New York is a terrible place to watch baseball

by Bryan

It is ideal weather for attending a Major League Baseball game. The Mets are playing in 90 minutes. They play way over there. I’m pointing to the stadium right now. I’m not going.

Watching baseball in New York is a miserable experience, by definition. The Yankees are boring and imperial, and the Mets are a joke. Their stadiums don’t help the matter whatsoever. Both are bland, vacant echoes of other places: The Yankees’ of Yankee Stadium, Citifield as the ghost of so many other ballparks across the country. The park evokes Ebbetts Field like Justin Bieber evokes Nas, despite what the Mets would have you believe.

There is no novelty at either park. You are provided the product of a baseball game and provided with the opportunity to engage with the screens and purchase high-quality food and drink products and officially licensed team merchandise, which gives you some cache to return to the park and repeat the process. I can’t say a thing about the full capitalization of the fan experience better than @muziejus did in “Paris is Earning.” You should check it out. The result is that as a potential new customer of New York baseball on any given day throughout the season, I repeatedly find other things to do. The game is hardly the thing. No single win or loss defines the Yankees: Being the Yankees does. Even if you saw “history,” it would be a footnote. The Yankees make sure of it that they’re more important than you. The Mets are the opposite, especially given that they’ve never had a no-hitter. Every single game promises to be something for Baseball purposes, right up until it doesn’t.

I do think the Mets will be sneaky fun this year. There are literally zero expectations, and they have some potentially likable young players.

They’re not likable enough for me to make the trek out to Queens, which isn’t so bad a trip in itself. It’s that you always have to make the trek back, and make it with Mets fans sulking in the primordial stew of another loss or the similar acid bath of knowing their win was illusory and up for debate again tomorrow. It’s a six-hour commitment in a place where many people can walk to any type of exciting thing in under five minutes. Baseball monetized the sun a long time ago, but the lowercase-p park has been running a nonprofit on the same business model literally forever. I see no need to participate in a system that gets me to spend money so that I continue to do so. If I want Shake Shack, I won’t suffer through Mets baseball to get it.

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