I use a lot of catch phrases that some of you may be familiar with, some more than others.
“Holy Sheepshit and Balls” is one of them.
One of the biggies is “For the love of Pete” or shorthand “Love of Pete.” Sometimes I’ve been known to say “Love of FUCK.” But that’s neither here nor there.
Yet, when I start saying “Love of Pete” at baseball games, it means one thing.
That I’m back.
I had a tough time coming around on this season. Not that I’m incredibly pessimistic or anything like that, mostly because I’ve been distracted. The Rangers are actually pretty good and kept me occupied this offseason, and now it turns out that baseball, for once, is coming between me and hockey. It’s just something new to me. The last time the Rangers were this special in my life, I was a teenager, I certainly wasn’t blogging and the Mets also weren’t any good. So it was a no-brainer then. Rangers all the way. Now, though, I am inundated with social media updates and multiple methods of getting games without being near my television. (Also, not to mention, the Rangers had already locked their playoff spot up and their regular season is now officially done, so we’re just waiting for the playoffs to begin this week).
Plus, I get a special dispensation for this weekend. After all, it was opening weekend.
It was a summer family reunion for the books as Opening weekend came and went at CitiField. It was a reunion of the family-we-choose and the family-we-have and a little bit of both.
Opening Day is almost stressful. It’s the one day a year that everyone I pretty much know goes to the games, and we always try to get together. Some happen. Some don’t. Yet, we need to get to the ballpark early so that we actually have time TO tailgate, and to make it into the park to see the opening ceremonies. The parking lots are vast, and not everyone is parked by one another, so it’s tough to get to everyone. We did a good job though. We started off with the great Chapman tailgate, featuring the Housewives of CitiField edition (and the infamous margarita maker), visited Randy’s tailgate for Read the Apple (where we had a mini blogger summit featuring Media Goon from Mets Police, The Apple author himself, Dee from Metscellaneous, my husband from Studious Metsimus and yours truly), then onto Uncle Gene and Aunt Melissa’s, bringing me back to my childhood days when they would take their kids out of school to go to Opening Day at Shea. (Of course, only ONE kid had to be taken out of school Thursday. I’m old).
So we managed to get everything done that we wanted to prior to going into the park. Then came the actual finding of the area to take pics of the pregame, which included a tribute to my hero, Gary Carter. Now, we all know how much Coop loves Kid. We headed to the Promenade to get our shots of the entire field, and it ended up being a good idea until the Pastrachos incident.
See, some asshole not paying attention to the field ceremony decided that getting back to the seat before his pastrachos got cold distracted my husband from getting the first pitch and almost got Dee to miss her opportunity too. Because he wanted to sit. And eat fucking nasty-ass pastrachos.
I know this is a first world problem. After all, we weren’t in seats that were our own, and if someone came to us as they were getting on the field, I would have gladly moved. That was the plan the whole time. But…not even fucking paying attention or paying respects to Kid’s family to eat your fucking PASTRACHOS????
That gets a big patented Coop middle finger.
The game goes on without incident. I have to say, especially in the last few years, this has to be one of the most memorable if least stressful 1-0 Mets games I have ever attended. If the Mets had lost 1-0, I’d have been all pissed off. But they won, and the bullpen kept things together after Johan Santana made his pitch count quota for the day. We did manage to have a Shea Bridge Blogger Summit Lite, since many of the blogging community representatives weren’t able to get Twitter during the game. Or any social media type outlets. More first world problems, but this is the fucking 21st goddamn century, and this happens every goddamn year with the Mets and CitiField. Get us some wifi passwords or get better service. THE END.
But hey, the bloggers I met up with are pretty goddamn fantastic. Here’s me and Richie from Random Mets Thoughts toasting our first beer of the season, and Dee and Metstradamus joined us for more fun and excitement.
But the highlight of the day came after the game. The post-game wrap up was being conducted outside CitiField for SNY. So we hung around and figured, hey, maybe we’ll get on TV.
Does that answer your question?
By Saturday, things were somewhat back to normal. Going to so many games, I kind of get jaded by going to so many games. I generally get there about just a few minutes before first pitch. While I like to watch the game from my seats, I’m not averse to getting up a few times during the games. In fact, it’s almost essential because I need to charge my phone at some point and eat. #FirstWorldProblems.
This time I was able to run into more bloggers for an impromptu blogger summit on the bridge.
Don’t be fooled: the two Coops of bloggers on the right are not twins (though we tried our best to fool people, with our matching sweatshirts and last names).
Anyhoo, few things of note besides a great R.A. Dickey start and another *yawn* Mets win on Saturday.
