after the third?”  I was not convinced.

Ah, the beauty of alcohol.


But with my drinking game that goes along with baseball, I can’t do it as much as I used to.  I guess my liver is starting to balk.  But that night Lima made that start was the be-all end-all of all drinking nights at baseball games.  I still think it’s funny that it took me till the seventh inning to realize he was no longer in the game.

The last time I threatened to up my drinking was in 2007, probably after a particularly bad game (take your pick).  I lamented the fact that when I drove to Miller Park, I couldn’t drink at a stadium named after a beer, because I drove.  Now, I can barely remember the last time I got hammered at a game.

But for awhile my drinking problem was centered around the Mets.  It was fun.  It was social.  But now I just mostly have a social drink or two at each game.  And mostly not even beer, now that they have mixed drinks available.

But I was definitely doing my part to keep alcohol companies in business during the Mets’ hey days.

Can We Have Nice Things?

I call books, film, and pieces on Mets history “Mets porn.”  Ask blolleagues like Matt Silverman, Greg Prince and Jason Fry, or even my own husband about random Mets minutiae, and their eyes light up like Ralphie opening his Red Ryder BB gun on Christmas morning.

For a team that is 50 years old, there is enough quirkiness and fun stuff around that makes us unique, and gives us a firm identity in our Mets-ness.

When CitiField opened in 2009, I’m preaching to the choir about how Mets history was little to be found.  Yet, when the Mets Hall of Fame and Museum opened in 2010, with promise of a “1986 Day” honoring Frank Cashen, Davey Johnson, Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry, it was a sign of things to come.

A sign that finally, that we Mets history porn obsessed folks would have something to look forward to each year.


Things are interesting.  Since 2010, we’ve seen one induction, for John F. Franco, though his given middle name is Anthony (You figure out what the F stands for), and that was last season.

It was a foregone conclusion that Mike Piazza, who besides Gary Carter is the best Mets catcher in their history (and prior to Travis d’Arnaud, haha), would be inducted.

Especially this year, with his first year on the HOF ballot.

Till he was famously snubbed because he might have done steroids. He along with a few others.

Here’s the kicker.  When Piazza came to the Mets via the Marlins after spending the first half of his career with Los Angeles, he was coming to greener pastures.  The Dodgers did him dirty.  In a turn of events, the Los Angeles media drove him out of town, questioning his loyalty to the team, and made him the superstar he is today to Mets fans.

I know plenty of Mets fans who were not “Piazza guys.”  Myself, I was a Piazza denier until he was no longer with the team.  It was only then that I realized as a fan, I consistently undervalued what he meant to the organization.

He would no doubt be a Hall of Famer, and he would no doubt be wearing a Mets cap.

When the Mets brought him back in 2008 and 2009 to close Shea Stadium and open CitiField, respectively, he posed with Tom Seaver, he himself done dirty once upon a time by the Mets organization.  We have The Franchise, and the Met Mercenary, but they helped create some of the best Mets memories and history that make us unique.

I get a lot of heat for supporting guys like Jon Niese, who apparently has the personality of gum found on the bottom your shoe.  My argument is – who gives a shit that he’s boring?  Quite honestly, Tom Seaver doesn’t exactly have a reputation of being a “great guy,” and he’s revered to this day.  It happens.

Mike Piazza is a different.  He was cool towards the fans, but seemed to understand his place in Mets history.  When he didn’t show for the Best Mets ceremony last year, it raised a red flag with me.

Not so much for Piazza.  I did hear that he needs to be “paid” for these gigs, but then again, so does Tom Seaver and you don’t hear about that, EVER.  But it was more like Walter Sobchek asking “Are you fucking this up, dude?”

Even the most minute of events the Mets can fuck up.  All we want is to be able to honor our past, put aside any bad feelings and celebrate what little pieces of heaven we have.

Now, of course, we hear that with Piazza’s new book and him rehashing old memories that guys like Jeff Wilpon and Jay Horwitz are butt hurt over some of Piazza’s perceptions, like being encouraged to play with an injury in spring training or not being protected enough by the media.

How many franchise players are asked to aggravate an injury to appease fans by Palm Beach Community College’s finest?  By some guy who had to host an “I’m a Heterosexual” press conference.

It’s a travesty that Mike Piazza isn’t in Cooperstown or at the very least an HOF-elect for 2013.  But what is the real travesty is that Mets, a team that has a hard time honoring their own history if not for the fan movements for bringing it back, won’t even consider retiring his number or putting him in their own ring of honor before he’s honored by Cooperstown.

To me, this shouldn’t even be a question.  Piazza is a Hall of Famer by number, and the Mets need to do him right and bring him for a Mike Piazza Day/Night, retire 31 and get his plaque at CitiField.  And since there are already entrances for Seaver, Stengel, Hodges and Payson, name the Tastes of the Citi section “the Piazza.”

Do Mets fans and Piazza right.  Stop being so butt hurt about things, and honor the guy already.

And P.S.  According to that David Lennon piece in Newsday, Jeff Wilpon has final say in retiring Mets numbers and Hall of Fame inductions.

Jeff Wilpon.

Jeff Fucking Wilpon.


Shouldn’t that shit be done by like a Fan Committee or Mets Alumni?  That makes more sense, doesn’t it?

Fucking idiots.

Post-Traumatic Mets Disorder: Don’t Let It Fall On Me

“When Black Friday comes/
I’ll collect everything I’m owed/
And before my friends find out/
I’ll be on the road” – Steely Dan, “Black Friday”

Traditionally, the Mets have always overvalued their own prospects, to the extent that they’d cling to those that had value until they no longer had any.  Or had a higher trade value as a younger prospect, then rush them so that they couldn’t develop properly.  Yeah, that seemed to be the Mets’ MO until recently.

What happens when you don’t value your prospects?

You get Black Friday 2004.

