Posted by JD on June 27, 2009
Unfortunately, last night’s Mets game got out of hand early. Three infield errors in the second inning opened the door for the Yankees to score four runs, and the only real drama after that was whether or not C.C. Sabathia would throw a perfect game. After Gary Sheffield homered to break it up the Yankees rallied to break the game open, highlighted by home runs by Brent Gardner (aka, Scrappy White Guy) and Alex Rodriguez.
However, the action on the field was somewhat overshadowed by the action off it. Violent thunderstorms delayed the start of the game by an hour, which had the unintended effect of adding an hour of drinking time. Some fans took liberal advantage of it and it really started to show as the game turned into a rout. As the more responsible (and sober) fans headed for the exit, we were left with a combustible mix of drunk Yankee fans antagonizing drunk Mets fans.
Now, I don’t mean to exaggerate. There were still sober fans in the stands and most of the drunken ones were harmless. In fact, there were quite a few funny exchanges between the groups. In general, I’ve found that New York baseball fans as a group can handle their liquor (I like to think I’m one of them) and keep their cool.
But there are those who can’t. I didn’t actually see the altercation myself, but there was an all-points bulletin in the 8th inning last night. I had moved down to the standing room only area behind Section 109 when half a dozen security personnel suddenly came running from right field, moving at high speed towards the rotunda. Some slow-moving reinforcements came from the same direction a few minutes later. By my count, more than 15 security people were called in. Now, I didn’t see it and I don’t like speculating, but I think it’s safe to say that alcohol might have been involved.
I’ve been going to Subway Series games for years. Friday night games were a little edgy and there were always incidents, but it never got out of control. Last night was a bit of a perfect storm (no pun intended). Extra drinking time combined with a one-sided game added fuel to the fire. The ugly scene that unfolded near the rotunda was a product of that environment. I get it.
But what I don’t get is why today’s game starts at 7:10. Saturday games were always pleasant by comparison, with the vast majority of fans being well-behaved. Why mess with that? Why subject your more responsible fans, those with families and small children, to a booze-fueled environment when there’s no need?
This feels like yet another instance where the Mets’ management made a decision without thinking of the best interests of their fans. Why do they continue to insist on making it difficult to root for their team?