Everything that I had read in recent months about the new grand eddyfices (sic) opened recently to welcome the Mets and the Yankees to the 2009 baseball season suggested that the former were likely to be looking at a tough place for home run hitters, while the latter might end up being a long-ball neutral facility. Early evidence suggests that is about half right.
The grumbling about Citi Field has already started, with a number of visiting players crabbing that Shea II was going to be as aggravating as Shea I, but just for different reasons. To the north, the homers theys a flyin’ out of the new Yankee Stadium at a record pace; unfortunately, the visitors seem to be savoring the new digs more than the home team is.
How the Yankees deal with the one-two punch of almost laughably grand expectations amid similarly inflated admission prices is going to be something to see, though it’s likely that the eddyfice itself is likely to pull in all the fans one could hope for, at least for a couple of years anyway. (Did I mention I wrote a book about the old eddyfice?)
(Charles De Simone artwork Joe DiMaggio is shown.)
Citi Field obviously has the same kind of newness going for it, and if ever there were an outfit that appreciates newness, the Mets are it. New York Post columnist Mike Vaccaro reminded readers of that front office predilection this week in noting that the new Citi Field offers little in the way of honoring Mets history.
That has been a beef about the Wilpon regime that I’ve heard for 20 years or more: the club did little or nothing every year to honor the ball clubs that came before. I’ve heard that from players themselves who have noted that reunions, old-timers festivities and the like have always received short shrift from the current ownership.
How sad. The Mets obviously can’t compete with the Yankees when it comes to tapping into baseball history (Did I mention I wrote a book about the old Yankee Stadium?), but there has also been a good bit of history over the years at that wind-swept mausoleum in Flushing.
Fixing that kind of shameful oversight is the kind of thing that in theory could be easily done, but in truth requires a big old change in mind-set. It’s long overdue.
“Let’s go Mets!”