For $10, anyone at Citizens Bank Park can broadcast a half-inning of a game and receive a CD of the occasion to play and replay on the way home. Most Philadelphians tired of the ear-splitting novelty in the stadium’s first season. Mets fans, however, comprise something of a cult following. Every time the Mets make this trip down the New Jersey Turnpike, their fans come along for some baseball karaoke.
“We are packed for every Mets game,” said Gina DeGiovanni, 24, the studio chief. “We’ll have maybe one or two Phillies fans, but the Mets’ fans are calling in advance to make reservations or coming up in the first inning to start putting their names on the list. I’m not really sure why it’s caught on so much with them.”
“There’s a deep drive! It could go! It will go! Home run for David Wright!”
Matt McCarthy, 40, is getting louder with every syllable. He does not care that Wright had hit a weak fly ball to right field Monday night. Like many associated with the Mets, McCarthy is more interested in creating a new reality.
“I’ve got the Mets leading, 12-4, no matter what the scoreboard says,” said McCarthy, who is from Manhattan. “Doug Mientkiewicz has four home runs in three plate appearances. I’m pretty sure that’s a record.”
While McCarthy is doing play-by-play, his friend Matt O’Shea supplies bursts of color commentary. O’Shea insists that Mike Schmidt is still at third base for Philadelphia. Both fans are wearing Mets jerseys and Mets caps, inducing cheers from fellow New Yorkers and ugly looks from Phillies fans who do double takes every time they hear McCarthy scream, “There’s another deep drive!”
Like many broadcasting wannabes, McCarthy and O’Shea watch ESPN’s “Dream Job” on television and convince themselves that they could win the competition if only they had the chance. McCarthy, who does have a voice for radio, tries to impersonate the former Mets announcer Bob Murphy and their current radio voice, Gary Cohen. O’Shea, however, compares them to a different team. “I think we’re more Abbott and Costello,” he said.