In an odd circle of events, it was the events of Black Friday 2004 that set me into the path of blogging.  When I heard about Scott Kazmir being traded, and fan favorite Ty Wigginton being turned around for Kris Benson (which I wasn’t too bent about at the time), I needed an outlet.  It was frustrating being a Mets fan at that time.  They were boring and terrible to watch, behind their boring and terrible manager Grandpa Art, and a team that couldn’t get its act together.  Remember when Jose Reyes was always hurt and David Wright was a baby?  This was then.  There was stuff to look forward to, but the team itself then was blah.

Black Friday, in and of itself, was a special Mets event.  We still talk about it and cringe.  But it’s more than just how it set the Mets back (and it did, which I will explain, even though within two years they made the postseason and were oh-so-close in 2007 and 2008).  It’s how they destroyed the career of Kazmir before it event started.

The shorthand of it was because of the backlash of Black Friday — how John Franco and Al Leiter were in the ear of Jeff Wilpon, who had more of a hands-on approach to day-to-day operations with the team, and claimed that Kazmir’s music tastes weren’t appropriate and he was out of line (by changing the channel in the weight room) — this led to the rehiring of Omar Minaya, who then in turn cut ties with Franco and Leiter (the right move at the time).  Then he signed Pedro Martinez (and FUCK Pedro Martinez), and signed Carlos Beltran to a long-term deal which was riddled with injuries and blocked the development and career of Lastings Milledge.  Then there was the line about fixing a pitcher in ten minutes, uttered by pitching coach extraordinaire Rick Peterson.

Yes, Scott Kazmir and his trade for Victor Zambrano and Bartolome Fortunato was the snowball effect of all post-traumatic Mets disorder for this fan.

I remember one fan blogger (no longer in existence or just hard to find) said that Black Friday was this generation’s Midnight Massacre.  Now, I’m not going so far as to say the trade of a highly rated pitching prospect for crap is like trading away the Franchise Tom Seaver.  But the betrayal behind, and though process, were indeed the same.  Save David Wright, we haven’t had that type of move with a “Franchise Player” unless you count Jose Reyes, which was purely business.

But it’s more than just the betrayal of the fan base.  It was the betrayal of Scott Kazmir himself.  Trading him to the Tampa Bay Rays (then Devil Rays) was probably the worst thing for his career and in effect, it’s ruined him.

One of the grumblings behind the trade was that Kazmir was an injury risk.  And looking at how he’s performed since the trade would lead us to believe it would have been more of the same had he stayed with the Mets.  I don’t think that’s necessarily true, and there’s more than meets the eye with this one.

Kazmir was only 19 years old and had only been in the minors for barely two years at that point.  One of my biggest gripes with the Mets historically is how they’ll rush prospects in the name of appeasing the fans.  The Rays had orchestrated a heist of the top pitching prospect for two pieces of donkey dung.  They were also on the cusp of changing their culture, one that had been a losing one up to just about a few years ago.  They needed to have something there to show their 15 fans they were serious about the future.  They did that by having Kazmir pitch for the rest of the 2004 season.

He probably pitched over his head, and then hurt himself.  He has not pitched since 2011.  And even then he only pitched 1 2/3 innings with the Angels of Anaheim, Planet Earth.

If the Mets rushed him, he’d have had the same thing that happened to him with Tampa and with the Angels.  Yet, if he hadn’t been traded, who knows, he may have had time to mature and been the highly touted pitcher he was supposed to be.

Perhaps there wouldn’t have been a need to sign Pedro for four years.  Kazmir would have been that pitcher.  With Kazmir, there wouldn’t have been a need for Duaner Sanchez and then for Oliver Perez.  Perhaps there wouldn’t have been a need to lean on El Duque in 2006. Kazmir could have gotten those important starts down the stretch in 2007 as he honed his craft.  There wouldn’t have been a mad scramble to replace Pedro Martinez or anyone else who got hurt in 2006, 2007 and 2008.

Inadvertently, the trade of Scott Kazmir led to a downward spiral that the Mets still haven’t quite gotten out of.  Even with prospects like Travis d’Arnaud, Noah Syndergaard and Zack Wheeler in the Mets system and the excitement around them, we always wonder when the shoe is going to drop…whether they will step on the sensitive toes of a veteran, whether they will thrive in New York, whether they will be rushed or injury prone or whatever.

It’s taken nearly 10 friggin years to get out of that.  All because of Black Friday.  If I knew Black Friday were coming back then, I would have asked for it not to fall on me either.

But it did.  Yet for the first time in a long time, things are looking up for the Mets.  However, if Scott Kazmir had been given a chance to grow and thrive with the Mets, maybe the faux dynasty of David Wright and Jose Reyes would have been solidified with Kazmir heading up the rotation.  Of course we’ll never know.  But that won’t stop me from having post-traumatic Mets disorder associated with Black Friday for years to come.

Post-Traumatic Mets Disorder: It’s ALL Mike Bordick’s Fault

I went away to school in the mid 1990s.  Since there was a baseball strike in 1994, I lost interest for a little bit, even when it returned.  But also since I was a poor college student, I didn’t have funds to go up to Queens at a moment’s notice like I would as a carefree child (oh, and that whole thing of being paid for by my parents).

It wasn’t till around 1996 that I started to go to games again, and be interested in baseball and most importantly the Mets.  I saw Fuckin’ Franco give up late inning saves.  I saw Bobby Valentine bring the Mets back to a semblance of respectability, just by showing up and bringing a new aura.  I saw the league’s best hitting catcher come via a trade in 1998.

Perhaps 1999 was the most fun I’d had as a Mets fan.  Most of it was so unexpected that I didn’t care how they got there.  They just got there.

Post-traumatic Mets disorder officially set in for me in 1988.  I’m sure Metstradamus would agree, with the name Mike Scioscia.  Tom Lasorda (whom I always loved, in a self-flagellating way), Kirk Gibson, Orel Hershiser…oh em gee.  Just the names make my skin crawl.

Funny though that Hershiser was a critical component in 1999 for the New York Mets.

