I have to admit that I'm more than a little taken aback by the outcry of negative feelings that many people seem to have about Citi Field. I can understand the complaints, particularly from people who have seats that are somewhat obstructed, but you have to be a little realistic: Not every seat is going to be perfect, no matter how much the powers that be promise that it will be, and how can anyone really know until they actually sit down and watch a game there before they know it?
There's also the complaint about the lack of Mets representation, and I can see that point as well. But I don't think Shea Stadium had much about it, outside of its color scheme, that screamed METS HISTORY until the Mid-1990s, and even then, it was little more than hanging some photos from banners on exposed pipes...Not exactly charming, and half the time not even noticible.
I've stated my complaints about the stadium, and I think that most of them are easily remedied. That ramp issue is going to be a little sticky. Maybe in a game that's not totally sold out, it'll be easier to get down the stairs without creating a hideous bottleneck. Maybe running some of those escalators down after the game will smooth things out. Other problems, like the other fans, well, those were beyond repair in the first place.
Point is, I think a lot of people get caught up in the spectacle of Citi Field itself, and I can understand some ill will coming from the naming fiasco, and the problems with the economy, but it seems like a lot of people have lost sight of the real History of the Night, and what an amazing, magical thing 41,007 of us witnessed on Monday evening. I really hate all the negativity, because my positive comments make me feel like I'm blowing some sort of company line noise. Like it or not, this is our new home. It's going to take some getting used to. I'm sure Freddy and Jeffy will hear the complaints and hopefully will make some effort to fix what's fixable. But I think, more than anything else, the atmosphere, and the Mets colors and the representation comes from us, the fans. We're going to create the atmosphere, we're going to wear the blue and orange, and we're going to watch our team. And, for me, that's what it's about above anything else: Watching. My. Team. Shea Stadium was my sanctuary, this is my new sanctuary. I require little more than a Sausage & Peppers or a couple of Hot Dogs, some ambient ballpark noise (which they will hopefully fix), and, Good Lord Willing, a Mets Victory.
That said, here's how it all looked from where I was sitting. The outcome didn't come out the way we hoped, but regardless, it's a night I'll remember for the rest of my life.
I've already done a photo-heavy post from Citi Field recently, so, I'm going to keep this one somewhat truncated. The full array of my (usable) photos from Monday night are here on Flickr (I would be remiss if I didn't give a shoutout to MetsGrrl's photos from Monday, which blow mine away completely).
Here's Darryl Strawberry, on the SNY stage, getting ready for the pregame show. Straw looks in phenomenal shape. I'd guess he could still run out there and play if he wanted to.
Before the game, I felt pretty good. Afterwards, I felt like a...
Inside and upstairs, wooing the Baseball Muse.
I hastily started shooting video of Piazza and Seaver as they walked in from the Bullpen, but my camera was zoomed all the way back.
So, I stopped, zoomed in, and resumed shooting. Seaver threw a perfect strike, and we were ready to rock and roll.
Out of focus, but here's Wright and Delgado throwing around as Piazza and Seaver walk off.
More video, as the Mets take the field for the first time. Note the lack of volume. That's not intentional. There's music playing, but I can barely hear it.
And here's the first pitch.
Pelfrey on the mound, this is after he fell and probably after the cat cameo as well.
First trip to the concession. This was one of the semi-self-serve concession stands that didn't have a ridiculously long line.
Wright's HR. Blurry because I was jumping and screaming.
Reyes up with the bases loaded in the 6th. We know how this ends.
Murphy at the plate.
Exiting, walking through the Field Level to avoid the crush.
I've said my peace. I'll be back soon.