See what I did there?  With the titles?  Har.

I’m getting the sense that this blog is prep for my eventual transformation into Andy Rooney.  So be it.  This one’s on Mets baseball, indoors.

I can find plenty who will watch a ball game with me at a bar.  To some, I live at the figurative end of the earth, so watching at home with others is rare, but it happens.  Everyone is all hot to trot to actually GO to a game until it comes time to pay the piper, or get on the train, or both.

The phenomenon of going to a movie theater, to watch a ball game, that one could just as easily watch at home or a bar: this is a different beast altogether. 

People are intrigued, but confused.  But people are so easily confused.  People who go have a good time, but it can feel a little hokey; much like a grade-school assembly.  By the by, I’ll date myself by offering that, because my particular elementary school was woefully overcrowded, they couldn’t let us all out in the yard for recess at once.  So we went out in shifts; those who were inside watched ’80s era Alvin And The Chipmunks videos on the auditorium’s big screen.  (“My Pierre Cardin SOCKS!”)

Baseball’s an outside sport, unless you live in Toronto or lived in Montreal or live in Seattle during the seventeen months a year that it rains out there or live in Milwaukee when it’s hailing cheese… I guess there are a lot of retractable-roof stadiums and parks out there; too many to keep this joke going, at any rate.  Point is, baseball’s an outside sport.  The effect of watching inside can be a little deleterious.

The first time I attended a “Mets At The Movies” event, the technology was a little wonky and the electro-organ music was a bit forced.  It was a Phillies game in late summer 2007, so the heat was on literally and figuratively, and we all had a good time, I guess, until “Marvelous” Marlon Anderson made that headfirst slide at second and was called out to end the game, at which point, everyone was sad and livid and just about done. 

I didn’t go in 2008 because watching a Mets-Braves game or whatever it was at the Clearview Chelsea–your standard cineplex–didn’t appeal to me. 

Tonight, I’m watching the Mets play the Orioles, at the Ziegfeld.  And the Ziegfeld is a magical place for me.  I’ve had some of the best movie-going experiences of my life there.  Including watching Pleasantville with The Wife, back in high school (now further dating myself).

And yet… inside?  On a screen?  Sure, a huge screen; sure, getting the chance to laugh along with folks as Keith says something random to Gary; sure, Pepsi T-shirt whatever; sure, beer in a cushy seat.  Baseball was not meant to be this way.  I go because it’s the Mets, and it’s an experience, but it won’t really be like baseball.

I’d like a drive-in baseball game, if we’re going to continue going this route.  Or follow the example of HBO’s Bryant Park series or the Hudson River RiverFlicks series, and hold these things out in the open air, at a park or pier.  There has to be a way, logistically, to still charge an obscene $5 “service fee” on top of the $12 movie ticket.  If it rains, we’ll be S.O.L., but that’s baseball.

“That’s baseball.”  I guess I’m also practicing my Joe Morgan.

And speaking of Joes, I’m about ten seconds from going back home and watching that Artie Lange thing from Joe Buck Live.  Everyone keeps talking about it, and I thought we were done talking about Artie Lange.  Frankly, I thought he’d Belushied himself years ago before I heard he was going to be on.

(People should not be down on the phrase “Belushied himself.”  I know tons about the man; he’d laugh at it, I’m sure.)

At any rate, Artie Lange’s alive, Joe Buck got shanghaied, baseball should be outdoors but tonight it’s the Ziegfeld for me.  Time to warm up for my Tim Redding chant: “Redd-ing! Redd-ing! Redd-ing! Je-sus! Dear God! Stike zone! Strike zone!  Strike zone!”