Friday, June 09, 2006

Rain, Rain, Come Again

by Rob Hyman

Ever watch one of those rain-soaked games on television where the crowd is nowhere to be found? You know – the ones where you can’t even see what’s going on because the camera is covered with raindrops. Who are those psycho fans who actually stay to watch those games? Especially the ones that don’t even take cover under an overhang.

Well, you can all feel comforted to know that Baseball For Thought has employed one of these psycho fans as one of its writers - yours truly. Do you think I was going to let a three-hour rain delay and a constant rain fall stop me from attending my first ever double-header? No way!

I braved the rain last Saturday and took the 7 Train out to Shea to see the Mets face off against the Giants. And let me tell you folks - it was worth every gallon of water that fell on my head. The games themselves were entertaining enough. The first one saw everything you'd expect:

- Immense booing of Barry;
- Even immenser booing of Kaz, and;
- Armando Benitez coming close to blowing a save

The ushers tried to keep some order during the 1:25pm game that started at 4:01pm. After all, there were still a significant number of fans at the game (maybe 30,000 of the 45,576). Therefore, I only upgraded myself from a Mezzanine Back Row in Right Field to a Mezzanine Box Seat pretty much even with first base. In the process scamming the Mets out of $11.

As soon as Benitez notched his 200th ABS (almost blown save) of his career, however, chaos ensued. About 27,000 of the 30,000 were bolting to their cars to get out of the rain. After all, a three hour wait followed by a three hour game was enough for them.

For me though, I was just getting warmed up. I was one of the appoximately 3,000 that was also in a mad rush -- to find myself a nice cushy $65 seat right by home plate.

The emptiness of the stadium was almost eerie. Getting to watch Tom Glavine pitch and Barry Bonds bat in a high school sized crowd was completely surreal. It almost felt like a scrimmage. But as the innings wore on and the rain continued to fall (even harder now), the intensity of the game picked up and so did that of the crowd.

Maybe it was all the water clogging up my ears, but by the time the game went to extra innings, the loyal Mets fan base sounded as loud as if the place was full. And by the way, yes, the game did go to extras - giving me even more game for my
money. Finally, in the 11th inning, a sac fly brought an end to a spectacularly wet day of baseball, but one I don't regret attending despite my being soaked the entire day.

Final stats:

- Giants 6, Mets 4; Mets 3, Giants 2
- Paid $18 and received $94 worth of seating
- Received 20 innings for the price of nine
- Between the two subway rides and the break between games, read the Saturday NY Times; Saturday Wall Street Journal and Sports Illustrated

The Mets have another double header on July 8th - anybody want to join me in a rain dance?

Rob Hyman's column, "The Weekend Warrior", appears alternate Fridays


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"I've had a pretty good success facing Stan (Musial) by throwing him my best pitch and backing up third base."
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