Tuesday, April 14, 2009

13 comments The Real Mets Fans Can't Find The New Stadium

That's how Wallace Matthews is thinking today. The Mets lost last night and as anyone who knows anything knows, one game means the entire season is over and the stadium needs to be rebuilt near the real Mets fans. Though Wallace has no idea of where that exactly is, he does know seats should be $5 and the fans should stay for the entire game.

On one hand I can see what Wallace is saying because new stadiums tend to cause ticket prices to go up, sky boxes to increase, and there is generally a more corporate atmosphere about the place. What I would enjoy about Wrigley Field and Fenway Park is that the atmosphere is not sterile, you feel like you are at a sporting event...or at least that is what those who have attended the games there say.

On the other hand though, Wallace Matthews has no point because it has been ONE GAME. One game, not two games, but one game. Usually the first night and opening of the new ballpark does not attract the natural Mets fans who come to the games. It tends to attract wealthy people who have no interest in baseball, except they want to attend the first game at Citi Field. It was one game. No need to freak out about the crowd...but Wallace does anyway.

There used to be a ballpark here, a raucous place where the fans were rowdy, the team was lovable and the game was fun, whether the Mets won or lost.

That ballpark was Yankee Stadium...and they tore that one down too.

The Shea Stadium crowd was rowdy and sometimes never made sense. The one example I can think of is when the crowd chanted "Larry, Larry" at Chipper Jones. That is his first name and I have no idea why they chanted that in a taunting voice. Maybe Mets Fan AwesomeSean can fill me in on this one...assuming he cares/knows.

Regardless, Wallace remembers a time when Shea Stadium and the real fans were able to attend the game.

But they tore that one down and replaced it with a tomb - a ridiculously expensive tomb to be sure,

Also a tomb that looked really, really good on television.

The first game at Troubled Assets Relief Program Field - its official name is a great big bird-flip to everyone in New York not named Wilpon or Katz, and therefore will never appear under my byline

The title of Wallace's article? "Citi Field Lacks Real Mets Fans." I know he may not be responsible for the title of the article, but the name Citi Field does appear under his byline.

- felt a lot like the last one at dear, departed Shea Stadium.

So the only game played at Citi Field felt a lot like the last game played at Shea Stadium, where the crowd was "rowdy," the team "lovable," and the game was "fun?" That sounds like the new stadium was actually a pretty good investment then since it was able to keep the ambiance of Shea Stadium.

Why so sad, Wallace?

Some of that had to do with the performance of the home team - with the exception of one moment in the fifth inning, the Mets were as lifeless as their fans - but mostly, it seemed to be a reflection of the clientele.

So the last game at Shea Stadium was sad? I thought the crowds were rowdy and fun...nevermind I am not going to understand Wallace Matthews, I better stick to my main point here.

That point is that Wallace thinks the Mets were a reflection of the fans at Citi Field. I don't have to explain to that many people how this is incredibly stupid. It is clearly the other way around. When the Mets give up a homerun on the 3rd pitch of the game, that tends to take the wind out of the pumped up Mets crowd.

Wallace, THAT is the reason the crowd was not pumped up. The Padres jumped on the Mets and won the first game at Citi Field. The Mets fan base has come off two straight years of (arguably) choking down the stretch and losing the division to the Phillies. To see the lowly Padres homer on the third pitch in the Mets new stadium was probably not an unlifting event for the Mets faithful. The lack of cheering is not completely the crowds fault, it was mostly the Mets fault. They did nothing in the beginning to make the crowd cheer. Of course, it did not help the crowd was filled with important people who were quiet...but that will change as the year goes on. These people just want to be there for the home opener, you won't see them every night.

I saw a friend of mine who had spent more than $100,000 for Mets season tickets this season. He was heading out the door. "I had enough,'' he said.

So Wallace's friend is the type of person that is not a "real" Mets fan? If so, who cares if he leaves? Wallace makes no sense.

Here is what I don't get. Wallace starts the article off complaining there were no real Mets fans at the stadium last night and it lacked the joy and fun of Shea Stadium because the general public can't afford seats. He says a friend of his who paid 100K for Mets season tickets left the game early...except this guy left early so he was clearly the type of person Wallace would not want at the stadium on a regular basis. He should be happy about this. The bad fans are getting weeded out so Wallace should be happy about this. Right?

