— Days Without Shea —

by Kingman on May 28 at 3:06PM
Forgot to mention that last night was the first time I saw no more Shea Stadium, not even the ashes. The parking lot memorial is complete:


More on Queens Crap. Thanks for the link, Yankee John. I forgot my camera last night.

Long live Shea. 

[May 29, 2009 1:59 AM]  |  link  |  reply
nobody said

Great shots. You can see the bases in the parking lot. Just to the right of the large white divider in the foreground center. Weird.

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Mr. Met
We were in Citi Field Wednesday night for the Mets 7-4 win over the Nationals, completing a three-game sweep. A weird night overall, from Murphy's Subway home run to Fernando making his first rookie mistake (run, Fernando, run!) to Johan doing an Ollie imitation.

Plus Citi Field was a massive distraction last night, thanks to the new exclusivity rules in the bars and my first fight with a drunk at a Met game in a few decades. More on that later.

First the game: despite no Reyes, Church, Delgado and the rest of the injured parade, the Mets put up a good fight. Johan was erratic, striking out 10 but walking 6 along the way. With a 3-0 lead in the 4th, Johan came a bit undone, giving up a massive 2-run homer to Adam Dunn that almost hit the old Apple beyond the bridge. Later in the inning, Santana walked in the tying run. Ugh.

But the Mets did not let themselves get beat by a lesser team. Murphy redeemed himself for a missed catch at 1st in the first by crunching a 2-run homer in the 5th. At least it was a home run eventually. The ball hit the Subway sign on the Pepsi Porch, now known as Wilpon's Folly, as our owners' desire to create a quirky homage to dead old stadiums not named Shea resulted in this ground rules trivia question. The umps had to leave the field and review the tape. Meanwhile, 40,000 of us in our seats were not allowed to watch an instant reply on the two giant Citi Field screens. Eventually, the HR was acknowledged and the Mets kept the lead for good.

It should be noted that just below Wilpon's Folly, young Fernando Martinez made a great catch early in the game, crashing into the bullpen at one of its nooks (or is that a cranny?). A great catch all but forgotten when, during his next at-bat, Martinez watched as his meager pop-up in front of home plate fell out of the catcher's glove. By the time Fernando ran, it was too late - he was out at first and in the dog house of impatient Met fans. Welcome to the big leagues. It can only get better from here kid, unless you cut a rap record with Lastings Milledge.

But I'd say Citi Field had a worse night. The stadium itself is fine and I'm getting to like the sight lines. But last night's experience was the opposite of my Citi Field trip a few weeks back. Last game, O entered the Promenade Box bar and enjoyed the view while dining and drinking - very civilized. Last night, when my Dad and I tried to enter, we were stopped by two ushers who demanded our tickets, then informed us we didn't have access. But I was here last game, I reasoned. "We've changed our policy," I was told. So the Mets have gone back to excluding fans from even the most modest of bars. Never mind that the food and restaurants are touted as a selling point for the stadium. Never mind that the Promenade Box Bar was EMPTY. Never mind that I had cash in hand and was not afraid to spend. We walked out and pocketed the dough I would have gladly coughed up to the Mets. Foolish.

But this policy is nothing compared to the Ambulatory Rules of Citi Field. As previously mentioned, our seats are in the last row of our section, on the same level as the Promenade walkway. Folks are allowed to stand directly behind us. Most of the time, that's fine but occasionally people will stand there jabbering about anything but the game. Or a drunken lout or two will scream nonsense gibberish in the general direction of the field, their slobbering syllables passing first through my aching head.

Last night we asked the green jacketed director matron of our section to clear the area when folks were lingering too long. She said she can't - it's stadium policy to let people stand there. That policy was in full effect, when around the third inning, two drunk guys stood behind us to the side, talking on their cell phones and to two tourist ladies. They weren't directly annoying; most of the time they weren't even watching the game and were easily ignored. But when the ladies left, the guys finally noticed the game and began to randomly blurt out cheers. By the 6th inning, they were directly behind me. Finally, after one particularly loud random "Lets Go Mets," I politely asked the louder dude to move 10 feet in either direction. To which he replied, "I said lets go Mets, what the F#*& is your problem." This argument usually wins with me, at least it did 20 years ago. But not last night. Words were exchanged; Ron Hunt asked the dude where his seats were. he told us way up behind us.

