At War With Delgado

This afternoon I got to listen to a little of WFAN’s Mike and the Mad Dog show discussing whether we, the Mets fans, are at war with Carlos Delgado. To summarize the situation:

  • Delgado’s been terrible since April 2007
  • Mets fans boo him at Shea Stadium

It’s as simple as that.

Personally, I haven’t engaged in booing him. Although I could certainly understand it. I don’t blame fellow Mets fans for booing him one bit.

On the other hand, I’m sure that Delgado is sick of hearing it and doesn’t like it. He snubbed the fans by not coming out for a curtain call after his two home run game yesterday afternoon. I can understand that. He doesn’t like us, and we don’t like him.

I wouldn’t describe our relationship with Delgado as a “war”. But I would say it’s a very sour relationship. I would venture to say that he probably can’t wait to leave the Mets. Equally so, we can’t wait for him to be gone either. I’ll be perfectly happy when he continues his career in Pittsburgh or Texas next season. The fans there most likely have much lower expectations of their players.

Adam Rubin of the Daily News posted Delgado’s statements to the media this afternoon. Frankly, I don’t believe anything Delgado says. His media saavy is really showing in his comments. He’s not going to come out and say he’s angry about the way he’s been been treated by the fans. But I’m sure that it’s in his head.

The sooner we end this relationship the better.

Tragedy At Shea Last Night

Multiple media outlets are reporting that Mets fan Antonio Nararainsami, 36, lost his footing last night after the game at Shea and fell to his death from an escalator. He lived in Brooklyn and was originally from Guyana. He was reportedly wearing a Mets cap when he fell.

Reports say that Nararainsami worked in the HVAC business, loved sports, and was the captain of a local cricket club.

The Mets Report and Mets fans everywhere  are thinking about the Nararainsami family and their loss. Antonio was at the game with his two daughters and several relatives.

Good Riddance To Shea!

As we embark upon the last season of New York Mets games at William A. Shea Municipal Stadium, the mainstream media is filled with fond remembrances of concerts, games, and the like that occurred inside those rounded walls. It’s starting to be tedious but I surmise that I’ll be able to suffer through it. As a matter of fact, I respect the opinion of those that harbor good memories of family, friends and good times had there. I too have fond memories of games and concerts at Shea.

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Creative Commons License photo credit: david owen

As the sun begins to set on Shea, I wanted to get my feelings on paper (in code, I mean). I’m wondering if my feelings will change between now and the end of the season when the reality starts to hit that I won’t be going back there anymore. Right now, I don’t think that I’ll be bidding on an orange field level seat or a chunk of sod when the Mets and the City of New York start taking the stadium down, piece by piece, and selling it off. I won’t miss Shea one bit.

I think that my feelings come from an inner belief that the future will be better than today. That belief, transferred to the Mets baseball franchise, leads me to think that my time at Citi Field will be better than times at Shea. I’m an optimist. The games, concerts, and other events that I attend there will be better than the ones that I enjoyed before. Heck, I don’t even mind that the Mets sold the name of the stadium to a corporate entity. If it helps generate revenue for the Mets, I don’t even mind if it’s called “Blackwater Field” or “Arthur Anderson Stadium”. What’s in a name anyway?

You may be thinking that I’m bereft of a baseball soul. To refute that notion I started thinking about some of the important events that I remember about Shea:

  • The top of my list is the first game after Sept. 11, 2001. I was watching on TV on Sept. 21, 2007 when baseball brought a small sense of normalcy back to us even though we knew things would never be the same. I’ll never forget that game.
  • My first major league baseball game was at Shea in 1984 with my friends from high school. I had been to minor league games before that but my first major league game was at Shea. The major league experience has had a profound impact on my life.
  • My first World Series game was game 1 of the 1986 series. I went with my dad and we got tickets outside the stadium before the game. Awesome experience, there’s nothing like being at a World Series game.
  • The October 1989 Rolling Stones Steel Wheels Tour. That was a massive show by real rock stars.

