Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Visions of Opening Day

As El Guapo noted, we were in attendance for yesterday's Home Opener. I am often apt to bring a camera with me and yesterday was no different. For those of you who were not in attendance, have yet to pass by Shea lately, or are not in New York and just wanted a quick glimpse of our beloved Shea (while it lasts), I offer you the day in pictures.

Get ready for a lot of this, folks. It's the first thing you see as you walk over the ramp coming out of the 7 train. Citi Field is coming, and there's nothing we can do to stop it! Of course, since I got to the Stadium at about 10:30, the ramp wasn't actually open yet. They were still figuring out how to make it as difficult to get in and out of the Subway station.

Here, they're laying out the starting lineup above the ticket booth by Gate E.

And now, they're done. However, take a closer look. Something is not quite right here...

(Not seen: The two guys standing up there yelling at each other, and correcting the mistake)

"Welcome back my friends, to the show that never ends. We're so glad you could attend. Come inside, come inside."
-Emerson, Lake and Palmer

Welcome to the Citi Field era. The Stadium is barely a skeleton, but its presence is already felt. Remember the Banco Popular era? Well, it's gone. All the ATMs have been changed over. Now, these cute little Citi ATMs are present every few feet, replete with little informational zippers that often read "LET'S GO METS!" Get used to them.

That we need a Subway at Shea Stadium just slays me. El Guapo and I have just downed our breakfast of Footlong Hot Dogs with sauerkraut from Nathans. That's the quintessential ballpark food. I remember when they first opened the food court in the RF corner in the Field Level. It was basically an overglorified concession stand that they called "Fielder's Choice." No brand names, no chains, just the basic crap you could get anyplace else. More or less. Now the entire area smells from Donuts.

More Dunkin Donuts. Much like the giant Coke bottle in the bleachers at Pac Bell Park in San Francisco, Shea can now boast a ridiculous outfield advertisement. Folks, meet the Giant Cup of Iced Coffee in the visitor's bullpen!

I wonder if the player who banks a HR off the cup will win free Donuts or Coffee? If so, my bet is Carlos Lee comes in here gunning for it.

But Endy's corner lives on.

Here's some better looks at the construction, taken from Section 32 in the Loge.

And a better, and much more frightening look at the cup. The Denszlow Cup it ain't.

And here's Tom Gordon, very classy, tossing a couple of balls to some old guy who was yelling for him to throw him a ball.

It wouldn't have seemed so strange if he'd had a kid with him. But he didn't.

And now, the festivities have begun. The lineups are announced, Jimmy Rollins is heartily booed, as are the rest of the Phillies. Biggest ovations for the Mets? Jose Reyes, David Wright, Tom Glavine, John Maine and Endy Chavez. And why not? Glavine may have been cheered louder here than he was at any point during his first 3 seasons with the Mets.

And with the Shofar about to be blown, we are ready to commence with the season!

And, we're off!

I'm not much for taking pictures during the game, especially from my high vantage point. It's difficult to be ready at specific moments, unless I was going to hold up my camera at all moments. And my batteries would die if I did that. In fact, they almost died at several points during the game anyway. But I have what I have. And here, we have Jose Reyes about to lead off in the 1st.

And the first "Jose-Jose-Jose" chant of the year is about to begin.

Obligatory scoreboard photo, here in the last of the 8th, as Endy is at bat, following the 7 run explosion off the Phils awful bullpen.

And here's Endy at the dish.

Wagner on in the 9th.

A quick 1-2-3 inning, and the Mets have themselves yet another victory in their Home Opener.

And we wish each of you the best of luck trying to get out of the Stadium. If there was a shuttle being run to the LIRR station, we didn't see it. I heard stories of people being stuck for 45 minutes on that ramp. However, El Guapo and I were not among them. For we learned a little trick last season that saved us some time and guaranteed us seats on the train ride back. But don't think I'm making that secret public knowledge. Otherwise, everyone else will do it.

But, thus, a fine afternoon was had by all in attendance this afternoon, and we look forward to doing it again, many times over, with, hopefully, similar results.


silvia said...

Hope tomorrow! cheer

G-Fafif said...

Great tour M2M.

El Guapo said...

First you quote Beb Seger and now Emerson, Lake, and Palmer? Sounds like someone needs an emergency iPod transfusion.

Andee said...

Those are beautiful pictures! For someone like me who lives 3000 miles away and hasn't seen the inside of Shea for years, this is a real treat. Thanks!

Mets2Moon said...

@ El Guapo:

Listen, that EL&P song is featured in the Hotfoot section of the '86 Highlight video. It's truly a classic and is most likely ingrained in the head of any Mets fan.