And that's the galling part. Folks can buy inferior tickets, then move around the stadium as part of the "experience." Instead, they move to right behind us and set up beer camp and our "experience" is obliterated. A few minutes after our spirited debate subsided, I got up and talked with the drunk dude, explaining that when he cursed, he blew it. I don't care what you're chanting but don't curse me out in my seat. He apologized, we shook hands and he moved on. He was actually not a bad guy at all. The real problem here is the policy...and the "directors" whose job it is apparently is to stand around telling us about the policy. Our green jacket witnessed the whole affair and did nothing to intervene. Unacceptable.

Fred or Jeff, feel free to come sit with us one night and see if our experience matches what it used to be like in Ebbets Field.

Anyways, the Mets are in first with a day off to mend.

[May 28, 2009 11:18 AM]  |  link  |  reply
Eli said

Wow, what a lousy experience. You should send this to the Mets. If only to see how they respond. In my experiences, they always have responded. I may not have liked what they said, but they responded.

[May 28, 2009 12:02 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Caryn said

Don't ask the local security - you should call or text the security hotline number instead. Tell them you have drunk fans disturbing you and they will send someone with a little more authority than the wandering ineffective security.

The idiocy with the Promenade box bar is ridiculous. When I heard it was open, I wondered about the people who'd bought tickets believing that they had exclusive rights. I would have been annoyed if I had been promised one thing and told another. OTOH when Jeff Wilpon gave that tour of Citi before it opened he claimed it was for everyone. So who knows.

Please send a letter to the Mets. Don't call, don't email, send a letter. Written letters are going to get their attention. I have been sending one each week regarding my various issues with Citi Field.

[May 28, 2009 1:37 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Stan O said

I was also at last night's game, sitting in Promenade 518 and also had a number of issues with the staff of CitiField. While I was sitting in my seat nearly 2 hours before the game eating a sandwich and reading a magazine, a security guard came up and asked to see my ticket. When I refused and told him my section, row and seat number without looking he told me to "stop being wise" and walked away. Around the fifth inning, people in the upper area of the section, most notably women (to my surprise) were stumbling down stairs. At one point, two security guards came up to talk to another woman. The activity brought four more security guards who stood at the base of the stairs, blocking the game action. After telling them that I did not buy a ticket to watch them and that the stairs were a place where they could watch their security detail and get out of our way, they finally moved. (The offending fan was walking back to her seat moments after being brought down the stairs by security.) I hope the Wilpons do clean up the mess they have made with CitiField. I walked into the stadium back in March wanting to love it...but have found that other than spending the time at the ballpark with my dad, I would prefer watching the game at home. It is a shame. And as for the food, I have given up on it. I am bringing my own and using up my Mets Money on books in the team store before I stop buying anything there. Always enjoy your blog...please keep it up.

[May 28, 2009 2:16 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Kingman said

Thanks folks. Your comments are helpful a day after our goofy experience. Metsgrrl, saw your post about open containers. That happened to me once at Shea last year. I had to throw away a new bottle of water because it was open. And no "Meet the Mets" is indeed ridiculous. Stan O, now that the Prom Box is off-limits, I am only eating food I bring in. And I may even stop drinking Citi beer. If I'm not good enough for Citi's dinky, empty bar, they can kiss my cash goodbye. Where's my flask?

[May 28, 2009 7:55 PM]  |  link  |  reply
dyhrdmet said

dude, your experience just sucks. all of yours do. i'm with MetsGrrl about writing letters. i want to like Citi Field too, but I haven't found a reason why I should.

[May 28, 2009 10:05 PM]  |  link  |  reply
AJP said

Citi Field security is very arbitrary. There really is no plan and organization.

I was in the elite Cesaurs Club on the fabulous and exlusive Excelsior level last night and I actually saw small children being the main barflys at the Grand Bar in the lofty central atrium area.

