Jesse Jarnow

the baseball diaspora

Watching the Mets melt over the weekend, there were numerous tasteless jokes I wanted to make about unsuspended steroid-free reliever Guillermo Mota. But there was nobody around. I thought about logging on to one of the entertaining comment threads on MetsBlog.com. Entry into the Mets’ online fan community is something I’ve been hesitant about, though.

When fans of bands or authors or comic books or even politicians gather online, it is usually for the purpose of creating a virtual community, a collectively imagined place to give body to an idea. But baseball fans already have a physical home: the ballpark. That’s not to take anything away from Mets fans that post online, just to note that the meaning and tenor of their conversations is different. They are an old-fashioned mini-diaspora that doesn’t need the net to survive, just AM radio and somebody in a similarly colored hat. I was happy to save my rude comments until those conditions were met. Didn’t take long.