This is a guest blog by Pat Lay.
I had a dream last night. No, not the recurring one where I’m the Mayor of Flavortown and Guy Fieri is my court jester. This was another beautiful, dark and twisted fantasy that ended way too soon.
At 7 AM, I awoke in a cold sweat and realized where I was. Or rather, where I wasn’t. The stadium of many names, most recently christened Clover Park. The saddest thing about Spring Training '21 is looking out over the right-centerfield fence and seeing green. Barely any orange and blue. Mostly green. What a gross color. The few diehard fans present are stuck in their spray-painted penalty boxes. It's not natural.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m abso-f---ing-lutely pumped that Mets baseball is back! I just miss The Berm. I miss it so damn much. The pilgrimage to Port St. Lucie is a rite of passage that EVERY Mets fan should make at least once in their lifetime.
I miss the sun beating down on me while winter temperatures beat down on those still at home. I miss forgetting to apply sunscreen to my translucent chicken legs because it’s March... in Florida!
I miss rooting for the mystery men sporting numbers typically reserved for wide receivers and defensive linemen. We all hope that #s 87 and 93 make it to the show, but hey, a career in finance or life insurance is nothing to shake a stick at. You never know where these guys are going to end up.
I miss inhaling rum buckets and proudly hanging them on display like a drunken toddler. More importantly, I miss the other drunken toddlers. There’s a unique sense of camaraderie among those beautiful beings. It’s the hive mentality. Work together to achieve a common, idiotic goal. Whether that goal is a forty-foot bucket chain or collectively heckling Bryce Harper, it’s accomplished with high-fives and belching.
Most of us have to admire The Berm from afar this preseason. That’s just reality. But let’s all plan to get down there next year. I’ll send out the e-vite. This is something that needs to be checked off your Mets bucket list.
P.S. Your mom will be over the moon if you spend some time with Nana and Pop-Pop at their condo when you’re in town. Just saying.
If you're hitting the final home game on Thursday at Citi Field, swing by the Marina Lot to see some friends, maybe meet some new ones, and responsibly wash down your sorrows before heading inside.