Tag Archives: New York Mets

Let’s go Mets

It’s the start of another baseball season. I call myself a Mets fan, and every year around this time I look in the mirror and I say something like, “Rob, this year you’re actually going to watch baseball, OK? You’re going to stay on top of when the Mets are playing, and how they’re doing. You’re going to learn the names of more players than just David Wright. OK, and when you put on that Mets t-shirt, the vintage looking blue piece with the intentionally faded logo, right, when you wear it and some of your friends start saying stuff like, ‘Cool shirt, did you see the game last night?’ you won’t have to lie, nodding along, just hoping they won’t call you out on specific highlights, or ask if you knew who the opposing team was. No, this year you’re going to be a real Mets fan.”


I was almost a real Mets fan in 2007. Granted, at the time the Mets were doing awesome, and so it’s not that hard to get excited about a team that’s winning. Everyone thought they were headed to the playoffs that year. It was almost assured. They were so far ahead of every other team that they would have had to lose something like seven or eight games in a row to not qualify for the post-season. Which is what they did, of course. And they collapsed the year after that also.

But this year I wanted a fresh start, a chance to see the Mets through the season from the very start. I knew I was in for an uphill battle though when I saw a Mets game on the TV above the bar at work last week. “Shit,” I told one of the bartenders, “Did the season start already? When was opening day?” And it was like two days ago, I had somehow missed it completely. Is it really my fault? I don’t know. It’s just now starting to get nice out, so that first game must have been like a winter sport. And so can I really be blamed for not having had any spring weather to associate baseball with?

I went home and typed “Mets” into Google. They lost the first two games, and their closing pitcher messed up his arm or his elbow or something. So yeah, I guess I got a little deflated, like maybe I’m not going to get to be a huge Mets fan, not this year. And it sucked because I looked down, I was already wearing that Mets t-shirt that I was talking about earlier. Right when I got home from work that day, but before I checked out how they were doing online, I went hunting around my dresser drawers, I found it.

It’s a really cool shirt, it’s like, in addition to that distressed logo I was talking about, the one that was definitely intentionally silk-screened to make it look authentically vintage, there’s also a patch sewn onto the sleeve. I’m writing it out and it sounds super lame, but it’s a subtle touch, like maybe it’s a little over the top, but not too over the top.

But I can’t help feeling like a huge poser every time I put it on. It was the same feeling I got a few years before, I went to Modell’s and bought all of those “buy two get two” Mets tees, but they all stretched out around the neck, and honestly, I had no idea who any of the players were whose names I had printed across the backs of these really cheap pieces of cotton.

I get it though, it’s more than just dressing the part of a Mets fan. You have to also kind of pay attention to how they’re doing. If you’re not actually watching baseball games on TV, you should at least make sure you know when they’re playing, against who, maybe make an effort to understand the rules of the game, pitching order, American and National league, all of these keywords that I can rattle off without really knowing what I’m talking about.

Anyway, some good news, Ike Davis hit a grand slam last week. So that was pretty cool. I watched that clip on the Internet. But it was like three days after the fact, and when I went to talk about it to one of my friends at work, he was like, “Yeah that was a cool hit, although that was last week.” And then he walked away.

I tried watching some of the Cincinnati game on Sunday, but I couldn’t figure out what channel it was on, which is a really bad excuse, because I could have just looked it up on the Internet. Oh well. It’s still early. There’s still plenty of time to hop on the Mets bandwagon. Right?

Let’s go Mets.

I almost met David Wright

I went to the diner last weekend and right as I was sat, I saw this guy that I went to high school with sitting a few booths down. The last thing I wanted to do was get into a fake “Hey, how’s it going, so good to see you, how’s life,” type of conversation, but I didn’t want to be a dick either, and so I avoided eye contact, hoping that he didn’t see me sort of staring at him initially as my brain tried to figure out how I knew this guy.


But was he looking my way? I couldn’t remember for sure, and as I was about halfway done with my burger, and I know this sounds totally crazy, I started to get a little upset. I mean, if I saw him, he probably saw me, and why wouldn’t he want to come over and say hi? Right, like I just said, I didn’t want to say hi to him either, and so, whatever, I tried to let it go, hoping that he wasn’t just as surprisingly annoyed as I currently was about having been stiffed out of one of those awkward, “What are you up to these days,” back-and-forths.

I made up my mind to force the situation, I’d get up and be like, “Is that you?” although, just as I went about to actually put my plan into action, I realized I couldn’t even remember this guy’s name. Sophomore year, we definitely sat across from each other in at least three classes, but I don’t know why, I was drawing a blank. Was it Tom? Pete? It was something like that, Billy maybe?”

