22 May

Last night I sat in Citi Field and watched the Mets embarrass themselves once again on the baseball diamond.

From bringing out the stars of 2000 and not even recognizing them in a respectful fashion to their performance on the field, this team is just frustrating to watch.

Then came my experience this morning.

I am going to the Sunday night’s game against the Yankees and one of the members of my party recently broke her foot and is unable to walk up the 12 rows of stairs to get to our seats.

I called the Mets and first spoke to  a woman named Carla who informed me that there were handicap seats available in section 326 and it would be ideal for the injured person as she would only have to go down one row.

The catch: an increase of $90.00 per ticket. At four tickets, an increase of $360.00 so we can all sit together.

This being out of my price range, I called back and spoke to the Supervisor, a woman named Pam.

Pam wouldn’t even tell me if there were handicap tickets, only that since I had the tickets in hand that I would need to come to Citi Field and see what they can do. I informed my friend Pam that Carla told me that there were tickets, but with an increase in cost.

Pam confirmed that this was the case. Why Pam wouldn’t look it up like Carla did revealed how much she cared about this conversation.

You can see how they made this so easy for one of their most loyal of fans. Pam and Carla were telling me that I can go to Citi Field today and try to trade in my tickets, and if there was anything available, I can make the switch but pay the difference.

Then I asked this question. Previous season ticket holders received tickets to this series for free, tickets closer to the field than I ever get to sit.

Why can’t they give me the unsold section 326 seats at a lesser cost?

Pam explained that they don’t do that.

But they give them to fans who kept away from Citi Field this year?

I explained that I used to share ticket plans with friends, going to 30-40 games some seasons.

Once again, she didn’t seem to care.

She said that the sales department chose “select” people and that there was nothing that she could do.

Well this is what I can do.

I will tell this story and remind people that it should be different, it can be different.

Many will read this and say there is an easy solution: stop going, stop watching and stop buying Mets shirts, hats, and underwear.

Yet this isn’t so black and white. There is a passion for this team in this city and in my family. We sit through games last night hoping that one clutch hit from David Wright and we tell generations that we were there to see it, knowing too well that most nights we leave Flushing disappointed.

Somewhere  and somehow, baseball became corporate. It became a business first that profits off of our passion and love for the game.

We pay top dollar to watch men play a game. We pay for overpriced food and drinks and care a little too much for a team and a game that doesn’t care about us.

And this is what frustrates me today.

I asked the Mets to care about me and my family and they didn’t.

They asked if I had the money to pay and since I didn’t, they left me with a bag of excuses and no compassion.

Those seats in section 326 will likely remain empty Sunday night given the time of the game and the team on the field.

It would’ve been easy to make an exception, as they did for the season ticket holders of years past who unlike me, said no to the Mets.

But all they heard on the phone was another confirmation number who could only afford to sit in the 500s. There are millions of fans just like me and they don’t need fans like me.

Well, I might not have the power of the wallet or a top, corporate job (at least not yet).

What I do have is the power of the pen and I will continue to write until something changes.

Yes, I will also continue to go and support this team. Maybe its an abusive relationship that I need help to get out of, but I like to think of it as a challenge.

I care to much for this game and this franchise. It is now my challenge to do what I can to bring this game back to the common folk, bring it back to the men, women and children who love this game not for the cushy seats or caviar offered in some five-star restaurant, but for the strategy and late-inning rallies and the hope that one season will end with overflowing champagne.


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