I do think it is funny that Wallace uses his friend as an example of how all the Mets fans aren't cheering very loudly and staying for the entire game and just assumes every one else did the same thing his friend did. This is very Bill Simmons of him.

An inning later, three guys sitting in choice seats in front of the press box also got up to leave. As they passed in front of the open window before me, you could clearly hear one of them say to his two companions, "Let's get out of here and get a latte.'' True story.

I am sure the press box at Citi Field is a real piece of shit. I would bet Wallace wrote part of this article getting free drinks and watching the game on a 52 inch television.

It certainly seems as if when Mets ownership decided to cut out those 13,000 cheap seats from the top of their new park, they also eliminated the people who made most of the noise at Shea.

Again, it was the first game of the year in the first game at a new stadium. The crowd at this game may not have been indicative of the crowd that will be at every game.

By the seventh inning, there were wide swatches of empty seats, especially in the high-rent district behind home plate. But then the Mets, and Mike Pelfrey, set the tone early when the third pitch thrown in the new park came down in the rightfield seats off the bat of the Padres' Jody Gerut.

What kind of journalism is this? It's like he has multiple personalities and is arguing both sides of the argument against himself.

Even the best news of the night - the out-of-town scoreboard flashing the Yankees getting filleted, 9-0, after two innings by the Tampa Bay Rays - was met with one big shrug.

That could be because the team the crowd came to see was losing as well. If the Yankees lose a game, that doesn't mean the Mets have won a game. I realize they are rivals in the city of New York but the Mets fans want the Mets to win their home opener in a new stadium and even the Yankees losing won't make them feel any better.

But after the Padres retook the lead on Pedro Feliciano's balk in the sixth to provide the deciding run in a 6-5 victory, the crowd never seemed to get back into the game.

Again, this was not a crowd that was indicative of the crowd that will probably be at the stadium every single home game. If it is indicative, then yes Citi Field will be a quiet place. The economy sucks, normal everyday people can't afford to pay exorbitant prices for a ticket to the new Citi Field on opening night, so that led the way for wealthier people to buy tickets. There are more factors that go into this than the stadium is not conducive to loud noises.

Even last year, after the Mets completed their second straight final-game collapse by losing to the Florida Marlins, the fans stuck around for a farewell to a ballpark that may not have been pretty but always pulsated with life.

That would have been the final game in Shea Stadium Wallace is speaking of positively, which Wallace compared earlier as being similar to the first game at Citi Field, which Wallace spoke of negatively. I am just asking for some consistency. That's all I ask.

The new park is a beauty, all right, but last night, it was an ice queen, all looks and no heart or soul.

It is also an inanimate object and can not feel emotions, so it also has no real heart and soul. The heart and soul comes from the success of the team, which the Mets did not experience last night.

And you wonder how much better it will get, because the tickets aren't getting any cheaper, and for the time being, the games aren't getting any bigger.

Yes, nothing is more important or bigger than the first game of the year in a new stadium and the 7th game overall in a baseball season that has 162 games. Sure, the Mets struggled at the end of the last two years, but it was really those early games, like Game #4 and #5 that were the important ones. That makes perfect sense. This was a HUGE game.

But then, the people the Mets, and the Yankees, have chosen to eliminate from their new ballparks are precisely the people they need to bring the places to life.

A sentence I can semi-agree with!

But those people, and the park that welcomed them with open arms, are both gone, and the Mets have no idea how much they're going to miss them.

These people are not gone. They were just not present at the first game of the year in a new stadium, whereas wealthy people who wanted to be present for the first game at Citi Field, much like Wallace's friend, were present. Many people will sell their tickets on Stub Hub or something and "real" fans will attend eventually. The first voyage of the Titanic had a bunch of people on it who were incredibly wealthy because they wanted to say they were on the maiden voyage of the Titanic, but that doesn't mean it would have only hauled rich people around...you know, had it not sunk to the bottom of the ocean on its first voyage. What a great analogy...

