Game 3: Padres at Citi Field

Good Place to Watch a Game

From 041609_Padres

The energy of Citi Field was amazing. Even for this cold lackluster game in April. The game sucked. I thought we were finally going to get that blow out, getting three on Peavy early and I figured we’d chase him early and then beat up on the bullpen. It didn’t work out, and the fan down the line that interfered with the ball may have cost them the game. Continue reading “Game 3: Padres at Citi Field”

First Regular Season Trip to Citi Field

I’d have hoped the Mets would get off to a better start, but they had some bad breaks. Hopefully Pelfrey’s tendinitis isn’t a big deal. Once the weather warms up, and they shake off this spring rust, I’m expecting them to put together a nice little run.

Thursday I’m going to my first regular season game at Citi, since I couldn’t find even scalped tickets to the opener for less than $250. I’m going to go for batting practice, and roam around like crazy. I plan to check out views, and bounces, and try to catch a bp home run. Here’s a quick run down of some things I plan on doing. Feel free to comment/email me if you think of other things I should check out.

1.Views from all the seats I currently have tickets to.

2.Other views, last row behind the plate. Last sections in the promenade on both sides. View from the Left Field Landing under the Promenade. Many others.

3.See what type of ‘club access’ is available well before the game. Are all the clubs already locked down and checking tickets, or am I able to go inside and look at them?

4.Someone asked me about the veggie options at Citi Field. So I’m going to keep an eye out for that stuff. I know they have salads and such in the Worlds Fare Market. Veggie burgers?

5.If I’m feeling ambitious, maybe I’ll try to time how long it takes to get up from high in the promenade after an inning, walk down, go to the bathroom, and get a hot dog, and get back.

6.Shea always had ‘hidden’ food items, especially in the later years. Where were the knishes? You can get Killian’s and Blue Moon on the Mezz? Really? I’m going to keep an eye out for the odd kiosk that might be serving something less standard at Citi.

7.I really want to check out the standing room options from around the park. I know there are some amazing standing views up on the Promenade that are close, block no one’s view and block no one’s path.

8.How tight is security for the ‘roamers’. I’m planning on buying a cheap seat, but not sitting in it. Am I going to get harassed for grabbing a seat here and there during the game? Only on the field level? What about the Big Apple seats?

9.Of course I’m going to have a beer or two, to continue the Citi Field Beer Review.  First will be the exclusive Brooklyn Sabroso Ale.

I’m looking forward to a fun six hour day at the ballpark.

Our Final Offseason Acquisition

Today is the day we’ve all been waiting for! The day our final off-season acquisition comes into play; Citi Field. Starting today, the Mets and Yankees no longer share the same “Place we played before this one.”

 

From Citifield

Just like a new player, we’ll be watching the game tonight to see how Citi does. We’ll want to watch balls off the walls, wind, home runs, foul territory, and many other things. We’ll be curious how “Lets Go Mets!” chants resonate. We’ll be curious how well we can hear Cow Bell Man.

 

We’ll be curious how the Mets in the Citi look on tv. How the cameras are set up, if we can see everything properly, including replays. We’ll also be looking for how the field plays, the balls in the gaps, how it plays to lefties and righties.

 

Opening Day should be a metro area-wide holiday, and even if schools are open or you have to work, today is a special day. There has only been one day like today in the last 85 years, a day when a New York baseball team moves into their very own stadium, and starts making memories there.

 

This will be our home for many years to come. Pop open a beer, pull up a chair, head to the park, flip on the tv, and take in the game, the park, the team. Let’s go Mets!

More From Citi Field

Citi Field is still very much a work in progress. They’ve already changed the green to black around the Apple, for batter’s eye reasons. I’m thoroughly enjoying it so far, and I can’t wait to get there when it counts. Of course, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t things that went wrong, or that don’t seem quite right. I’m not going to whine and cry and count Mets banners and complain when it doesn’t meet my internalized quota, but I’ll point out my observations from my second trip. (Read about my first trip)

 

From Citifield

While some people working their did seem friendlier, I did nearly get into a fight with the woman checking tickets at the Caesar’s club door. Stupidly of me, I let my hat blow off my head from the Promenade, and it landed one level down. I raced down the stairs to try to retrieve it, basically begged this woman to let me just grab my hat, and all she could do was utter variations of ‘No, go upstairs’. Eventually someone tossed the hat down the the field level, where the ushers were actually helpful.

 

Look! a Bottlecap!
From Citifield

Since the concourses are set back under the seats Cow-Bell Man’s normal style of walking around the stadium would keep him away from the action and mostly unheard.

 

I had to sign for my $23 purchase at Box Frites. At least the line moved, and they’re slowly learning how to swipe, fill up sodas, find the buttons on the register and move a line.