I actually love standing behind the last row of the 400 level. But I don't drink and I'm not rowdy and I don't breathe down peoples necks.

It is just a matter of time when people will packed in 4 deep in these locatons. The Mets will probably be selling thousands of standing room only tickets beginning with the "Subway Series"

[May 29, 2009 6:59 AM]  |  link  |  reply
Stan O said

This morning I was listening to the podcast of the "Boomer and Carton" show. A season ticket holding fan called up to say that he had four extra tickets to Wednesday's game and walked up to a family in line to buy tickets and handed them to the family, free of charge. He was detained by security, with the police notified that such behavior was not allowed on CitiField grounds. This is getting out of control.

[May 29, 2009 9:09 AM]  |  link  |  reply
NatKiller said

What a whine. You could have it worse you know - like a stadium where security actually moves the people along that congregate right behind the last row of seats in the promenade (mainly because the fans there are rooting for the visiters, not the home team). Or when the home team plays the Phillies and 75% of the fans just came in from the City of "Brotherly" Love and you almost get into a fight because you stand up and say "Let's Go Mets" because the Nats sure ain't going anywhere. Or you bring your kid to the game in your great seats behind the Nats dugout and George Will -- yes George Will -- hands your son a ball and you are torn between saying "Thanks" or "You're a pompous bufffoon." Or you actually miss having Lastings Millidge as your centerfielder or wish you had Heillman coming out of your bullpen. Please save your tears until the Mets trade for Nick Johnson to replace Delgado at First.

[June 2, 2009 8:12 AM]  |  link  |  reply
Kingman Author Profile Page replied to NatKiller

You're just mad because they don't let you smoke in your seats.

[May 30, 2009 11:34 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Stan said

This is all the same story, new place. I grew up going to Jets games with my Dad in Mezzanine 25. Row 1, seats on the corner by the portal. For some reason, the area directly in front of our seats became a regular hangout for vendors resting their (hot dog) buns and stopping to watch the game. Since Dad gave up on 'asking nicely' somewhere around 1970, the stalled vendor or fan in question was usually helped along by a long-armed sideways push from Dad.

[June 11, 2009 12:55 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Tom said

The Promenade Club was initially sold and advertised to Season Ticket Holders as exclusive for folks who were sitting in Promenade Club seats. Not Prom. Boxes. Yes, they changed the rules midstream to see if it could work and it was so-so. It's a policy that is a work in progress.

As for the fans, someone bought my seat next to me for the 6/9 Philly game and never showed up. I assume he stayed on the Field Level and watched the game from the SRO areas. It's just how things are at the new ballparks.

[June 18, 2009 9:20 AM]  |  link  |  reply
NYJ said

Wow, you're a whiny pompous tool.

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Filed under: Baseball | Ex-Mets | Mets
by Kingman on May 21 at 12:22PM
bobby valentine.jpg
Not lots of good news to report for the Mets. Delgado is out for 10 weeks. Reyes is headed for the DL. The Mets were swept by the Dodgers and have lost four in a row.

Meanwhile, in case you missed it, Scott Schoeneweis' wife was found dead yesterday at home by the couple's 14-year-old daughter. What an awful story. Schoeneweis and his wife have been through alot of awful patches, from his cancer to her difficult childbirth for their third child hast September. Very sad news. Say a prayer for that family.

On a lighter note, the NY Times today has a big feature on Bobby Valentine. Fans of the Chiba Lotte Marines have mobilized to force team ownership to keep Bobby V as manager past 2009.  Our ex-manager has been a real American Idol in Japan, and fans adore his extroverted persona...and the fact he won a chanpionship for the team. We of course thought Art Howe could do a better job.

[May 21, 2009 9:02 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Ron Hunt said

Great shot of Bobby, Kong. This is how we need to remember his. For all his tremendous managerial skills, he was a nut!

I'll gladly sign a petition to keep him in Japan.

[May 26, 2009 9:54 AM]  |  link  |  reply
NatKiller said

Don't forget Jerry Koosman, who plead guilty two weeks ago to tax evasion for failimg to file some returns.

