Section 138 had been taken over by a swarm of loud, belligerent and obnoxious orange-and-black clad Giants fans.
I'm Joey Beartran and you better believe I'm about to get on my soapbox for this.
There was a time when Giants fans were more docile creatures. They went to games, rooted for their team and cheered politely. If the Giants won, they'd be happy about it, but they wouldn't rub it in the faces of their opponent's fans.
Then the Giants won the World Series in 2010 and everything changed.
In 2011, I noticed an influx of Giants fans at Citi Field when the Mets hosted San Francisco. They took over a small section of the Pepsi Porch and were very loud. Because they had won the World Series the year before, giving them exactly ONE title in the 53 seasons they had been in the Bay Area, either they were releasing a half-century of pent-up frustration or they were becoming west coast copycats of the Phillies' fan base. At the time, I went with the former instead of the latter and let them have their fun for one season. I assumed that because the Giants were the defending World Series champions, their fans were just continuing their long-overdue celebration. I assumed incorrectly.
Last night, Giants fans were all over Citi Field again, but mostly in Section 138. Either they were experiencing the world's longest post-championship hangover or they just became really rude and obnoxious.
Giants fans and their Occupy Section 138 movement.
From the first inning, they were chanting "Let's Go Giants" at a decibel rate that would make a Metallica roadie go deaf. In addition, they were standing up and pumping their fists during these chants, blocking the view of any Mets fan who was trying to enjoy the game. (I was not affected by the upright Giants fans, as their seats were behind me.)
When the familiar sounds of the Ramones' "Blitzkrieg Bop" played over the loudspeakers, encouraging the Mets to "hey ho, let's go", Giants fans changed the lyrics to "Zi-to, let's go" in honor of their starting pitcher, Barry Zito. That was somewhat clever, but no one changes the lyrics to a Ramones song, especially in their home borough of Queens.
Then they started mocking Mets fans with other chants. They were ripping on Jason Bay, calling him a bum. (Bay promptly shut them up by ending the Giants' early no-hit bid in the fourth inning with a home run off Zito, essentially saying "Zi-to, let's go, go, gone!" to them.) They also made fun of the "Jo-se, Jo-se, Jo-se, Jo-se" chant by changing it to "Po-sey, Po-sey, Po-sey, Po-sey" when catcher/first baseman Buster Posey came up to bat. But then they broke into a "BER-nie MA-doff, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap" chant and that went over the line. It got so bad that my colleague actually wondered aloud if this was why Dodgers fans pummeled Giants fan Bryan Stow after their season-opening game in 2011. (Note: What happened to Bryan Stow was uncalled for even if he did act like last night's Section 138 invaders. You don't beat fans for being obnxious, you have your team beat the obnoxious fans' team. That always shuts them up.)
By the middle of the game, I had to move from my seat because Section 138 had become unbearable. After a four-inning break in the Caesar's Club, we returned to the field level to watch the ninth inning, an inning in which the Mets rallied to tie the game against the Giants' bullpen-by-committee. After the Giants had lost their lead, you could hear a pin drop in Section 138. Fortunately, you couldn't hear that pin where we were standing because we were surrounded by jubilant Mets fans. (We had moved behind Section 110 along the first base side.)
Of course, the Giants scored a run in the top of the tenth to retake the lead, setting off a celebration in Section 138 because apparently the Giants fans confused a mid-April game for the seventh game of the World Series. The Mets tried to silence the panda hat-wearing crowd in the bottom of the tenth after Daniel Murphy and David Wright led off the inning with base hits. But a broken-bat groundout by Ike Davis, a strikeout by Jason Bay (okay, now he is a bum, but only I can say it, not them) and Lucas Duda flyout ended the Mets' threat and started what appeared to be an impromptu conga line in the left field reserved section.
I've seen Phillies fans. They've been supportive of their teams for quite some time now, and by "quite some time", I mean since 2007. But last night's overtaking of Section 138 by Giants fans was more obnoxious than anything I had seen or heard by any group of Phillies fans at Citi Field. They were beyond boisterous. They were rude and inconsiderate to a level that even a five-year Phillies fan would have to tip their cap to in appreciation.
All I kept thinking about during the many "Let's Go Giants" chants was what those fans were chanting at baseball games before 2010. It probably sounded more like "Let's Go Dodgers" or "Let's Go Padres" instead. Either that or they'd be talking to each other in the stands about the 49ers' chances in the NFC West.
The St. Louis Cardinals are the defending World Series champions. I'm sure when they visit Citi Field in early June, Cardinals fans in attendance won't be beating their chests and proclaiming their superiority. That's probably why they're considered to be among the best, if not the best, fans in baseball. They're classy. Giants fans are clearly not.
Stay classy, San Francisco. Better yet, stay home. We don't want you in our ballpark if you're going to disrespect our fans because you won one World Series title two years ago. Before you fire off your next oh-so-clever chant, remember this. The Giants couldn't beat the Mets in their only postseason meeting in 2000 and it took your beloved team 53 years in San Francisco to win half of the championships the Mets won in less time. I hope you're just as proud when it takes them 53 more years to win that second championship, you know, the same number of championships the Mets have been able to claim for over a quarter of a century.