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[ominous music] Meet the Mets?
A short horror story about baseball and real estate.
REAL ESTATE AGENT: Obviously, this is quite a find.
SEAN: I’d say that’s underselling it! We were just hoping to find a place big enough to have a nursery for the baby, but a whole house? In New York City! I didn’t even think that would be possible on our budget.
JESSICA: The location’s great, too! Right off the 7 train. That’ll take 10 minutes off my commute.
REAL ESTATE AGENT: Yes, well, I specialize in these kinds of… should I say, unique listings? The sort of places your everyday buyer might balk at — but if not for a few little, ahem, irregularities, would be significantly more expensive. Out of your price range, of course.
JESSICA: That’s vaguely unsettling, the way you phrased that.
SEAN: Yeah, what do you-
[ominous, tinkling minor-key piano music drifts in from an unseen source somewhere in the house]
A CHILD’S SLOW, SING-SONGY VOICE: Meet the Mets…
JESSICA: Are we about to die?
REAL ESTATE AGENT: [chuckling] No, no, of course not. Probably not.
CHILD’S VOICE: Meet the Mets…
REAL ESTATE AGENT: [opening window to let street noise in] Now, let’s talk specifications. Four bedrooms, three full bathrooms, off-street parking — as you noted, the subway’s very conveniently located, but having the luxury of getting a car if you choose is not something you’re going to find anywhere—
GHOSTLY APPARITION, FLOATING ACROSS THE ROOM AND THROUGH THE WALL: Step right up and greeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet the Mets!
SEAN: I can’t say I’m a fan of that.
REAL ESTATE AGENT: Mary said you were going to be difficult clients.
JESSICA: Is that blood seeping from under that door?
REAL ESTATE AGENT: Very common in homes of this age. You know what else is common? A butler’s pantry! You could convert it into a home office.
UNNERVINGLY MONOTONE TWINS, SUDDENLY APPEARING IN HALLWAY: Bring your kiddies, bring your wife. Guaranteed to have the time of your life.
JESSICA: Kind of sexist that they’re just addressing you.
SEAN: It’s an old song.
REAL ESTATE AGENT: It’s a seller’s market right now, so I’m going to advise you to act fast on this place. I know there are at least three other buyers planning to see it today.
JESSICA: It’s just that— how do I say this?
SCREAMING FROM CELLAR: because the Mets are really sockin' the ball! Knocking those home runs over the wall!
SEAN: This house is obviously haunted.
REAL ESTATE AGENT: We prefer not to use that term.
JESSICA: What do you prefer to call it?
WIND HOWLING THROUGH FIREPLACE: East side!
GRANDFATHER CLOCK, SHUDDERING OF ITS OWN ACCORD: West side!
VOICE COMING FROM LOWER THAN THE BASEMENT, POSSIBLY FROM HELL ITSELF: Everybody’s coming down!
REAL ESTATE AGENT: “One of a kind property!”
ALL OF THESE VOICES OF THE DAMNED, IN UNISON: to meet the M! E! T! S! Mets of New York town!
SEAN: Just tell us what you know.
REAL ESTATE AGENT, sighing: FINE. So, obviously the Mets played in Shea Stadium for most of their existence, even winning two World Series titles there, in 1969 and 1986.
JESSICA: I don’t see what that has to do with this.
REAL ESTATE AGENT: Well, obviously, by the early aughts, Shea Stadium was showing its wear, and the team planned a new ballpark, what would eventually become Citi Field.
SEAN: Yeah, we’ve been a few times. Nice enough place. There’s a Shake Shack.
REAL ESTATE AGENT: Lovely ballpark, no question. Retro charm with modern amenities. Unfortunately, it did happen to be built on top of a sacred burial ground. The construction disturbed the spirits of the dead that were there, and they drifted right down Roosevelt Avenue and into this house.
JESSICA: Don’t ghosts usually stay where they are? Shouldn’t they be haunting the new ballpark?
REAL ESTATE AGENT: Normally, yes, but do you think they want to spend eternity watching the Mets?
JESSICA: Fair point.
SEAN: Wait a second, "sacred burial ground”? Wasn’t Citi Field just built on top of the parking lots for Shea Stadium? What could’ve possibly been buried there?
REAL ESTATE AGENT: I’m not supposed to tell you this, but—
JESSICA: Tell us, now.
REAL ESTATE AGENT: It’s where they bury all the Mr. Mets.
SEAN: Isn’t there just one Mr. Met?
REAL ESTATE AGENT: [chuckling] oh my word, no. They go through one or two a year. Sometimes more. It’s a tough job, having to be the public face of one of the most habitually frustrating franchises in American professional sports. Some break down from the stress of the job itself. Others are killed by management’s obvious cost-cutting and malicious negligence. Sometimes it’s a fan or player.
SEAN: Players? Really?
REAL ESTATE AGENT: Oh, sure. Keith Hernandez once killed three Misters Met in a single bad weekend series against the Pirates.
JESSICA: My goodness.
SEAN: He was great on Seinfeld, though.
REAL ESTATE AGENT: So, yes, if you buy this place, you’re probably going to see and hear some strange things. Ghosts screaming in the night. Dishes flying out of cabinets and shattering themselves— [opens closet] [there’s a bloodied corpse of a Mr. Met with “I AM IN HELL, HELP ME” scrawled in blood on the wall] [closes closet without addressing it] — but honestly, it’s not worse than the usual New York real estate hassles.
JESSICA: [looking at listing paper again] There’s already in-house laundry.
SEAN: What do you suggest we do about the Mets, though?
REAL ESTATE AGENT: Just do what everyone else does by early August. Ignore them.
DISTANT MOANING: Oh, the butcher and the baker and the people on the streets, where did they go? To MEET THE METS!
Welcome, new subscribers to The Seventh Circle!
As you may have seen me (Scott) mention, this is going to be the best place for you to find my writing going forward. It’s also a tie-in to The Seventh Circle Podcast, our Dantean travelogue through the hell of sports fandom. Each week (episodes publish late Sunday, ideal for Monday morning consumption), co-hosts Scott Hines and Joe Kelly profile a different fanbase/location and talk about how they’ve been tortured by their sports teams.
We’ve got a terrific show for you this week. Joining us to talk about his beloved (?) New York Mets, is David Roth of Deadspin. Who better to speak about this club, perpetually afflicted by the chronic illness of Dumb Rich Guy Shit, than the finest chronicler of that specific slice of our modern world?
EPISODE 7: WELCOME TO FLUSHING is available at CircleSevenPod.com, on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and most anywhere else you can think of getting podcasts. (Use an app we’re not on? Let us know, either at @circlesevenpod on Twitter, or email@example.com. Our talented producer, “Virgil”, can likely get us on there, too.)
Like what you’re hearing? Tell your friends! Rate and review on those podcast apps! Let us know things you’d like to see. We’ve got a lot of great things planned over the next few months and we’re only just getting started.
Don’t listen to podcasts? Hang around here for the content, then — you won’t need to listen to understand it. (We’ll wear you down eventually.)
Welcome to hell!
— Scott Hines (@actioncookbook)