I was at the New York Mets' game on Monday and sat for the first time in the left-field reserved seats. It was the bottom of the eighth and the Mets were down 3-1; there had to be only about 4,000 people left in the entire stadium at this point because of the unbearable cold.
As the Washington Nationals were warming up in the field, I and about 20 other people began heckling centerfielder Nyjer Morgan. First off, I want to clear up for everyone who has a negative connotation of “heckling” that most of the time it is harmless. Some “you suck Morgan” and a few a-hole chants, but that’s it. In my years of heckling opposing players, 99 percent of them pay no attention to the fans in the crowd, but this night was special.
As the pitcher was finishing up his warm-ups people began to scream at Nyjer Morgan to throw the ball in the stands. He responded by hiding the ball and pretending to throw an imaginary one into the crowd. Bad choice Nyjer. He was then greeted with the customary and aforementioned “you suck Morgan” screams. Then, if it wasn’t enough that it was 35 below, Nats' manager Jim Wriggleman decided that he would try to see how many pitching changes he could make in one half inning.
As bad as this seemed at the moment it allowed us fans and Nyjer to continue to bond. A fan screamed out during one of the pitching changes, “Hey Morgan, show us your slap shot.” He proceeded to pretend to skate and shoot slap shots in the vast Citi Field outfield.
More amusing then that was him blowing kisses at the 20 of us still in the left field bleachers. Thing was, we were all dudes. The jeering began to get worse, but thankfully for him, the inning had ended.
I was tempted to leave after the Mets were unable to score in the eighth, but why should Nyjer Morgan get off that easy?
So I braved the cold and stayed for the ninth. We continued to scream at him as he warmed up" “Throw us the ball Morgan." Well in response to our pleas, Morgan thought it would be funny to show us the ball in his glove and then grab the family jewels. People who thought that heckling was inappropriate before, a major-league centerfielder just grabbed his avocados, enough said.
The last straw was when Morgan finally threw the ball into the stands, but over everyone’s head into the 20 empty rows behind. He continued to tip his cap towards us as the jeering got worse, but in the end, Nyjer got the final word as the Nats held of the Mets 3-2. As much as I dislike most opposing players, after this encounter, I will always have a special space in my heart for Nyjer Morgan.