Mets Chat Room: You’ll love the new place

Shea Stadium was home to the Mets for 45 seasons. It was dumpy, but “it is our dump,” Mets’ fans would say.

Citi Field is state of the art all the way. I like the spaciousness of the concourses, the variety of food options and the quirks that comprise the outfield dimensions. No cookie cutter is this place. In designing Citi Field, the Mets borrowed liberally from both the old and the new. You can see bits of Tiger Stadium and Ebbets Field, as well as Camden Yards and Jacobs Field.

Unlike the Ballpark in Arlington, which is like a suit with checks and plaids, there is a seamless quality about Citi Field. If fits. It looks right. It feels natural.

I’m just anxious to see how it plays.

I’m a little uneasy about this season, because for the first time I’ll be doing Mets Chat Room without the benefit of covering the Mets as a beat. It kills me at times not to be doing so.

But, I still have my Baseball Writers credential, so I have access to the park and will be trying to get down there as much as possible. It’s impossible to keep up the pace as in the past, but I will do my best to keep the blog going on limited resources. I’m doing so because you’ve stood by and read me during the offseason.

For that I’m grateful and I wish you all well, and more to the point, I wish you what you all want — the Mets in the Series.

104 thoughts on “Mets Chat Room: You’ll love the new place

  1. For $400,000, the Sheffield acquisition is low risk. If he doesn’t hit he doesn’t stay. It’s Church’s time who’ll feel the pinch.-JD

  2. Livan Hernandez goes tonight for the Mets. The Opening Day starter will be Mike Pelfrey, which in some ways is fitting because of all the pitchers he might have the most expectations.-JD

  3. Why is it low risk. Its low risk financially. We don;t know the risks to the mental aspect of the corner outfielders. Will they suddenly start pressing? Will they do better feeling this sudden heat? Until somebody gives a pretty good reason for a financially strapped team like Detroit for just eating 14 million, I’d say the risk is unknown.

  4. I usually want to be right when I’m in a debate, but this is one of the very rare times that I desperately, totally want to be WRONG.

    I’d have been happy if the Mets had spent the $400G on Frank Catalonotto, who is a veteran utility guy who still can hit for average, play the field, and PH.

    But with Sheffield, despite Minaya’s assurances that he’s got the right attitude, I sense impending problems. If he plays, it means bench time for Church and Tatis; if he doesn’t, I see sulking and griping.

    Last year, he played a total of SIX games in the field, and PH’d TWICE. And, as a DH, he hit for a lower BA than Luis Castillo in Luis’ worst season.

    Again, I hope I’m wrong, but for now, it’s thumbs way DOWN!

  5. Harry (3): Low risk from a monetary standpoint. I’m thinking a financially strapped team eating $14 million is because they think Sheffield is done. And, that team plays with a DH.-JD

  6. The financial risk may be low, but it’s not as low as it seems. Presumably, his signing means eating Anderson’s contract ($1.15 mil). Then, if he’s released, if the Mets sign someone at the low end of the pay scale as a replacement, that’s another mil or so.

    So, if he doesn’t work out, we’re paying $2.5 mil+ for the 25th man on the roster.

  7. John—I love Murphy, too. And I also loved what I saw from Church between concussions, and Tatis off the bench. If Sheff gets to play as much as he wants to, guess which 3 guys get to do a lot more sitting than they should.

  8. yes evan does not make it here to start, but when pitcher #5 comes up who is cut?

  9. Delcos: Yeah, the Tigers have to pay the 14 mil no matter what. Now they need to pay another guy something plus the 14 Mil. Why not keep him and pray someone gets desperate during the season and takes part of the salary. I could see them dumping him like this if they didn’t have to pay. This makes no sense.
    From the Mets standpoint I think they have come around to my opinion all along that Church is not an everyday player. That most probably means they screwed up!!

    As for Murph your comment made me lol because that’s what all the church supporters said last year. I think Murphy will be a much superior hitter. Great patience at such a raw stage of his career, he has great potential.

  10. John–Evans was already slated for AAA, at least after the 1st 5 games. I’d feel a LOT better about this deal if Sheff had agreed to start the season at St Lucie re-learning how to play RF, then Buffalo for a while.

    I don’t love Anderson, but I’d rather give him a month to show what he can do before eating his contract or hopefully trading him.

  11. Harry (15): I hear you. Laughed what you wrote. I remember that about Church. Think Murphy has a better idea at the plate than Church. … In the end, you might be right about him.-JD

  12. I cannot beleive the concern over Marlon and his contract. Even the lowly Pirates ate Morris’ 9 mil last year. Why are we brainwashed into thinking so small marketish?

  13. Harry—What has Church done to show that? Until his 2nd concussion, he was one of the top-hitting RFers in MLB. And after recovering over the winter, he had an excellent ST. Only while hurting was he ineffective.

