Friday, March 28, 2008

Final Preparations

There's no one particular thing to write about today, but I do have a few odd items that bear being addressed before the season begins on Monday. Consider this the final brush-up before the storm begins.

Thanks to Dan from Mets Refugees for answering my question about the ramp from the 7 train. As it turns out, there's not going to be a ramp at all. Instead, there's a staircase being built rather hastily in preparation for the impending Home Opener. These Photos are courtesy of Chris S. (aka Islandxtreme26), taken from inside the future home of the Mets. Here's a wide angle shot of the new steps, and a pair of close-ups showing the construction work being done. I still think a major renovation of the station is in order, and I don't know whether or not this is a temporary staircase simply for the '08 season, but it's a staircase nonetheless and it would appear that it might actually make life easier for all of us going to Shea this season.

(The full photo gallery can be seen here, and contains a number of nice shots inside Citi Field, shots of Shea from Citi Field, and a panoramic video of the future ballfield itself)

Tuesday evening, I was listening to Steve Somers on WFAN as I usually do, and sometime around Midnight I heard with half an ear him saying something about Endy Chavez being put on waivers. This nearly gave me a heart attack, given the favor Endy has drawn upon himself during his time with the Mets, and given his standing as the late-inning defensive replacement/4th Outfielder supreme. What could Omar be thinking?

What Omar was thinking was that Steve wouldn't confuse Ruben Gotay with Endy Chavez. Somers corrected himself shortly after Midnight, and all was right with the world. There are a number of people who don't seem to like the move, I don't particularly care, even if it does leave the Mets without a true backup SS. The fact is that although Gotay did show some flashes of brilliance with the bat in a few spots last season, he, like Endy, would be inevitably exposed over a larger sample. This has already been proven during his time with Kansas City. He exhibited an inability to hit lefties, and his defense was also less than desirable. And with the Mets ready to carry 12 pitchers, plus Anderson, Endy, Castro, Pagan and apparently Fernando Tatis or Brady Clark, Gotay became expendable. Neither Randolph or Minaya seem to be fans of his, either. Perhaps, as Gotay feels, this is undeserved. But clearly he didn't fit this team. I'm not going to go nuts over this one. You shouldn't either.

Speaking of Tatis, it appears that he and his ears are going to be making the trip north with the Mets (and put out an alert, MBTN, he's wearing #17!). It's an interesting move, to say the least, and I suspect he'd only last as long as Alou is on the shelf, and the Mets need the extra righty bat. However, he hasn't played in the Majors since 2006, and outside of the 28 games he appeared in that season hasn't played regularly since 2003. He was also named in the Mitchell Report. I'm not sure what he'll bring to the club, but apparently he impressed enough people despite being in camp for 5 days after Visa trouble. Like many other aspects of this version of the Mets, I'm skeptical. Then again, if Tatis hits 5 HRs in April as a fill-in, I take it back. Radar ears and all.

Thanks to Rays Index for giving my AL Preview a shoutout the other day. When I said that my AL Preview wasn't very well informed, I wasn't kidding. As I mentioned, I am very NL-centric, so much so that I wasn't even aware that my pick for the AL Cy Young Award is going to miss just about all of April with a triceps injury. Lackey even talks about it in his own blog. Shows how much attention I've been paying. Nobody even mentioned that at my Fantasy League auction. If I can have a do-over, perhaps I'll say Erik Bedard for AL Cy Young.

Speaking of the Rays, I haven't heard any information on the status of my doppleganger over the past few days. The last I heard was this nugget on Rotoworld.com stating that Eric Hinske was the leading candidate for a roster spot. I'm still pulling for him, though. I'd rather be associated with him than with this guy.

Finally, just to keep everyone aware, votes are still being counted for your favorite Lost Classics. Although nobody seems particularly interested in a 2004 Lost Classic, the turnout has been very solid for 1997 and 1998, and in each case, the leading game does not hold more than a 2-vote lead. So it's too close to name a winner for any season at this point. Keep those votes coming!

It's the longest weekend of the offseason, so enjoy it, folks. Come Monday, time begins anew!

2 comments:

Dan said...

I took pictures at Shea/Citi Field today, including many of the new subway stairs. They're up on the Refugees board, and Webshots at http://community.webshots.com/user/citi_field/ My description of the progress is up at http://www.metsrefugees.com/2008/03/29/citi-field-update-32908/

What is interesting about the stairs is that there are steps that come down from where the current subway exit is, the same doors that were used for the passerelle... but there is also a level of the structure they're building that leads to nowhere... but it has railings, which means that the level is made to have people walk there. This makes me think that the top level of steps here are temporary, and they'll be redesigning the entire subway station next offseason, with a lower entrance/exit. Maybe there's some other explanation for the level that leads to nowhere, but that's the only thing I can think of.

Also, as a side note, your direct links to Webshots pictures don't work--Webshots doesn't allow that. You either have to link to the page in the album, or save and re-upload.

Mets2Moon said...

Dan, great job with today's photos. Thanks for the update.

You're right, It looks as if they're going to build the ramp directly into the existing Roosevelt Avenue entrance, or perhaps build a separate walkway to the passerelle.

The thing I don't get is why they tore down the ramp in the first place only to build something temporary. I didn't see the ramp as being so in the way of the construction of Citi Field. Perhaps I'm wrong.

Whatever the explanation may be, it seems a little strange that the MTA, with its current budgetary crunch, putting off things like the 2nd Avenue Subway, etc, would be building something with the intent to knock it down.

I'll get off the soapbox now. On the bright side, the rogue, sheltered token booth next to the steps is a nice touch.