Greeting and salutations, Mets fans! Today, the Studious Metsimus staff attended the Pre-Season Workout at Citi Field. We were surprised by all the changes at the ballpark and we have the pictures to prove it. Enjoy!
The first thing we noticed when we approached the Jackie Robinson Rotunda was the new placement of the Shea Stadium Home Run Apple. Doesn't it look so much better under a blue sky with the sun shining on it?
The Mets changed the names of the VIP entrances to reflect the three numbers retired by the franchise. The first base VIP entrance was renamed "Hodges". The third base VIP entrance was renamed "Seaver" and the left field VIP entrance was renamed "Stengel". Below is the former left field entrance with Casey Stengel proudly displayed over his name on the entrance.
The new bricks along the fanwalk feature the greatest moments in Mets history. Here are some of those bricks, including the infamous Game 7 of the 1986 World Series brick, which incorrectly credited Sid Fernandez with the Game 7 win before it was changed to the brick shown below.
We took pictures of all the new banners outside the ballpark as well, but we don't want to spoil everything for you. Besides, wouldn't you rather see what the new Mets Hall of Fame and Museum looks like?
The Studious Metsimus staff was quite impressed with the exhibit. Joey even appeared in some of the photos although I think he was trying to end the museum tour and sample the new food additions (which you will see later). Here is a small sample of the Mets Hall of Fame and Museum.
Now it's time to move on to the new additions on our near the field of play. From the Shea Bridge to the new script "Mets" on the CitiVision, there was no shortage of changes to make Citi Field look more Mets-friendly than it was in 2009. Of course, Joey still found a Brooklyn Dodgers reference, but I don't think fans would complain about this one.
There were some cosmetic changes to the field as well. The Mets lowered the centerfield fence in front of the home run apple from 16 feet to 8 feet. They also reconfigured the bullpens so that the visitor's bullpen was not hidden behind the Mets bullpen. Now the two bullpens are side-by-side and both teams can view the events taking place on the field without any obstructions blocking their views.
Finally, as promised, here are the food selections sampled by Joey. Let's give the keyboard over to our culinary expert, Joey, as he takes you through the news food selections and prices.
Thank you, esteemed Studious Metsimus colleague. This is Joey Child, who may or may not be related to your Studious Metsimus correspondent, Joey Beartran. Family trees for bears are far more complicated than human ones. I decided to sample the new additions at Box Frites and I must say, I was quite impressed. They now offer poutine. (although they refer to it as "disco fries". There is no truth to the rumor that I was humming "Macho Man" by the Village People as I was sampling these delicious frites.) Below is a picture of the poorly-named, but rich tasting "disco fries", followed by the new garlic-parmesan fries, followed by my lunch break.
Now it's time to reveal the new prices for food at Citi Field. The petty cash tin at Studious Metsimus will be emptier sooner than later, but for these great selections, it's worth it. If you remember some of the food prices from last year, you'll notice that most items went up in price anywher from a quarter to a dollar. Here are our exclusive photos of the new prices at various food stands. You may also notice new choices (like Goya beef empanadas at the Hot Dog stand and cheese fries at Shake Shack) which we will sample at a later date.
For those who want to know why there are no pictures of McFadden's Restaurant and Saloon, that's because when we went down there, it didn't appear to be finished. The Studious Metsimus gossip reporters (betcha didn't know we had gossip reporters, didya?) overheard two Citi Field employees saying that it wouldn't be finished until the second homestand, which begins April 19 against the Chicago Cubs. Whether or not this is true, we'll find out when we go to Opening Day.
So Citi Field is finally looking more like a Mets ballpark. With the addition of the Mets Hall of Fame and Museum, the new entrances and bricks outside the stadium and the new and improved food choices, Mets fans will finally feel like they have a home again. Whether or not those fans will help give the Mets a home field advantage is yet to be determined. One thing for sure is that the Mets finally tried and succeeded in making Citi Field less of an Ebbets Field-lite and more of a worthy successor to Shea Stadium. Now it's up to the players to keep the fans in their seats with good play on the field. Regardless of how the team performs on the field, Mets fans will surely enjoy their experience at Citi Field in 2010.
As the slogan for 2010 goes, "We Believe In Comebacks". For the staff of Studious Metsimus, we approve of the improvements at Citi Field and we believe in coming back to Citi Field this year. Hope to see you there!