Showing posts with label New York Mets. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New York Mets. Show all posts

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Game 25: New York Mets 3 @ Atlanta Braves 5

Tonight was the highlight of the trip so far with the pre game ceremony that included seeing Hank Aaron, which I already posted about here. Even without that this ballpark was an impressive one. The whole atmosphere is good with the fans really into it even though they do not fill the place while at the same time they are good sports and only did a little booing along with some cheering for Francouer who was recently traded to the Mets. They are a little on the disorganized side, but it does not permeate into ruining the whole experience like at Citi Field or maybe it just is they make up for it with the atmosphere/entertainment.

Getting into the park was a little on the annoying side. First off we had to pick up our tickets at Will Call because they mailed us someone else’s tickets back in April and the solution is you have to pick up the tickets day of game. Apparently it is actually a rather common occurrence for them. Then the park was supposed to open 2 and a half hours before the game, which they kept saying was at 7pm, but the tickets say 7:10pm and that is actually when it started. Giving them the benefit of the doubt for the aim open time being 4:40pm they still failed by almost 15 minutes, as it was almost 5pm before they opened the gates. It had something to do with there needing to be a police officer at every gate before they could open and there was not one at our gate, which I believe is the only one that opens until closer to game time (~2 hours before, I think).

Anyways once we finally got into the park the experience was smooth enough, although the cashier had trouble finding the mini bat in the machine to ring it up since it did not have a barcode on it and the elevators were confusing to find. Anyways those were minor inconveniences compared to just getting into the park seeming harder than it should be. The first place we went was the Braves Hall of Fame and Museum, which I will post about later in its own post. By the way, though, it was worth the $2 admission per person and was a good way to waste almost an hour before the game started.

The game itself had some exciting moments, although the pre game ceremony and watching the different ways the Coca Cola bottle lit up were still the highlight. The bottom of the 2nd inning, however, was definitely up there in the highlights of the whole Turner Field experience for us. The reason it was a highlight was because the Braves had back-to-back homers to end up with a 2-0 lead.

The Mets later took the lead in the top of 4th by scoring 3 runs with the help of 3 singles and a double. The Braves quickly came back to tie it up in the bottom of the 4th with a single and a RBI double. The Braves regained their lead with a walk and two singles in the bottom of the 7th. They scored an insurance run in the bottom of the 8th and were able to keep the Mets from scoring other than the runs in the top of the 4th and went on to win 5 to 3.

Overall tonight was an exciting night of baseball and something we have not experienced since Fenway. Not only was the pre game ceremony awesome because Hank Aaron was there, but the game itself was a good one. Mik still played his DS a lot during the game, but he did get into this game at the end and loved seeing Hank Aaron. Best of all is after we got out of the parking lot he was very well behaved, which is really saying something because he was been a big butthead over the All Star Break when we were not even going to games.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Car Sticker Update: New York Mets

For the New York Mets we did not just get a team logo sticker like we have done for most teams. We went with the special Inaugural Season one like we did for the Yankees. Not that the new field for the Mets deserved a special sticker for the car, but oh well we got it before we really got into the rest of the park and experience the rather monotonous ballpark experience that is going to a home Mets game.

The sticker is actually pretty interesting. It has the Citi Field Inaugural Season 2009 logo on the left side. On the right it says New Home of the Mets with the Mets being the Mets baseball skyline logo. Also on the right is a view of the ballpark, but it is kind of crappy at least when put on the dark window of the car. It can be noticed if you get close to it, especially if you know to look for the outline.

Accessibility Review: Citi Field

Citi Field is rather accessible being a brand new park this year. It was a disappointing baseball experience with no unique character to it, but at least the accessibility was pretty much as expected from a modern ballpark. There really is not any major complaints about the ballpark in terms of accessibility and most of the complaints are related to just the general experience here.

Parking at Citi Field was rather easy. We parked in Lot F, which is accessed through Gate 3. It is a reserved parking permit lot, except for those that need the accessible spots in the front of it. The spots are right in front of the Jackie Robinson Rotunda, so nice and close to the stadium.

