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Let's Go To The Videotape - Just Not So Much

NostraDennisFriday, May 29, 2009
By NostraDennis

Like our boss, Mike himself, I've been fairly quiet on the blogging scene these past few months. This is due to several factors. First, I hadn't felt inspired to add much to the conversation that hadn't already been said about this team. The first quarter of the season has given us little to help us see whether the 2009 Mets are as good as we hope they are, or as bad as we see they can be all too often. They've been both in almost equal doses.

I'm also keenly aware that a sports blogger can only describe what he or she is able to observe, and there are plenty of filters between our laptop and the team clubhouse. Even the regular beat writers, who get paid to peddle their thoughts, don't really know what goes on deep within the heart of a team. The best of the blogosphere make no such pretense, and claim no special insight. The 2009 Mets have not yet stirred my soul that much.

Finally, life's been happening while I've been making other plans. Work is crazy, life is crazy, and everything seems to be in a constant state of flux. We can all relate to that, I think.

Wednesday night, though, got me thinking about the new replay technology baseball's been using in an attempt to get it right. Their intentions are good, I'm sure, but there's something un-baseball-like about stopping the action four times in the last five Mets games to watch the game on TV. That kind of nonsense used to be reserved for the other sports. Not for baseball.

The umpires aren't at fault for using all the tools at their disposal to make the correct call. But it's kind of weird to have built the right field seats at Citi Field in such a way that it makes a home run call a crapshoot. Cookie-cutter ballparks are boring, and a unique layout is a great and necessary thing. But if every ball that hits those seats causes the game to grind to a halt, that's not good for baseball. Green Monster? Fine, there's a street behind the wall they didn't want to move. Lots of room in foul territory? A bowling alley's width between the lines and the seats? Whatever works for that park is cool. But important things, like "where does the wall end and the stands begin", should be more clearly defined.

For what it's worth, that bump in dead center field in Houston is a bad idea, too. Anyone who's played baseball at any level will tell you an uneven playing surface can be tricky at best, and dangerous at worst. I even remember some old ballpark that had stone monuments in center field. In fair territory! I don't know which idiot came up with that idea, but at least that stadium isn't around any more, thank goodness. You want a ballpark with originality and character, that's fine. But the umpires' difficult job shouldn't be made any tougher by stands that jut out over the playing field. Wednesday night's home run call went our way. But here's hoping those calls won't need to be made too often.

About Dennis McCarthy: I was born in the Bronx in 1960, but moved to Long Island four years later. I became a Mets fan in '69, thanks to my Aunt Ellen, who still lived in the Bronx.   Read More -->

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Comments (8)

CitiField is a great ballpark. The only thing that needs changing is the Subway sign. Not a good idea to have an all-yellow and white sign right there.

Have not seen it (Citi) yet in person, but I tend to agree that obstacles should not be in place to effect an umpire making the correct calls. I also hear that there is not enough historical Mets items to see or view. I'll be at home in the summer catching a couple of games and I guess I can judge for myself.

It's a new stadium, which even the umpires are getting used to.

That being said, my biggest concern was how pathetic it was to watch the umpire squeeze Johan in the 4th inning. After checking out game graphs, rewatching the inning on tape, and also gameday, there's no way that Johan walked 4 batters. Something was fishy there. I don't want to see Sam Holbrook behind the plate ever again this season.

The overhang is great. I loved it in tiger stadium. The sign has to go. Plain black or dark green facade only. Will the Wilpons get rid of it? not a chance. I was at the game in a right field party suite, perfect angle to see the HR. I heard a little something but, I couldn't see the ball. Get rid of the yellow and white sign. Replays ruin the spontaneity of the game. BTW, party suites are a great way to watch the game. Expensive but, great.

glad we're not at shea, but citifield is not a great ballpark yet.it's a great place to eat and go shopping.when u run out of money from eating overpriced food and buying 1000 per cent marked up met junk, u can acturally return to your bad sightline overpriced seat to watch the end of the ballgame.actually the 10 minute reviews needed from reviewing homers due to the "quirks" of the stadium is a great time to go the bathroom, so i hope they leave the sign yellow.. uh, no pun intended..

hi dennis, just moved down to orlando a few weeks ago...having a nyc style pizza and bumping into a fellow mets fan! lets go mets!

Ken - Since we didn't make it into the movie next door Wednesday night, that pizza (and hearing the Gl@v!ne news) was the high point of the night for me, too.

There's a secret society of Central Florida Mets fans, who assemble from time to time to root our team on. You'll find there's an overpopulation of YankMe supporters down here. They're like cockaroaches - they're everywhere. We are their antidote. Send me your e-mail at xljamz@aol.com, and I'll keep you informed about upcoming events, including a potential road trip to Miami in September!

hi nostradennis,
just moved down to orlando 2 months ago. met at pizzeria valdiano...its great to meet a fellow mets fan! ken

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