Thursday, August 27, 2009

ScreenSaver

OK, here's the deal. I'm going away for a long weekend to a family wedding in Maine. It means a 3 day break from computer and television, and since I'm not equipt to connect to the outside world from my cell phone aside from an actual telephone call, it means 3 days away from writing on my blog, reading and writing on other people's blogs, and even 3 days away from the Mets (and I've heard such great things about Wrigley Field, I hate to miss seeing games there).

What happens when you leave your computer for a few minutes? The computer runs a screen saver. With the U.S. Open starting next week, I present a few of my photos of Shea Stadium taken from the U.S. Open grounds (mostly the top of Arthur Ashe Stadium).



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Amazin' Tuesdays

A couple nights ago, I attended Amazin' Tuesday, an event run by Greg Prince of Faith and Fear In Flushing. A small gathering of Mets fans came to hear the debut of Dana Brand's new book The Last Days of Shea and some readings from MetsGrrl Caryn Rose (who brough along the one who her readers know as "TBF", her anonymous boyfriend) and FAFIF's Jason Fry. I also got to put faces and voices to and renew acquaintances with some of my fellow bloggers (the afore mentioned ones, plus Coop, and sorry, but a few people who's names I don't remember and/or never introduced themselves).

I can say that I bought the very first copy of The Last Days of Shea (and got it autographed) to join Dana's Mets Fan and Greg's Faith and Fear in Flushing: An Intense Personal History of the New York Mets (which I brought and had autographed) on my bookshelf.

A few notes on Dana's new book:

  • The new book sounds (and I mean sounds) great (I’ve said many times how much I love the cover art), but hearing Dana read it in person with the passion was Amazin’.

  • I asked Dana after I bought the book whether there were pictures in it - the answer is no, which is OK - but hearing him read, I could see the picture of it in my mind (one of the readings was the final game which I was at).



While we're there, we witness Gary Sheffield leave with a back strain and see the news that J.J. Putz is done for the year.


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Bugs Bunny Changeup

I just heard Joe Magrane on MLB Network refer to someone's pitch as a "Bugs Bunny changeup". I'd love to hear more about that and maybe see an example. Maybe Harold Reynolds can explain the Daffy Duck stolen base (maybe they can do it simultaneously since I imagine it's a pitch to steal on).

Update 10:54pm - Thanks to an anonymous poster, a video showing Bugs Bunny in action.



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Day baseball

Someone will need to check this one out. The Mets are in the middle of a stretch where they have 6 day games over an 8 day/game stretch (and it's not even a holiday). Has this ever happened before?


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Humor

In these bad days, we need to keep up our humor. It may be the only way to get us through these tough times.

Update: 1:03pm, 1:22pm with more posts
We start this morning with Dave Singer at NY Sports Dog, who reports that Several Mets bloggers have been added to the injured list. I feel their pain.

Pessimets.com looks at Luis Castillo's deal with the Devil.

Metsradamus looks at Omar Minaya's to-do list. Metstradamus is always good for a few laughs. He's like The Onion of Mets blogs.

At 24 Hours from Suicide comes a new version of Meet the Mets.

OhMurph looks at Mr. Met's concussion.

Dana Brand says it best on his blog.

And The Onion has to chime in with the, well, read it, a Centuple Play to end the season.


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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The first ever televised MLB game

I got this piece from a Southern California newspaper. Today is the 70th anniversary of the first televised MLB game between the Dodgers and Reds at Citi Ebbets Field. It was Saturday, August 26, 1939, with the game broadcast on W2XBS (later WNBC) with Red Barber in the catbird seat. The only TV sets in the US able to receive the broadcast (remember this is before World War II) were at the RCA Building at Rockefeller Center and at the 1939 Worlds Fair (which of course was just across the tracks from what is now Shea Stadium Citi Field.

From Tom Hoffarth of the LA Daily News.

One camera was on Barber from ground level; the other was behind the plate in the upper deck. Barber had to guess from which light was on and where it pointed because he had no monitor and commication with NBC director Burke Crotty went out early in the game. Barber sat in an upper deck seat behind third base.

