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Escape from Queens

Jul 16, 2013, 8:25 AM EDT

Saigon

Leaving Citi Field wasn’t a ton of fun for most fans last night. Just as the Home Run Derby was ending a fire broke out at the 103rd street station on the 7 train, stopping subway service back to the city.

While this stranded thousands, at least temporarily, we elite members of the media had nothing to fear, for there is a media shuttle bus. A few fellow scribes and I made our way to the bus, giving lip service to how dreadful it was for those poor, poor people stuck at Willets Point, but really thanking our lucky stars that we had an air conditioned bus waiting to ferry us back to Manhattan.

But they weren’t all poor, poor people. Some were resourceful. As we were getting on the bus several people wearing Mets and All-Star gear, some with kids, subtly inquired where the bus was going and, when they heard “Midtown,” just walked on board. The idea was clearly to make someone kick them off rather than ask if they could ride. No one was checking credentials.

Can’t lie: really loved this. Partially because I was near the front of the line getting on the bus and knew I had a seat. Partially because it presented the possibility that some member of the sporting press would get stuck on the sidewalk when the driver said the bus was full. I was hoping against hope that some seasoned columnist would be left shaking his fist at the driver, shouting “don’t you know who I am?!”

Alas it didn’t come to that. Much of the media was still back at the park writing stories. The bus left with four empty seats. My hopes of seeing something akin to the last helicopter leaving the American embassy in Saigon were dashed.

Still: it was kind of fun to see New Yorkers doing what they do best: pretty much what they want unless and until someone or something stopped them. It’s the only way to be in this city, I figure. Otherwise you’re probably going to be toast.

Heading up to Connecticut and the NBC Sports mothership this morning. Back at Citi Field for the All-Star Game this afternoon. Between now an then I’ll be making my escape contingency plans for tonight.

  1. chill1184 - Jul 16, 2013 at 8:28 AM

    lulz at the picture being used

  2. mf44srq - Jul 16, 2013 at 8:56 AM

    Comparing the fall of Saigon to New York city transportation is a little insensitive, don’t you think? The people that didn’t escape Saigon may or may not have lived, instead of not getting home at a decent hour… I know what you’re going for here; maybe you’re not old enough to have had friends who lost a parent when they escaped Vietnam, but my first thought when I read this was “Craig, you’re an a$$.” Maybe next time reference an event like Mount Vesuvius; no collective memory there…

    • yahmule - Jul 16, 2013 at 9:32 AM

      People still had ancestors who perished horribly in Pompeii. Horribly. Maybe you should develop a little empathy yourself.

      • mf44srq - Jul 16, 2013 at 9:36 AM

        Okay, lets go back to Noah’s Ark… I’m not bagging on Craig, I would have thought to myself the same thing, but I wouldn’t blog about that thought. I’m just old fashioned that way :D

      • yahmule - Jul 16, 2013 at 9:43 AM

        I’m being absurd, of course. I just think people go overboard on what is acceptable language. While we were sending troops over to slaughter people in Iraq and Afghanistan, there were people getting upset if someone dared refer to a football game as a “war” or even a long touchdown pass as a “bomb”. No outrage from these folks about the people getting killed, mind you, just about the language being used.

      • heyblueyoustink - Jul 16, 2013 at 9:45 AM

        No one ever thinks of Herculaneum.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 16, 2013 at 11:27 AM

        You know, the whole “sports as war” thing is an interesting historical phenomenon closely tied to changing social gender definitions — particularly masculinity. That became an even more complicated and interesting development once it was tied to religion in the late 19th and 20th centuries. I could go on, but really, I’d just like to weigh in that I think the whole thing is rather ridiculous and comparing a football game to war is obnoxious and offensive under serious reflection. Even as a metaphor, it’s kind of shallow.

      • Jonny 5 - Jul 16, 2013 at 12:43 PM

        The next time somebody plays “You dropped a bomb on me” I think I may loose my shit. Not over sensitivity towards casualties of war actually, I just hate that song.