He was not, though, in 2000.


Mets fans had some high expectations in 2000.  They put up a good fight in 1999, and anything less than a trip to the World Series would be uncivilized.

Not to say there weren’t several holes on that team.  Take for example, the outfield.  See, it’s the leaning on the past that makes Mets fans like myself rationalize the abysmal looking outfield going into 2013.  Usually the whole “Agbayani, Payton and Perez” argument is backed up whenever we look at a future outfield of well, whatever shit the Mets decide to stick to the wall.

Another perceived black hole was the shortstop role that year.  See, Rey Ordoñez was a great defensive shortstop.  His glaring weakness was his failure to hit out of the infield most of the time.

Again, this is an argument that Mets fans generally lean on when we want to justify keeping a guy we like.  “Oh, but his DEFENSE!”  Which is BS.  That was the argument used to keeping a guy like Jeff Francoeur around, who could barely hit his weight, free swinging hitting into a double play, and couldn’t take a walk if his life depended on it.  Actually, wasn’t it he who hit into the triple play against the Phillies in 2009?  (I’m too lazy to look it up – this is not a rant against Francoeur, whom I’m sure is quite nice once you get to know him).

True to form though, once Ordoñez stopped making defensive gems in the infield, his uselessness transcended to the fanbase.  In fact, he called the Mets fans “Too stupid,” once they started to boo him.  THEN the offense is what matters.

But Ordoñez, in a way, is indirectly responsible for one of my biggest sources of post-traumatic Mets disorder.  After all, it was his season-ending injury that made the Mets make a panic move for then-Baltimore Oriole Mike Bordick.

The PTMD stands out in more than one way.  What has made me think about this source of PTMD came up in my household, recently, because my husband who is head nut over at Studious Metsimus, has been writing a series on certain Mets players that got away.  Last week’s topic was on Melvin Mora, who became not only a fan favorite but almost a cult-like hero during the late parts of the 1999 season.  Again, a team that fought tooth and nail, one of the most entertaining Mets teams I’ve had the pleasure of watching.

We had an argument while he was writing it though (an intellectual disagreement, not of the type of slamming doors, we never have fights like that).  When I started to complain that Bordick sucked, he’s the reason why I hate the “half-year rental” moves, he must have hated playing in New York so much because the second his contract was up, he high-tailed it back to Charm City, where he is now immortalized in the Orioles Hall of Fame (and so is Brady Anderson, which speaks volumes to the rich history of Baltimore…and the not-so-rich recent history).

Hubby says, “Yes, but where would Melvin Mora have been put?  David Wright was the third baseman, he would have had to move anyway.”

To say I blew a gasket would be an understatement.


Someone needs to take her meds.

There’s an element of truth in trying not to justify regrets.  If you regret something, then maybe your life would be completely different.  Sometimes I miss living in Hoboken.  Had I not moved, however, I may not have met my husband.  I say the benefits of that move certainly outweighed the risks.

But by trading Mora, the Mets might have indeed changed their history.  Perhaps he would have taken to playing shortstop during the 2000 season.  Perhaps he would have been more of a threat at the plate than Bordick, who really DID hit .125 in the World Series.  IT WAS ALL HIS FAULT!

Okay, maybe it was the questionable pitching.  Maybe it was Timo Perez not running full-out in game one.  Yet, there was no margin of error in that series.  The difference between someone hitting .125 to, I dunno, hitting over .200 could have meant the difference in winning more games.

You just don’t know.

But most of all, in 2000, there was no David Wright in the Mets organization.  When Mike Hampton decided to go where the schools were in Colorado and signed with the Rockies prior to the 2001 season, the “sandwich pick” that year was a guy named David Allen Wright, who recently signed his long-term contract with the Mets.

Mike Hampton Poker FaceYet think about if the Mets won the World Series in 2000.  Perhaps Hampton would have stayed to win again.  (And maybe he would have cracked a smile during the celebrations then).

Perhaps there would have been no David Wright in that offseason.  Let’s say Mora wasn’t traded away.  Let’s say Mora became a fan favorite and was a leader in the Mets organization, as opposed to one in the history books with Baltimore (which, by the way, he is).

Mets history would be completely different.

But I ask you this.  Sometimes, when we talk about 2006, and the post-years of 2007 and 2008, we wonder what would have happened had the Mets gone to the World Series, had won, or even weren’t eliminated in such humiliating fashion in 2007 and 2008.

Would 2009 – 2012 (and going into 2013) be a different feeling?  Would we be more accepting of it?

Perhaps if the Mets won in 2000, and beaten the Yankees, this would all be moot.

Yet, I can’t help but think how Mike Bordick is singularly responsible for fucking up Mets history.

Am I being irrational?  Don’t answer that.  But the blowing up earlier that I had with my husband was not exaggerated.  I even did a Rafael Palmeiro point in the face while arguing.

Rey Ordoñez gets injured.  Steve Phillips trades Melvin Mora, along with several others, to Baltimore for Mike Bordick.  Mora was hitting .260 when he left Queens; Bordick was hitting .297.  Certainly seemed like a decent move on paper.  Yet, Bordick was a free agent after 2000.  Perhaps Phillips should have learned something with thinking with his dick back then, as it got him into trouble in subsequent years in his personal life.

Mora was 28 and made his debut the year prior; Bordick was 35, had 12 years under his belt.  Theoretically, Mora had his career in front of him; Bordick was in the twilight and at best, a few okay years, good but not great.

But it was true.  Mora did have his career in front of him; Bordick went wee-wee-wee all the way back to Baltimore as soon as the season wrapped up.  Yes, the Orioles weren’t exactly world beaters (2012 was the first year they made the playoffs since 1997) during Mora’s time and after Bordick returned.  Yet, don’t you see, the Mets’ history could be completely different.  Of course, it could be similar or the same, without a 2000 World Series win.  But let’s think of the alternate universe for a second.

