Don't Heckle Jerry Manuel at Citi Field - NBC New York

Don't Heckle Jerry Manuel at Citi Field

A fan has his anti-Jerry Manuel sign taken away

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    Protect this man at all costs!

    The ink was barely dry on Dwight Gooden's controversial autograph when two more Citi Field controversies flared up. On Friday night, three Mets fans decided to celebrate Johan Santana's 10 strikeout-performance by affixing "K" signs on the left field facade. The signs have been a staple of baseball stadiums for what seems like forever, but the Mets were concerned that the signs, made of white paper and duct tape, would damage the scoreboard on the wall.

    Lame excuse, but better than the one they gave for removing another sign from the premises that night. Animal New York has the story from Ramon Batista, who brought a piece of posterboard with "Fire J. Manuel" written on it.

    Ok, this is what happened, Alex Cora (second baseman) saw the sign and started pointing towards me and told something to the security on the field and then they started looking at me and then called another security. I thought they were going to take me out of the game and asked me if I was the one with the Jerry Manuel sign and he needed to take it with him and hoped I understood the reason (they never gave me one). So i just gave it to him cause I didn’t want to get thrown out, I didn’t want to loose (sic) my $230 in tickets.

    Jay Horowitz, the Mets' PR man, said that signs are allowed, but if "they’re really negative or inciteful (sic) we might ask that they take them down." It would be more interesting if they removed insightful signs, but there don't tend to be a lot of those running around the stadiums of America.  

    The Mets are being overly sensitive in this case, and you wonder if booers will start being rousted out of their seats by midseason. If that happens, according to A.J. Daulerio of Deadspin, "then the attendance will drop by 97 percent." To qualify as really negative, a sign would be an ad hominem attack on one of the Mets. An expression of disgust is the risk you run by inviting people to the park, and this is a pretty minor one by anyone's standards.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com.