      • yahmule - Jul 16, 2013 at 12:51 PM

        I would love to hear some examples of the sports reporting prior to this sociological sea change you’re describing. It would be interesting to contrast that to the way the masculinity and gender roles have been perceived in our culture during the period you mentioned and throughout the ensuing years. I can see why you chose to leave this horse in the stable.

        Sports analogies to war are fairly simple. Competitive sports are, at their essence, people trying to exert their will upon one another. The land acquisition element of football makes the comparison even more apt. Sportswriters have deadlines and most lack the wit to manufacture original metaphors.

        What a slippery slope defenders of this type of censorious thought control have chosen. The number of American teenagers who die from suicide in a single year surpass all the deaths of American soldiers in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

        How incredibly offensive to have a baseball play known as a suicide squeeze. That should be removed from the lexicon post haste. Or maybe getting upset over that would be stupid.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 16, 2013 at 1:15 PM

        First of all, there will be NO hating of Tulsa’s own GAP Band on this blog! >:(

        Secondly, yahmule, you have to remember that baseball, football & basketball are not that old and developed out of a particular time (note the difference in the masculine ideal from the founding fathers to Civil War heroes — and yes, I give this stuff to my students). Sports prior to then were often “gentlemanly” endeavors (think fox hunting). That changed over time and in part because of changing social and political conditions. So for example, when sports were illegal in some jurisdictions in the earlier period (yes, they were), horse-racing was dressed up as militia training to justify it. I don’t want to turn this into a whole big thing, but there was a reason the Olympics were revived when they were. I find the social aspect of sports history really interesting.

      • blacksables - Jul 16, 2013 at 4:07 PM

        You can take the girl off of Greenwood, but you can’t take the Greenwood out of the girl.

    • dabirdguy - Jul 16, 2013 at 10:02 AM

      mf44srq : Your “Sensitivity” offends the $hit out of me.
      Go home to mama.

    • blacksables - Jul 16, 2013 at 12:57 PM

      My father was at the embassy in Saigon. Not that day, but the day the previous one was leveled by the NVA artillery, and he was MIA for several days.

      I’m not offended.

      While I’m against comparing sports to war, and athletes to soldiers, I would assume this was more an act of symbolism than an attempt at comparison.

  3. clarenceoveur - Jul 16, 2013 at 8:58 AM

    The huddled masses can take the LIRR that’s 50 yards further away if they’re willing to spend an extra 5 bucks and save a half hour on the the ride to Penn Station.

  4. heyblueyoustink - Jul 16, 2013 at 9:01 AM

    Just don’t cross any bridges with cabbie named “Cabbie”, avoid the Public Library, and keep following the guy with the eyepatch.

    That was always my understanding of how to get out of any part of New York if one is in a pinch.

    • historiophiliac - Jul 16, 2013 at 1:16 PM

      BTW, if you also are interested in a friendly wager on this night’s game, I would be up for that. :)

      • heyblueyoustink - Jul 16, 2013 at 1:24 PM

        I’m really not all that interested in all star games, I might flip back and forth, but if you’re interested in some strange prop bets, you’re speaking my language.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 16, 2013 at 1:46 PM

        You dudes are seriously no fun.

        /pouts

      • heyblueyoustink - Jul 16, 2013 at 3:34 PM

        Oh dear, I’m a blast in person. It would scare you, maybe.

        Prop bets are all kinds of fun!

      • historiophiliac - Jul 16, 2013 at 6:43 PM

        What do you have in mind?

  5. uyf1950 - Jul 16, 2013 at 9:06 AM

    While all of this rather mundane stuff went on yesterday in Queens the really important news in baseball has yet to be reported on this site. I’m speaking of A-Rod going 2-4 in Double A action in Trenton. One of those hits being a HR. Now I realize to some a meaningless HR Derby might have some interest, it’s hard to deny the much bigger story is anything involving A-Rod even a non Biogenesis story.

    • heyblueyoustink - Jul 16, 2013 at 9:15 AM

      9:12Am EST and you’re criticizing the blog posters on this site for not penning something about a guy very few people like playing in a AA game on a night, no matter how mundane you or I find it, which is a Baseball spectacle for many people?

      Heavens to Betsy, go start your own blog or something then, call it the ARod jock shop or something.