  14. Harry (18): I have no problem them eating Anderson’s contract. Would you be surprised to see him gone before the end of the season? Not me.-JD

  15. My main problem is I like Churchs all around game. RF is going to be hard to field in the new park and I feel a lot more comfortable with Ryan out there. On the other hand, Shef is on a one year deal, and he may be this years Manny.

  16. Harry—I’m not concerned about Marlon and his contract. I’d eat it if the Mets wanted to keep Evans up, or bring in Kielty, or (even better) give the $400G to Catalanotto.

    But not for Sheff unless he started in the minors.

  17. Harry, Bill (15) The simple reason why Gary Sheffield is a Met now is because Omar wants him. Mike Francesa nearly drove Omar out of the booth with his remarks over and over about Sheffield and his bad habits. Finally Omar said he liked Sheffield and he liked how he played and the price was right. Omar wins again.

  18. (20) Church is 30. He has never put together a full season. He did the same thing in DC as he did in NY. Good start, injury, then nothing. Injuries aren’t his fault to be sure but they are part of the game, and he has never bounced back from one, and he is far too old to be treated like a prospect anymore.
    (21) If I were the GM he wouldn’t be oin Cincy on Monday.

  19. Sorry, guys—I’ve got to meet some friends for dinner. I’ll check back later on.

    Good luck, John. You’re doing a great job. I hope you get a paying one soon.

  20. hey JD (and gang) —

    sorry i’ve been mia for most of the offseason. had to take a mental health break after the last two years. glad to be back though and looking fwd to the upcoming season.

    livan has looked good tonight (and all spring). i really think he’s going to be a very solid part of the rotation.

    as for sheff — i think he’s worth taking a flier on. if he causes problems they release him, if he hits he’s the right handed bat needed to balance the lineup.

  21. (25) So why did Omar say he likes Shef? Why did he pass on Andrew Jones, released but at least he can still catch a ball. shef is 40/41? has a history as trouble, hasn’t played the field for the last couple years, hasn’t produced at the plate for at least a year, and did’t hit close to his wait this Spring. So what did Omar say he liked?

  22. John (26) Keith Hernandez spent some time in the booth this afternoon with Francesa and he sounded like the old General from first base as he analyzed how balls would react to the right field fences and the Modell sign.

  23. I know Sheffield has his issues. I covered them when he was with the Yankees. Something will happen this summer. I do know he might cost them a game or two with his glove. That’s a tough right field to play.-JD

  24. Annie (32): You really won’t know how the park plays until we get to June and July and see how the ball travels in the hot weather.-JD

  25. I got it Delcos about Shef.

    I think this park will force Wright to pull more. Right center looks really deep. Wonder how Beltran and Delgado see it out there.

  26. Harry (36): A lot of room in right center. Wright goes the other way and he’ll doubles. Beltran and Delgado could lose some HR unless they go to straightaway right.-JD

  27. (38) New Yankee Stadium looks a lot like old Yankee Stadium, at least on the field. As for Jose Reyes, if he hits line drives he will be Mr Super Exciting in this new place.

  28. John –

    A question. Since this is an ‘exhibition game’ what counts for the baseball stats and records? Everything? Somethings? Nothing?

    For Example, if someone hits a home run tonight how does it count, if at all.

  29. Joe (40) A Francesa fan? Not really, it’s more like an addiction – you just never know when someone is going to do something in sports and after all Mike’s years around the NY area, he knows everyone and often gets information before others do. Irritating? Of course he is irritating, but he’s much better than he used to be now that Dog is gone and he is the sole afternoon guy.

  30. The outfield concourse looks a lot like the Nationals Stadium. This is good because when The Nats come to NY one can stand under the scoreboard and shake hands with Milledge he plays so deep.

  31. That reminds me. I wonder how much we’ll see Beltran running this season. His percentage is so high. He just doesn’t do it enough.-JD

  32. I wonder why last year and this spring tatis has done so well for us when in previous years other teams gave up on him?

  33. dave (49): Maybe because he smells the end of his career and shifted into a higher gear. Maybe it was Manuel. Hard to pin it on one thing.-JD

  34. Well, there is one glitch from Citi Field tonight – it’s the feed from NESN – keeps going black. Back to WFAN and the radio crew.

  35. (48) If Beltran has to play with Murphy and Sheffield along side of him he will need to save his legs for covering the outfield. No legs for stealing.

  36. Harry, he went through that last season after Church went down.

    Annie – I understand and listen for the same reasons.

  37. John, have you ever tried or considered Cover-It-Live for chats? It’s free and very versatile with many features.

  38. I feel bad for Tatis. I was looking forward to seeing him get 250 at-bats this season. He comes up big in the clutch, and is a great person too.

  39. I’m watching the Yankees now, WFAN is giving me the Devils hockey game. Was just reminded that there are 3 Derby prep races tomorrow afternoon.

    Think I will try to finish the Times puzzle.

