Periodically, Rising Apple will feature guest posts from other writers. The following article is from Aaron Leibowitz (@ALeibs92), who chronicled his experience at Citi Field on Tuesday night:
My Night at Citi Field, Where the Last Laugh was Ours
Have you ever come across someone just begging to be punched in the face? Was that someone, perchance, a New York Yankees fan? On Tuesday night, those someones seemed to congregate in Section 510 of Citi Field, where the Mets fans were quiet and the Yankees fans were, well, not.
“Foooooourth place! Foooooourth place!” was the rallying cry of one Yankees supporter seated in Row 5, who replied to his own knee-slapper with shrieking laughter. (The same guy yelled “He’s not even an outfielder!” after a great catch by Yankees centerfielder Brett Gardner, who is, decidedly, an outfielder.) “Jason Bay! Jason Bay!” highlighted a night of nonstop, often nonsensical, always mean-spirited chanting from the wasted gentleman in Row 9, who found Fourth Place Guy hilarious. Neither knew the first thing about baseball, nor about shutting up. They were idiots, but they were under my skin.
Tuesday, or at least 23 hours of it, was that kind of day: a constant, obnoxious reminder of Mets futility and Yankees supremacy. Before the game, Mets owner Jeff Wilpon praised Mariano Rivera as the best closer ever. For some reason, he also noted that the New York Mets — you know, that baseball franchise he owns — haven’t a snowball’s chance in hell to reach the World Series. Later, Rivera stood on the Citi Field mound and threw the ceremonial first pitch and smiled a perfect smile and everyone stood and cheered and it was so damn classy, just how the Yankees like it.
Then came the game, which, after being delayed an hour and a half, was fairly agonizing. The Mets failed to support Matt Harvey and made minor league mistakes to fall behind 1-0. Terry Collins lost his cool and got tossed, and the chants got louder and meaner. By the ninth inning the stadium was almost silent, and a well-pitched, one-run Subway Series game felt more like a funeral. “We belieeeeeeve!” mocked the guy in Row 5, laughing his ass off. Rivera took the mound again, this time preparing to put the finishing touches on a Yankee victory.
Harvey says he knew his team would prevail. I sure didn’t. Thousands of fans who dashed after the eighth sure didn’t. Jeff Wilpon sure didn’t.
Lucas Duda dunked a single into right field and Wright scored and jumped for joy. The Yankees had lost and Rivera had lost and the jerks in Section 510 had lost. The Mets had won.
I ran down to Row 5 and screamed my head off, looking Fourth Place in the eye as he forced out a laugh. Then I jumped up to Row 9 and offered the World’s Loudest Fan a high five, which he accepted. “Respect,” he said. Then he shut up. I went on screaming.
The Mets’ record was 20-29 and the Yankees’ record was 30-21. The Mets were still the Mets, just as Gardner was still, decidedly, an outfielder. It didn’t matter. In the jam-packed stairwell exiting the stadium, a few Yankees fans presented a reminder: “Foooooourth place! Foooooourth place!” But their cries fell on deaf ears. A proud, thunderous chorus of “Let’s Go Mets” drowned them out, claiming the New York night.