Angry Ward Wednesday: Opening Day Play-By-Play

alg-mets-yankees-fans-jpgNEW YORK, NY – So, I had the now-rare opportunity to head out to Flushing, Queens this past Monday and attend Opening Day for the New York Metropolitans. I use the words “now-rare” because Opening Day at Shea used to be an annual national holiday for me and my friends. But ever since the birth of my daughter, for one reason or another, I haven’t been able to make it out for the season opener. This year everything fell into place perfectly and I was off to the game. Here’s how it tracked out.


Spring Training. I met my brother and our pal Kenny on the Marble Hill platform of Metro North railroad around 10:45 am. Seeing as how both the Mets and Yankees (more about them in a moment) were playing their home openers simultaneously for the first time since 1956, taking a car was never a consideration. Apparently, we weren’t the only ones with the bright idea to take public transportation, as the platform was full of fans of both teams.

Yankees Headed in the Wrong Direction… Literally. As we waited for our train to Grand Central Terminal another one headed points north pulled into the station. Pretty much everyone decked out in baseball garb paid little mind to this choo-choo except for one intrepid gumball wearing a Jorge Posada jersey who decided that this was the train for him. As he happily jumped aboard like a blotto pinstriped hobo, the three of us thought for a split second that we should alert Wrong-Way Jorge of his error but instead decided it was much funnier to let him go watch the game up in Croton. And it was.

The One Beer to Have. The train was pretty much standing-room-only, but once all of the gibbons got off at 153rd there were plenty of seats for the more civilized Senior Circuit set. Even better, my brother tore open one of his two black plastic grocery bags to reveal a bunch of cold beers. Better yet, they were Schaefer beers. You don’t get more Mets than that. We knocked back a couple on the train and took care of the rest in the parking lot within feet of a plaque commemorating where third base at Shea once stood. I joked that this was where Matt Galante used to wave scores of unsuspecting base runners to their untimely deaths.

eppley-niewenhuisCircus-like Atmosphere. Outside the stadium we were immediately reminded of another good reason why it was smart that we didn’t drive. The Mets brain trust had turned over a nice large portion of their parking lot to Cirque du Soleil. I’m guessing that the Soleil folks viewed this as a perfect locale in that if they ever ran out of clowns they could simply head up to the Mets’ front office and have their pick of the litter.

Mets Win! Our seats were down the left field line up in the last two rows. I sat in the last row up against a fence that doubled as a wind tunnel in seats that, back in the 70s, were once the proud domain of Amazin’ Potheads. But it was all good. The Mets kicked the holy hell out of the Pads with everyone getting hit, save Lucas Duda (he did draw two walks) and Ike Davis, whose four strikeouts reminded everyone of how he started off last season. Still, an 11-2 laugher was the perfect way to start the season. Speaking of laughing, late in the game a guy brought his girlfriend over to our Siberian section as though he had just scored some great unoccupied seats, which prompted one of our group to ask: “Where were your previous seats, on the roof?

redsoxfanYanks Lose. Later, back on Metro North, we picked up a bunch of long-faced Bomber fans. When I inquired how the Yanks did, someone finally grumbled, “awful.” I didn’t press the issue, but can’t say a smile didn’t creep across my face.

Mariners Win! Late Monday night Felix Hernandez put the finishing touches on a perfect Opening Day by shutting out Clancy’s Athletics 2-zip. Yeah we were only one game into the season but, as Ice Cube would attest, “I got to say it was a good day.

Come back tomorrow for Cardinal Sinner, Cam James.

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About Angry Ward 747 Articles
Angry Ward, who has admirers at the New York Times, is the quintessential angry sports fan but for one exception... he's flat-out funny. And the angrier he gets, the more amusing his work becomes. Psychiatrists say, "Angry Ward's 'anger' is a direct result of "Bronx/Mets syndrome: growing up in the Bronx as a Mets fan." As if that weren't enough, his Minnesota North Stars abandoned him for Dallas, forcing him to embrace The Wild the way Nancy Pelosi embraces Mitch McConnell at charity events. And while his Vikings only tease him with success, his Golden State Warriors actually win these days. A-Dubya is MTM's longest-tenured indentured servant, its Larry David and quite simply, "The Franchise." (Junoir Blaber disputes this). Vent, curse and giggle with him on Angry Ward Wednesdays.