 

The Promenade Club is too low down/embedded into the stands, so that the rows of seats just in front of it actually blocks the view of home plate from inside. I don’t know if there is anything to be done about it though.

 

The Mets really should reconsider the contract with whatever escalator company they use.

From Citifield

There are more seats at Citi with small obstructions here and there. (Although none as bad as back rows of the Loge) I had to stand to see Wright make any catches along the dugout. It’s one of the drawbacks of not building huge dizzying grandstands and keeping fans closer to the field.

 

Some people expressed dislike for the black and orange walls and the green seats. I don’t think any choice would’ve made me unhappy here so I may be biased, but I kind of like that the Mets stadium is built on top of a Polo Grounds look, with a Ebbetts Field entrance. It’s certainly not any of those parks in any way, and it is where we came from. Especially the Polo Grounds. The line? I’m curious how it will play out. It might just work.

 

I’m suspecting ceremony the 13th, when I’m not there, with putting the flags up.

 

From Citifield

Blanche de Queens, one of the exclusive Citi Field beers out in the Taste of New York center field concourse, is excellent. As it’s name suggests, it’s kind of a white ale, similar to a Blue Moon. It was a full-bodied beer with plenty of flavor, while still being light and smooth. It was by far the best beer I’ve ever had at a sporting event. I can’t wait to try the Brooklyn Sabroso Ale next time. I tip my hat to Garrett Oliver and Brooklyn Brewery.

From Citifield

Letters to the NL East, Part 5/5

Letters to the NL East, Part 5 of 5 (part 0, part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4 )

 

 

Dear New York Mets,

 

New Stadium, Fresh look. Let’s forget these so-called collapses, and focus on 2009. Games from 2008 don’t count, and teams don’t get handicaps for being defending champs. This division is ripe for the picking.

 

Braves look stronger, Phillies look weaker, but you still look like the best team on paper. It’s time to make that stand up. The bullpen changes should be enough to give you enough confidence to finish off these teams, win these games, and have an excellent season. As usual, health plays an issue. You need to make sure guys like Delgado, Church, Castillo and Maine all stay healthy. One benefit this year is that you seem to have a ton of outfield depth in Sullivan, Reed, Kielty and Evans. More so if you do acquire Gary Sheffield today, although I think he’s a washed up cheater if anything.

 

We’re all excited for this season, and hopefully you’ll give us something more to enjoy than a new ballpark. We’re all curious how Citi Field will feel in those rowdy, anxious playoff moments. Lets get us there to find out. Many have reservations about the park and how it stands up to Shea Stadium, but this season has the potential to get to put Shea behind us. Give us a new crop of highlights in the new park, and we’ll all love it.

 

Your lifelong fan,

 

Optimistic Mets Fan

A(nother) First Look at Citi Field

A(nother) First Look at Citi Field from the St. Johns Game.

First it’s come a long way, and it was beautiful.

From Citifield

I was getting butterflies driving towards it as I saw the first signs mentioning it, and as I looked for a spot. The parking lot (the main, Shea, General/Prepaid) that I parked in is still only partially done, so hopefully it’ll provide more exiting opportunities. I left at 2:30, but had I left a regular Mets game at the end with everyone else it might have been a mess.

From Citifield

I got there at 11:35, and figured rather than go to LF and go right in, I’d wait at the Rotunda to enter there at 11:40. I’m glad I did. The Rotunda, and the area around it, are terrific. Even the dwindling pile of Shea is beautiful in it’s own way, and people were indeed taking pictures with it. I crossed into the building, and the Rotunda is amazing. Still plenty to be done, but still amazing. I was confronting with the urge to be 18 places at once and running all over. Seeing as that was impossible, we started with probably the most mundane, the team store.

From Citifield

Team store’s a big step up from the one at Shea. And there are more of them too. There is also Alyssa Milano’s first female boutique shop in right field. I bought a Citi Field inaugural season shirt, and a shot glass, and moved on.

From Citifield

The views are great from everywhere. Sure there are more cut off corners, and a handful of overhangs in the way in a couple of places, but they definitely tried to minimize those (except for the overhang, which even if you miss the plays at the wall in RF, is still pretty cool). I didn’t find a seat that I flat out said, “I wouldn’t want to sit here”. Top rows of the Outfield Promenade Reserve aren’t great, but they’re better than UR section 36 Row N, which is what they were going for.

From Citifield

Another subject that’s important to me, Beer and food. While they retained some of the ‘generic’ staples like Nathans, preliminary reports suggest that at least the food will be served properly, hot and fresh. The concessions are quicker and more orderly, and hopefully they’re properly set up to be well stocked. The real story is the rest of the stuff. Prices are better than at Shea from what I could tell, and they have a billion more options. Much has been made about Blue Smoke and Shake Shack and Box Frites and tacos and catch of the day and on and on. I can’t wait to try them all, but Shake Shack was as good in the Citi as it is in the City.

