Spring Training Dispatch: Mets Crowd at Duffy’s in St. Lucie Saddest In The Universe?


NOTE: A flu-ridden MTM Edit Staff was tardy to the task today, after spewing waste from all orifices. To that “end,” Replacement Matt has heroically stepped in to do some spewing of his own.
PORT ST. LUCIE, FL  (via the Hot Tub Time Machine) – The crowd at Duffy’s is perhaps the saddest of such in the universe. The only-game-in-town, Duffy’s sits amidst a vast Florida wasteland where there is literally nothing going on 95% of the year.

When it’s Spring Training, the place – in its own mind – is on the map. When you look at that map more closely, however, the picture becomes clearer. All the other Major League teams in Florida are in places you’ve heard of… Tampa, Fort Meyers, Fort Lauderdale, Cape Caniveral. They also often have other teamsin the area that they can frequently play against.

Need more?

There are many options of things to do: Go to Disney. Go to the beach. Play mini- golf. Yet, in St Luce it’s the Mets and the Mets alone. The unfortunate step-child franchise from New York is one with a passionate and deep fan-base (that includes me) but one that is always downtrodden and never up to the stature a team from the largest metropolitan area in the US deserves.

But back to St. Lucie...

Seinfeld, Larry_David, Mets fans, Meet_The_Matts, Spring TrainingI

Port St. Lucie: No celeb sightings here. (Kathy Willens/AP)

Duffy’s is a combo bowling alley/sports bar and is literally the only nightlife option in the area. Spring Training attendees generally fall into two categories; 1) Families (the totally respectable option) and 2) Losers who have man-crushes on millionaire baseball players and get offended when said players don’t want to talk to them about how they drafted them high on their Fantasy Baseball squad. Put yourself in the players’ shoes, folks, and get a life.

Look, players are there to get ready for the season and, yes, your support is the lifeblood of their existence. But it does not mean you suddenly become interesting to them. They should stop and sign autographs for the kids, but you should be satisfied watching baseball for a cheap price and being close enough that you can see the players instead of watching them on the Jumbo-Tron from the nosebleeds.

The only adults the players should want to talk to are hot chicks (Snooki, anyone?)or dudes if that’s what they fancy. (Above company excluded from all of this, of course).

FULL DISCLOSURE: I went to St. Lucie with Short Matt and Tall Matt about a decade ago to see what it was all about. After attending a game in Lauderdale we drove our econo-box to St. Lucie and rolled into Duffy’s. Wearing blue and orange suits makes you a minor league celebrity there, which is sad enough. But then the aforementioned crowd wants to talk to you. When they talk about baseball, it’s all good. But it invariably descends into a darker place. Why didn’t that player want to talk to me? They are all bums. With all the money “these guys” are being paid they should want to hang out with me.

So, in conclusion… if this is your line of thinking goes to any of the problem areas I brought up, maybe you need to get some more hobbies. Get off the internet and enjoy the entertainment and hope that Spring Training eternally offers… Us Met fans know the season will go south at some point, so take in some sun and find other meaning in life.

Add your comments below and enjoy the homerun that Junoir Blaber will be hitting with his column tomorrow.

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Replacement Matt, aka Aussie Matt & Trevor Herrick, has been the Minnie Minoso of MTM from Day One. He's willingly been hit in the undercarriage by cricket balls, had beer poured on him from the upper deck and been handed the camera to hold for Tall and Short Matt on countless occasions. In many ways, he's been too valuable to start. But make no mistake, he'd be the headliner on any other bald guy's sports site!

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