Ordoñez gets hurt.  Mora transitions to shortstop, not without growing pains, but he overperforms, and the Mets go on to the postseason.  Perhaps Mora makes such an impression at shortstop that the Mets actually do the right thing and trade Ordoñez or better yet, when he returns, Mora makes the move back to third base.

Maybe Mike Hampton stays; maybe he goes.  I know that his career wasn’t exactly noteworthy post-Mets.  In fact, I may be cringing at the thought of him being tied to a long-term contract from which he kept trying to make some kind of triumphant return.  What we wouldn’t have known wouldn’t have hurt us, re: David Wright.  Maybe in 2004, the Mets would have had a higher draft pick (one slot higher, actually) and got Justin Verlander instead of Phil Humber.  Yes, Phil Humber got us Johan Santana, who got the Mets their first no-hitter.  According to Coop vision, however, Verlander has had two.

A stretch?  Oh, certainly, I freely admit that.  It’s fun though, to play 20/20 hindsight GM.

In the grand scheme of things though, my hatred for the time Mike Bordick spent on the Mets, albeit short, transcends rationality, history, and regret.

It’s post-traumatic Mets disorder to the nth degree.  No sense makes sense.  But the sense of it all is that I blame, directly and indirectly, the Mets not winning the 2000 World Series and their floundering in subsequent years on the Mike Bordick trade.  Perhaps he’s a nice guy.  Perhaps we can argue that it was Steve Phillips’ fault.

I prefer to blame the guy who was traded and an empty uniform on the field.

Post-Traumatic Mets Disorder: The Origins

I’m sure many of you find it hard to believe that in my household — in which resides two Mets bloggers and fans — there is a lot of baseball talk.  Not just Mets talk, but all of baseball.  From the Hall of Fame Snubs of 2013 to Breaking the Color Barrier to Babe Ruth, baseball talk around here is like, “So what would you like for dinner?”  It’s just natural.

But all baseball talk makes Coop and Ed a very dull girl and boy.  So we spice it up a bit.

Like each year since 2011, Ed has done a weekly post on a theme that brings us from the dawn of the New Year to Opening Day (which is like the New Year for baseball fans…the only date on the calendar that signifies the beginning of “something”).  I tried my hand at doing a column on how I was Married to the Mets last year.  That was fun, but I like to write about stuff that makes people laugh or smile.  Because if we know anything as Mets fans, if an event is painful, we sometimes just have to laugh it off.

If you follow me on Twitter, or anywhere else really, you’ll know that I have a catch phrase called “Post-Traumatic Mets Disorder.”  This is just as it sounds.  Many Mets fans have great memories, but then there are the memories that have a lot of heartache attached to it.  We can only but laugh at them.

But it’s not necessarily attached to the Mets nor a player.  It can be an outside force.  It can even be a player we LIKED or loved.  There’s typically a circumstance around why we suffer post-traumatic Mets disorder, but one thing is for sure: it has to do with an event or tied somehow into Mets history.

Starting this Friday, I’m going to go over some of the names or moments that make Mets fans cringe, cry, barf or smack their heads — sometimes, all four. Maybe more emotions if I can think about it.

The point is, I’ll be writing about some of my most famous interactions with post-traumatic Mets disorder, or PTMD, and the inspirations behind it.  And hopefully we can cringe, cry, barf and smack our heads collectively at the memories.

Fitting In With The Misfits

“Dear Ma,  You might find it hard to believe…But I think I finally found a home.  The weather’s lovely, there’s so much to see, and people who know what I know.  Now I’ve got friends that do want me and take me as I am.  Now I’ve got friends that do love me.  I’m all right with them.  Fittin’ in with the misfits.”

A Man Called E!, “Fitting In With the Misfits”

I know you might find someone like me who talks and drinks like a sailor surprised to find that growing up, I was very much a loner.  I didn’t have many friends and the shit I liked was NOTHING like what anyone else liked.  I was into New Wave and Brit Pop bands way before it was ever cool or emo.  I listened to music no one else was listening to.  I was a baseball fan when girls weren’t supposed to like it.

Instead of encouraging it, I feel that I was made to feel like there was something wrong with me as a result.  Kids thought I was weird and well, I guess I sort of agreed with them.

So I kept to myself mostly.  But being an only child, it wasn’t that difficult, especially an only child of divorced parents where both worked.  I had a lot of downtime for sure.

But the funny thing was, as I got older and met more people, I found that baseball was a connecting fiber for communities of people.  I remember during the Brooklyn Dodgers documentary “Ghosts of Flatbush” that was on HBO a few years ago, Louis Gossett Jr. said that when the Dodgers left Brooklyn, there was nothing to homogeneously identify with being in Brooklyn.  Baseball brought different races, creeds, characters from different parts of Brooklyn together, and nobody questioned it!

My baseball community started small, with my dad and his best friend and their family.  Then it grew when I started going to more games.  Then it blew up really during the era of social media.  I started my blog and met some amazing people, and even got a husband out of it.

But mostly, this was my happy place.  It’s sometimes not easy being a Mets fan.  It was the fans and the people who drew me in.

These days, I rarely go to games alone.  I’ve had no problem doing it, but usually just traveling to the game is a joint effort, with myself and Ed and the bears that usually come in tow.  There were two games recently that I traveled to CitiField all by myself, though, which is odd.  I’m used to traveling on trains and around the city by myself.  So I had my iPod queued up and ready to take the 7 train on Monday night.

I was invited to the game by a friend who was able to get four seats together.  Our friend Ray Stilwell, aka Metphistopheles, was joining us from the north and we got the Grand Poobah of Mets blogging to join us too, Greg Prince from Faith and Fear in Flushing.

You may remember my misadventures with Metphistopheles in May, when I got stranded in Buffalo, and he volunteered to drive me across the border.  To this day, I’m still grateful (though my trip didn’t exactly pan out the way I wanted it to).  Ray doesn’t make it down here all that often, so to take in a game with him is a treat.  Three out of the four of us made to the Hofstra conference in April.  This was the first time we got the band back together since then.


