Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Father's Day Column about.... Mother's Day!

Happy Father’s Day to all you baby daddies out there! Once again the ol’ blog seems to have inadvertently been relegated to Back Burner Status. Work seems a tad busier lately… plus I have a lot of other stuff going on in my spare time that has decreased my computer time including a lot of walking around town, and I am also helping our synagogue recruit Torah readers for the summer! One other activity taking up my time is my fantasy baseball team which oddly this year consists of many west coast players including my 2 stoppers which means ol’ Nate has been spending many late night hours watching the last outs of otherwise insignificant Seattle Mariners and Oakland As games. Just last night I finally finished watching my season finales when I caught the Heroes episode.

Even though the critics have been ripping into it...I was actually impressed with how Heroes wrapped up its season with the "demise of Sylar"… It also further showed that the Petrelli family really is one kooky family with dead relatives being resurrected and other dead ones living on through other wacky methods! Just in case you don’t watch Heroes… Sylar is a shifter who can assume the persona of another person and grab his memories too… Matt Parkman has hypnotic powers, and Nathan Petrelli is a US Senator. Petrelli gets killed and his family decides to cover it up, so they have Parkman force Sylar to shift to Petrelli’s persona and then hypnotizes him so he thinks he really is Nathan Petrelli. Sounds like a plot from a soap opera?

Last month on Mothers Day, I made my inaugural trip to CitiField. My friend Steve K. who lives in town has a season ticket plan and arranged to sell ducats to games to several people. Trophy Wife and I picked out Mother’s Day’s game against the Pirates… plus at the time I had 3 Pirates on my fantasy team although one of ‘em has since been traded (Nate McLovin’ McLouth) and Ryan Doumit is injured.

Nonetheless, we got a terrific deal… the tickets were only 15 bucks each and Sunday morning we were on our way. We went to the Edison train station to grab the train to Penn Station, and then caught the subway to the 7 Train. In the old days, we knew that we were at Shea because you can see the stadium approaching from the above ground train… But now that Shea is gone, we had to just wait for the Willets Point stop to arrive… and watch other Met fans eagerly wait for the train doors to open so they too could take their first trip to CitiField.

However… whereas in the old days you had to shlep off the train and walk down to the park and then around half the stadium to your entrance… now all you do is walk off the subway and there it is… in all its majestic beauty… CitiField! A sparkling new, clean stadium with sinks that have not been pished in!

As soon as you walk in, you see that the park has set up a main grand entrance that includes a pavilion dedicated to Jackie Robinson. It’s a nice touch, even though Robinson never played for the Mets, but I think its important that minority ballplayers (and fans) appreciate the sacrifices that Robinson made and enabled future generations of ballplayers to get paid millions and millions of dollars. Included in that area is a giant #42…. which on my facebook contains the caption… “Here I am getting ready to watch 24 with the dyslexics club!” Yeah yeah.. I know.. I shared this stuff on facebook before my blog readers.

By the way, to go off on a tangent… is Facebook inadvertently killing off blogs? The New York Times had an interesting article about this topic recently that was emailed to me by Pumpstradamus… (with a sidenote that he predicted this…). It could be somewhat true. Back in the pre FB days, if I thought of something funny, I would just write it down and incorporate it into my blog… now I just put it in my status update..but a few days later I forget about it. At least with the blog, there is some sense of permanence to these wisecracks… For example, a FB friend put a status update recently…: “I should have listened to warnings against opening videos – I opened the American Idol Box Set, and now I’m stuck with it”.. I think that’s very clever.. but it gets forgotten pretty quick when its lost in the shuffle with other FB silliness such as quizzes and How Bitchy Are You questionnaires.

Getting back to the trip to Citi… Trophy Wife and I walked around a little bit… on this inaugural trip the game was secondary to the actual adventure of seeing the park for the very first time.. because like losing one’s virginity it is something that happens only once… and stadiums are built to last for approximately 30 years, so it will be until 2039 before I have another first trip to see the Mets play in a new home stadium.

Our seats were way up….. check out this pic to see how close I am to the top… By the way, I actually took this pic on my cellphone.

However getting there was another story. Finding a seat at Shea was like finding the beer at your house.. you know where you keep ‘em and you know where to go to get ‘em. However, like most of the other fans there, we walked around like zombies.. not knowing our way around our new ballpark. The ushers were extremely helpful to point us in the right direction… but most of these guys were in the concourse guiding all the lost souls and there were few of them at each section to show you to your exact seat as we discovered when we found someone else in our seats. Instead of tossing them out… we decided to sit elsewhere in the somewhat vacant section and after being kicked out a couple of times, we finally settled on some other seats around the 4th inning.

The stadium is designed so you can see almost the entire park except for the corner of left field right under where those seats are. This was similar to the location where I saw Tom Seaver win #300 at Yankee Stadium in 1985… I couldn’t see the last out… but it didn’t take away from my enjoyment! Likewise I was at an odd angle to the out of town scoreboard.. but nowadays with smart phones, it was very easy for me to look up any out of town scores that I wasn’t able to see. Also, the upper deck doesn’t appear to be as high up as the upper deck at Shea… you don’t talk a loooong escalator all the way up.. but actually ascend a series of shorter staircases to get to the top of the park.

I don’t remember much else about the game other than the Mets won by a pretty decent margin. The kosher food guy was right near out seats so it was convenient to grab a hot dog. I found it kind of odd that some religious guys approached me at the kosher concession during the 8th inning to ask to join for Afternoon prayers… I asked them why don’t we wait a few minutes till the game ends since those prayers can be said up until around 745 and it was only approx. 3:30 at that point.

Here are some more pics from our upper deck seats…

Steve was also at the game with his teenage son… they had box seats for the game and as the 5th inning rolled around he came up to visit us. I thought that was very nice of him… but even nicer than that… he offered to switch seats with us for an inning or two. Trophy Wife and I took a nearby elevator down to field level… the elevators are (wo)manned by leggy young women sitting on stools wearing little miniskirts that press the buttons for you. As we got down to the field level, we were quite impressed by the incredible view.. as you can see from these pics.

We thought it would be funny to stay down there the rest of the game.. nah just kidding.. we stayed for an inning and then meandered up to our seats. We sat there the rest of the game just soaking it all up…. And even though the Mets were winning, I was hoping the Pirates would tie it up so the game could go extra innings so I could spend even more time at the park on this incredibly special day. The game actually ended after the traditional 9 as the usually reliable K-Rod recorded the last out. Here is the end of the game..

After the game, we lingered at the park for a little while.. checking out a gift shop.. not the main one but one in the upper levels of the park near a nice outdoor plaza.. I’m not a big souvenir guy, but for this one day I decided to spring for a scorecard, and some other stuff like a CitiField keychain and a CitiField baseball hat along with a banner, a bumper sticker and a free All Star ballot which I forgot to vote with. We actually met a nice family from Pittsburgh outside the gift shop who were traveling with a handicapped child, so we took the elevator down to the exits with them so I don't know if they have the traditional exit down the ramps like they did at Shea with the traditional chants of "Let's Go Mets... Yankees suck!" Incidentally the elevators exit is right near the main one and it looks like the park has a lot of the accomodations necessary for people who use a wheelchair.

Overall it was a day I will never forget.. and hopefully there will be many more happy memories there.. and hopefully the sinks won’t get pished in.

By the way, I have never done a column with so many pictures... Gosh is it a pain in the neck to upload all this stuff... I don't know how the amateur porn bloggers do it.. not that I would know about those types of sites. Here is one last shot of Shea taken there during our last game there in 2008.

No comments: