"Explain that sign to me," Hernandez said to partner Gary Cohen. "Am I missing something? 'Hunter Pence cannot parallel park.' Am I missing something? Am I being stupid?"
Hernandez wasn't in on the joke, but he was not being stupid. OK, maybe a tad obtuse. Still, not his fault.
Cohen half-confidently reminded Hernandez that Pence recently had his scooter stolen (and returned) after haphazardly stowing it after riding home, as he is known to do, from AT&T Park. The stolen scooter might have been the origin behind the Citi sign, but then again, some people can't parallel park very well, and wouldn't it be funny if Pence were one of those people? It makes him seem small-town in the big city, but not in a mean way.
And what about the other playful "anti-Pence" signs at Citi? Others phrases included, "Pence puts ketchup on his hot dogs," and "Pence likes the 'Godfather III.' " Fans were just trolling him with subtly derogatory messages.
It was all they had, too. Pence hit two home runs Sunday. Witty comebacks from the home team weren't happening on the field, so how about the grandstand?
The conversation between Hernandez and Cohen about it was another example of why the Mets have one of the very best broadcasts in Major League Baseball. The extended chat is even better:
The meme continued Monday, with more fans writing little pejorative phrases:
"Hunter Pence prefers baths" — making fun of Pence's maturity, perhaps? "Hunter Pence hates bacon" — making fun of his taste.
Pence continued hitting the ball hard, too, taking extra bases on a double and triple, with the Giants wrapping up the series having taken three of four games. Pence had six extra-base hits in the series.
As for the signs, not everybody will find the messages funny; as with other forms of art, humor is subjective. But kudos to Mets fans for trying to get creative with the taunting, without resorting foul language or otherwise obnoxious behavior. Activities like these should encourage fans everywhere to think outside the box, without being offensive, when calling out players at a ballgame.
Mets fans just advanced fan culture! (And putting ketchup on hot dogs — really, Keith?)
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