A season or two ago, the braintrust over at Shea Stadium started playing Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline" as a sing-a-long before the bottom of the 8th inning of every home game. Maybe someone in ballpark operations fell asleep to "Fever Pitch" one too many times and had that song seep into his deepest subconscious, but it is just unacceptable to blatantly steal the tradition of another team. The Red Sox have been playing "Sweet Caroline" consistently at Fenway for about eight years and right before the bottom of the eighth for the last five years. What's next at Shea? Playing "New York, New York" after a win (just like the Yankees) or better yet they should dress people up in various sausage costumes and have them race around the field.
There are plenty of great catchy, happy songs to play in that spot, so why must they bite off a team that is not only geographically close, but also has an extremely high profile. My suggestion for 8th inning song? "Come on Eileen" by Dexy's Midnight Runners. It's upbeat, catchy, and it's chorus and refrain possess a high degree of that much sought after sing-alongability. It's pretty much the perfect song.
Shea powers that be, please hear my plea. The Mets, being in the shadow of that team from the Bronx, have had a tough time forging their own identity over the past 10 years. Now that they have established themselves as one of the best teams in the MLB and have some of the most exciting players in baseball, it's time to create and maintain Met-specific traditions. Playing "Sweet Caroline" does not accomplish this objective and just makes the franchise look hack.