Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Don't have the time or money to attend a Mets game?

Get pumped up by the techno beat of 'Sandstorm' before a Met hits into a double play.

Simulate the slow walk out of the ballpark after another excruciating loss with the End Credits to Jurassic Park playing in the background.

Friday, April 24, 2009

I Luv You Like A Fat Kid Love Cake

Powerful. Magnetic. Intriguing. Omnivorous. These are the words that come to mind as I peer into Officer Rick Ross' (Boss) mug. Watch all the way through, you will be rewarded.

Deeper than Rap? Deep-Fried in Fat?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Still Sheaing Hey

Full props & pounds to No Mas and Uni Watch for their campaign to call the new Mets Stadium "Shea."

After all, Citigroup didn't pay any of us fans to call the stadium what they want. Us fans are free to call the park whatever we'd like, and nothing makes more sense than calling it what us fans have always called it, "Shea."

As any Mets fan knows, William Shea willed the team into being. At the time, as Jimmy Breslin reported in his 1963 classic "Can't Anybody Here Play This Game?" Major League owners were content to let the Yanks enjoy a monopoly over big league ball in the big apple. William Shea ensured this would once again become a National League town.

The Mets should never have taken Citi's money. No doubt it's hard to turn down $20 mil a year, but the Yanks surely turned down more dough than that for their new bandbox. New Shea was the Mets big chance to get on level footing with the Yanks in at least the stadium department. The Yanks turning the money down makes the Mets look even tackier than the billboards for Geico and Caesar's Palace that adorn the facade facing Northern Boulevard.

William Shea's name could have at least been preserved at the #7 station, but the MTA oddly chose to go with "Mets-Willets Point." "Shea Station" is a more proper, and his name is worth preserving more than the obscure Charles Willet, who was an early 19th century landowner.

Of course, to many this is just semantics. A bigger issue is the lack of fannies in New Shea's seats.
I'm sure the Wilpons/Coupons had a good laugh in figuring that if the Mets averaged around 5o,000 in old Shea's last years, then if they dropped New Shea's capacity they could ensure sellouts every night. Well, they dridopped New Shea's capacity to around 41,000 seats, yet are only averaging 36,907 a game so far through 6 games in decent April weather.

Here's a comparison of the attendance figures for the first six games last year and this year.

Game 1 2008: 56,350
Game 1 2009: 41,007

Game 2 2008: 47,127
Game 2 2009: 35,581

Game 3 2008: 49,045
Game 3 2009: 35,985

Game 4 2008: 46,214
Game 4 2009: 36,436

Game 5 2008: 54,701
Game 5 2009: 36,312

Game 6 2008: 52,794
Game 6 2009: 36,124

I don't care how many Excelsior boxes they sell and how many Shake Shake burgers they push, losing 15,000 fans a game has to mean less cake for the Coups.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Circle the Date

When writers and fans are preparing postmortems for the 2009 season and ask 'why did this team win 83 games?' this is the date to point to as the boilerplate for the rest of the season and the team as a whole the last two seasons. Hideous situational pitching and hitting against an inferior team at home. And people wonder why there's a such an aura of negativity surrounding the team.

EXTRA: The Mets are already 1-4 in one run games, and while some may say it's due to even out, it could just be a harbinger of things to come.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Franchise That Just Can't Stand Prosperity.

From Jody Gerut's leadoff homer to former Met fatty Heath Bell's 1-2-3 ninth, the Mets showed the whole world how little has changed for the franchise despite its new home. They were outhomered by a hideous Padres lineup, and predictably hit two warning track shots -they always seem to come up short more often than their visitors. As soon as David Wright collected his first big hit since a walkoff homer against the same Padres team last season, Ryan Church completely misplayed a fly ball and as just as it seemed Pedro Feliciano would work out of the jam, he balks in the eventual winning run. The team has been a colossal tease for several years, but always comes miserably short. Cleveland may have it's Wahoo, but many New York baseball fans have to deal with a nameless, shapeless ghost that haunts their team. Maybe the ghost has a name and wide figure in the form of Mike Scioscia. Or Yadier Molina. Either way, this franchise will continue to find ways not to win. Some will say to be thankful for what limited success they achieve, but they do not root for teams that are massively overshadowed by a crosstown neighbor.

Words Is Bonds 2

A great moment in literary booze from Raymond Chandler's "The Lady in the Lake."
- - -
He looked at me with steady blue eyes and I looked at him. In spite of his weathered appearance he looked like a drinker. He had the thickened and glossy skin, the too noticeable veins, the bright glitter in the eyes.
- - -

Happy to post more great moments like this if you got them.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Still A G

Edgardo Alfonzo still swangin for the Yomiuri Giants in Tokyo. For a cool $380,000.

A forgotten Met, which is a shame considering that he was the bedrock for the last Mets' spell of success in the late 90's. 