(Photo to the right was taken by Sharon Chapman)

The game itself was uneventful.  R.A. Dickey was masterful again, and deserved better from his offense as per usual.  Yet, I couldn’t help but be reminded of a song as I sat there with my friends.  Mostly me banishing Greg to the Caesar’s Club corner (for reasons I won’t disclose here, but it was pretty funny).  We talked about my husband and I almost got divorced over Angel Pagan (he’s Pro-Pagan, I’m Anti-Angel).  Talked about the previous game where our friend Sharon’s son was celebrating a birthday and he got the Carvel gift card they give out in the birthday inning.

On the way to the park that day, I had some time to kill on the train.  And I found an old album (gosh, it’s 20 years old at this point) that I once upon a time had on a cassette tape.  Ouch.  The artist was “A Man Called E!” and the song was “Fitting in the with Misfits.”  It’s interesting listening to that song 20 years after the fact.  At the time in my life, I was very alone.  I was a sophomore in high school.  I never fit in really anywhere.  That song always kind of struck a nerve with me.  I never quite liked it as one of my favorites, but I did like it enough. It was fresh in my mind as I sat at the game Monday.

Mets fans are an interesting lot.  We stick with the team, when sanity could reason that we should not be.  We root for a perfect game each day, knowing that our team is far from perfect.  And yet, CitiField and the Mets is where I belong.

Thanks to Sharon Chapman for the great photo!

This was us on Monday night.  At some point our Mets fandom and baseball fascination has brought us ridicule from others, but we found each other, in the “lost and found” as A Man Called E! sang about his misfit friends 20 years ago.

Later on that night, I went to go visit a friend of a friend…the infamous Darth Marc, from Metstradamus fame.  Turns out, he and I have a larger connection than Metstradamus…we know a lot of the same Blondie’s gang who hang in the Brooklyn Met Fan forum.  Talk about a bunch of “misfits” right there.  These are the guys who encouraged me to be myself and to blog, and were my very first supporters in the blogosphere.

More irony is when he posted this pic on Facebook, a mutual friend from Blondie’s and Brooklyn Met Fan, IrishMike, commented.  I never knew his last name.  We were only friends in Blondie’s name only.  Regardless, I was surprised to him friends with Darthy, though I dunno, I probably shouldn’t have been.

“Coop’s a brunette, Marc is at a Met game – I don’t know what’s going on. Well the Mets sucked again so there is some normalcy.” – IrishMike

The game sucked balls.  There’s no nice way to put it.  But hanging out with some of the misfits I know makes the games more enjoyable.

I was asked last night on a podcast why I was still watching games.  It has nothing to do with “believing” or thinking something might happen.  It’s not even about being mathematically alive or dead at this point.  But I’ll say this:  I watch because I know in a few months, there will be no baseball.  I may have hockey.  I may have football.  But baseball is my heart and soul and comprises so much of my personality.

I watch because it’s finite.  If you don’t stop and take a look once in a while, you might just miss it.

But on Monday night, I got to hang out with mostly Mets folks (disclaimer: Darth is an “Evil Empire” fan – figuratively and literally.  Or literally and literally.  Whatever).  People who are like me.  People who get it.  “For lost souls don’t know where they’re bound,” as E! once sang.

But we’re only lost when baseball isn’t around.

Amazin’ Tuesday

Every one of us, at one point or another, was probably told by someone else that the latter thinks of the former at a certain instance.

For me, and I’m sure many others, it’s when they see a Mets game or something related to the Mets.

I’m sure there are many more fans crazier than I, perhaps none more than my husband though, who went to work at 5 am to take an extended lunch break in an effort to meet me to go to see R.A. Dickey at a book signing, and then later to catch his hetero-life-Met in Edgardo Alfonzo.

Since both were doing their appearances in midtown (though Dickey was slightly more East), we figured, what the hey.

These two Mets are special and endearing to the fan base.  They represent what it means to wear the orange and blue: they’re hard-working, have a blue-collar ethic, fan-friendly, are underdogs (meaning: they’re certainly not the best players on their team but that makes you like them that much more), and just seem like regular good guys.  While Dickey hasn’t been on widely successful Mets teams, Fonzie was part of the scrappy 1999 and World Series-bound 2000 teams.  Fonzie is also an incredibly underrated Met.  That goes without saying with Dickey, an eccentric knuckleballer.

R.A. Dickey and I have more than just the Mets in common: we were both English lit majors in college.  Probably the only baseball player I can think of who can use the word “dichotomy” in a sentence and correctly, at that.  If you haven’t read his book yet, if you are a Mets fan and are a sympathetic individual, there is no reason why you wouldn’t enjoy his inspiring story.

Perhaps though no one is crazier (and by “crazy,” I mean “certifiable”) than I am when it comes to R.A. Dickey.  When I have Twitter exchanges with him, it’s about literature and not really about the team.  I even asked him, once, if he thought Shakespeare was as overrated as I thought he was (short answer: yes, long answer: he likes his sonnets, which I agree with).

So when he writes in his book about perhaps becoming an English professor one day, my eyes lit up.  I’d LOVE to take an English class with R.A. Dickey; so many of his mannerisms remind me of my journalism and Medieval lit professor, Dr. John Marlin (both have very dry and witty personalities).  I get the idea that they would be friends in real life (even Dickey played for Marlin’s fave Minnesota Twins).

Wanna know how crazy I am about R.A. Dickey though?  I had a dream after finishing his book that I was in a lecture hall as spoke about Faulkner.

Does this R.A. Chickey know how to party or what?????

So hubs leaves work, and we head over to the east side for our first stop: Dickey’s book signing.

It’s pretty uneventful.  We wait in a long line but it moves surprisingly quick, we probably waited no more than like 45 minutes.  We passed the time by chatting with other Mets fans, about what players were nice or mean to fans (Al Leiter was kind of douchey, and we all heard Tom Seaver is very arrogant).  We all agreed that we were prepared for Dickey to be a nice guy.  And he was.