One was I found a new entrance to CitiField…sort of. See, I have no idea what purpose it serves. It seems like a secret handshake or password society door, between the Jackie Robinson Rotunda and Hodges entrances. It’s the “Payson” entrance, presumably named after the Mets first owner and original Mets diva (and only woman honored in the Mets Hall of Fame and Museum), Joan Whitney Payson. See, I wasn’t around when this woman was. Let me tell you something: this is the type of owner I’d want. Everyone had her respect. To this day, Tom Seaver even calls her Mrs. Payson. A Hall of Fame pitcher and World Champion with the Mets, and still refers to her with that title. I think that’s awesome.
Anyway, I have no idea what purpose this entrance serves but if someone can find out, it would be cool to know.
Now what you see on the right of the Payson entrance is not an apparition. It is not a mistake. It is not a mirage. It’s the Niese Chick with the Niese jersey.
Yes, I have found the only way to get anything remotely related to showing your fandom for Jonathon Joseph Niese, besides being his long-lost twin, is to actually get it customized.
But not to worry. I didn’t actually buy it. Sort of. Well, I paid for it all right. As a season ticket holder, the Mets have given you “Amazin’ Perks,” one of which is the “Super Fan Package” and your choice is the 50th anniversary customized jersey. I wasn’t sure what I wanted. I definitely wanted someone on this team. By then, it was a foregone conclusion that Reyes wasn’t on the team. I have a David Wright jersey (it was actually WORN by him at one point). And I don’t know, who else?
Jon Niese – 49.
I have to practice what I preach. Absolutely, because you cannot find a Niese shirt ANYWHERE. ANYTIME. Even at the Mets Clubhouse by Bryant Park. Spare me the whole “Well, you can get whatever you want on MLB.com.” The man has a contract extension, for fuck’s sake, let’s get some shirts made up in the Mets gift shops. So I have set the trend. (And after his performance on Sunday, I can tell you more people will want him items in stock, mark my words).
The beauty part was my sales rep met me during the game to give me my “goodie bag” including my brand new Niese jersey. In time, though, because I was able to sport it on his first start of the season.
We got to the park early again, if only to meet up with some friends we really couldn’t see on Opening Day, but also to meet up with Mr DyHrdMet from Remembering Shea, who also had one thing on the agenda with Ed.
To take stalking photos of Jon Niese.
Well, okay. I was down with that.
I took it a step further though. I decided I was going to try to yell. And get his attention.
And I did.
“I’m WEARING YOUR SHIRT JON!!!”
Hey, you know what, I can pretty much guarantee I’m one of the only people who do that besides someone with the last name NIESE.
He laughed, and kept doing his gallops in his stretching routine.
Then I yell at one point, “MEMBERS OF THE JONATHON JOSEPH NIESE FAN CLUB YEAH!!!!”
DyHrdMet was able to get the only shot of his reaction.
Photo credit to Jason Bornstein
He did smile and laughed at one point. Go us. Hopefully, he’ll hug his twin on the west coast.
So some special things happened on Niesester Sunday. First, he had a shaky start then leveled out to no-hit the Braves for six-plus innings. The Mets did manage to make the game interesting, a seven-run blow out to a nail-biting 7-5 in the 9th inning.
Yet, something else that shows me this ain’t yo’ mama’s Mets. First, the bullpen has been without incident. Save Manny Acosta giving up a home run, there hasn’t been much incident with the bullpen. Hell, even Frank Francisco has been closing out fine. Yet, when I see him out there, I don’t cringe, I don’t get palpitations.
What did give me palpitations was the no-hit bid. When I’m in situations like that, I get flustered and to the point where I don’t even want to get up. Same with my husband. He said that it was nice to see that he married someone who “gets it.” Oh, I get it all right.
I guess the good news was, I was able to try a burger from Keith’s Grill for the first time this year. The “Mex Burger” to more precise: burger with cheddar and pepper jack cheeses, guacamole, jalapenos, bacon and chipotle aioli. And yes, it was as delicious as it sounds. Looking forward to eating it again.
Ballapeno was none too happy, though, with me eating a burger with his family members on it.
The most important part was that the Mets won. The Mets won, for the love of Pete, the Mets won! Let’s not get ahead of ourselves…they won a series against a Braves team that is still, for all intents and purposes, are reeling from a late-season collapse from 2011. This ain’t yo’ mama’s Braves, either.
While I wait for the Stanley Cup playoffs to start, I’ll watch my baseball games and stalk the players and enjoy it while I can. The Mets have put us through a lot these last few years, and while we may be suffering from post-traumatic Mets disorder, there was something interesting going on at CitiField.
It felt like we belonged there. We belonged as fans, the Mets belong there. It felt like a place I can look forward to watching games at for the next 40 or so years.
And hopefully, that asshole with the pastrachos will learn baseball etiquette by then.