So Delgado was cheered when he came to the plate yesterday. Take that, Mike and the Mad Dog. (They shrug and move on to the next molehill they can try to turn into a mountain so that people bored on highways will sit through interminable commercials.)
Let’s keep it up. Let’s rise to the occasion. What wearies me most about all this talk of the fans’ right to boo, etc. is the often unchallenged assertion that this is a “what have you done for me lately” town, that New Yorkers demand a lot all the time and are not happy unless they get the best results all the time.
This is a lie and a slander. New Yorkers are not like this. Mets Fans are not like this. I know a lot of people think that this crap is true, and if the booing keeps up, a lot more will come to believe it. But this isn’t us. That aspect of New York, which admittedly does exist in certain places in the financial district or in corporate Midtown, has been symbolically represented by the Steinbrenner years over at the other stadium in town.
The Mets represent the other spirit of New York and they always have. We are still the people who cheered the team all through the sixties, when the product on the field was often laughable. We stuck with our team through the great years of 1969-76, when there were some horrendous slumps, by Jones, Agee, Gentry, Clendenon, McGraw, even Seaver in ‘74. Many of us remained loyal and cheered the team from 1977-83 when there was nothing much to cheer about. The booers discovered their power when they started hounding Doug Sisk in 1985. And if it hadn’t been for them, Sisk might have found his way back and we might have won the pennant in 1985. The Mets tradition is loyalty and hope against all odds. It’s the other New York. It’s the spirit of my grandparents when they stepped off the boat, were checked for lice and eye disease, and were sent penniless into the sweatshops of the Lower East Side. It’s the spirit of your ancestors. It’s cheering people when they’re down. It’s helping your friend back up. The booers belong in the boardrooms, cutting peoples’ jobs to make a stock more profitable.
I mean this and I feel it. But I feel sympathy for the booers too. I know where they’re coming from. I know what they’ve been through. People aren’t booing now because they’re New Yorkers. They’re booing because we’ve all just been through hell and we’re not over it yet. It’s a temporary thing. But we have to make it a very temporary thing. Because if we don’t stop it now, it could ruin this season.
I’m going to the game today. Field Box section 228G, seat 1, wearing a t-shirt saying “It’s Outta Here.” Stop by and say hi. And if the crowd starts to boo, join me and stand and clap and cheer. We outnumber them. Let’s show the world that we’re with the Mets and not against them.