Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Citi Field

Citi Field
Roosevelt Avenue
Flushing, NY 11368-1699

August 15, 2009: Our journey started off with such promise. It was sunny (and oppressively hot), the furry gang was buckled in and riding in the backseat of Lisa’s Corrolla (no more train to the game for us…at least in New York), we were finally having a decent hair day, and Serena wore her lucky elephant charm. We arrived nice and early for batting practice.
Our goals were plentiful: meet Mr. Met, meet Barry Zito, Tim Lincecum, and Daniel Murphy, get autographs, pose for pictures, and build the structure for a blossoming real (as opposed to imaginary) relationship. A side goal of all of this would be to make The One Who Shall Remain Nameless jealous and thereby prompt him to see that light and how beautiful and harmless we really are. But first, we had to meet our inside man by the bullpen gate to pick up our tickets.
Before walking around the entire stadium to get to the bullpen, we stopped to get our picture taken in front of Citi Field’s main entrance. However, we were forced to delete it because the fool who took it only got us in front of a flower bed in the picture. Not even a little brick of the entrance. There were more pressing matters to take care of, so we saved our entrance picture for after the game and headed to our destination. After receiving our tickets and free giveaway (a Mets magnetic photo frame), we posed for a picture with the one and only ORIGINAL home run apple from Shea Stadium (as far as we’re concerned, this apple is like the 10th man on the Mets’ roster. How dare they bench it for a newbie!), which is located just inside the bullpen gate’s entrance. This picture had to be deleted as well because the moron who took it, only got us with the top hat in the photo. What is a home run apple without the apple? Meanwhile, Lisa had been nice enough to take a lovely picture of this man with his family. From the bullpen, we headed upstairs and walked around the Kid Zone where low and behold, we found this:
Oh, yes. They’ve finally listened to us after all these years of insisting that teams need a meet & greet forum for their mascots. In addition to the Meet & Greet, there is a video game zone, a kiddie field, and a dunk tank where Mets fans can try to dunk a fan of the opposing team. Next to the dunk tank is Mr. Mets Dugout Shop, but we’ll talk more about that later. Nearby is the principle food court for the main level. Over the Shake Shack is the original New York City skyline that had previously graced the top of Shea Stadium’s scoreboard.
From this location, you can see the back of the current scoreboard:
Another fun feature of this area is the garbage cans that are covered by Mets helmets. We think that the trash receptacles should be distributed throughout the stadium and cannot understand why they are only relegated to this section.
Since we had some time before Mr. Met’s arrival, we headed down to field level to meet our boys. It was very crowded. While we waited at the left field wall somewhere between the left field foul pole and the Giants’ dugout, Lisa took a picture of the scoreboard. Beneath it you can see the current home run apple, which looks like a tomato rising out of a hole…and no top hat.
Unfortunately, none of the players on either side came over. Not even a bullpen catcher. It was very disappointing. Trying to remain upbeat, we ran in a zig zag pattern (like they say to do when crocodiles are chasing you) to meet Mr. Met. We waiting on line for a few minutes before the moment we’ve been waiting for arrived. The Pepsi Party Patrol DJ announced Mr. Met’s entrance by playing the Karate Kid’s “You’re the Best Around,” and declaring that, “weighing at 197 lbs., standing at 6’7’’, and some may say America’s #1 mascot, ladies and gentlemen, here’s Mr. Met!” Mr. Met “raised the roof” as fans posed for pictures with him.
From our glorious photo op, we headed into Mr. Met’s Dugout Shop, where we took a picture of a giant Mr. Met made of jelly beans. Again, the first picture had to be deleted because the woman cut out Mr. Met’s head. What the hell? Enough’s enough. Lisa made the woman re-take it.
On our way to the team store, we found and stumbled into the Verizon Fun Zone. We attempted to reenact that celebratory moment between a winning pitcher and his (her) catcher. The pitcher (in this case, Serena) wears a helmet to protect her coconut from potential line drives.
After our side trip, we were on to more serious business. We visited the team store to buy our traditional souvenirs: a hat for Serena and a mascot for Lisa. Since Mr. Met in his black jersey encompasses all of our fond and not-so-fond memories of Shea Stadium, Lisa purchased a Mr. Met in pinstripes to represent Citi Field. Armed with our treasures, we stopped by the Jackie Robinson Rotunda to take a picture…
…and of the memorial to his number.
Once we finished paying our respects, we climbed the many staircases to the promenade level where we found the infamous Mets bull. We are going to enter our photo in a contest, which we will probably lose because we never win. We have a lot in common with the Pittsburg Pirates.
From the Promenade, we began the search of the dreaded boutique of our arch nemesis. Apparently, the fact that it’s located on the Excelsor level is not clear enough direction…which is good because now most people won’t be able to find it, but annoying because we lost a lot of time searching for something we didn’t really want to find, but we wanted to be sure to report back to our readers as to what this evil place sold. We went up and down the stairs between the Promenade and Excelsor levels at least three times without finding the non-private section where the store is located. We finally gave up and just hopped onto an elevator, where we asked the employee on board for guidance in finding the location of the “ladies’ store” (we refused to say her name aloud). He not only pointed us in the right direction, but he sent us on our way with Mr. Met tattoos, which looked like this once we plastered them on our faces:
Unfortunately, our uplifted mood did not last long. Even Mr. Met could not keep us happy once we found the jail cell that markets prostitute-wear for the baseball fan.
We just had to see what some of this garbage looked like in person. The merchandise did not fail to live up to our expectations. Though we may be enraged and embittered people, we sincerely did try to find one item that we’d consider acceptable to wear. We found nothing. There was not a single plain, simple t-shirt or baseball hat that we would wear. But just some of the “priceless” artifacts that we did find were a Mets bikini…
…Mets sundresses that come in white and blue, as well as a one-piece bathing suit…
…Mets blue satchel complete with orange rhinestones…
…and last but not least, Mets jeans.
Seriously, has anyone said to themselves, “Gee, what should I wear to the Mets game? My Mets sundress or Mets bikini? While I’m at it, I better grab my rhinestone covered Mets satchel?” In a huff, we stormed out of the store, most likely frightening the staff, who should be ashamed of themselves anyway. We headed for our seats, which were located in field level on the third base side.
We’d only missed the first inning of the Matt Cain/Johan Santana duel and the score was still 0-0.
In the row in front of us sat a fabulous and highly intoxicated man wearing a bright orange t-shirt, hot pink sunglasses, and a straw cowboy hat. Sadly, Lisa was only able to get a photo of the back of his head.
After one of his many beer runs, he returned to his seat and forced a guy sitting next to his girlfriend to move over on the other side of his girlfriend so that the Rhinestone Cowboy wouldn’t have to climb over them. He then sat down next to the aforementioned girlfriend and put his arm around her shoulder. We sincerely hope that they were together as a group.
In the bottom of the 4th, The One Who Shall Not Be Named was hit in the head by a pitch delivered by Cain. As he laid facedown in the dirt, we could not help but wonder if perhaps we were the cause of this heinous mishap. Was he really hit or did he fall to ground, pretending to be hurt once he realized that we were sitting near third base, too close for comfort? Security would not allow Lisa to ride with him in the ambulance. They were very rude about it. The wife of a player, real or imaginary, should be entitled to ride in the ambulance. After the commotion died down, Daniel Murphy hit a sac fly, scoring Luis Castillo and giving the Mets a 1-0 lead.

