Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Free Shirt Tuesday!

Strange as it may sound, lots of good things happened at Citi Field last night.

First of all, last night was the first time in my now 5 games at Citi Field this season where the weather was actually pleasant. I'm aware that it did rain in fits and starts, but I'll tell you why that didn't bother me. See, my seats are up in the Promenade, uncovered, so generally I'm exposed to the elements. When it rains, and it often does, I'm forced to run up for cover under the paltry little overhang, or, duck into the Promenade Club, where I'm among the privileged with access. But, last night, while I was on my way up to my seat, I was approached by a Stadium cop. He asked me where my seat was, and then pulled out an excessively large stack of tickets. He wanted to know if I was going to use it for club access, or if I was going to sit in the seat. I told him I was going to sit in the seat. So he handed me a ticket in the Excelsior level, out in Right Field. Who am I to forgo a completely unannounced seat upgrade? So I never made it to Section 512, never made it to the food court, just walked to the nearest staircase and down one level, to Section 306, well covered by the Promenade overhang. Rain fell, but you wouldn't have known it from where I was sitting.

The seat upgrades were probably being handed out so liberally because there just weren't that many people out at the game. It seemed like the cop that gave me my seat probably just canvassed the Promenade level to fill things out. The Promenade was mostly empty even when I got up there before the game, and a glance over at the Pepsi Porch revealed a crowd that you could count on your hands. The ploy, I suppose, was to concentrate enough of a crowd in one part of the stadium so that they could have a camera crew along with Kevin or Brandon or whatever the name of the guy that's on all those in-game contests and TV commercials is camp out there throughout the game. In the 3rd inning, he was on my left, giving out Beatles CDs. In the 5th, he was hanging out with the T-Shirt launch crew. In the 7th, he was behind me trying to pump everybody up for the Dance Cam (he had to offer a $100 prize for Fan of the Game to get people excited—fortunately he was standing behind me so I wasn't in any danger of actually having to be seen attempting to dance).

I mentioned that the T-Shirt launch crew, or at least a T-Shirt thrower was hanging out with Kev-Brand in the aisles. Sometimes, these folks go up to the Promenade and throw shirts to those areas where the T-Shirt cannon won't reach, but most nights they seem to not bother with the Proletariat. So, it was one of those rare moments where I was actually within shouting distance of getting one of those dopey shirts. It didn't seem like it was going to happen (I am generally a repellant of these kinds of things), until the gal tossed one in the general direction of a group two rows behind me. In what can only be described as a brilliant stroke of luck, the shirt somehow managed to get juggled and bounced off the hands of 4 separate people before finally landing directly under the seat behind me. With nobody in that row, and nobody sitting on either side of me, I managed to have a free shot at a free shirt. Miracle of Miracles! After being around for a pair of Free Shirt Fridays, I now found myself present for the elusive Free Shirt Tuesday.

See, plenty of good things went on at Citi Field. The only problem is that none of it happened on the field, where the Mets were completely mastered by Adam Wainwright, who would have thrown a shutout if not for a 7th inning injury. Dillon Gee did his best, and he certainly needed to do his best to prevent an ugly 4th inning from getting completely out of hand. Still, the 2 runs that the Cardinals did score were more than enough for Wainwright and the tack-on run they added in the 9th inning was just salt on a wound. The Mets cosmetically made it interesting by drawing a pair of walks in the last of the 9th, but Tyler Rosenthal snuck a couple of borderline strikes by David Wright, and then got Murphy to ground out, capping off a mostly forgettable game. But, in keeping with the theme of the night, at least it was over before 10pm.

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