It was pretty quick and painless.  We got him to sign the book “To Coop & Ed – GO METS!” with his signature and #43.

While posing for our pics though, I did tell him I had to be the only baseball fan who finished his book and wanted to hear him give a lecture on Faulkner.  To which he replied, laughing I might add, “Oh man, I’d LOVE to do that!”

We pretty much floated to our next stop, which was Citibank on 6th Avenue in midtown, where Mets alumni Edgardo Alfonzo was visiting.  We weren’t expecting as big of a turn out here as there was the Barnes & Noble, and we were correct.  There were still quite a few people there.

Fonzie was what the rumors said: very nice, humble and gracious to his fans.  Possibly no one loved Fonzie more than my husband who had his #13 Mets jersey inspired by him.


When you find out one of the guys who wears (or wore) the laundry for your team and you liked him enough, you find a way to attend their book signing or go to a bank you don’t even do business at to meet them and take pictures.  Or you know, you scream at them during warm ups till they acknowledge you.  Hi Jon!

It’s funny the lengths my husband and I go to for our teams.  We’ll follow them around the country, we’ll go to their home games, we’ll traipse in midtown Manhattan in the lunch hours to get some pictures and spend 30 seconds with a fan favorite.

Back in 2010, there would be a literary roundtable and speakers called “Amazin’ Tuesdays.”  We brought back our own Amazin’ Tuesday for one day at least.

Married to the Mets: The Blog Groupie

It was really the Red Sox that got me into blogging and following sports blogs.

True story.  Though it was inspired by the Mets a bit.

In 2004, I needed an outlet.  A place to read, discuss and muse on the Mets.  I was working full time on Wall Street at the time, and the Mets were disappointing me.  It was the Art Howe years, and the Mets were just boring.  A state of ennui.   These years were really the true test of the fans, to go to Shea Stadium at times like those.  Looking back, it was the hey day of baseball games.  You went to games with real fans and not frontrunners like they were in the Bronx.

The Mets had made one of their most famous deadline deals that same year.  Kris Benson joined the team, and then-projected pitching phenom Scott Kazmir was traded for Victor Zambrano in what was called “Black Friday.”  In the previous season, I had become engrossed in New York National League baseball history.  The New York Giants.  Brooklyn Dodgers.  I had devoured Boys of Summer and Bums.   Later in 2003, the Rangers had opened their home season at Madison Square Garden.  That same night, I ran into a friend at the game who wanted to watch the baseball game.

You might know of it.  It’s known in the Yankee (and Red Sox) lexicon as “The Aaron Boone Game.”

I sat at the bar as I was outnumbered by Yankees fans, for sure.  I was told because of my New York National League roots that I was the “Coolest chick in the bar.”  Too bad, because I felt like I was being left alone at the lunch table, while my friend celebrated that Yankee walk-off victory that night.

So fast forward a few months later.  July 31, 2004, came and went, and I was upset.  My team had failed me, again.  Bob Ojeda was on the FAN, talking about how he believed that the Mets organization just had “bad information,” when Zambrano blew his arm out just a few days after the trade.  While Kazmir went on to stupify the Red Sox, who were on their way to making the playoffs a second year in a row.

I spent many hours in the office that year.  Yet, I couldn’t get on chat rooms or forums.  Most of them were blocked in corporate America.  I did find something a bit unusual, while clicking on some story links following the fall out of the Mets season, and following how the Red Sox were doing.

It was called a “blog.”

I found one called Metsblog, and had its own called Always Amazin’.  While clicking on those sites, it brought me to other blogs.  Kranepool Society.  The Metropolitans (where I frequented and probably made my mark as a “blog groupie”).  Metsgeek.  Y2K: Promote the Curse.   Some of these links exist to this day.  Others have gone by the wayside.  Many others have expanded or rebranded.

During the 2004 post season, I found many Red Sox blogs.  Sons of Sam Horn.  Surviving Grady.  Misery Loves Company, which was a Mets/Red Sox joint blog.  I loved the self-deprecating and dark humor of the Old Towne Team’s fans.  The Mets fans were just funny though.  The blogging community was easier to follow, simply because there were fewer blogs to follow. When the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, it was special.  It was not only special to see the evolution from walking off the field, defeated, just one year prior, but special to see all these blogs serve as a community for these fans to congregate and make the large world smaller and closer.

I was pretty useless at work.  I spent most of the days trying to feed my lust for Mets information, and trying to craft writing styles, and even stealing some jokes that I found at these forums.  Like how I have borrowed “Just Forfeit” or “Fuck these guys, I’m going to Donovan’s” from other fans, some people think they are my own.  I don’t make a habit of stealing material.  But I found that people weren’t hiding behind the screen of the computer by saying daring things that they would never say in the face of these people (though, truth be told, I see plenty of those people now).  I found that sports and especially baseball fans really wore their heart on their sleeves, and bared their souls in the comments and in response to the blogs that were objective in some ways, but came from the fan experience, so there was a lot of soul to the posts.

The Metropolitans was a place I congregated.  From there spawned many spin off blogs, like Frasier to Cheers.  Ed’s Blue & Orange Cafe.  Yes, Joe, It’s Toasted!  The Metropolitans invited me to join my first ever Fantasy Baseball team.  I was the token female, but it took them awhile to realize I was a girl.

In fact, I had chosen the moniker “Coop” so I wouldn’t be “the girl” in the forums.  Most of you follow me or became friends with me because of my writing style, which is how I talk, really.  When I was throwing certain players under the bus or screaming about Willie Randolph, they got me.  There was no male/female dynamic or even worrying that they would think of me different or that I was after a player because he was hot.

In mid-2005, I had gone to a game by myself and had taken score.  Some were surprised that I had been a fan just for the game.  Some were surprised I knew how to keep score.  Nobody would have paid me any mind if I was there with a man, like my dad or my boyfriend.  Meanwhile, my dad had taught me to keep score, and I had gotten my boyfriend into baseball.