In between innings, the DJ played “Hands Up” while cameramen scanned the crowd. Our drunk Rhinestone Cowboy friend danced like a fool and managed to get onto the big screen. Shortly after, the Mets advertised that fans could text pictures of themselves at the game to mets@txtstation. com and they could potentially be posted on the big screen. Jealous of the Rhinestone Cowboy, we took a picture on Lisa’s phone and sent it. You may think that this is cheating, but all we ever wanted was to be on the big screen at a Mets or Yankees game.
Giants players began to gather on the top step of the dugout to inspire a rally. We noticed that Zito and Lincecum stood next to each other so Lisa took a picture. This is the closest we’d get to them. We have a feeling that a little birdie informed on us to them and now we’ll never see them. We know it wasn’t The One Who Shall Remain Nameless because he was too busy suffering from a concussion at the time. Doom on us! Doom on us!
In the top of the 6th, the Giants took the lead, 3-1. At the top of the 7th, Santana received a rowdy applause to brushing Kung Fu Panda (aka: Pablo Sandoval) off the plate in retaliation for the hit to The One Who Shall Remain Nameless. Unfortunately, Panda responded to this with a home run shot to left, making it 4-1. It was at this time that Serena noticed the retired numbers displayed on the left field padded wall.
Following the Panda home run, Santana hit Molina with a pitch. It seems that he was a bit ticked off and probably fatigued, so Manuel pulled him. Santana had thrown 111 pitches, recording 5 strikeouts.
Tired of waiting for our picture to be shown on the big screen and starting to feel faint from hungry, we gave up, went to the closest concession stand, and bought hot dogs. Like the White Sox and Cubs, the Mets now offer toppings for your dogs, such as diced onions, red onions (grilled onions in red sauce), relish, sauerkraut, jalapeño peppers, and of course, mustard and ketchup. Lisa put mustard, ketchup, relish, and red onions on her dog, while Serena rocked mustard, red onions, and jalapeño peppers.
We finished the hot dogs just in time to witness the Mets fight back in the bottom of the 8th. With Fernando Tatis on third and Gary Sheffield at the plate, Lisa attempted to take video of the Rhinestone Cowboy and all his glory on her cell phone. The video below shows exactly what happened to us when Sheffield tied the game with a sac fly.