Friday, April 03, 2009

PNC Park + Busch Stadium III + Citizens Bank Park =... know where I'm going.

As cynical as I was during CitiField's construction process, I couldn't help but be a little excited attending the ballpark's soft opening featuring the baseball squads from St. John's -as the visiting team- and Georgetown last Sunday. On the ride there, if I wasn't certain which major league team called the ballpark home, I was painfully reminded by the same miserable cold and wet weather that closed out Shea Stadium. That was a shame, because it killed any chance of a festive atmosphere -outside of one St. John's cheering section in the 'Promenade:' I'll get to the stupid section names later.

Upon arrival at the Mets/Willets Point station, -good for the MTA for attempting to get something out of the Mets and Citi- you're spit out into the entrance plaza with some token tree and flower patches sprinkled in to try to differentiate it from the adjacent parking lots. The grand entrance, the Jackie Robinson Rotunda, is a hulking mass of fake brick arches and massive steel trusses that along with the cheap looking escalators evokes a subway station much moreso than Ebbets Field. Would it have killed anyone to put some skylights over the space and not make it seem like an entrance cavern? Like what the Yankees did in their entrance plaza? Anyway, the rotunda has some nice posters of Jackie Robinson, though there were still a few open slots left to be filled. While this is a great gesture to one of the most important athletes in American history, where's the love for Branch Rickey? I'll get to the very, very, very uneven 'tribute' to New York National League baseball later as well.

Moving on, the concourses are wide and lined with plenty of concession stands and restrooms, but the exposed metal decking of the floor above is more appropriate for a warehouse, not a ballpark -wasn't this supposed to be a departure from austere and minimalist designs of the 60s? How about a hung ceiling at least? Or get creative and make it vaulted. The only highlight of my time there was seeing Jeff Coup-, er Wilpon strolling around with an associate, probably trying to overhear conversations or go over punchlists. The centerfield food court offers a great selection of food, including tacos/burritos, Danny Meyer's Shake Shack and Blue Smoke as well as a grocery -very generic, shoulda used local context and model it after a Corona bodega- that sells packaged salads, sushi and most importantly Mamma's of Corona's heroes. Thankfully, the skyline that graced the top of Shea's Gambler's Scoreboard™ has a new home on top of the Shake Shack and Blue Smoke -the original apple unfortunately is in a dark corner under the bullpen bridge: cave troll treatment. Speaking of the Gambler's Scoreboard™, it's successor pales in comparison. It's an obstructive little row of scores over the left field upper level seats that considering how much empty ad space the park has around the jumbotron and outfield wall, they may as well have put a newer, bigger one, like what's done in the parks Pacific Northwest cousin, Safeco Field. The ads that are there consist of an embarrassing array from the likes of Bob's Discount Furniture, Alliance Building Services (???) and an equipment rental company whose name I can't even remember. All that's missing are ads for pawnshops and Denny's.

A word of advice when navigating the ballpark, unless you want access to the Mets' offices -with gorgeous chop shop views- do not take the staircase on the promenade level behind center field and next to the mechanical equipment. It takes you straight down to the exit at street level, or if you're adventurous you can attempt re-entry by walking through the inner ring that connects to the clubhouses and press room -which by the way looks great, Jerry Manuel is gonna love talkin gangsta with the press after games- and eventually the elevators that can send you back up to your choice of the Metropolitan, Empire, Sterling (nice Wilpon schill) or Promenade Levels. I would've loved to have seen Coup's Stoop, Bernie's Bench or something a little more creative, but that's just me. That's probably one way the Mets differentiated the park from its peers in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and St. Louis, because if you didn't know any better, you wouldn't be able to tell where you are if you were sitting in the middle of the park.

I suppose the one instance of 'creativity' evident in the park are the 'homages' to the New York Giants in the form of black and orange garbage receptacles and outfield wall. Yeah, so deep, I can see Willie Mays snagging flies in center field and throwing his gum away in a trash can... The Phillies, who had no need to even reference their much more successful cross town rival, the Athletics, put up a nice exhibit chronicling the history of Philadelphia baseball: if HOK and the Mets are gonna use templates from every other new park, where was this one? The Giants were the class of New York National League baseball, but you wouldn't know it, at least according to ol' Fred. We've to thank Fred 0as well as co-conspirators Mayor Giuliani and George Steinbrenner- for these new parks, because if he and George didn't leave their parks in such disarray, there wouldn't have been enough clamor for replacements. Dodger Stadium is as old as Shea and even older than Yankee Stadium II and is in great shape. Where have you gone, Nelson Doubleday?

There's so much more I can vent about, but I don't want this to become a dissertation. As the old saying goes, I root for the laundry, so I don't care where the Mets play, as long as I can go to games every once in a while. At least I can stuff my face to avoid thinking about CitiField's shortcomings. Oh well.