      • proudlycanadian - Jul 16, 2013 at 9:27 AM

        Leave Betsy out of it.

      • uyf1950 - Jul 16, 2013 at 9:30 AM

        heyblue…, apparently you didn’t get that I posted that comment with “tongue-in-cheek” in mind. Simply because over the past month +/- regardless of what else has been going on in the baseball world there has always been time for there to be at least one piece here on A-Rod or Biogenesis. Have a good day.

      • heyblueyoustink - Jul 16, 2013 at 9:43 AM

        Use a bigger tongue. Think Gene Simmons.

      • uyf1950 - Jul 16, 2013 at 9:51 AM

        heyblue…, I don’t think that will be necessary. I think most fans will understand where I was coming from with that earlier comment. At least those that have been here for a while and been exposed to all the articles about A-Rod and Biogenesis. Like I said have a nice day

      • heyblueyoustink - Jul 16, 2013 at 10:05 AM

        Sigh, I used Gene Simmons as my acknowledgement of my personal over reaction. But, if you’re gonna be all snooty about it, you have a nice day yourself.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 16, 2013 at 11:28 AM

        This thread is not sexy.

      • heyblueyoustink - Jul 16, 2013 at 12:44 PM

        I was going to have a Right Said Fred moment, but self control has taken over.

  6. yahmule - Jul 16, 2013 at 9:34 AM

    Craig runs on nervous energy and schadenfreude.

    • indaburg - Jul 16, 2013 at 11:25 AM

      You say that as if there is something wrong with that.

      • yahmule - Jul 16, 2013 at 12:55 PM

        Not at all. That’s what keeps me going every day.

  7. historiophiliac - Jul 16, 2013 at 10:48 AM

    Lack of baseball games is apparently making some people on here pretty crabby. Keep calm and rage on. Good morning, all.

    • dink53 - Jul 16, 2013 at 11:10 AM

      But, but, but, I was forced to watch Food Network because of no Tiggers… Argghhh.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 16, 2013 at 11:16 AM

        You seriously watched the Food Network?

    • indaburg - Jul 16, 2013 at 11:28 AM

      Soreness from putting together IKEA furniture AND lack of baseball games is making me crabby. Also that the ASG is ruining the Rays’ momentum, because that’s a real thing and will be totally my excuse when they suck after the ASG (and not the fact that they are no longer feasting on Twinkies and Astros).

      • historiophiliac - Jul 16, 2013 at 11:31 AM

        Twinkies are back! Why do you assume they will suck after the break? Maybe they could use a little rest to recharge and will be awesome.

    • lanflfan - Jul 16, 2013 at 4:25 PM

      No baseball and no beer make Homer something something…

  8. modellforprez - Jul 16, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    Nice shout to the Galaxy of Queens. but its pretty obvious you either A. Dont get out of New york much or B. just dont know that people in other cities take what they want. i swear they do. well at least the very very least i know i do

  9. indaburg - Jul 16, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    I love this story. The resourceful and audicity of my native people. The cojones. You media folk never stood a chance.

    • unclemosesgreen - Jul 16, 2013 at 1:22 PM

      Party people had to make it to the D Train – just try and stop ‘em.

  10. hojo20 - Jul 16, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    When I’m stuck at the train station during rush hour, I also picture the Saigon helicopters when that first train comes in.

  11. louhudson23 - Jul 16, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    The picture doesn’t remotely match the story and it’s weak attempt at levity. There is simply nothing funny about anything or anyone in the photo,nor anything remotely comparable to some people having to take a bus instead of the subway….If you want to mix humor with a useless and murderous war,stick to this http://youtu.be/Jk68D91hTXw

    • blacksables - Jul 16, 2013 at 1:02 PM

      You’re wrong. Every event can be laughed about in time. It’s the ability to laugh after tragic events that keeps people from eating bullets.

      The world moves on, and laughter is the best medicine.

  12. anthonyverna - Jul 16, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    At least they didn’t have to leave the Bronx. . .

  13. mrznyc - Jul 19, 2013 at 8:19 AM

    Stay in Ohio. Problem solved.

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