Tuesday, April 28, 2009

there's a lot to fix

Update 5/3 - I posted a follow-up to this post with some photos from Shea for comparison

MetsGrrl.com is really angry over the Mets treatment for their fans. Two posts worth of anger. I am angry too. I don't think this is going away anytime soon.

The SectionSix mets blog has an online petition. The author sums up the obstruction problems this way...
    Here is the problem I see.....the Mets, I am afraid, will continue to sweep these issues under the rug, dismissing this as a non-issue and never really making an effort to make the situation right.

And over on MetsPolice.com, the Mets Police Chief responds to the post from SectionSix asking for suggestions. This is another issue that won't just disappear. So I offer my suggestions. I'd love Dave Howard, or Fred or Jeff Wilpon tell me "no" to my ideas. I challenge them to.

  1. The plexiglass has to go. Shea had railings in front of the first row of seats and boxes in each level. They were thin, and you could grab your hand around them. They were also painted the same color as the other hand-rails and seats in that level, so you hardly noticed them. They could have done the same thing here. I don't see what type of extra safety the plexiglass provides. I'd love for a photo from the first row in the Upper Deck at Shea to compare to though.

  2. The LED ribbon. At Shea, the LED ribbons were installed 40 years after the park was built. They went on a facade that was actually tall enough to have the ribbons block the face of the facade instead of any views. Citi Field was built with fairly small facades. And they knew there would be LED ribbons there from the start (how could they not?). It doesn't look like an issue in this photo

    but you compare it to this one, and see how it just wouldn't naturally fit.

    From here,

    you can get a sense of the difference.
    Maybe the LEDs could have gone on top of the stadium "roof", so that they weren't in anyone's way. In hindsight, they should have built the facades to be think enough to have the LEDs not block the views, but it's too late for that. Or LEDs that are just less tall so they don't cause the problem. Expensive to replace them now, and less tall may not work as well. But it's an idea. I did find myself looking over at the current balls/strikes/outs because that was the natural direction I was pointed in, and the flag poles obstructed the RF scoreboard.

  3. The out of town scoreboard. I actually found myself NOT looking towards it like it used to look at the one at Shea. That's the problem with having everything separated now. I would align the bottom of the scoreboard with the "roof" that it hangs to, support it above, and then have the advertisements. As seen here,

    it appears to hang down from the top so the overhang blocks some views from that section. If you have the overhang above the "roof", you're not blocking those views anymore than you'd block them without it at all. Also, those last rows should be discounted, just like the last rows at Shea were in the Mezz and Loge levels because of the overhang. With TV monitors. It's Left Field in fair territory, so you can't expect to see everything on the field in the LF corner. I am glad the out of town scoreboard isn't part of the outfield wall. The outfield wall should be solid (padded) wall and nothing else.

Aside from all this, there are some general flaws that really cannot be fixed. For instance, the pitch of the seats is different than it was at Shea. It makes you "closer" to the field, but with everyone else closer too, their heads are in your way. That's unfortunate, but short of tearing apart the entire Promenade and re-building it, I don't see how that can be fixed.


  1. Move home plate up 10 feet. Develops some foul territory in the OF. It'll improve the sightlines and help the players from crushing their skulls in by hitting the walls. Also, fix those stupid and unfair OF walls---make them symetrical. Debits Field is absurd as is. Stupidist waste of $800M in MLB.

  2. interesting thought. you mean moving home plate 10 feet AWAY from the screen and TOWARD the apple? well, it will certainly change the sight lines. i don't have a problem with the shape of the walls. i wish the RF corner area could play like a pinball machine where the ball just keeps bouncing without gravity or kenetic energy slowing it down (imagine that as a feature in the next MLB video game).

    moving the placement of the field may be a bit like a Groucho Marx joke from the movie where he played a hotel manager -
    Groucho: change the numbers on all the rooms.
    Employee: think of the confusion.
    Groucho: ya, but think of the fun.

  3. Yes. Move home further out toward the apple. That will increase the foul territory in the corners, which is dangerous now. The Mets can make $$$ by adding a new set of seats behind home, as they did at Shea in the 1980s. I was at the Opener in Section 107, a few rows from the field. Ryan Church had that "triple" lined up, but I saw his eyes---fear of Concussion #3. He let up. We lost. The Modell's incline is dangerous and unfair and insipid; the slant in LF is unfair---Murphy and Sheffield are going to handle that???; the vertical HR lines and high fences in the deepest parts of the park are unfair. We need three gold glovers to play the OF now, not just Beltran. Margaret Dumont is less funny than Wilpon's Folly.

  4. 10 feet might put the RF foul poll right in the middle of the Mo's Zone. that's an interesting concept. I'm certainly not about adding new seats behind HP. the slope of the seats probably wouldn't allow it that well.

    I'm not worried about Murphy playing the slant when he can't even stay on his feet for a fly ball.

    And the Marx Brothers move I'm thinking of didn't even have Margaret Dumont in it. It was the one at the hotel in Casablanca. I'm not laughing at Wilpon's Follies (though I do laugh at jokes and comparisons to them).

  5. Well, nothing will be done at Debit's Field until an owner comes in that's a Mets fan; that may be soon, I hope, after Madoff.

    I'd do anything to get rid of that "zone" that's named after a sporting goods store. It'll be harder to fix the silly, obstructive porch named after a cola.

    No one at HOK did a check-and-balance with the Wilpons about how awful the sightlines would be at the new stadium. They gave Fred (Dodgers) and Jeff (Tigers) free will to make fools of themselves. Even the broadcasters can't see the corners! They didn't even round them!

    The Marx Brothers were Noo Yawkers. I wonder if they fought over the Dodgers, Giants, and Yankees?

  6. My biggest problem with Bernie Madoff is he didn't steal ENOUGH money from Fred Wilpon. Or his son, Paris Wilpon.