It did not help the Mets started their first series in the new stadium against the Padres who are not a huge draw. It also did not help the Padres took the lead on the 3rd pitch of the game and led for pretty much the entire game. It also does not help that the Mets have chosen to open a new stadium in one of the worst economic times in the United States in a long, long while. These are all factors that contributed to the lack of sound last night that Wallace experienced. Let's let an entire series go by before we hit the panic button, shall we?


The Casey said...

The "Larry, Larry" thing comes from Mike Piazza. He would only talk about Larry Jones, not Chipper, because he refused to refer to a grown man as Chipper, or something like that. Chipper said something snippy, if I recall. The Mets fans thought it would be a good idea to use his real name to taunt him. It worked so well that he named one of his kids Shea because his career numbers at Shea were so good.

Bengoodfella said...

I did not know that Piazza said something like that. It does not shock me that Chipper said something snippy in return. He loves to talk a little crap. I never understood why they chanted that because it was his real name. I guess it make sense.

I knew he named one of his kids "Shea" but I did not want to rub it in at this point. That is a pretty good dig though...of course I think he actually enjoyed playing there overall, regardless of his success.

Martin said...

A guy spends 100k on season tickets. Does he have a box? If he only has seats, is it like 10 seats? 100k is insane. Good to see as you pointed out that Wallace is friends with people who aren't real fans.

Bengoodfella said...

I did not add that up until now but that is $1,219 per game for a ticket. I really, really doubt this guy has one ticket. He has to have a group of tickets. Either way, it is good to see that Wallace's friends are not real Mets fans.

I am very confused at the cost of this seat. It has to be more than one seat. I still don't think this crowd was representative of those who are going to normally attend Mets games.

AwesomeSean said...

Thanks to Casey for bailing me out. I simply thought it was the Mets fans way of getting under Chipper's skin. Worked, too, as Casey mentioned since Chipper hit 656 home runs at Shea.

BGF...It's important to understand that Mets fans and the front office are of below average intelligence. I am lumping myself in there. We're all stupid. If we were smart, we'd be NYY fans.

I cannot comment on the rest of it because, frankly, all this chatter today wore me out. Fans complaining about the seats, concessions, Jackie Robinson and the parking. Me? I prefer to complain about a team that allows a HR to light hitting Jody Gerut on the 3rd pitch in a new park. That will never be replicated. Never. Unless somehow Erstad or Eckstein yanks Burnett out on the 2nd pitch on Thursday.

Mets suck and so do we fans.

Bengoodfella said...

Sounds like it has been a very tough time up there in MetsLand today. I never understood the "Larry, Larry" thing but I do remember him killing the Mets in 1999. I think it would have worked if they had made fun of some other aspect of him...not sure what, but I don't think saying "Larry" really bothered him.

I don't think Mets fans are stupid at all. Man, it must have been a tough time in New York today. I think the Mets are still going to have a great year. You can't help the team you like.

Fans were complaining about Jackie Robinson? How did that work? Am I missing something because I think he died a few years ago. I think the HR to Gerut is what should be focused on as well. That is never a good sign. Another bad sign is when David Eckstein gets interviewed after a game. It was just one game though.

I saw Eckstein throw to 1B from 2B last night and I swear the ball still looked like a 6 year old was throwing it. But oh how does he hustle!

As a Braves fan, I am contractually obligated to not be too nice to you but I would not worry too much about the Mets.

AwesomeSean said...

BGF...There was one play in particular that I remember involving Eck. It was routine and I believe Church was the runner. Clutched it out and gritted him by a step. That's going to be something to watch this year. Citi Field has a monument and a dedication to Jackie. Why? No one knows. I mean, really, I don't care but it is odd, don't you think?

Anyway, the Mets are regarded as a 2nd class organization here. That's fine except they perpetuate the stereotype. Some examples:

1. Uniforms - A few years back they had more than 130 different possible combinations. The Yankees? Two.
2. Alomar, Vaughn, Bonilla and Coleman
3. The HUGE Dominos patch on the sleeve
4. Wayne Hagen
5. Mets fan swear, up and down, that Muphy is going to HOF.
6. Etc, etc.
7. Shea is completely surrounded by auto body shops and junkyards. Literally. You cannot grab a burger and a beer before the game and walk to the game.

