May 2011

5/6/11 Dodgers at Mets: Citi Field

Finally back to Citi Field for a game after ten days and what do I see?
Big Crowd 5611.JPG

The invasion continues. Why is it that there are so many more people outside thew gates for a team that is actually WORSE than last year? I just hope these are people who still think that gates open 2.5 hours before game time.I was with quite a few ballhawks at the gate so I actually took the path to right field (I would just like to point out that my backpack was about 50lbs from school stuff I would need over the weekend as I came to this game directly from school). On my way over there, this guard:
Guard macro 5611.JPG
Well actually there you can’t see much so here is a more zoomed view:
Guard Micro 5611.JPG
(He would be just to the right of the foul pole on the concourse) Anyway, the guard stopped me on my trot to right field and asked me, “Are you trying to get a ball?”. (Uh…Duh) So he told me that a ball had been hit to the lowest level right of the foul pole two pictures ago.So I checked and I checked. I must have checked for a good ten minutes as he kept telling me to circle the area. Eventually the guard in the top left of this picture:
Guard+ Ball spot 5611.JPG
who was in the elevated seats towards the bottom right of the picture found the ball (which was 50 ft away from where the other guard had told me. I am appreciative but how can one get it THAT wrong) and tossed it to me.I don’t know but from the response I got from the players I think they saw me looking for the ball and getting it tossed to me. I was the only one in a section as Ryota Igarashi shagged many a ball within 10ft of me, I asked him in Japanese for every one except the last, and he cold denied me ( my Japanese is bad but not terrible).As you can see by the last picture, if familiar with Citi Field, I moved to right field after getting the ball tossed to me but as more of those ballhawks at the gate had started to trickle to right field as it was already 20 minutes to half an hour since the gates had opened. To give an idea, right field at Center Field is not that good when you are all alone much less with other ballhawks:
rightfield Citi Field 5611.jpg

In addition to having a terrible incline, the only place where a non-frozen rope homerun has any chance of landing in the seats is to the left or right of the red MODELL’S sign where the wall slants back toward the field.In center field, there was, R.A.Dickey and the bullpen catcher Dave Racaniello:
View from center 5611.JPG
(Dickey on left and Racaniello squatting fifty feet in front)
I knew this wasn’t going to go well as a ball came to the wall within five seconds of my arrival, Dickey caught it and threw it back to Racaniello after me asking him. This wasn’t good because a) I was close enough to steal his hat if I so desired and b) I was the only one in the whole section. I got to know him as a nice guy last year so I think he saw me get the ball from the security guard in foul ground. My only hope was that Racaniello would shag one but when he moved up those fifty feet I fled for the riches of left field.And by that I mean that I was a proletariat. The number of people wasn’t too bad:
view to left 5611.JPG
Pretty good amount considering it was half and hour into Batting Practice:
view to right 5611.JPG
but yet the Dodgers weren’t hitting to my section (normally this isn’t a problem but because of so many ballhawks…) and the players were quite stingy. Did I mention that I didn’t have their roster because I rushed out of school? Oh yeah, that made it doubly hard and frustrating considering they had their game jerseys. The easiest way to get a player’s attention however simplistic it may sound is to shout out his *first* name. This would have been cake had I printed out the roster but no.Two that I reasonably could have had were one hit by Rod Barajas which I was camped under but Zack (yes, that one again) came two rows in front of me, jumped and caught the ball. The second was… well let me put the picture up first:
2nd missed 5611.JPG
The ball came down about where the family is sitting down. As the ball descended, I moved over that way but was blocked by the gentleman in the black Mets shirt. He didn’t get it either the man in the black shirt to the left of him in the picture did.I then got one ball tossed up by Tony Gwynn Jr for #2 on the day. That was it. Nothing more. A little while ago I would have been happy but now that I have gotten that number so much I just want to get something else higher. Here is the ball anyway:
Tony Gwynn ball 5611.JPGTo the game. I sat out in left field as Jonathan Niese was pitching and left field is the best (maybe only feasible) place to catch a Home Run at Citi Field:
view from LF 5611.JPG

My first shot during the game was when Terry Sands caught a ball right at the wall…
Warning Track TSands 5611.JPG
He actually might have touched the wall on his deceleration. This meant a good chance for a toss up for my, decked out in royal blue or what ever you call this color. Not! He caught it and ran all the way back to the dugout to toss the ball into the stands.Well good I had Matt Kemp and Juan Uribe in the line-up to give me a chance at a Home Run snag. Well…no, they went a combined 1 for 9 on the day. In the second inning, just as I was getting my glove on once more after James Loney struck out, Rod Barajas launched a fly ball in my direction. Initially, I thought it was going to die at the wall but I saw it carrying. I ran up towards the front of the section and because it was in a row and I wasn’t about to reach in front of people, I moved behind the person that was about to catch it and hoped he would move his hands away from his body as I would be all over any rebound that went straight back. But don’t take my word for it. The video is called “Barajas’ solo shot” and it is 42 seconds long and is from 5/6/11.I am the figure running in the white hooded sweater. Now for those of you who actually saw the video, you will know that the ball just barely cleared the wall and the guy had it in his hands but bobbled it on to the field. So no one in the section ended up getting it:
Almost HR 5611.JPG
Though I do feel sorry for him because as you can partially see in the picture he generated the most animated response to anything I have seen so far at Citi Field his season. (The man is the second one in on the first row and to the right.

That was it as far as action is concerned. The Mets ended up actually winning on Home Runs that went to right and right center, both uncatchable. No, this was not a coincidence, both were caused by the design of Citi Field.

Oh, and on the train I found a new use for commemorative cups:
Cup w/balls 5611.JPG
Sadly, my cup not runneth over.

no pictures yet but let me at least get the numbers up

 

STATS    

  • 2 Balls at this game
numbers 81 and 82 on the career
  • 21 balls in 9 games=2.3333 balls per game
  • 31 straight games with at least 1 ball
  • 2 balls*35,948 fans= 71,896 competition factor
  • Time at game 4:41- 10:03= 5 hours 24 minutes

 

 

 

 

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