This game will be forever remembered as the "batting eye" game, in which the rotating centerfield batting eye got stuck for almost 15 minutes in the "ad" position. It gave everyone in the nosebleed upper deck a chance to get on the Mets' case from the fact that they were 1 and 5 to the not so funny fact that Shea was really falling apart. But then Pedro's charm and clutch "little ball" by Kaz and Jose R. made us forget all that. A very nice 8-4 win sent everyone home happy and dreaming of meaningful games in October.
AH, Opening Day at Shea and I'm there for the first time since 1997...when Opening Day got rained out.
But they played today, and it was indeed a fine and rollicking afternoon at our Grand Old Shea.
On the field, the Mets scraped and clawed, fell behind early, Glavine was erratic, but some key hits by Wright, Victor Diaz, a beautiful squeeze by Matsui, and in the end, an old friend John Franco gave the game back to us, along with a bungled popup by Jason Lane, leading to a 5-run 8th and an 8-4 victory. A great start to the Mets home season!
Off the field was a different story.
Given that the Shea Stadium staff has about 6 months (October - April) to prepare for Opening Day, you would think that they would take care of certain things beforehand. I bought a hamburger before the game from a grill stand, and I asked for cheese on it. The woman told me "We can't melt the cheese for you. We can't tell you why." Meanwhile, another gent at the stand is picking away at a gigantic block of cheese. I took the cheese anyway.
Around the 3rd inning, in the Upper Deck, RF side, some fans around me were calling for the Hot Dog man. He was coming around.
"Hey, Hot dogs! Hot dogs!" they called.
The hot dog man looks at them as if they all had ten heads.
"What!?" He yells back, and keeps walking.
Those fans, by the 6th inning, were still waiting for Hot Dogs.
Of course, there was the batters eye fiasco, which was glossed over by the Great Pedro Martinez sideshow. There were replacement black curtains which were made to slide down should the sign get stuck. Which it did. While one guy is standing on top of the batters eye unwrapping these curtains, we see water that was surely months old come spilling out. He's tugging at a rope holding the curtain rolled up. He's tugging...it's coming...It's open!
...And it keeps on unravelling, off the pole, all the way to the ground. Whoops.
He goes to the next curtain. Again, it opens...and it falls as well.
Finally, as if it were mocking this gentleman, the sign works again, except for 3 or 4 bars which he had to close by hand. And finally, back to the game.
The beers were flowing heartily throughout. Early on, one beer vendor was walking around yelling, "Who's Drinkin'!?" One of the more entertaining fistfights broke out in UR section 23, resulting in 20 security guards, 8 cops and 3 men with walkie talkies rushing to the scene and ejecting about half the section.
However, despite all the mystery, mayhem and tomfoolery, the Mets did emerge victorious, and a sellout crowd was sent home happy on a sublime opener to the 2005 home season.
We went to this game, the home opener. Everyone cheered when Franco came in for the Astros, like "We need runs! Bring on Franco!"
I loved when the 'Great Pedro Slideshow' came up. They tried to cover it but dropped the cover. We were waiting like 15 minutes. And Pedro was there laughing in the dugout the whole time.