  40. I came in late and started reading from the top. Couldn’t figure out how the game could have started so early, especially since I was listening on the radio when it began — until I finally saw the comment about Standard Time!

    Why, oh why, can’t SNY show this in HD? I could understand (sort of) not show ST games from Florida in HD, but they’re here at the new stadium, they’ve got the equipment; what excuse is there for this?

  41. Jeff (70): I can’t answer that, but I will try to take care of the time. … It’s been an interesting game for you latecomers. Good pitching by Livan Hernandez to start. The Mets manufactured their runs. … No homers. … Murphy has had a couple of adventures in left. … Sheffield reports tomorrow.-JD

  42. Annie (43) and JD (44) — Besides being ST stats, of course, I’m sure whatever happens tonight and/or tomorrow has a possibility of forever being etched in trivia mavens’ memories as the “FIRST this” or “FIRST that” ever in a MLB game at Citi… possibly with an asterisk (*pre-season game). For instance, right now we’re experiencing the first rain delay and first use of the tarp during a MLB game at CitiField. Pretty exciting stuff, eh?

  43. This game gets called in Florida. The crowd and concessions is one reason, but this was a good test on the drainage and for the grounds crew. Besides, everybody is having such a good time.-JD

  44. Jeff, John – You’re right – sometime in the future, someone will win a big prize for remembering when the rain delay started. FYI, two homers in the Yankee Game, Cano and Matsui, but no rain delay. I actually like the look of Citi Field – not sure about the Stadium -

  45. Evans was going to make the OD roster. That won’t happen now. He was going to be optioned anyway to make room for the fifth starter.-JD

  46. I know this is your topic for tomorrow, JD, but I don’t understand why there’s all this negativity toward Sheffield. Think of all the other great “lightning in a bottle” late-career pickups the Mets have made. Where would they have been without George Foster? Tony Fernandez? Bobby Bonilla? Roberto Alomar? Oh, I could go on…

  47. Jeff (80): Many of his teammates swear by Sheffield. Jeter liked him. He does come with some baggage. He gives the Mets less flexibility, but that would all be forgotten if he does catch that lightning. This was Omar’s call.-JD

  48. We had an earlier post saying the money would have been better spend on Frank Catalonotto. He’s a good player. He used to beat up on Mussina. I’ve never been a huge Sheffield fan, but I can see the need.-JD

  49. on my drive home i put the game on 660am.
    They said Teammates of sheffield say he’s a team player. just outspoken ..

    The game sounded like they are almost ready.. ;-)

  50. Okay, he got out of the inning without coughing up the lead. I guess that’s the goal…

  51. 2 for 2.
    Wow, the crowd is really into it. You’d think it was a regular season game!

  52. Hi John –

    Sorry I had to leave early, but the weather was a typical violent NE storm and lights flickered etc.

    My thoughts about Citi Field. It looks like a ballpark should look, and the players seem to be comfortable there. It’s not pretentious, but quietly efficient. It got it’s first test of a rain delay and the field apparently drains well. They didn’t show us much of the Robinson Rotunda, so I may have to make a trip to see that – it’s important to me.

    About Yankee Stadium. I got a good look during the Mets rain delay. The field dimensions are the same, but everything else is bigger and better than the old stadium. Not sure that was necessary – in some areas it is simply excessive.

    In the final analysis, the baseball loving public really comes to see the game and the players. Citi Bank is built more for that than Yankee Stadium.

  53. Annie, I think you made a Freudian slip — though Yankee Stadium does seem more of a kind with Citi Bank than with Citi Field!

    From the images I’ve seen of the new Yankee Stadium, it looks massive — like they took the “Cathedral of Baseball” idea literally. Citi Field, on the other hand, looks more like the latest minor league ballparks. I’ve been a regular at Hadlock Field in Portland, ME for a number of years to see the Sea Dogs (who were originally a Marlins AA affiliate, but have been the Red Sox AA team for about 5 or 6 seasons — a much more natural connection given their geographic location). Though I only know what I’ve read and the pictures I’ve seen of Citi Field, the site lines, proximity to the field, even the steak ‘n cheese sandwiches all remind me of that kind of experience.

  54. (101) Well, if city field is like a minor league park, then I’ll save my dough and go to the Eastern League. (Since the corporation known as Citi does not pay me, as they do the /wilpons, I will not give them free advertising and so I will refer to the place as city, or tarp or bankrupt, if it happens field instead.)

  55. Jeff (101) – Thanks for catching the ‘slip’ Citi Bank has been in the news so much, I guess I just used it. Citi Field it is from now on. Actually, in casual conversation I’m still refering to it as Shea :)

  56. does anyone think the outfield looks huge and it will be very very tough to hit HRs to the gaps or even to center?? and the high walls will add even more difficulty (taking away dwright hrs and beltran line drive hrs).. the place looked like it will play huge to me.