Televising both games, plus the 20 minutes in between, took only about four hours. The first game went 1 hour, 46 minutes. The second was 2 hours and 1 minute.



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There are no more words

Monday it was late news that Johan Santana was missing the Tuesday start. He's done for the year.

Tuesday night it was late news that J.J. Putz was going to miss the rest of the season.

Wednesday afternoon it's news that Oliver Perez is done for the year with season-ending surgery.

Last night I shared what I see as the "bright side" in all the injuries with some of the folks at Amazin' Tuesday in Manhattan.
At least nobody died.
Scary!


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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Hello, I Must Be Going

Hello, I must be going.
I cannot stay, I came to say, I must be going.
I'm glad I came, but just the same, I must be going.
from Animal Crackers.

Glad you came back, Billy. It was an inspiration to see an injured player return by the abyss that is the DL. Sorry to see you go, but if you can beat the Yankees, it's worth it.


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Monday, August 24, 2009

The Quadruple Play

From MetsMerizedOnline comes the Quadruple Play. Ed Leyro brings a hypothetical situation in which the Mets (or any team really) can hit into a Quadruple Play, where 4 outs can be recorded. It sounds legit. Nice work Ed.

With the Mets down 6-5 in the 9th, bases loaded (Castillo on 3rd, Murphy on 2nd, Francoeur on 1st) and Sheffield hitting...
Sheffield lines a ball to [Victorino] in center field, who ... make[s] a highlight-reel, over-the-shoulder catch before tumbling to the ground. The umpires haven’t made an out call yet ... As a result, the baserunners are still running the bases. Once the umpires make the out call, Raul IbaƱez takes the ball out of Victorino’s glove ... and throws to ... Jimmy Rollins, who tags Murphy trying to get back to second and then tags Francoeur.

This looks like a triple play with the game ending once Francoeur is tagged out. However, Castillo scored from third base long before the second and third outs were made. Once Rollins tagged Murphy, the force was removed on Castillo. Therefore, his run would count since it scored before the third out was made. ... Charlie Manuel notices that Castillo also left third base early. Therefore, he instructs the team to go back onto the field for an appeal play at third. When Pedro Feliz steps on third, the third base umpire calls Castillo out for leaving the base too early. This is the "fourth out" of the inning and prevents the Mets from tying the game. Had the "fourth out" not been made, Castillo would have scored a legal run and the game would have gone into extra innings with score tied 6-6.


WOW!


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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Meet the 1969 Mets

Keith Olbermann writes the only account of yesterday's charity meet-and-greet with the 1969 Mets that I've seen with some good stories and a few photos. Nice work, Keith.


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It's weird

It's weird to think back on some observations on last night's game and some small research done about Nolan Ryan, who I just realized transcended a few generations of baseball players.

Here's a guy who won his only World Series championship 40 years ago. He played either with and/or against a couple of father-son combos (Wikipedia lists Bob and Darren Oliver, Darren a Met in 2006, and like Ryan, pitched for all 4 1961-62 expansion teams; and Sandy and Robby Alomar, Sandy being Sandy Sr. current Mets coach along with Sandy Jr, and Robby being a guy who failed as a Met), he was an opponent of the Mets in the World Series championship season belonging to the next generation (remember that classic Game 5 of the 1986 NLCS against Doc Gooden, which would be Ryan's last post-season appearance) and before that, an opponent of Keith and Ron of Mets TV land (as they talked about on the broadcast last night), and played with/against at least one player still active in the big leagues (Ivan Rodriguez, who just returned to Texas, and caught Ryan's last game in September 1993).

Metstradamus writes that he stole the show last night just like Doc Gooden did last September at Shea Goodbye. I agree on both counts. That sit down with Ron Darling, Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, and Nolan Ryan airing on SNY in September should be real interesting.

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Miracle 40 years later

Can you believe it's been 40 years since that magical summer and fall of 1969, with the Moon landing, Woodstock, and the Miracle Mets? I wasn't born yet, so I can't answer that one.

Going into the ceremony I had a thought. It would have been great if the backdrop for tonight's festivities had been Shea Stadium, but it dawned on me that it was really a different Shea, going from the 60s-looking ballpark to the blue version that we all said goodbye to last year.