Our tickets said to enter through the Rotunda gate, so that is what we did. The whole going in is part of the disorganized mess that the Mets staff and ballpark are, which is inexcusable for this late in the season even though it is a new ballpark. You can technically go in through any line, as there are access gates between each turnstile. However, after bag check is security wand check and the bag check guy said we had to wait for an escort to go further. This makes absolutely no sense for us to wait standing in the way for a supervisor escort that never appeared. They soon just let us go through and the whole situation was confusing and only Dad ended up even being wanded. I do not see why they could not just keep the process moving by wanding Dad and I and patting Mik down like they do at the airport. Not that they seem to care much in the end anyways.

The Jackie Robinson Rotunda is where the Team Shop is located. The Team Shop is not very accessible at all with it being very cluttered with displays. It did not help that it opened 15 minutes after the park and by then the crowd to go in was quite large already. Mik could not even get to the stand the mini bats were in and Dad even knocked down a large banner stand because the area to stand next to the mini bats was so small and crowded by the banner.

The Rotunda itself is somewhat interesting, but on the bottom level the only thing to really see is the giant number 42. The main stuff, though, is the murals on the top of the Rotunda. The poor design with the maze of escalators and stairs, however, make them rather impossible to see from the bottom. I suppose you could see it from the top, but the elevator up does not drop you off there and we forgot to go try to find the way into it from the top level. By the way the elevator up from the rotunda is rather small and was barely big enough for Mik and the two of us much less the one staff member that squeezed in to go up at that time.

Once up on the main concourse the accessibility issues end. The concourses are wide as expected from modern ballparks. Also, the elevators up to the seats are more normal sized than the one near the rotunda. They are large like the ones at Yankee Stadium, but they are good enough, especially since there was not a crowd trying to get on them like at the Yankees.

Our seats were in section 413. The section is located right in front of the windows of one of the club seating areas. Thus it seemed to for the most part have minimal foot traffic behind us and very few people straggling to stand and watch the game. However, for several innings a photographer was annoyingly behind us using a monopod. It was quite annoying to have him standing right behind me do continuous shots when they could have been considerate and moved down just a little to where no one was sitting.

The view from the seats was pretty good, though. The bar in front was a little high, but it angles towards you at the top, so Mik could get up close and see quite well. Sitting in the permanent seat, though, the bar was in the way for me unless I say on the very edge of the seat because the seats are rather far back from the bar. One of our spots was one with a fold up chair, so I ended up switching with Dad and was able to get right up to the bar like Mik and then the view was unobstructed. We were up above home plate mostly looking over the backstop net, so the view of the whole field and scoreboard was great.

Overall the seats and accessibility turned out pretty good, especially since we left through a different exit than the rotunda. The view of the game and the seats having cup holders make the upper seats great, especially since they are raised enough above the row in front that seated it is always possible to see over people in front even if they are standing up. The decent accessibility, however, does not make up for the rather bland ballpark experience that lacks any atmosphere.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Day 51: Shea Stadium

Shea Stadium is where the New York Mets played as recent as last year. The Stadium was originally opened in 1964. The Mets used it the whole time the Stadium existed, but it was not the only use of the stadium. The New York Jets used in from 1964 through 1983 and the New York Giants used it in 1975. Even the Yankees played here in 1974 and 1975 as their home stadium while the old Yankee Stadium was being renovated.

Unlike the old Yankee Stadium, which is slowly being demolished with a current timeline of being down by the end of 2010, Shea Stadium’s demolition went quickly. After giving only two weeks after the 2008 season ended for items to be salvaged for sale to collector’s, they began to demolish the stadium. The final demolition was finished in February 2009. Now the site is a parking lot for the new Citi Field. In the parking lot you can see plaques marking the spots for the home plate, bases, and pitching mound for were in Shea Stadium.

Kj’s Baseball Collection: Citi Field Inaugural Season

The ball I got at the Mets game commemorates 2009 as the Inaugural Season for Citi Field. One the blue strip is the Citi Field 2009 Inaugural Season logo on one side and an orange NY logo on the other side. The other strip has a sun ray background design and says New York.

Mik’s Mini Bat Collection: Citi Field Inaugural Season

The mini bat Mik got at Ciit Field is light blue in color. It has an orange colored Mets logo on the end. Next to that is the Citi Field Inaugural Season logo.

