On Saturday, September 17, despite all the gloom and doom that has been a trademark of this season, I nevertheless traveled to Queens to see the Twins play. This was my first trip to Citi Field, and my first trip to a New York ballpark since July 2, 2007 (Twins at Yankees, the 350th win for Roger Clemens). For some background, I live in Connecticut (I became a Twins fan because of the New Britain Rock Cats – got to know the players and followed them up) and have never been to Target Field, so I cannot use that ballpark for comparison. But here are a few of my observations from the game.
No one admits to Twins fandom in 2016: I saw four Twins fans in Minnesota memorabilia at the game: myself (Dozier jersey); a fan who walked up to me in line outside the gate and gave me a high-five, saying, "Twins Territory!"; a fan in a Byung Ho Park jersey (felt bad for him); and a fan near me who caught a toss during batting practice. I don't think anyone wants to admit to rooting for Minnesota in 2016. There was also another fan in a Twins jersey who stated he was not a Twins fan, but was trying to get toss-ups from batting practice. Turns out he's a friend of Zack Hample, who was also at the ballpark that day, and was wearing a Twins hat when I saw him a few sections away.
New York stereotypes are not always false: Some of the Mets fans near me (I sat in the left field seats) were nice, but there were plenty who were either jerks, annoying, or annoying jerks. This was particularly true of the kids. Whenever Eddie Rosario or Logan Schafer took the field, their main taunt boiled down to "You're not as good as Céspedes!" I like clever trash talk, and that was just lame.
New Yorkers love their local heroes: Both José Reyes and Yoenis Céspedes got their own vocal cheers every time they came to bat. When Reyes came up, the PA system played that song that goes "Olé, olé olé olé, olé, olé!" The fans sang along using his first name: "José, José José José...." And Céspedes at-bat walkup music is the intro to "Circle of Life," so the fans sang along there too.
Questions on Granderson's first HR: I still think Paul Molitor should have challenged Curtis Granderson's game-tying home run as fan interference. I had a clear view of the ball as it approached the fence; you can actually see me in the video (in a white jersey, above the B in "Budweiser," just left of the top of the stairs), so you can get an idea of the view I had. What I saw, and what I'm absolutely certain can be seen on the replay, is the fan in gray (above the gap between the M and A in "Mason") reach over the fence to catch the ball, only for him to drop it onto the field. I don't know why Molitor didn't challenge it. But then again, this was an appropriately Twins-y loss, so there is plenty of blame to go around.