Watching the show on SNY, a few thoughts.

  • Have you ever seen more joy in Howie Rose than what we saw tonight while he's talking about the beloved 1969 team? I'm wondering if he's working from a script or just making it all up as he goes along.

  • More Mets history tonight on the field than there is in the walls and halls of the ballpark.

  • Nice touch with some 60s music in the background as the players and coaches are brought out

  • I do like the way the players/coaches were brought out to the field from the ramps in the stands, but I have to say I liked it better 3 years ago when they came through the crowd to get to the field

  • Good work by SNY to get players' reactions to Nolan Ryan coming out

  • Well done. Knowing the Mets this year, I had my doubts



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Friday, August 21, 2009

I have ideas

Let's retire some uniform numbers. I get the sense that there's no unanimous opinion on who is next (a lot say Piazza, but others think otherwise; some say Keith Hernandez, but not everyone agrees). What is the criteria for having ones uniform number retired? Think about that while I throw out this list, in no particular order:

  • 31 - Mike Piazza

  • 17 - Keith Hernandez

  • 18 - Darryl Strawberry

  • 36 - Jerry Koosman

  • 8 - Gary Carter

  • 16 - Doc Gooden



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How far we have fallen - the 3rd quarter report

First, remember where we all were 13 weeks ago and 6 1/2 weeks ago.

After 41 games: 22-19, a team that I didn't think was much more than a .500 club
After 81 games: 39-42 (17-23 over the 2nd quarter), a team that showed all the signs of having a bad summer
After 121 games: 56-65 (17-23 over the 3rd quarter), a team who's season is all but done.
If that projection keeps up, it could be a 20 game dropoff from last season - you don't recover from that with the same personnel making decisions.

This quarter hasn't been good for the New York Mets. More injuries, more embarrasment, more bad play. It's easy to blame things on the injuries, but there have been players largely uninjured playing poorly (or at least before their injuries). Off the field seemed to be just as bad as on the field. Tony Bernazard, new things to see at Citi Field (too little, too late for me), more bad luck injuries (can't blame the trainers for someone blowing a tendon doing the splits covering first or getting beaned in the head by a fastball). The Mets have all but said that they're done, but not admitting it directly so they can still try to sell tickets (what a joke that whole area has turned out to be).

What is there to look forward to? The end of 90 degree temps and the end of the humid nights? A few September callups showing us what we had in the farm system that wasn't worth trading? People begging on the street for someone to buy or just take their tickets from tonight's game? Hockey, Football, and Basketball seasons? Spring Training 2010 vacations?

Pitchers and catchers in less than 6 months!

I don't even know what else I can say at this point. It's over, something I really knew for a few months now, so just play out the schedule rather than taking a forfeit. Let's come back and fix things both inside and out for 2010. When I return to Queens for my first game next year (my only game?), I want to feel like I'm back in the home of the Mets after being homeless for a season.

My advice: take the family on vacation before school starts (or maybe just yourself before school starts, or maybe that doesn't matter), and don't worry about missing the Mets while you're gone.


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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Pictures of the new stuff at Citi Field

Some photos from the weekend submitted to MetsPolice.com. If anyone has pictures to share of the new banners and photographic imagery, please share. I'm still forming my opinion on how well/poorly the Mets did this.



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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Ouch

Just looking at the photo on the NJ.com Mets blog below, you know that had to hurt.

Now, given this season from hell, do you think Fred Wilpon (as an owner/employeer) is (or should be) concerned with the rising cost of health care? All these MRIs and CT and CAT scans are certainly adding up. I wonder if the players have to kick in a certain percentage of the costs like the regular work force does.



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Friday, August 14, 2009

What is a "good" throwback jersey?

I'm driving to work this morning thinking about the throwback jerseys that the Mets are wearing tonight. Click on the link to see the photo from a previous post. The Mets are honoring the 1905 World Champion New York Giants team with these jerseys, but wearing an updated version in blue with a Mr. Met patch. I get that they're honoring New York's NL baseball past, and that's good, but I have a couple of ways that this could have been better.

