That does it. I officially hate Fenway Park. Throw it on the trash heap, right on top of the charms of Wrigley Field, the geniuses Cox & Schuerholz, the admirable Dodger tradition, those rabidly loyal Cardinal rooters and every goddamn thing about the New York Fucking Yankees.
You want lyric, little bandbox crap? Go somewhere else. Sharon Chapman is right. The place is a dump. Blow it up. Build 'em a Riverfront Stadium clone; cut those cookies. Keep the trough if you like, but I don't want to hear about how fucking great fucking Fenway Park is ever again.
Unless we win there Thursday night. Then it can stand another 95 seasons.
I won't say I don't mind losing two in a row. I do. I mind that and I mind how we've been losing, which to say in embarrassing fucking fashion. Thank goodness we play in the sorriest division this side of the other two in our league and actually picked up a half-mile on the tied-for-second Phillies. But another pathetic pasting is not what has me in froth mode.
This first trip to Fenway in six years, since 2000…THAT'S IT! WE'VE BEEN BACK TO FENWAY SINCE 1986! TWICE!! The Mets played an Interleague series there in 1998 (took two out of three) and 2000 (lost two out of three). Did they never happen? Have we been just wandering Lansdowne Street for two full decades awaiting the privilege to play in a non-regulation facility one more time?
And is this really the first time any of us have ever seen Fenway Park on television? Haven't the Red Sox been a post-season fixture for three Octobers? Isn't every trip the other New York team makes there covered like a SALT II summit was in an earlier generation? Doesn't HBO show Fever Pitch three times a day?
On a given American League evening, Fenway's a lovely thing to stare at, no doubt. But for the past two nights, I've had the enemy ballpark shoved down my throat. Yes, the Red Sox are the enemy. Friday they go back to being the enemy of our enemy and I wish them nothing but all the success they need to quell that enemy (and we'll certainly do our part for them). But watching the Mets' telecast Tuesday and Wednesday has been like watching a Red Sox Nation recruiting video. Fine if it was coming via NESN, but it's not.
Don't we own Snigh, or at least a third of it? Aren't our announcers three authentic orange-and-bluebloods? Isn't the director of our telecasts a veteran of Mets baseball? If all of this is true — and it is — then can they drop the breathtaken descriptions of Fenway Park as if we've never been exposed to the place?
I don't need Jerry Remy visiting the Mets' booth.
I don't need Wally the Green Monster visiting the Mets' booth.
I don't need Chris Cotter explaining the wonders of the manual scoreboard and that there's no place to pee inside it, save for a cup.
I don't need a recitation of Red Sox retired numbers (especially one that skips over Ted Williams).
I don’t need to hear what Ron Darling ate in the bleachers as a kid or be reminded for the umpteen-thousandth time that he's from Massachusetts.
And I really never need to hear again that Pedro Martinez was once a Red Sock and that the fans still love him. If I were a Red Sox fan, I'd love him even more after his first start as a Fenway visitor. Three innings, eight runs…come back and pitch against us again real soon.
I thought Pedro handled the hubbub over his return magnificently. His press conference Tuesday was one of the best performances I've ever seen an athlete in that kind of spotlight give. And I thought Pedro handled the pitching assignment Wednesday horribly. It was one of the worst performances I've ever seen an athlete in that kind of spotlight give. He said he felt good but just didn't have it going on. I guess we're living through that maddening zen thing he had going in Boston when he was assigning opposing batters paternity and so forth. If Pedro's not hurting, and he said he wasn't, then it was just the lousiest outing of his Mets career. It doesn't erase all the good he did and will do, it's just a fact.
But I'm done with it. I can't stand when the Mets get caught in somebody else's storyline. This Pedro-goes-home-again thing wasn't our business. It was theirs. We were just held hostage to its whims and its venue. So, apparently were our hitters and certain rookie leftfielders who did not appear to be liking it too much. Awful, awful, fucking awful.
It was Just One Game after another Just One Game (Just Two Games) and it did us no statistical harm. Whether it somehow haunts us three-and-a-half months down the line is unknowable. But we need more first-place baseball and less dumbstruck sightseeing, plus Glavine to be Glavinean as he can be later tonight, because I can't bear another night of “Chris Cotter is in right field and has found one seat painted a different color from all the rest.”
I've always appreciated Mets broadcasts' tendency to give a full 360-degree picture of a baseball game, the them as well as the us. That appreciation has only grown since I've been able to watch so many out-of-town games on digital cable. Those announcers can barely contain themselves in the priming of their employers' pump. And YEECH, of course, is one gigantic house organ for Skankee baseball. For example, Mariano Rivera can't enter a game without Michael Kay reminding his viewers, and Jim Kaat confirming it, that Mariano Rivera is the greatest reliever in the history of Western civilization. If that's such a dead, solid fact, why do they repeat it every time he shows his face? Are they that fucking insecure?
Anyway, Metscasts aren't like that. Even with Fran Healy they weren't. They're certainly not that way with Gary Cohen directing traffic (which is what he's forced to do too often, but that's another story) and SNY transmitting the pictures. What annoys me is that they do almost the opposite. When we played the Dodgers a few weeks ago, it was three nights of “isn't Dodger Stadium wonderful, aren't the Dodgers wonderful?” The Cardinals get the same royal treatment. The Braves certainly did for far too long. The Cubs are treated like some special species because their walls are ivy-covered. And the Red Sox, thanks to the 2006 schedule, are now in the elite club of we're-not-worthy opponents.
Godmotherfuckingdamnit, it's the other teams that have to measure up to us. That's my view anyway. That should be the view that is presented to us. Pander to us for crissake. Don't lie to us, but skew away in our favor. For two nights it's been the Fenway fucking travelogue. If I want that, I'll check Netflix. I know it's a unique place. I know we don't play them that often, but it's not a once-every-twenty-years phenomenon. Interleague has taken care of that. You can't pretend it hasn't. And, again, it's not like we haven't seen loads of Fenway on our televisions in the very recent past. 'Cause we have.
After this nightmare of an unnecessary fucking series is over, we visit that horrid municipal parking garage of an abomination somewhere over the Triborough, and we're going to be told about Monument Park like we've never heard of it and the façade like we've never heard of it and Bob Sheppard like we've never heard of him (heard of him). And somehow we will be left with the impression that we are supposed to feel inadequate because we do not have a long and storied history.
Fuck that, fuck that, fuck that 26 fucking times over. Fuck Fenway Park. Fuck Wrigley Field. Fuck the Dodgers and the Cardinals and the Braves and, for good measure, fuck the Yankees 26 more times.
Let's Go Mets.