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Thumbnail image for Citi Field toilets
In March, the Mets held an important toilet test, in which volunteers flushed every john in the joint, in an effort to expose any flaws in the system.

I'm sure they didn't test for stuck fans. Read on for details:

Apart from the burgers at Shake Shack, can we all agree that it's been exceedingly hard for either of the new ballparks in New York to generate any positive headlines?

Most of the time, the issues have been within team control (ie: bad sightlines for the Mets at Citi Field , expensive seats at new Yankee Stadium).

But also consider these two Citi Field-related headlines that are circulating the web today and make it seem like the baseball gods might actually be angry at New York for taking Shea Stadium and The House That Ruth Built out of circulation:

"The Mets have swine flu, pass it on"

"Officials in upstate Sullivan County said yesterday that the Mets may be linked to the swine flu outbreak. A resident of Liberty became ill last Wednesday, three days after attending a Mets game at Citi Field on Mother's Day, said Sullivan County manager David Fanslau. The unidentified victim became the county's first confirmed victim of the H1N1 virus Monday afternoon, he said.

"Because the woman's trip to the game was her only known foray out of Sullivan County lately, Fanslau said, local officials suspect there may be a link."

"Woman trapped by Citi Field toilet"

"A hapless Mets fan tried to make a diving catch when her gold tooth fell into a Citi Field toilet -- and got her arm stuck in the commode.

"The unidentified woman's bizarre Flushing adventure happened during last Wednesday's game against the Atlanta Braves, sources said yesterday.

"It's unclear how long she was trapped screaming in the john, but stadium security guards and emergency medical personnel eventually showed up."

Almost makes you want to design a new sleeve patch for the Mets, doesn't it?

Citi Field: "Come for the swine flu, stay for the evil toilets." 

You have to admit: It does have a certain ring to it. 

More on the toilet incident here:

An unidentified female fan seeking relief amid the Mets 8-7 12th-inning defeat somehow had a gold tooth come loose. Unable to bear the idea of parting with it, she fruitlessly jammed her hand into the toilet bowl, The New York Post reported.

Instead of coming away with a handful of gold, the toilet had a handful of her. She sat there screaming as the toilet continued to flush over her arm until security arrived; they in turn called Cardoza Plumbing, the folks who installed all 646 toilets in the Mets new home.  The low-flush "green" toilets installed at the stadium use powerful vacuum suction to cut down on water use, which may have contributed to the problem, according to the Post.
Related Stories

As a Cardoza plumber drove from his Jamaica headquarters to Flushing, the toilet continued flushing and a crowd gathered outside the women's room near Section 338. Suffice to say, the man from Cardozo was able to rescue the hapless maiden.

"The truth is, this kind of thing happens all the time -- usually with wedding rings or cellphones," a Queens plumber told the Post. "People have probably been getting their hands stuck in toilets as long as there have been toilets."

[May 20, 2009 10:18 PM]  |  link  |  reply
dyhrdmet said

Vin Scully just told the story of the tooth in the toilet relating it to the 1962 Mets still being around. The 1962 Mets have been a bit of a theme of his this week.

[May 21, 2009 11:26 AM]  |  link  |  reply
Andre said

That is a crappy story. Great Post though.

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by Kingman on May 20 at 1:21PM
Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Citi Field side and Shea Stadium on September 14, 2008
Looking for some of those nice Citi Field seats? Apparently the Mets are tired of StubHub selling the choice tix and have just released this offer to "Flusing Flash" subscribers:

The Mets and Citi are pleased to offer all Flushing Flash subscribers a special ticket offer for the Mets' upcoming homestand at Citi Field Monday, May 25 - Sunday, May 31 when they host the NL East Nationals and Marlins.

Baseline Box tickets start at $30!
Purchase your tickets on the special offer page to any of the qualifying games during this homestand and receive up to 33% off the regular ticket price in select categories, based on ticket availability. Ticket quantities are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

[May 20, 2009 4:59 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Paul said

This reminds me of the auto industry with their Limited Edition Models. Limited to the amount they can sell!!! Let face it, all these tickets are overpriced and the FANS are saying "UNCLE".

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