  1. Mets are playing the Giants, a former NY NL team, right? Have both teams wear throwback jerseys for the games. Giants in their road jerseys (or even home jerseys) from the 1950s when they were the New York Giants playing at the Polo Grounds, and the Mets in their 1962 jerseys from when they played at the Polo Grounds.

  2. When the Mets host the Dodgers, go with the NY Cubans of the Negro Leagues for the Mets and Brooklyn Dodgers road jerseys (or even home jerseys) from 1947 when Jackie Robinson broke into the big leagues.




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So when is there enough Mets stuff at Citi Field?

Tonight we got our first glimpse of the new-look Citi Field, and I don't mean the ugly former-NY Giant 1905 uniforms that the Mets are wearing. Those jerseys are subject to another rant in another post. But we do get to see, on TV for most, in person for some, new pictures or murals of players and moments in Mets history, the championship banners on the OF wall, and new video screens showing live action for people in obstructed view seats.

First, I'd like to see some photos. MetsPolice.com will probably get them before RememberingShea does, and I'll link over there. Other sites as well.
Update: 8:28pm - Neil Best over at Newsday talks about the improvements in his blog.

But let me pose the question to my readers - how much do they need to put in for it to be "enough" for your tastes? Some will probably say it was never a problem, and that's fine. Some may never be satisfied, and that's fine too. Most will probably be somewhere in the middle. For me, I'd like to see what they did. In MetsBlog.com earlier today, Matt Cerrone talks a little bit about it but also is a bit of a skeptic.
do the Mets seem to be shying away from their traditional blue and orange... first, these pictures and the ones outside are all black and white, muting the vivid uniform we’ve come to know and love... second, if you notice, the blue and orange they do incorporate around the ballpark is actually the dark navy-blue and red-orange from the Citigroup color scheme...

I'd like to see some of the vinyl hangings on the concourses as well (like what was inside Shea, but I know there isn't as much dead space as there was in Shea) and some more visible Mets logos on the field. I'd also like to get a look at what they did put there, and maybe there's more than we've heard so far (pictures please!).

But again, the question to my loyal readers - how much is enough for you?


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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Baseball strikes out at the Olympics

A while back, I reported that MLB was backing a commitment to send top level pro baseball players to the 2016 Summer Olympics if baseball were to be reinstated. It had some crazy commitments like not televising MLB games during the Olympic baseball games (with the possibility of the Olympics being hosted by Chicago, USA).

I just read that Baseball has struck out (so did softball) for the 2016 games, but golf and rugby are in.


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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Throwback jerseys

Howie Rose just mentioned on WFAN that the Mets will be wearing throwback jerseys for the first 3 games against the Giants this weekend (Fri-Sun).

More on the throwbacks from Howie Rose... - they are designed after jerseys that the New York Giants wore around the turn of the 20th century. Interesting since the San Francisco Giants are in town this weekend. Maybe the Giants can wear throw backs from their days in New York.


Update 3:52pm - from Adam Rubin's blog (via Metsblog.com), the Mets will wear "cream-colored jerseys" featuring an "oversized blue 'NY' on the front and a Mr. Met patch on the right sleeve".

The jerseys will be auctioned off to benefit the Mets foundation.
The Mets have an official release as well.


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Is Citi Field transitioning into a Mets-themed park?

Quietly hidden in the Mets press release for the ugly throwback jerseys is news of adding some Mets themes to Shea Citi Field.
In addition, the Mets have begun installation of photographic imagery of famous players and historic moments in team history on the Field and Promenade Levels as well as the display of team championship banners on the left field wall.

I guess the letter writing campaigns worked. It should be interesting to see.


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Obstacle Course

Something different, and just for fun...

Imagine if the outfield were set up like a miniature golf course. a big windmill in Center Field. Hard rotting wood barriers at the base of the side walls in the outfield for some hard bounces. A gap or an incline in the grass in Right Center. Different elevations between the infield and outfield (Houston has the right idea there with the hill in deep center, but put this elevation change at 310' all around). A nice sand trap at the Shortstop position. What about the Infield grass and foul lines leaning towards foul territory.

It's a bit crazy, but in my mind, it's a bit better than continuing to watch this Mets team play and lose.