I didn’t have to explain myself.  Till I did.

One day, in mid-2006, during the Mets tear on the NL East and baseball, I had been a frequent visitor to the site Yankees 2000: Promote the Curse, which was a Mets blog claiming that the Yankees win of the World Series in 2000 on Mets home field was the reason why they hadn’t won since.  (Makes sense, with 20/20 hindsight, since Shea no longer exists).  One of the bloggers called me “Man” or “Hey dude” or “My man Coop.”  I got a kick out of it, but I had to come clean.  I said, “Hey, I’m a chick, for the record.”  The next day, I got a marriage proposal, sight unseen, from one of the co-bloggers.

That same year, Brooklyn Met Fan gave me a whole new family.  There was not only BMF, there was Matt the Met Fan, Blondies Jake, Irish Mike, USMF, Bill L, El Duderino, Ft. Greene Met Fan.  Plenty of women in the forums, and could keep up with the Mets and baseball talk with the boys.  Gender mattered, but it didn’t.  They were always so open and friendly and treated me as an equal.

The Metropolitans was my second home though.  I felt like I was friends with everyone on there.  Toasty Joe’s blog was fun too.  Sort of a Metstradamus-lite, whom I had become friendly with as well.

I had commented so many times on these sites that I thought…maybe I could do a blog of my own.  I had opened an account on Blogger, and I could name it anything that I wanted.  The name, the name, the name…

Since people had told me since I was very young that I looked like Drew Barrymore, I had watched many of her movies.  My favorite around that time was Fever Pitch, the movie centered around the character played by Jimmy Fallon’s fandom of the Red Sox.  I loved the banter between Red Sox fans, I loved how he changed during the baseball season, when he saw all his friends that he missed in the offseason.  And how when after years of darkness, comes light.  As a Mets fan, though we had taken care of some of that dark period by beating the Sox in 1986, Red Sox Nation got over it by slaying the dragon of 1918.

Jimmy Fallon’s character said something at the beginning of the movie.  “This is my summer family.”

And I had my name.  I had reached out to the Mets blogging community in 2007.  They had saved me that year, from myself really.  My long-term relationship had fallen apart, and I had custody of 81 Mets home games in the form of tickets.  I had to find people to go with me.  Bloggers came to my rescue.  I had met Metsgrrl, who saved my Masters completion gift of going to see the Mets play in Milwaukee and Chicago that summer.

I had run into Greg Prince from Faith and Fear in Flushing several times at Shea, and we had become fast friends.  Irony was that the very first time I met him, I was wearing the FAFIF shirt to a game.  It was also the beginning of the end in 2007, against the Phillies.  I met Dana Brand through my work at Flushing University, and I had met a whole new world where people actually asked to see my writing.  Joe D of Metsmerized Online compared me to a cross between Alanis Morrisette and Courtney Love, if they were Mets bloggers.

The bloggers became a secondary family to me, people I enjoyed seeing.  My network expanded and expanded where I was recognized in other cities, like Philly in 2008.  Or when I was at Dodgertown in 2008, and Metstradamus introduced himself to me.   The expansion went into Facebook and Twitter, where I had taken like a fish to water.  With how big the world wide web had expanded, I’ve gotten many haters.  The haters make it worth it for me to love my new friends, my secondary family that the blogging community has provided me.

By the time I retired My Summer Family in 2010, every schmoe had their own blogger or WordPress account, claiming rights to the once tight knit community.  Hey, more power to them.  I stepped away because I wanted to find my most authentic voice again, which was what made My Summer Family special back in 2007.   Maybe it was special to some of the people who followed me.  For me, it became work, tedious and wasn’t unique anymore.

I do sometimes like to look at the site, like it’s a relic from a former era.  It takes me back to how much I loved having my own blog at the beginning, and how I was feeling back then.  Much like a diary or photos from a year gone by, my thoughts on the Mets still appear from time to time.  Much like listening to a song from my childhood, the years 2007 and 2010 on my Mets fandom are still catalogued for me to review.

And if anyone knows what happened to Mike and Benny and everyone else from the Metropolitans, tell them I miss them and wish they’d reappear.

Married to the Mets: Worse Than Chernobyl

I became a Mets fan at a very interesting time.  Essentially, they ruled the city.  When I was young, I didn’t know a New York City that wasn’t all about the Mets and the Yankees, storied pinstriped team in the Bronx, played second fiddle.

Till, of course, they weren’t.

I have a family member who shall remain nameless, who claims to be a lifelong Yankee fan. Funny, I don’t remember him rooting for them till 1996.  And I DEFINITELY remember wearing our Mets gear together, rooting for them on WOR.  I do remember at one point he told my dad and I that he admires us for sticking with the Mets for so long.

You know, it’s not like we had a choice.

For me, though, the choice was simple.  I stuck around for a multitude of reasons.   Most of all, that I didn’t want to give up on the team. Also because the fans I met made me laugh like nothing else.

It was one thing watching games with my dad, Uncle Gene and Aunt Melissa, and hearing the wisecracks from all of them during the games.  Even when we met Dominic, Rob and Mike in the stands at Loge Section 22, the Mets deep-in-the-trenches army-like humor kept us going.

I’ve been a Mets fan for nearly 30 years.  (Let that one sink in for a moment).  In those years, they’ve had two World Series appearances, a few playoff runs, but mostly, futility mixed in with a splash of ennui.  Yes, it’s tough to be a Mets fan sometimes.  Yet, the fans, the true bleeding blue-and-orange fans kept me coming back when I had every reason not to.