I’m too young to remember the ’69 and ’73 teams, as well as the Beatles in ’65. Although I’ve heard a lot about those teams and read quite a bit as well, I wasn’t there to see them. But as you can see there are some important and impactful experiences I’ve had that involve Shea. Even still, I’m of the belief that games and events at Citi Field will be terrific. If you read this blog regularly you know that I was in Miami last week for the Mets opening day game against the Florida Marlins. Dolphin Stadium is a venue that the Marlins have been trying to get out of for years. And it’s much nicer than Shea!

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Creative Commons License photo credit: nautical2k

Shea doesn’t have character like the old classic parks Wrigley and Fenway. Those stadiums should exist until they start crumbling under the fans feet. They’re that good. Shea is a cookie-cutter, multi-purpose monstrosity. There’s basically no redeeming value in modern baseball for William A. Shea Municipal Stadium. There are newer stadiums around the league that are designed for baseball only in San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Washington, San Diego, Texas, St. Louis,  and even Baltimore (although not “new” anymore). Why shouldn’t Mets fans enjoy one of the best stadiums in baseball? The Nationals/Expos have never won anything and they have a great new stadium. Sure, they moved to a new city to get it, but it’s a new stadium nonetheless.

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Creative Commons License photo credit: nautical2k

I thought that writing this might generate some negative sentiment. That’s not my intention. I’m simply stating that the new stadium will be much, much better than what we have now. I’m more focused on that than I am on any sentiment for days gone by in Flushing.

I started searching for any recent baseball stadium reviews. I couldn’t find many, but ESPN and Sports Illustrated have done some stories over the past few years on the topic. Each had Shea listed at, or near, the bottom of the list of existing stadiums at the time. I have to agree with those assessments wholeheartedly. We have the worst stadium in the sport. That hurts. We’re the best fans and we deserve better.

I may change my tune when September 28, 2008 starts to near. The last regular season game on a Sunday afternoon in Flushing may bring more emotion than it does now. Hopefully, Shea will get to see several more post-season series’. The last game may be in the World Series! That would be a fitting way to say goodbye to this old, outdated architectural blight.

Packing My Bags For Florida

I’m on my way to Florida for the road opener in Miami. It’s amazing how easy it was to get field level seats. $28/each to sit right behind the Mets bullpen. If I get there early enough I’ll get to see Johan Santana warming up right in front of me!

I’ve been looking at the weather for Monday and it’s calling for the usual south Florida mix of sun/clouds/rain. It would be the ultimate disappointment to have opening day rained out. I’ll keep checking the weather websites for continual updates. At this point, I should probably even put them into my browser’s favorites.

It’s a far cry from getting seats to the opener at Shea Stadium. The Mets only offer that game as part of a seven game package at minimum. Certainly, the Florida Marlins team is a far cry from the Mets. I’m wondering, after Hanley Ramirez and Dan Uggla, how many of their players that I’ll even recognize. There’s no more Dontrell Willis or Miguel Cabrera to see. The Marlins sent Cameron Maybain down to preserve another year without arbitration even though he’s one of the best young players in the organization. It’s a shady move, but I guess the Marlins have that luxury if they know they’re going nowhere this season.

I’ve never been to Dolphins Stadium before either. I’m thinking that it’s nothing special… The typical multi-purpose stadium built more for football than baseball. The Marlins have been talking about moving out of there for years. But I’m sure that it’s nicer than Shea Stadium. It’s only been in use since 1987. I’ll find out when I drive down Dan Marino Boulevard into the parking lot.

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The best part about seeing the opening day game: I’m guaranteed to see Johan Santana’s first game as a Met! Santana’s presence here could transform the franchise the way Mike Piazza did when he arrived in a trade with the Marlins ten years ago. The next six or more years will be remembered as the Johan Santana years without a doubt.

I’ll be sure to take some pictures and post them on the site as soon as possible. If anyone else will be in Miami this week give me a shout. I’d love to hear from you.