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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Go to a game and support a good cause or two

I saw this posted over on The Eddie Kranepool Society. This is the first paragraph, with a good story over on the Kranepool Society...

Come celebrate with GKR and our loyal supporters! Food, free GKR tee, stand on the Citi Field warning track during anthem, raffles and fun, fun fun! Get 15% off tickets and all GKR merchandise for blog readers only now through August 15th. Use coupon code “blogger”

Some day, when we're really strapped for something to talk about, I'll tell the story of being at Gary, Keith, and Ron's Main Event at the penultimate game at Shea for the 'Santana game' last year.

Go visit GaryKeithAndRon.com (a.k.a. Pitch In For A Good Cause) for more on the main event and all the other good things they do.


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Monday, August 10, 2009

Discussion on ticket pricing policies

Every once in a while, I come across a new blog (or at least one that's new to me). I quietly add it to my RSS feed reader and to the list of Mets fan blogs on this site (and if I can find them on facebook, on my RememberingShea facebook page too).

I happened to come across a blog tonight that had a topic in its most recent post that may be a big part of the off-season talk -- Citi Field Tickets.

The blog is called Mets Report, and the post is basically a discussion with the blog's editor Dave Doyle talking to Kerel Cooper of On The Black about ticket sales from this year and next.

I also remind you about the poll on the right side asking how many games you're planning on going to in 2010 compared to what you did/plan to do in 2009. So far, 1 in 20 is planning on going to more games. It's all relative, but I would like to hear why this one person is going to a lot more games.


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Saturday, August 8, 2009

September Training

Earlier today, I invented a new vocabulary word, "September Training'. By now, you've all have a chance to memorize it and create flash cards.

Tonight is the unofficial start to September Training. Former minor league starting pitcher and until now-Major League relief pitcher Bobby Parnell gets the start. All indications are that this is an evaluation of his skill and talent in a starting pitcher role to see what they may or may not have for 2010.

This is a good thing. The 2009 team never had a chance (though lots of us want to think that they did), and with 1/4 of the season to go, the focus is off 2009. Injured vetrans are on the waiver wire-trading block. We're giving someone who really is still a prospect (even with almost 3/4 of this season in the bullpen) a chance to show what he has, with a complete focus on 2010.

This is what September Training is (just not with a September callup in the physical month of September). An evaluation of what you have in the farm system (or even misplaced on the roster) BEFORE starting to rebuild for next season. It makes that job that much easier, and this is a better evaluation than Spring Training is.

Come September, when the minor league seasons are over, we'll get a look at a few prospects filling out the 40 man roster, and we can see what these guys are all about. To create roster spots, some aging free agents-to-be veterans will be traded (before the post-season roster freeze on September 1), and some injured players will just be shut down for the season (Reyes? Beltran?).

Rebuilding is the right direction for the Mets. Out with the old, injured veterans, and in with the new, younger crop of talent. I just wish they'd go a different direction from Omar Minaya since it didn't quite work out they way they hoped with him over the past 4 years.

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A new vocabulary word

September Training - when a team concedes that they can't even win the Wild Card, but they're not quite playing out the schedule with the players they've had, they're instead going to look at their farm system (as September callups) seeing what they can do for next year, in the fashion of Spring Training.

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

News Flash

This just in to the RememberingShea news desk.

The Mets have announced that the 8th inning sing-along song will be "Suicide Is Painless", the theme song from the TV Show and movie M*A*S*H.

Taps will be played during the 7th inning stretch on Sundays.


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New Poll

I have added yet another new poll to the site.

How many games are you figuring on going to at Citi Field next year?
a) a lot more games than you went to in 2009,
b) a few more games,
c) the same number (if you go to a lot, give or take one or two),
d) a few less games, or
e) a lot less games (it's all relative to how many you went to in 2009).


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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

If it was Shea, I would not have left

I don't leave games early. I just don't. Unless I have to be some place (how often does that happen after a night game) or if I'm going to miss my last train home (too many connections to make). So why did I leave Sunday's game during the rain delay before the game actually started? Click here to read my account of Sunday in the rain.

