A Mets Fan in Hong Kong

Greetings from literally the other side of the world. For the past 12 days I have been letting the people of Hong Kong see something from New York they rarely see. A yarmulka. Oh, and a Mets cap.

When my boss told me they wanted to send me to Hong Kong in China I of course jumped to the chance. It is not often one gets to visit foreign lands, especially all expense paid.

I would describe Hong Kong as Mini New York, and many locals and fellow travelers agree. It’s a very Western city in Asia, and the coast lines look a lot like New York if the buildings had to be set lower.

Soccer, or as it is known everywhere else around the world, football is the prevalent sport here. I’ve seen the local stations show NBA, ligd even some ping pong, or as the chinese call it ping pong, as well as Golf, but no baseball games or highlights.

Thank you for the Internet, Al Gore.

When I arrived in Hong Kong I expected my annual April baseball cravings to be denied, and was planning to follow along online. What disappoints me is that it is impossible to get baseball reports without opinion. The closest I can get is via the Assosciated Press, but even those include comments and opinions.

It is exceedingly difficult for one to get the facts of a game without opinion, and that is disappointing. It just continues to show how easily we can be manipulated in feeling a certain way, positively or negatively.

As for being a fan in Hong Kong, it is very odd knowing you can wake up at 9:00 AM, turn on to the Mets twitter feed, and get updates in the morning. West Coast time difference? Big deal, so I get the final score at lunchtime.

It has been interesting turning on local Television and not getting bombarded with baseball talk, and while baseball is not very popular in China, it is known, or at least one franchise is known……

Have you ever been asked where did you get that Blue & Orange Yankees cap? I also have been asked what Mets means in English while wearing my T-shirt.

I have often heard Met fans asked why the Wilpons don’t spend like the Yankees do. I don’t think many understand the true difference between a National US Brand and a Global Brand. Which do you think the Yankees fall under?

I have seen only one store carry MLB merchandise, and it was only Yankees gear. I have only seen two locals wear baseball hats, both Yankees. My contacts in Hong Kong do not know that another New York baseball team even EXISTS.

If it makes you feel better, they were only able to name the Dodgers and Mariners when asked. Except for one person who when reminded of Koreans in baseball, remembered that Jae Seo played for “team in NY – Notyankees.

That’s right folks. We’re the New York Notyankees.

So the next time you wonder why the Yanks spend so much, consider they have revenue streams the Mets just cannot get into yet, or any other team for that matter. It’s the way it’s going to be for the foreseeable future.

With that said, there are elements of the game you can control. You can get Mets merchandise, official or unofficial, and show team pride even when things get rough. If you don’t want to spend money on the team as a protest, why not buy a Gary, Keith and Ron shirt that will go to charity instead?

Get to a game and cheer or boo your favorite and hated players. Make noise. Write a blog. Don’t waste time on talk radio or public internet forums. The Mets know those are havens for the complainers, and it won’t carry as much weight.

I may not have done much for the Mets here in Hong Kong, but now there are more here who know about them. They might even become fans. If you love the team, make it fun for you. Don’t let the Wins or losses dictate your emotions.

It could be worse, you can have no Mets to watch and enjoy: like me. 2-7 is better than nothing. And I am bored with nothing

From Hong Kong,

Robert Z


6 responses to “A Mets Fan in Hong Kong

  1. Robert,

    If you see some other guys in Hong Kong with yarmalukes go and say hi that would be my owners.

    Eating tuna out of a can for 3 weeks, yummy!

    To our team my daughter went to 3 losses last week, 3 close games that the team was in.

    She was jazzed up that the games were exciting,thrilled that the team was going to be good again this season.

    These games to “us” were “heartbreakers”, games we know, hoped, would-should have been wins.

    I am going to watch, support, try to look at this team like I was a 21 year old minus much much baseball disappointment.

    Stay Safe…..Kay

  2. hey kay, do you know what hotel they’re staying at or where they’re spending sabbath?

  3. oh and dont worry, they have 1-2 kosher places here, so it’s not daily tuna for them. at least it’s quiet in your office

    On Wed, Apr 14, 2010 at 10:08 PM, Robert Z wrote:

    > hey kay, do you know what hotel they’re staying at or where they’re > spending sabbath? > >

  4. Just saw this now, they stay at Conrad Hong Kong (Hilton). They never stay anywhere over shabbat, with the exception of Israel. They are on the way home. The tuna reference was for you. My office is only quiet if Im not here, they are not “typical” owners we do what we do and they run to the bank happily. It works, they dont mess in it.

    Stay Safe..Kay

  5. For those of you at the intersection of baseball and Judaism, I invite you to check out my new web site. It tracks the 60+ Jews currently playing in the major- and minor-leagues.

    Best regards.

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