“Mike!” I heard another voice say coming at me. Only, it wasn’t coming at me. It was coming at Mike, his name was Mike, I can’t believe I couldn’t think of it. Here was another guy I went to high school with, I’m pretty sure his name was Brian, he must have been meeting Mike for lunch. And as Brian passed by my booth, we definitely made eye contact, it was only for like two seconds, but a solid two seconds, like two beats of definite eye contact. I went to make a subtle kind of head nod, like a, “What’s up,” but I think it might have been too subtle, because he just ignored me, and I tried to play it off like I had an itch on my nose or something.

“Charlie!” Mike said. So this guy’s name was Charlie, not Brian, and then they started talking, but the diner was busy, and even though I tried to hear if one of them said something like, “Did you see that guy a few booths down? Was that Rob?” there was no way I was able to make anything out. I did glance that way occasionally, but I didn’t want to come off as too creepy, and so, whatever, I just wanted to finish up and leave.

I mean, this is why people feel self-conscious about going to a restaurant by themselves. Because, what if that guy did say hi? Or what if my nod was slightly more than imperceptible? I’d say hi, these guys would say hi, and, and then what, they’d say, “Great, see ya later?” Would they feel maybe pressured to invite me to join their table? I’d have to say yes, right, I mean that’s polite, so we’d have to grab a waiter or a busboy and they’d have to move everything over. I’d be eating whereas these guys would have just been ordering, and so the timing would be off, there’d be the question of separate checks, or maybe even separate waiters.

I just wanted to leave, seriously, I was in my head now and I wanted out. But just before I had the chance to ask for the bill, guess who walked in? It was David Wright of the New York Mets. I couldn’t believe it, because this was just my regular diner, I mean, I guess celebrities go out for regular food once in a while, but this was just unreal, David Wright, walking right past me.

“There he is!” Mike said to David Wright. Man, he was there to see Mike and Charlie? Now I was kicking myself, because if I hadn’t tried so hard to avoid that bullshit conversation, if I’d only thrown in a, “Man, can you believe how long it’s been since high school,” or a, “How’s your family, everybody doing OK,” I could have been standing there at the table just as David Wright walked in. They’d have had to introduce me, maybe invite me to sit down with them, man, that would have been awesome.

Was it too late? It was probably too late. But I really needed to try. At the very least I could have endured an awkward two seconds or so to grab a selfie with David Wright, after which I’d bow out gracefully, and that would be that. So I walked over and I tried way too hard to play it cool. In my head, I wanted to pull off a natural double take, like it would’ve looked like I wasn’t going out of my way to bump into them, but then I’d be all, “Whoa! Mike? Charlie?”

It came off too forced. Because, and I always forget that when I’m playing out these scenarios in my head, I’m thinking that people are paying attention to me pretending not to pay attention to them, when in reality, nobody’s paying attention to me, not really. So from these guys’ perspectives, it must have just been, them sitting down at the table, and then all of the sudden I’m there, interrupting whatever it was they were doing with me, “Whoa! Mike? Charlie?”

“Yeah?” Mike said.

“It’s me. Rob.” Now all three of them were looking at me, but nobody said anything. “From high school.” I added.

“You’re from Ohio?” Mike said? “You went to Franklin?”

“No, I went to high school here on Long Island. You guys aren’t from Long Island?”

And they just shook their heads back and forth, which would have been fine I guess, an honest mistake. Only, it was definitely a little strange that I had called them out by their names, Mike and Charlie, names that, yeah, I guess I only knew because I overheard them talking to each other when they sat down. So I don’t know if they made that connection or not, but all I could think about was how obvious it was that I’d been spying on them.

“Oh really? That’s crazy. You look just like some of my friends from high school. Sorry for the confusion guys,” I didn’t even bother addressing the fact that I said hi by name, but whatever, I just needed a picture with David Wright, and then I could make my graceful exit.

“Sorry to bother you, but if I could just ask a favor,” and now I turned to David Wright, “Do you think I could get a photo?”

And it was even more awkward than I could have imagined. Everyone kept looking back and forth at each other with confused faces. Finally I just kind of leaned in a little closer, and nobody actively objected, so I of went for it, I took the selfie David Wright and me, said, “Thanks guys!” and then I left.

It was like half an hour later, I was back at my house and I’d already posted the photo to Facebook and Instagram, “Look who I met at the diner today!” was the caption.

One of my friends commented, “Who?” And I just typed back, “Haha.” But then another friend wrote, “Seriously, who is that?”

So I wrote, “David Wright from the Mets.”

And then like ten people shot back, “No, that’s not David Wright.” Some of them even posted pictures of David Wright from the Internet, with comments like, “This is David Wright. Who is that guy?”