video


The Mets would take the game into the 10th inning and lose 5-4, but we won’t discuss those details because they make us angry. One the way out to the parking lot, we re-took our picture with the home run apple…

…and Citi Field’s main entrance. Instead of walking straight back to the car to check on the well being of our suffocating mascots, we went in search of the mysterious Shea Stadium home plate that we had heard so much about. Since we really had no idea where it was located, we ended up wandering around the parking lot for at least fifteen minutes before finding third base…
From third, the rest of the field was smooth sailing. Second…

…first…
…the pitcher’s plate…
…and finally, home plate. So you don’t have to spend so much time wandering around looking for this, we wrote it’s location down so that we’d remember for our blog. You will find it in the parking lot flanking the left field gate between parking sections B and D. If there weren’t so many cars around, we would’ve tried to run the bases, but alas…
It was time to head home. We walked over to where we parked and discovered that Lisa’s car was missing. Panic set in as we thought about how not only Lisa’s car had been stolen, but so had our mascots! And Mr. Met didn’t even belong to us! Lisa would have to replace them all by purchasing imposters on eBay! And they’d probably be missing eyes or stuffing! Then we remembered that we parked near the outhouses one section over and everything was fine. We introduced new Mr. Met to the gang.
As you can see, he fit right in.
Sting and the Police best summed up our day when they sang the words, “Oh, The One Who Shall Remain Nameless, you belong to Lisa (in her head), oh how her poor heart aches with every step you take (away from her). Every move you make, every ball you take (to the noggin), every smile you fake, Lisa’ll be watching you…”



BallHype: hype it up!

3 comments:

  1. Loved the tour-- especially now knowing where to find the original bases of Shea Stadium. Enjoy Boston!! Cheers--AuntieDukes

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dear Traveling Baseball Babes,

    Thank you for your kind words concerning the Mets' "Fan Cans" Waste Receptacles! I promise to work with the Mets to supply more Fan Cans in differnt areas of Citi Field.

    Enjoy the rest of the '09 season!

    Best Regards,

    Steve

    www.fancans.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks, Steve! We're glad to see that someone actually takes our drivel seriously. Now...can you work on getting rid of that awful "ladies' boutique?" : )

    ReplyDelete