The blog for Mets fans
who like to read

ABOUT US

Jason Fry and Greg Prince
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

Got something to say? Leave a comment, or email us at faithandfear@gmail.com.

Need our RSS feed? It's here.

Visit our Facebook page, or drop by the personal pages for Greg and Jason.

Or follow us on Twitter: Here's Greg, and here's Jason.

Best Bargain in Baseball

In the parlance of the pocket schedule, Monday night was a value date. Don't say there isn't truth in Mets advertising.
Five bucks for an upper deck ticket (Section 1!) bought the opportunity to watch the once, present and hopefully continuing first-place Mets easily quell the pleasantly pliant Rockies in an economical two hours and thirty-four minutes by the miserly hand of John Maine who makes more than all of us, but less than most of his peers, none of whom has matched his extravagant consistency.
Value all around on the first nonparka, practically shirtsleeve night of the season. Valentin cashed in with interest. Delgado hit the home run jackpot at last. There was outstanding outfield defense (Beltran's, Green's and, with a large enough lead to appreciate an opponent's effort, Finley's). There was Reyes running to second from first twice while Lo Duca batted. There was even a Mr. Met sighting in the red seats.
Warmth and a win. To turn Wes Westrum on his head, ohmigod, wasn't that wonderful?
This was my first night game of the year and it was good getting back in this particular groove, the one that starts smoothly with the 6:11 to Woodside and ends well with the 10:18 to Baldwin and includes the one and only Laurie. Why more Mets fans didn't take advantage of the weather and the prices I don't know, but fine with me. Does anyone remember legroom? I can't believe I'm saying this, but it was nice that the Mets didn't draw 55,000 for a change.
When we're winning and we're not freezing, everything insipid is practically charming. Tonight's unintentional entertainment was provided by two familiar sources: idiots in the row below us and the idiot box looming above left center.
The game was some 50 minutes old when the seats at our feet filled in with six or eight or ten (I lost track) college-age kids. They didn't seem all that interested in Maine's primacy or the Delgado bustout or, in the case of one young lady I wouldn't let out of the house if she were my daughter, underwear of a concealing nature. It was all about the yammering and the texting and the beer that was more expensive than the tickets. I've sat behind worse, but nobody more intriguing than one of the guys. He wore a blue Mets t-shirt whose back was blank until he or his little brother got a hold of it and made it read HERNANDEZ 17.
So? So he used white medical tape to pay his hero homage. The 17 looked close to professional, maybe something from a leftover Blue Jays minor league jersey, circa 1985, but the HERNANDEZ took on an accidental font similar to the name on your local Chinese takeout joint's menu. Picture TUCK LEI or SAM PAN, except now it's HERNANDEZ delivering your moo goo gai pan. Plus, the horizontal line in the R had peeled off, so it was more HE, followed by NANDEZ with an indecipherable emoticon separating them.
When Laurie and I weren't averting our eyes from the immodest thong girl, we bounced theories off one another as to what was the deal with HE NANDEZ. I mean, medical tape? Was somebody's gauze falling off an abrasion at home because this guy had to show his love for Mex? If Keith meant that much to him, he couldn't spring for silk-screening at the mall? It's not like he blew more than bucks on his ticket. Why not just go the Magic Marker route? And what about the missing line on the R? Did it just lose its gumption? Was it, like most bases, stolen by Jose Reyes? Is this man trying to tell us something besides he loves Keith Hernandez enough to show it but not enough to show it competently?
We could have asked him, but what fun would that be?
DiamondVision asked us several things and none of them was much fun, but none of them ever are. The quizzes are at least edging closer to baseball content than in previous campaigns. For example, nobody's asking whether Rome is 4,296, 4,298 or 150 Million miles from New York. Tonight's brainteaser was a multiple-choicer to determine Pedro Feliciano's favorite food. Turns out 85 percent of the crowd that saw fit to answer via cell phone (or 17 of the 20 people who must have participated) guessed right that he's a chicken, rice and beans man; Pedro retired his only Rockie on one pitch, so he can eat whatever he likes. I also learned recently that Billy Wagner carries six pieces of gum to the bullpen. You can win a lot of bar bets with tidbits like that, though you can probably earn a good crack in the mouth for even bringing stuff like that up in a bar.
Another bit of DV filler was recurring live coverage of the kitchen in what appeared to be the Diamond Club. There was no narration to accompany the video, just a chef preparing surprisingly mouthwatering entrees and a waiter picking them up. The message seemed to be you lucky people who chose one of the cheapest nights of the year to attend a game now have the privilege of watching your betters dine. Bon app├ętit!
There are 12 value dates on the schedule this season, only eight remaining. After next week, you have to wait until September 24 against the Nationals for a night of five-buck baseball. Pity. It has to be the last great bargain in Metland. Just as it hit me during Game Six last October that I was paying $150 for a seat that occasionally went for $5, I remembered Monday that I once paid 30 times as much to sit just a little to the left where I found myself six months later. Context is everything, of course, but relatively speaking, a Mets game is a Mets game. And a Mets win is such a deal.