And yeah, seeing them side-by-side like that, it definitely wasn’t David Wright. I’m telling you, in person, I don’t know if it was the light, but in the diner the resemblance was uncanny. But now, I mean, they kind of looked alike, like if you told me they were cousins, I’d totally believe you. But whatever, now it all made sense, the confusion, the awkward moment at the diner. I just kept the photo up on my wall, hoping everyone would think it was some sort of an inside joke that they didn’t get, because if I took it down, it would look like I had no idea what I was doing, like I’d have to admit to the Internet that I’d asked a random stranger to join me in a really weird selfie.

Let’s go Mets! Let’s go Mets! M – E – T – S Mets, Mets, Mets!

I barely follow sports at all. Whenever something big happens, like one of the local teams makes it all of the way, or some new superstar moves to town, I always make sure that I know just enough about what’s going on so that I can join in on any potential conversations with friends or coworkers. I’m pretty good at faking any conversation. One time I talked to this guy about the TV show Breaking Bad for like four hours, and I had never even seen a single episode. He didn’t know that. I feel like, when people talk about stuff that they’re interested in, most of the time they’re only concerned about presenting their own ideas without any obstruction. And I’m the perfect guy to have that type of chit-chat with. I’m not going to be like, “I hate Breaking Bad,” I’ll be like, “I know right!” Validation, enthusiasm, direct eye contact. I’m really good at pulling just enough tiny fragments of pseudo-information out of my ass and presenting them as mirrors of the first person’s point of view.

But anyway, sports. Even though I couldn’t tell you exactly what’s going on right now, I’m still invested just enough that if push came to shove, I’d be able to pick a side and join allegiance against any enemy fans. Since New York has two of every major sports team, this means picking a favorite across the board. And I have one of each. And it’s totally arbitrary. Well, maybe just a level up from arbitrary, because at this point, I’ve been a “fan” of each team for my whole life, so if anything, there’s a whole history based on what was once an arbitrary decision. So that has to count for something, right?

I definitely hate the Yankees. I’m not sure why, really, but the hate is real. So I have a Mets t-shirt. I’ll wear it around. It’s a cool shirt. I like the Mets’ logo and their colors. I love Mr. Met. But I’ll always find that whenever I’m walking around outside with my Mets shirt on, at least one or two complete strangers will feel the need to shout out something to me like, “Let’s go Mets!” as we cross paths. And I’m always way too late on the interaction to say anything back. I’m taken by surprise every time.

I really don’t get it. I live in Queens. Everybody’s wearing a Mets shirt. Is this person walking around screaming out, “Let’s go Mets!” to every single fan that he passes by? And it never comes out exactly, “Let’s go Mets!” it’s more like, “sco METS!” the first two words combined, said really low, and then Mets almost screamed, but not actually screamed, but by comparison, because the “sco” was said so low.

What are these people all about? What’s your angle? They look out at the world and they see things that confirm everything they already believe in. So it makes them happy to see themselves reflected back at them in the outside world. If you really need this type of a boost all the time, I guess a popular local sports team is a pretty good way to get your fix. Look at that bus! Mets logo! Yes! Guy with a Mets hat! All right! Another Mets shirt! Sco METS! I’m at Citi Field! Hell yeah!

I’m just walking around, head in the clouds, and by the time I’ve realized what’s even gone down, I’m just like standing there, turning around in circles, not even sure if the person who said it is still near me, or even which one of these people would have said it in the first place.

What am I supposed to do? I always wonder what I would say in response if I actually caught the comment as it happened in real time. Let’s say I see this guy approaching me, and I know he’s going to do it, he just has that look in his eye, and sure enough, like a foot in front of me, he says, “sco METS!” And I just stop. And I put up my hand for a high-five. And I say back to him, “All right! Mets! Wahoo!” Would he return my high-five? I’d be going out on a limb there. But then again, this guy already went out on a limb by saying something to me. And seeing as how I never ever respond, like I said, not because I’m rude, but just because the whole “sco METS” to random strangers things is always something I’m never expecting, I’m constantly leaving people hanging.

But I don’t really want that high-five to be reciprocated. Smack! Now we’re bros. Want to go grab a beer and watch the game? Uh, sure, I guess. That guy would find out in about ten minutes about how much I know about the Mets. Actually, that’s not true. I spent the first paragraph of this piece writing about how great I am at bullshitting about stuff that I don’t know anything about. And so I would be forced to sit there through the whole game, just nodding at all the right points, “I know right!” every single time. And it would be awful. Where was I going in the first place? Why did I drink so much beer?

One time I was looking for a job and feeling so down on my luck because nothing was going right and nobody was responding to my resume and I wasn’t getting any interviews. I’m walking around with my hands in my pockets and my head hung low and I see this lady with a duffel bag. The duffel bag was emblazoned with a corporate logo. So I stop right in front of her and scream out, “sco Goldman SACHS!” And she took a huge sidestep and tripped on the person next to us trying to get away from me as fast as she could. Come on lady! What the hell! Just give me a job at Goldman! I’m a fan! I swear!