Fans should shut up and let some real fine performers play. Let it speak on the field. Don't like Citi Field? Don't come. Think DMurph is a HOF'er after 200 AB's? Don't procreate.

That is all.

Martin said...

Don't live in NY, so I doubt I will ever know first hand, but the amount of things I've read about the two new stadiums is startling. The overall tone has been that the stadiums aren't very good. Obstructed views, overall sight lines are poor in some instances, it just seems that with all that was learned and done since Camden Yards in the early 90's was forgotten. Is my impression out of whack? I am just surprised that two of the top three money revenue teams made bad stadium design choices.

Bengoodfella said...

I think I know the play you were talking about and it was very routine. I don't know how he turns a double play, I really don't. I did not know they have a monument to Jackie Robinson...that is really random since he played for the Dodgers and all.

I can kind of tell from your comments that the Mets are treated like a second class organization. It's hard to be #1 in a city with the greatest baseball franchise in history. I think maybe everyone is just trying too hard and it comes off as desperate? What do you think? That Dominos patch was pretty bad though.

I am glad you have a chance to vent, I feel the same way...if you don't like it don't come to the field. Murphy is not making the HoF, I hate to break it to anyone. I did not know that Mets fans felt this way, I feel like I have learned something new.

I hear that the new Yankee Stadium is kind of FUBAR also. That is insane, you would think they could do a stadium right in the biggest market with two of the biggest teams.

AJ said...

From only one game I watched of the NYY this year, I didnt see much of a difference between the new stadium and the old. I mean if you are going to replace one, why would you make it look like the old one? Maybe it looks different, I dont really know, I'm just going by what I saw when I watched a game last week.

When the Tigers changed stadiums a few years back they completely changed the look of it. At first I really didnt like it, but its grown on me now. I still don't like some of the features, mostly that the seats are to far away from the field. Old Tiger Stadium was famous for having the upper deck overhang the lower deck in the outfield...not only does that not appear at the new one, we dont even have an upper deck in the outfield anymore. Its a nice stadium, I just think if you are playing $400 mil that maybe you should work out everything before you build it...

As far as the Mets go, I always thought they tried a little to hard to be the Yankees.

Side note, the NFL schedule was released last night, I hope everyone had enough time to disect it! If you didn't get a chance right when they released it you are pretty much screwed, there is no longer enough time before the season starts.

Bengoodfella said...

I haven't watched a Yankee game yet this year but I am very interested to see what the new stadium looks like. From what I hear it was supposed to be very close to the old Yankee Stadium...which I don't get. Why build a new one if it is just going to be an update of the old one?

I like the new Turner Field if only because Fulton County Stadium was nicknamed "The Launching Pad" which did not seem to go well with the pitching staff the Braves had.

I am amazed at some of the problems these new stadiums have. I realize I am neither a structural engineer nor an architect but I would like to believe they could get the seats in even better position relative to the field and increase capacity (if necessary) when building a stadium. I really liked old Tigers Stadium, I don't know if I miss it, but I liked it.

I feel bad for the Mets because they are always going to be #2 in that city and I think there is a certain inferiority complex that management of the Mets have with this, so it causes them to do a bizarre mix between emulate the Yankees and make bizarre personnel and management decisions. For the first time, I feel some sympathy for the Mets. I do think it is pretty cool how spacious the alleys of the stadium are, though I am not sure the Mets OF's agree with me.

I have spent the entire night dissecting the new schedule. Not really but of course a few things about it pissed me off.

AJ said...

Well at least the Lions got an easy schedule this year...I mean they only have to play against both teams that appeared in the Super Bowl last year...as well as start off against NO, which should blow them out by 40 points. That should be a real good boost to their moral, to lose by 40 in the very first game.

It looks to me like they could actually win a few games though...I mean they do play Cincy and Seattle, as well as St.L.

Bengoodfella said...

Cincy is getting Carson Palmer back and Seattle may actually have receivers this year. So they will beat St. Louis. I am already excited for the beginning of football season. That sucks the Lions have to play Pittsburgh and Arizona.

I don't think they will lose to New Orleans by 40. Though NO can put up some points, I think the Lions will score once or twice before Brees gets pulled.