And I’m right back out to Citi Field tonight and tomorrow. Here’s my rundown of the All-Star Game, with pictures!
My second actually. This is what I wrote about going to the game in 2006. I bought the tickets in Spring Training on a whim thinking maybe I could turn a little bit of a profit reselling them, but it wasn’t easy to resell a standing room only strip of tickets so the Sunday before we drove over to Pittsburgh.
Obviously being at Citi Field for this one made it even more special. I felt a little proud of the whole thing, like a host or maybe someone who has an exhibit in an art gallery. “Look at all these people enjoying my home!” It was great to see all the far concourses open too. I remarked on Sunday that this booth was usually closed to a woman having trouble swiping my card and she’s all “See? They banished us out here! figures!”
It was cool to see the place so packed from a “energy” standpoint but it’s nothing, _nothing_ like it being a meaningful game. As far as energy goes, a half-packed place in a meaningful Mets game would rock more. And wouldn’t have the 10,000 people in there that feel like you invited those second cousins no one likes to the family reunion who cheer and boo the wrong things. I’m referring to the Yankees fans here, but it was nice to have so many fans from all over in the park. It’s cool to have the interest and attention on the place, and I always find it neat when you get all the silly free giveaways outside and on your way in because they know they’ve got a crowd to pitch to. (Free Mountain Dew, Pepsi Next Challenge, a pedometer, random rally towel thing, some sort of support the troops wristband, and much more ) Verizon Studio was closed and T-Mobile set up a silly stand across from it.
I’m pretty sure Citi won’t ever shake like Shea did; Most were clapping along, rhythmically, to Lazy Mary and there was no shaking, although maybe we just didn’t build it up enough because Alex Anthony had to break in pretty fast to announce the score of changes, or maybe Shea only shook like that after it’d been broken in? Did it shake in ’69? Did people get into that mass-bouncing and cheering the same way back then?
There was a little bit of a ‘lost tourist’ feel to some of the crowd, wandering concourses and trying to get their bearings. Citi Field is a pretty easy place to navigate though, and even with a record crowd things didn’t bottle up too much. The Citi Field staff did a good job keeping everything well manned and helping people find their seats.
The crowd was into it at the beginning, but it seemed to taper off after that. Clapping for Harvey and 2-strikes and all in the first but then it mostly dipped to a muted buzz the rest of the game. Good cheers for Wright, appropriate booing for the Yankees (drowned out Mo’s intro) appropriate booing for the Molina’s and Braves of the world, although it’d be nice if there were more people to cheer and less people to boo, but on the other hand I find Mets fans want to boo. There were perfect opportunities to cheer Carlos Beltran ,and even Carlos Gomez, who really didn’t, and doesn’t, get the respect he deserves from Mets fans. Alex Anthony even paused briefly before announcing him to emphasize it and it just didn’t take. I miss Carlos.
It was cool to see Seaver and him demand to throw the first pitch from the mound. It’s the type of machismo/ego that Harvey exhibits and people seem to want to give him grief for. Good job by Wright catching the curve ball off the plate before it hit the ground. I don’t believe we saw Piazza either, although he threw out the first pitch of the Home Run Derby to Al Leiter, who was mentioned as a brief afterthought. I think Seaver to Wright was perfectly fine in this regard, old-new not the old-notasold bit it would’ve been with Piazza again. Not surprising that Fox chose to skip Oh Canada but still wanted to make sure they got the American anthem on the broadcast.
The game went fast, which was nice, until Leyland remembered he has 8 billion situation relievers. Ultimately it wasn’t a very exciting game and I was drenched in sweat by the end, I can’t imagine how the players felt. Sweet Caroline and Neil Diamond got mixed reviews, some boos, and really not much interest. After properly booing Mariano Rivera in the introductions, it was more positive for his pre-8th inning victory lap. Not from me though, I don’t cheer enemy players in my home stadium.
There were some nice montages on the screen between innings, although I still like the HR Derby one of famous home runs the best. They chose to go with Todd Pratt’s ’99 NLDS winning home run their over say Robin Ventura’s Grand Slam Single, which was fine, and the Yankees ones they chose at least were non-championship ones. I don’t particularly hate Aaron Boone.
Did they show the fixed Mascot race on TV? I enjoyed that. It was ridiculously silly but I think in-stadium antics should always be ridiculously silly and pitched to appeal to a 10 year old. They grabbed a bunch of random mascots from around the league, the Italian Sausage, Randy Johnson, George Bush, etc and had ’em race pretty far around the warning track with Mr/Mrs Met holding the finish line. Of course, the Minnesota Blue Ox won, so that he can defend its title next year on its home turf. FIXED!
I had a blast at all three events though, and am suitable exhausted now and am looking forward to catching up on sleep this weekend. I hope David Wright got some good rest the last two days after all the responsibilities he had.
Another aspect I enjoy is seeing the mass of baseball love from the whole continent. Locals generally had more odd, random, knock-off shirts and jerseys than the out of towners. I saw all sorts of random players like Jay Payton, and probably a dozen different Piazza jerseys. Visitors seemed more likely to buy something modern while visiting, like the current All-Star stuff, but I did see a ’99 All-Star Griffey jersey and a matching Mike Piazza. I saw one of the real old colorful Astros jerseys, and to contrast, a new Astros cap, with pins on it from a dozen or so All-Star Games and Home Run Derbies.
I think that’s what I love most about it. It’s a stadium full of 45000 people from across the world that just absolutely love baseball, along with so much media they turned the Acela Club into an auxiliary press box. I bet you could probably strike up a conversation about any random tidbit of baseball with anyone and have a blast. Talk to the guy in the Griffey jersey and I bet he’d have some great stories to tell. You’ll get great non-Mets stories about all the other interesting things going on in basball. These events are a great celebration of baseball, and baseball is worth celebrating. It’s sort of like Oktoberfest for MLB.