Mik’s Food Scrapbook: Citi Field

At Citi Field Mik tried the tacos from the food court behind the outfield. Mik was very disappointed in them. They were so bad he did not even finish them. I think it was mostly because they were corn tortillas and it had a lot of cilantro, but it also did not seem like the normal ground meat he is used to in a taco.

Smashed Pennies: Citi Field

At Citi Field back on July 7, 2009, I got two different smashed penny designs and Mik got one design. One of the ones I got just says Citi Field Inaugural Season 2009 with two small NY logos. The design we both got has an image of Citi Field and says Citi Field Home of the NY Mets 2009.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Game 22: Los Angeles Dodgers 8 @ New York Mets 0

We got to Citi Field around 3:40, which was about an hour before the gates opened. It turned out to be one of the most boring parks to arrive early to. The outside is rather boring for the most part or at least looks pretty much the same on each side, so it is not worth walking around. The only interesting thing is the markers in the parking lot where the bases, pitching mound, and home plate for Shea Stadium were located less than a year ago during the park's final season last year.

The park opened around 4:40pm and it took about 10 minutes to get in. We entered through the Jackie Robinson Rotunda and the large 42 there is cool, but the rest is hard to look up and see from the bottom with the maze of stairs and escalators. Our first stop in the park was the team shop and that is when this park began to come across as worthless. The team shop was not even open and did not open until almost 5pm. I do not think it is too much to expect it to open with the park, especially since their website specifically says it opens with the park.

The whole feeling like in a park opened before the staff arrived continued when we got up to the concourse level and found almost all the food places closed. Not everything is, but the worst was getting up to our seats less than two hours before the game and Dad still having to go down to the main concourse to get drinks. It seems other than the main concourse outfield concessions pretty much nothing else opens until 1.5 before the game.

Our seats were not bad and I will give then credit for feeling like a modern ballpark in this respect, however just because the accessibility is good does not mean it is a good ballpark. Up until today it has always been the accessibility experience that has caused me to dislike a ballpark (Dodger Stadium and Rogers Centre). Citi Field, though, is just plain a waste. Not just a waste to go to, but a waste to have been built.

I do not know exactly what it is, but the best way I can describe it is that there is not anything special about it. The only uniqueness is a giant apple in centerfield, but even that is only raised up a few times a game (once before the game and 7th inning stretch, I also think for Mets home runs) and very briefly. There is no history to the park and at the same time no new modern ballpark feel. Honestly it feels like a disorganized run down park, which fits with the rather dismal playing by the Mets tonight.

If the game had any excitement, such as great pitching, lots of hits, or just a home team win, then it might not have been so bad, but nothing worthwhile happened. Sadly the highlight was the Dodgers' Manny Ramirez getting ejected in the 5th inning. Sure the Dodgers got a lot of runs, but two were walked in and several others got on base with walks. Plus most of the hitting was just singles. Oh, the game went on forever just because of everyone hitting tons of foul balls. Mik seriously thought they would run out of balls.

It did not help Mik wanted to leave since the bottom of the 2nd. He is back to being a total butthead now that we have done Fenway and there is nothing left on the itinerary he wants to do except see the new Harry Potter movie on the 15th. The lack of any sort of atmosphere (i.e. interesting things on the scoreboard or even just fans cheering for the right teams, as several seemed confused when to cheer or jeer) here almost made me want to leave early, but at the same time I wanted to stay because we had already made it through 21 complete games on the trip and I really think we should see a full game at every ballpark. Thus we toughed it out as the game dragged on and did see it until the final out.

I hesitate to call it the worst because there were some decent food options and the accessibility was not too bad. However, at the same time I would never go back except maybe if the Nats were playing. Toronto and the Dodger Stadium are still worse, as they are not worth going into for a game. This one is only barely worth it if your team is playing. Sadly it stands out as such a waste to have been built. Sorry, but I also do not accept it is just the kinks of the new ballpatk being worked out. The Nats and the Yankees have already proved to me personally you do not need until July of your Inaugural Season to have such kinks as disorganization and lack of ballpark created atmosphere (i.e. not the fans, but the scoreboard and sound stuff).

Sent from my iPhone

Update July 11, 2009: I finally got the Mets photos uploaded to the gallery here and added some to this post.