In the 1980s, you couldn’t really knock the team because they were so good.  Shea Stadium, however, was fair game.  In the spring of 1986, the Chernobyl disaster hit Kiev, Ukraine…and Banner Day at Shea.  “Shea’s Bathrooms Are Worse Than Chernobyl,” one of the banners read.  I don’t remember any other banner that year but that one.  It was priceless and still generates some laughs from those of us who saw it.  Till the very last day of Shea, the bathrooms were the butt (no pun intended) of the joke with many fans.  In fact, I appeared on a blogger’s roundtable with such personalities as Matt Cerrone from Metsblog, Joe Janish from Mets Today and Ted Berg from SNY on Mets Weekly in 2008.  Janish made a joke about the bathrooms, and needless to say, we all chuckled.

At the root of it all, Mets fans are humorous.  We’re funny, and we’re a bunch of wise guys, and we need to make the impossibly tragic funny, in order for us to survive it.

Over the years, I’ve met so many people, fans just passing through (sometimes, I was one of those fans), people I sat with an entire season, people I sat by just once, often leave me with such indelible prints of my brain, that I still think of them from time to time.

Like the guy I sat behind at Camden Yards one year during an extra inning game in 1998.  Ironically, ex-Met Jesse Orosco (in the twilight of his career) came into the game via middle relief (in the back end of the game of course).  This gentleman threw his hands up in the arm in disgust, yelling, “Just forfeit!! Just forfeit the game!”  Though I was in Maryland, he sounded like Benny from Brooklyn, as “forfeit” sounded like “faw-fit.”  Needless to say, this has been rehashed several times over the years, usually when the Mets bring in someone with a two run lead in late innings.  Used in conjunction with the likes of Guillermo Mota, Aaron Heilman, Scott Schoeneweis, among others.

There was Richie in Section 22 in the Mezzanine.  Between him shouting “YEEEEEEEEEE HAWWWWWWWWW!” at the top of his lungs at inopportune moments (keep in mind, this was in 2002, when NO ONE was going to games, and the Mets didn’t give us much to cheer).  My personal favorite is one that we use to this day.  During a random Saturday game, probably against a futile team like the Pittsburgh Pirates, there was a 6-0 deficit for the Mets to overcome in like the 6th inning.  Richie’s response was a classic one.  “We’re down 6-0, in the 6th inning to the Pirates. WE GOT ‘EM RIGHT WHERE WE WANT ‘EM.”

Woodside Tommy, also from Mezzanine 22, was one of the smart ass ringleaders.  At a game in Coney Island, when Howard Johnson was the manager of the Cyclones and Bobby Ojeda was his pitching coach, Tommy yelled to Ojeda in the bullpen.  “HEY!  BOBBY O!!!!!! GIMME A HIGH FOUR!!!”  Of course, in reference to Ojeda snipping off his finger prior to the playoffs in 1988.  When I told Tommy he was an asshole, Tommy feigned innocence. “What? What?? What am I gonna say?  Gimme a high FIVE????  Ha ha!”

The man had a point.

There was the Opening Day when my ex was wearing his Brooklyn Dodger cap.  My dear uncle Gene, as everyone knows, was a New York Giants fan back in the day and still has some massive hate towards the team from the borough of churches.  My smart ass of an ex (there’s a reason why he’s that) said, “Hey Gene, I got another one of these caps for you at home if you want it,” fully knowing that Gene hates the team.  Gene said, “Yeah, good, I need some kindling for my fireplace!”  Then he had his maniacal laugh that only Gene can have.

There was the night in 2006 when I was sitting in the Field Level at Shea Stadium, and Jose Lima gave up a grand slam to Dontrelle Willis, the starting pitcher for the Florida Marlins that night.  I had to be carried out of the stadium, but not before it took me until the 7th inning before I realized Lima was NOT in the game since the 2nd inning basically.

I was not only that drunk, but  I still have some massive Post-Traumatic Mets Disorder from that one.  In fact, I believe that was the night I coined that term, shorthand is “PTMD.”  Many, many Mets fans have their own personal PTMD moments.

You know you have them too.

Lately, some of my catch phrases have taken a life of their own.  Like the ever-infamous, “HOLY SHEEPSHIT AND BALLS” that started on Twitter.  It started off as “Holy sheepshit” when something fun happened or surprising was going on.  Since then, it’s mutated.  The balls I added on because, I don’t know, I thought it was funny.  For the record, it’s supposed to be read as “Sheep shit and sheep balls,” not a purely baseball reference, as I’ve been known to tweet that during football and hockey.

While I’m thrilled to be a part of people’s lexicon while watching sporting events, I have a mouth like a truck driver that for some reason people take a holier-than-thou approach to in dealing with me.  I have to say, hey, lighten up, it’s the heat of the moment.

Like you’ve NEVER done that.

Hell, I sat in the trenches with many Mets fans in the late ’80s and early ’90s, even the early aughts, with this army-like humor.  I was even at a Mets/Braves game in 2007 when the aforementioned Mota came in and proceeded to make the game VERY interesting.  When we all talked about it later, after the Mets won of course, it was like surviving a war.

Mets fans are like army buddies.  Some of these people are the best buddies I’ll ever have in my life.  You can have inside jokes about the Mota game, or the Lima Time game, or that time on Twitter when <blank> happened and we all said “HOLY SHEEPSHIT!”  Or later, it’s mutated into Twitter memes, like our friend @JedSmed who creates different Mets hash tags when there’s nothing going on.  Or when Matt from the Daily Stache started #ReplaceShitWithMets trend or the #JustinTurnerFacts.

Like army buddies, you gotta keep things interesting to get through it all.

The next generation of Mets fans will be introduced to Banner Day in 2012, just like I was back when I first became a fan.  I couldn’t tell you what banner took the prize during that scheduled doubleheader in 1986, or if there were really cool banners.  No.  All I remembered was a plain white bed sheet with black shoe polish-like substance with the words, “SHEA’S BATHROOMS ARE WORSE THAN CHERNOBYL.”

You had to be there to get it.  Just like with most things that come with being a Mets fan.  You can look at one another, or bring up a difficult memory or even a fond memory, and know what it’s like.

Yet, I’m sure at the end of the day, we’ll take Shea’s bathrooms back any day, Chernobyl or no.