From Citifield

Beer. I can be a bit of a beer snob, and I rarely drank at Shea because it was a struggle to find anything worthwhile. (Although they did have Killians and Blue Moon last year) I wasn’t paying $8 for a crappy Bud. This year there are dozens of options, all over the place, and local ones. All the outfield concessions have specialty beers, that appear to have been designed exclusively for the venue. That the beer was actually designed with the food you’re eating with it in mind is thrilling to me. Shack Shack has their exclusive Shackmeister Ale, and Blue Smoke has it’s Blue Smoke Blend, all from Brooklyn Brewery. There was some Queens Ale at the Box Frites place which I can’t remember the name of, but I can find no indication of a beer with Queens in the title from Brooklyn Brewery, which lends to the idea that it’s exclusive to that location. It’s going to be hard for me to not try all four of these beers on Saturday against the Red Sox, I only have to remind myself that they aren’t going anywhere.

From Citifield

I wandered all around and didn’t see everything. Much of every trip to the place for a while will be a new experience, which is great. New seats, new views. Every game is an adventure. I’ve got tickets to three regular season games already, and I’m sure I’ll be to at least two dozen more.

From Citifield

The ping of the aluminum bat felt so wrong.

From Citifield

Seeing the Mets on the out of town scoreboard was a unique experience, and pretty cool.

From Citifield

There some glitches and errors. Many will be fixed I’m sure. Some escalators weren’t working right, some water still pooled in some areas. Some TVs weren’t hooked up. The smoke from the BBQ place can/did drift past the scoreboard (depending on the wind) so you can see it in the outfield. No big deal really.

From Citifield

All you really need to know is that you need to get there at your first opportunity. You won’t be disappointed.

Mets Opening Day Pack

It appears that if you haven’t acquired tickets to Opening Day in some manor, the Mets are offering a 5-game pack that includes the game. However, it looks like these are games are slow-selling seats from the other packs. It’s only available for baseline box, and field box seats. This means you’re going to have to spend at least $400 a ticket, for five games, to buy this package. Chances are if you can afford this, you’ve already spent the money on a package for the season.

 

I’d love to do this, but at $75 a ticket++, I just can’t afford it. You can add any other four games from April and May, which could be two Phillies games if you so choose. You’d probably spend almost this much money buying similar seats on stubhub for just Opening Day.

 

However, it does mean that there are unsold tickets to Opening Day. If this package doesn’t finish them off, they’ll have to put these tickets out there somewhere. There is probably an outside chance that we can get lucky and get these tickets through some sort of second-chance lottery, or just dumb luck.

Exhibition Starters

Because I have nothing better to do.  Let’s guess at who’s going to start the two games against the Red Sox!

 

I suppose one has to be the 5th Starter, which is likely Livan Hernandez.  This way puts him closer to a normal day in the rotation anyway.  So who would the other guy be?  

 

My best guess would be Jon Niese.  Despite being sent to minor league camp today, he still seems to be the ‘6th starter’.  So what better time to get him some no-pressure major league experience against an excellent offense?

Christening Citi Field

When will the Citi be ours?

As much as I’m looking forward to Citi Field, I’ll always miss Shea at least a little bit. Right now we’re in that limbo stage, where the Mets don’t actually have a ‘home’. Until mid-April when they actually settle into the new park, all my Mets thoughts still encircle Shea Stadium. Citi Field doesn’t feel like home quite yet. For many of us, I suspect that our first day walking into Citi Field will feel much like we’re on vacation checking out San Francisco’s, or Pittsburgh’s, or wherever you’ve gone’s new ballpark. This time it’s ours.

So what will it take for it to feel like home?

Will it be that first, “Now batting, number seven, Jo-se Reyes!”? (I’m not buying for a second that it won’t be Jose leading off.)

Will it be after seeing that Apple come up for the first time, watching whoever hit it turn third and step on the plate?

I know some of you less optimistic types are going to turn to whoever you came with the first time Castillo grounds out in a key spot and say, “Now it feels like Shea.”

Maybe it’s the first win? The first time we stand and cheer and get crazy for a 9th inning and a K-Rod save? The first walk-off?

Maybe some people will be a little more accepting. Will it be the first tailgate? The first time you sit in the new seats and take in the whole park? The first time you get up to go to the bathroom or concessions between innings and don’t miss an entire inning? The elevator ride up the Rotunda? (How can you not go into the park through the Rotunda the first time?)

I’m leaning towards the first ‘big game’ moment at the new park. This probably will be against the Phillies, walking out with all my fellow Mets fans, satisfied and high-fiving the Mets win.