Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Citi Field: Putting Lipstick on a Pig

I grew up in the Bronx and was born and raised a New York Yankees fan (mainly by my grandfather and uncles). Sports allegiances are similar to prejudices and racism: they are taught at an early age, you are blindly conditioned to love your own, and hate the "enemy" (Red Sox and Mets) for no logical reason. A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to Citi Field's Opening Day by one of my underwriters. I tried to reject the offer with every excuse in the book: I'm not a Mets fan, I live in NJ and it was a night game, and did I mention I wasn't a Mets fan? The thought of entering such a sacriligious place after being pre-conditioned to hate blue and orange, made me wonder if my grandfather would spin in his grave. After getting grief that the tickets were not costing me anything, that I was the first person he invited to go, that it was a hard to get ticket, and it was a "historical moment", I decided to go. Here are a couple of my observations:
  • Its much nicer than its ugly minor league looking predecessor (Shea Stadium), however people are over exaggerating how wonderful it is. There's still a 20 minute wait for the bathroom / beer / food, a few stadium lights need replacing, and the jumbotron and scoreboard already have blown bulbs.
  • The urinals are "green" and do not use water to flush. Be careful washing your hands because the sinks blast you with hot water.
  • Its going to be harder to hit home runs - we watched Beltran and Wright blast balls to center (408 ft) and right center (415 ft) where the wall's height can hit 20 feet in some areas.
  • Its still in the middle of no where - a lovely train yard.
  • Its still the lowly Mets playing - the same franchise that won a World Series because a ball passed between someone's legs and have squandered a divisional lead in the last month (two years in a row). They even lost their Opening Day game by balking home the winning run.

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