Sunday, April 10, 2016


On Unfortunate Circumstances

Citi Field
Not Shea Stadium, 2016
Saturday, April 10, 2016
Philadelphia Phillies vs. New York Metropolitans
Not Shea Stadium
Major League Baseball, National League
Queens, NY
1:05 PM

Outside the Game: 
Another year, another season. After all the Spring Training baseball and the disappointment from the end of last season, I thought I might be a little dulled to the hype this year, but it was not the case. I was up bright and early, walked down to the Hoboken PATH station, and was on my way for another "Opening Weekend."

There were a lot more fans this year on the early trains with me. We got to the park, and there was a small festival set up outside. I took some outside shots and got in line to go in.

The retreating annoyed

The way back was annoyed fans just trying to get home after a short and disappointing game. The trip wasn't eventful, and I just grabbed a cab back to the elevator instead of walking through a Saturday evening in Hoboken.

The Stadium & Fans: 
Center to home, Citi Field
Center field to home plate, Not Shea Stadium

Not Shea is Not Shea is Not Shea. There were some minor changes to the park. Caesar’s apparently lost the naming rights to the club area, which is now given to Foxwoods. The pennant flags from last year now fly on the flagpoles. And the Pepsi Porch is now the Coca-Cola Porch. Presumably, they finally cleaned the Pepsi sign when they took it down, but you never can tell.

Mr. Met greets you, peasant

There was a big crowd (about one person too big if you ask me, but more on that in a minute) for the Opening Weekend. There was a choir and a “bark at the park” event they had before the start of the game. Sadly, no doggos in my section. Mr. Met and his regrettable wife were, of course, in attendance.

At the Game with Oogie:
First Shack of the year

This is where things get... problematic. It was "Opening Weekend," or whatever that works out to these days, so it was a packed house. I got seats on the third base side in the Foxwood Bronze club area.

So, there were a group of guys to my right. And another group of guys to my left. I was not affiliated with either, which would become important. Of course, on the group to my left, the biggest fatass in the world was right next to me in a huge-assed winter coat. Now, I had my drink in my beverage holder. The holders run to the left of your seat, and the guy to my right had his drink in the holder next to mine before fatass showed up.

Already crammed in thanks to his immense bulk, he wanted me to move my drink to the next holder over. I told him that wasn't my holder and that the other guy had a drink there and I couldn't take it. To give him the biggest benefit of the doubt, maybe fatass thought I was with the other group and was busting his balls. But he then, of course, reached over me and put his drink in the empty container, and made a big show of reaching over to get it. He then "got comfortable" and flowed over to my seat. I then moved his fat and tucked him back into his seat.

This was as close as I've gotten to a fight since old Yankee stadium. Eventually the other people to my left came back, and maybe fatass felt less brave if he thought I was with him, so it was sullen passive aggression for the rest of the game.

I, of course, got a burger from Shake Shack, and an order of meatballs from the Rao's stand to round it out.

The Game: 
First pitch, Phillies vs. Metropolitans
First pitch, Phillies vs. Metropolitans
An early-season matchup between the defending NL-champ Metropolitans with the Dark Knight on the hill and the bottom-dwelling Phillies had certain expectations going in, and they were not met. And this was perhaps ready to set my expectations for the entire season.

For one thing, the Metropolitan offense did not show up. They were no-hit through four and had only two base runners (the second being a walk) through five. But the Phillies fared little better. They had a single in the first and a walk in the second, and went in order in the fourth and fifth. However, they manufactured a run in the third, which began with a leadoff single. Another single got the lead runner to third, and a deep sacrifice fly to left got in the run, making it 1-0, Phils.

Everyone woke up in the sixth, however. The Phillies got a one-out single and then the next batter crushed one to right, making it 3-0, Phillies. But in the bottom of the inning, the Metropolitans had a two-out rally of their own, with a double to left that made it to third on a passed ball. The extra base was superfluous, as Cespedes cranked one out to left to make it 3-2, Phillies through six.

Everyone went in order in the seventh, but the Phillies started up again in the eighth. A leadoff single got bunted over to second, and a one-out walk made it first and second. A short single loaded the bases, and a sacrifice fly to right brought in the run before a grounder to third ended the half at 4-2, Phillies. The Metropolitans, for their part, went in order. A walk and a double put another insurance run in for the Phillies in the ninth, and the punchless Mets got only a leadoff single in the ninth to end the inglorious defeat at 5-2.

The Scorecard: 
Phillies vs. Metropolitans, 04-10-16. Phillies win, 5-2.Phillies vs. Metropolitans, 04-10-16. Phillies win, 5-2.
Phillies vs. Metropolitans, 04/10/16. Phillies win, 5-2.

Although I bought a program, I used the BBWA scoreboard and three colors to score the game. There was one challenge call by the Metropolitans in top of the eighth on a throw behind the runner at second on the sacrifice fly to right. The challenge upheld the safe call. Outside of an unusual amount of sacrifices for a contemporary major-league game, that was all there was to it in this quick game.

The Accommodations: 
Sweet home, Jersey City

2016 Stand-Alone Trip