The crowd of 40,014 at Citi Field reacted loudly Sunday when the Home Run Apple failed to rise from its cocoon behind center field after a seventh-inning home run by Fernando Tatis.
They chanted, "We want apple!" then booed when The Apple stubbornly ignored their pleas. They repeated this for several minutes until, finally, The Apple emerged from its shell at the end of the inning. The crowd erupted in cheers.
Tatis said he was puzzled upon hearing boos after hitting the home run.
"I don't know why the fans were complaining about it," Tatis said. "Somebody said the apple was not coming out. I was like, 'What?' There's nothing I can do about it."
A Mets spokesman said The Apple was not broken, but takes 2 1/2 minutes to reset after coming up for a home run. Because Brian Schneider had homered moments earlier, The Apple was unable to reemerge immediately after the home run by Tatis.
The Apple remained down and refused to comment after the game. But sources close to The Apple said it was shocked to be put into service at all, let alone twice in one game. The Mets hadn't homered at Citi Field since Gary Sheffield's solo shot against the Yankees on June 26. They have hit only 28 homers at home this year, which ranks 29th out of 30 major-league teams.
"I guess it hadn't been used in a while," right fielder Jeff Francoeur said. "It needed a little grease."
...What really happened?...The Apple came out once after Schneider took the ball deep...It saw that the only player to ever deposit a ball into the Apple Circle was nowhere to be seen...In his place a French-man...The Apple was ticked...No show....
...Also, "We want apple"?....I'd like for Omar to make another trade...How 'bout ship off half of our fanbase?...Forget salary cap space...We're dealing with 'Fruits' here...