19 comments to Best Bargain in Baseball

  • Anonymous

    You know you can always find me in the red seats on five-dollar nights! And while it was such a nice change to not be freezing every part of my body off, I was sort of wishing it wasn't…um, thong weather. Lord above, young lady… TMI!!!
    It was definitely Spring Break night, that's for sure. All about The Wave, and the beer, and the endless switching of seats. Nobody appeared to know or care that there was a ballgame going on! (I have a funny feeling tomorrow night will be similar, so I'm heading straight for an empty section.)
    However, it all held enormous entertainment value. And not only did Mr. Met join us in the riff-raff seats (it was really for the Bubba Burger trivia question, and not our charming company, as it turned out), but Jason and Emily's archrival Sandy the Seagull even paid Shea a visit. No child abuse was spotted, though.
    Oh yeah… and we won! Yay us!!

  • Anonymous

    It's true. Sandy wanted to chat us up, but we just tapped our relatively smooth wrists and kept walking.
    Back to the minors with you, busher.

  • Anonymous

    Excellent

  • Anonymous

    32,154 last night. You can actually breath in a crowd like that..
    And greg if you are going to Shea on a week night, value or not, give me a call! I can swing down to your place. How about one of the Giants games at the end of the month? Expect the call I promised today…
    Rich

  • Anonymous

    Can we stop dissing Sandy? Somebody in customer service who doesn't have time for individual attention to one customer because they have to go feed the masses is clearly someone making an awful decision with the bosses sitting on his or her head. Trust me.

  • Anonymous

    You mess with Joshua, you mess with us.

  • Anonymous

    To be fair, the NLCS tickets were $75 in the upper reserved, not $150, as you noted. $150 was the World Series price.
    I do appreciate the ode to the $5 seats, but I take serious issue with the suggestion that it's “nice” to have less than a sellout each game. It might be “convenient” in some fashion, but I can't fathom why it would ever be good to have thousands of empty seats that could be filled with enthustiastic Mets fans screaming and cheering every time there were two strikes on the visiting batter, or a full count and the bases loaded with Reyes or Beltran or Delgado up.
    I would hate to think that Mets fans — especially those with blogs that lots of people read — could ever be complacent with having less than a full house every night.

  • Anonymous

    I hear you sister. But I think somebody messed with Sandy.

  • Anonymous

    Because the seats “filled with enthusiastic Mets fans screaming and cheering every time there were two strikes on the visiting batter, or a full count and the bases loaded with Reyes or Beltran or Delgado up” is an idealistic myth. They're usually filled with disloyal, drunken, booing, bandwagon-jumping morons who feel a perfect game from every pitcher and 4-4 from every hitter comes with the price of their ticket… they're entitled to perfection and a victory, and if they don't get “their money's worth,” they're abusive, mean-spirited and vicious. That's the reality. I wish things were different, but they're not.

  • Anonymous

    I agree, especially when those $5 seats become $75, and $150, etc and become filled with people that are there because it's the place to be, because it's the playoffs, because someone offered them a ticket, because their a client of someone special..etc.
    I'm shocked there were so few people last night. Maybe it's just people were out enjoying the first dregs of warmth? the second game of the season was freezing and had more than that.

  • Anonymous

    The face value for the NLCS was $75. Not everybody observed that nicety in making them available.
    I don't disagree that full Met houses are the ideal, especially when 20,000 seats are five bucks apiece (and the weather is so nice). This team certainly deserves that kind of support. Just saying as a fairly frequent customer, I don't mind the occasional lapse.
    Last night's attendance of 32,154 was the lowest of the season to date. I can't imagine the Mets have ever sold as many tickets for April games as they have this year, and this year's April has been pretty darn cold. I'd be surprised if there are a half-dozen crowds lower than 32,154 this year.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Greg,
    Hate to put a downer on last night, but that $5.00 ticket is less of a bargin compared to 40 years ago when specials like Ladies Day, G.O. Card Night, etc. cost fans 50 cents for admission to the upperdeck.
    The buying power of today's dollar is about seven times that of the early sixties. That would make the cost for an equivalent seat today approximately $9.10 – close enough to the bronze ticket going for $9.00. Fifty cents was a 62% discount off the regular ticket price of $1.30. Today, $5.00 is only a 45% discount. The cost to us is actually 17% more than it used to be.
    Hope this really doesn't burst your bubble about value nights since the difference is only about a buck fifty – an amount only Jack Benny would get upset about LOL. I just had to get my two cents in, which, compared to the sixties, is now 14 cents.

  • Anonymous

    Joe,
    If I can get to a game 40 years ago any time soon, I'll consider my bubble burst.

  • Anonymous

    Let's all go!
    “Do you think you could sneak uptown…?”

  • Anonymous

    I have actually made a medical tape (well, actually white duct tape) shirt before. For the return of Piazza, I couldn't find my actual #31 shirt for the life of me, so I went tape on the back of a blank jersey I have. Plus it was fun after the game to turn the 7 train into the 31 train. Mikey deserves it.

  • Anonymous

    Maybe your medical taper just became a Keith Hernandez fan on the spot and didn't want to wait to get to the mall to show his appreciation. Was there anything in his ear picking up a signal from a hovering satellite?

  • Anonymous

    I don't know, but we need more malls that cater to the Keith fans in all of us.

  • Anonymous

    Wait, what? Is someone messing with me?
    They are going DOWN, whoever they are.
    Endy for Supreme Ruler of the Galaxy!

  • Anonymous

    Oh, Jason has a kid named Joshua, doesn't he…
    Man, I thought we were all going to band together against my mysterious foe.
    On a different note, somebody at Metsblog commented during tonights game, something like “I hope we see Endy if the game keeps going. If we do he'll drive in Green with the winning run.”
    What's up with that?