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Thursday, March 05, 2009

In other words, it's a ballpark built by Dr. Victor Frankenstein
Posted by Jill | 5:30 AM
In the New York Times today, Ken Belson and Richard Sandomir try to make us forget that in just about a month, the Mets, Johan Santana's sore elbow, and Mike Pelfrey's devastated finances (he got caught up in the Stanford Financial disaster), will begin playing baseball in a park named for a bank that's only hanging on by its fingernails thanks to the American taxpayers:
The Mets’ new park, which will open its doors for a Georgetown-St. John’s baseball game March 29, is far more intimate than Shea and corrects some of Shea’s worst faults.

Citi Field will hold about 42,000 fans, 15,000 fewer than Shea. The park is enclosed and many seats wrap around the outfield, so it feels much cozier than Shea’s open-ended bowl, which favored watching football.

During an extensive tour of Citi Field on Tuesday, Jeff Wilpon, the team’s chief operating officer, spoke in the Acela Club, a restaurant in left field that will have 550 seats, table service, a bar and wine cabinets for frequent patrons.

“There’s all this light and air, and then you’re looking back at the field,” Wilpon said. “We want to make people feel they’re in a living room.”

A really, really, really EXPENSIVE living room. (So why not just stay home and watch it in your OWN living room?)
Citi Field has many nooks and crannies that are nothing like Shea’s tired symmetry.

To hold the melted butter?
The grandstand that hangs over right field, for instance, was inspired by the old Tiger Stadium, which Wilpon visited with his grandparents as a child.

To add to that "Frankenstadium" feel.
Citi Field’s exterior is a splendid architectural response to the dullness of Shea, while the inner bowl is muted. Shea’s candy-colored plastic seats are gone (along with generations of chipped paint on the handrails) in favor of dark green seats everywhere.

“Dark green is the color of a classic ballpark,” said Dave Howard, the team’s executive vice president for business operations, as he stood ankle deep in snow. “And we thought the other team in town would use blue.”

I think perhaps "bowl" is an unfortunate word to use to describe a home for the Mets, with its echoes of cleaning a commode.

And then the article quotes team owner Fred Wilpon on what the reality is about professional baseball today:
Everything has a new name, as well. There’s the Ebbets Club, the Delta Sky360 Club and the Caesars Club. Seaver, Hodges and Stengel have their names on three of the five party suites. The name game is not done, either.

“In this economy, you don’t turn down sponsors,” Wilpon said. “Anyone who’s willing to pay. ...”

Even if it's a zombie bank eating up taxpayer money that won the naming rights to the place based on bogus accounting.

Shea Stadium was famous for its various "ethnic nights." Sounds like Wilpon has his own vision of "Negro Day" in mind:
Wilpon said the team had not decided who would throw out the first pitch on opening day April 13. But he said it would be great if President Obama did it on Jackie Robinson Day two nights later.

This puff piece sounds like nothing so much as the franchisee of a new Bahama Breeze waxing rhapsodic about his new "Caribbean-inspired" restaurant that has absolutely nothing to do with any kind of recognizable Caribbean food.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...
I heard that--while they were originally planning on getting rid of that hokey and decrepit dented-all-to-fucking-hell apple thingie that rises up after a Mets home run--they have decided to move it over to the new stadium after Mets fan outcry. Personally, I was embarrassed for Mets fans when that thing would rise up in Shea Stadium. It looked like something they picked up at Sanford & Son's fucking junkyard!

Go Yankees! HAHAHAHAH@!

Blogger Bob said...
The Mets haven't been the proletarian club since Yalie Ron Darling won over fans by acting like a state college guy at a keg party.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
As a Detroiter and a die-hard fan of the Tigers and of the late beloved Tiger Stadium, I must tell you that the right-field overhang in that ballfield was one of those delicious quirks which contribute to the lore and legend of great parks, and I am mystified by your "Frankenstadium" reference to it.

Blogger Jill said...
It's about building a stadium out of parts (or ersatz parts) of dead ballparks. I'm surprised the reference seemed that obscure to you.

Blogger Steve66 said...
It would be more appropriate to relate the overhang to the Polo Grounds, not Tiger Stadium! Does Brooklyn boy Wilpon still hate the Giants? Several times I saw left fielders drift back, raise their glove only to see the ball glance off the upper deck facade for a home run.

Blogger Steve66 said...
Oh, and another thing: we're supposed to be happy that capacity is down to 42,000 from 57,000? Tell me economics students, what happens to producer revenue (and price) when reduced supply meets inelastic demand? Hint: they don't go down.