Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Soul Of A Yankee Fan

Ryan Leli gave me the laugh I needed this morning.

Leli is the Mets fan that forged a press pass to get into the visiting clubhouse at Shea Stadium last season. The 18-year-old kid wanted to interview Mike Piazza and have a photo taken, but he was ejected from the clubhouse and then arrested a week later when he tried to return for a game against the Rockies.

He recently pleaded to second-degree criminal impersonation, was ordered to pay a fine and has to stay away from Mets home games, KeySpan Park in Brooklyn and the Mets’ spring training camp in Port St. Lucie for the next three years. According to The New York Times, Leli examined a reporter’s press pass in court and wrinkled his nose. “Not bad,” he said, “but mine was better.”

I’m not sure why Leli started following the Mets because he clearly has the soul of a Yankee fan. Smart, industrious and a knack for getting into trouble describes most of the people in my neighborhood and all the regulars in my section.

But even we have to wait outside the players’ gate.

You’ve got to admire the kid. But Mike Piazza? Leli needs to learn how to weigh risk versus reward. If you're going to take that kind of chance you've got to go for Derek Jeter.

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