Saturday, March 27, 2010

Joey's Soapbox: Changes At Citi Field Everywhere But On The Field

Welcome to the latest edition of Joey's Soapbox. As always, I'm your fav'rit Studious Metsimus correspondent, Joey Beartran. Today I'm getting up on my soapbox to talk about a real doozy. It's about all these new changes at Citi Field.

For the past year, fans have clamored for Citi Field to be more Mets-centric. Homages to the Brooklyn Dodgers can be seen everywhere. There's the exterior of Citi Field resembling the main entrance at Ebbets Field. There's also the Jackie Robinson Rotunda. Once you take the center escalators up to the Field Level seating area, you're faced with the Ebbets Club. There's even a '47 shop that sells vintage clothing. (I wasn't around in 1947, but I heard that was a good year for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Something about the rookie season of the aforementioned Mr. Robinson and the Dodgers winning the pennant.)

See what I mean? Everywhere you went at Citi Field, you couldn't escape the Brooklyn Dodgers. Do you want to go even further? How about the store for ladies on the Excelsior Level? (Touch by Alyssa Milano)

Alyssa Milano was born in Brooklyn! She has confessed to being a Dodger fan and season ticket holder! (According to that link, she also follows many Dodger blogs, but does not follow Studious Metsimus. I will now have to put up my Who's The Boss Season 1 DVD for sale on eBay because of that.) Yes, I know there are other Touch stores in other major league stadiums, but surely the Wilpons must have jumped at the idea of having a Touch boutique at Citi Field when a Brooklyn-born Dodger fan is behind it.

So this year, the Mets are going all out to make Citi Field have more of a Mets feel to it. They started with the renaming of certain areas of the ballpark. In 2010, fans can now enter through the Gil Hodges VIP entrance, the Tom Seaver VIP entrance and the Casey Stengel VIP entrance. (We have not received confirmation on whether the janitors' entrance was renamed to honor Doug Sisk.) The bridge in right field was also renamed as the Shea Bridge.

In addition to the newly renamed areas of the ballpark, the Mets were going to construct a Hall of Fame and Museum adjacent to the Jackie Robinson Rotunda. They were also finally going to induct new members to their Hall of Fame, all of which were instrumental to the 1986 World Championship team.

In February, the Mets announced that McFadden's Restaurant and Saloon would be opening a new location at Citi Field. Now comes word that the Mets are adding new menu items to their various eating establishments, as well as new eating establishments for fans to enjoy.

The one thing I couldn't help but notice was the fact that there will now be poutine at Box Frites. (Shameless plug: For those who don't know what poutine is, please read this Studious Metsimus classic, where I discussed the topic with Professeur Bay.) Do you think this would have happened had the Mets not signed Sgt. Bay of The Yukon to a multi-year deal? Are they now going to have Molson, Labatt and Sleeman on tap at McFadden's?

Next thing you know, the Mets are going to put out an official press release stating that during the sixth inning, they will conduct races similar to the sausage race in Milwaukee and the Presidents Race in Washington. It will feature Terrance and Phillip (from South Park), Geddy Lee and Anne Murray. Similar to Teddy Roosevelt in Washington, Anne Murray will never be allowed to win one of these races.

Terrance, Phillip and Geddy Lee won't even allow Anne Murray to appear in these photos.

Ah, but I digress. What's the point of this rant from my soapbox? I'll tell you. In 2009, fans were treated to shoddy baseball by the Not Ready For The Major League Players. The result of that was a 70-92 season and fans coming to games dressed as empty seats.

Since the Wilpons and Omar Minaya couldn't get anyone other than Jason Bay to sign with the Mets (the Catcher Crusaders notwithstanding), they needed to do something to attract the fans' interest. Therefore, they're loading Citi Field with all these new attractions so that when the team is losing to the Phillies, Braves, Marlins and Nationals, no one will seem to notice because they're too busy in the Museum or drinking at McFadden's or savoring their poutine.

I am a Mets fan and I always will be. Although I'm not quite six years old (I'll be six on June 20. Send cake and chicken nachos.), I'm old enough to remember the dark days of the Art Howe Era. I want last year's team to be a fluke and not a throwback to the Art Howe days.

Perhaps if this off-season had featured better movements regarding player transactions (i.e. an improved starting rotation), the Mets wouldn't have to resort to these other fan-friendly changes to attract their fanbase. I'm sure I'll enjoy all these new amenities (especially the poutine) but I would enjoy it more if the product on the field had improved as well. Sure, they could surprise us and have all their injured players return to good health and good performances. Maybe even Oliver Perez might pitch a good game or twelve. But right now, the Mets might be a .500 team at best.

Hey, Mets fans. Look on the bright side. At least we can drown our sorrows with a Molson at McFadden's.


Anonymous said...

I said Bill Shea Crossing for the bridge. I guess that means my name was partially correct

Ed Leyro (and Joey) said...

As long as the Shea name is represented, I'm all smiles!