My friend and I planned on the possibility of him leaving early (not even considering the rain) because of his little girl, so we actually met at my local train station and left my car there so I could easily get home after the game that way. But I chose to take the ride back home with him during the rain delay. Why?

I had the epiphany this afternoon about that. In my subconscious, I just don't like Citi Field, and felt no need to stay there, not being able to go to my seat (or any seat for that matter) to watch the rain, and not walking around in a Mets-like place. It reminds me of the rainy day I had at Arthur Ashe Stadium in 2006 - just walked the concourse until my feet were ready to fall off (another day I would have left relatively early except that I had Mets tickets that night). A generic-looking concourse, except that at Chez Amazin in the Promenade, you can't walk the whole thing without getting wet behind home plate (a useful place on a non-rainy day). And how many times can you walk the concourse, any concourse, dodging people over the course of what would have been 3 hours from the time I finished eating until first pitch.

Shea had concourses. Maybe a bit more crowded, but it was good to look at - all the colors and banners and photographs. In the Loge and Mezzanine, you could go out to the seating area and move back under cover just to sit without getting wet. Heck, I remember one rain out I was at probably 20 years ago where my dad and I sat and watched live baseball for one hour, and watched an ESPN game on the Diamond Vision screen for another 2 until the game was called. Why didn't they have that at Citi Field?

For all of you that stuck it out, what'd you do for all that time? Certainly, I'm not going to find refuge in one of those exclusive bars or clubs. The price isn't right, and my tickets generally don't let me in there.

If it was Shea, I would not have left. Had it been last season or the year before, I would have been all up and down Shea with my camera taking as many pictures as I could before it was gone, but even before that, I don't think I would have left unless I were to be stranded.

Monday, August 3, 2009

5 years ago today, we lost our voice

It was 5 years ago today that we lost Bob Murphy, forever the Voice of the New York Mets.

I invite you to listen to his voice from a couple of posts from earlier this year.

First is a few minutes of play-by-play and banter during Spring Training with Gary Cohen.

Second is something that I put up just before Opening Day and is available on the right side of (every page in) this site. Just Bob Murphy talking about Shea.

Greg Prince over at Faith and Fear in Flushing wrote a good piece on him today, and Centerfield Maz also remembers him.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

I'm back from the game in time to watch it live on TV

Let's hope there's something (refund, free ticket) for the fans who both would and wouldn't wait out a 2 1/2 hour rain delay. If there's not, it's certainly going to push me closer and closer to stopping going to game entierly (except for GKR games, I can't turn away from them).

At least I got in just before the rain started. Got in the LF gate, through the Blue Smoke line, and over to the RF escalator on the Field Level to find a rail to eat on in all of 10 minutes, never got wet, and it was pouring while I ate.

But I got to see how the concourse levels hold the crowd during a rain delay. It wasn't bad. Having that nice open area behind home plate on the Promenade (call it "Casey Stengel Plaza") kind of hurts in that you're limited to walking on one side or the other unless you want to get wet. There just isn't much to do under cover other than sit on the ground or stairs, wait, and walk around. Some areas filled up, and others seemed pretty open (like by the top of the Rotunda).

I left when my friend (and my ride, though we left me the option of taking the subway/train home to NJ) and his young daughter decided just before 2pm that they had enough. I was home in time (after running a few errands) to watch the game live on TV. At least this wasn't a night game.

Damned if Pelfrey throws a No Hitter today.

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

It's raining, the forecast calls for rain with a thundershower possible this morning then variable clouds during the afternoon with scattered thunderstorms, and I have tickets for today's game. And I'm not going alone, so the decision isn't all mine.

Should I stay or should I go?

It's so hard to make the right decision. I really hate to stay home and watch the game on TV when I have tickets. I also hate to make the long trek out to Chez Amazin' to sit in the rain, stand for hours under cover, and not see a ballgame. On the other hand, the pre-paid parking pass is only good today, and bridge tolls are tolls - no refunds. But the Diamondbacks are here until tomorrow night's game.

I predict I'll be leaving after 11am instead of 10am like we had planned. We'll see if my friend and his daughter want to stay for the entire game.