There are going to be plenty of tributes to personal favorite Carlos Beltran once heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s no longer a member of the Mets, which looks like itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s going to be any day now, but I figure IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d get a slight head start. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve never met Beltran, but I have a few anecdotes to share.
And as Kanye West said, people never get the flowers when they can still smell Ã¢â‚¬Ëœem.
Nine years and five days ago, I stood as a senior in front of the Chapel at Duke University and had a conversation with God, as I often did. Usually, we would talk about the health of my friends and family, or what my future would hold. But on this day, I was there to strike a deal.
The terms were that if He could somehow pitch in to help Duke win the National Title game against Arizona that night, IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d never need one of my teams to win again for the rest of my life.
I know, really short-sighted of me. What can I say? I was 21.
Never have I seen a team as cursed as this yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Mets. DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get me wrong, theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve brought it on themselves in certain ways, and GM Omar MinayaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s press conference where he called out a reporter will go down as one of the most notorious moments in New York sports history.
But itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s simply incredible to see a team completely decimated this way by injuries. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s sad to see during the first season at a new stadium. TheyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re resembling the early-90Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s version of this team in terms of the product they put on the field, but those teams werenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t ravaged by injuries as much as what we see here.
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s almost like the movie Final Destination, where some sort of bad karma is picking off the Mets one by one. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not quite sure what they did to deserve this Ã¢â‚¬â€œ MinayaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s conference came after the majority of these injuries Ã¢â‚¬â€œ but God help me if I ever do the same.
To recap the grim details, here are the various appendages that have malfunctioned:
After my third time at Citi Field (two games and a public workout) on Wednesday, it has become apparent that the first-year ball yard is perfect for the Mets of current vintage. By that I mean, the star of the show is most certainly not the team on the field, which is currently rather unremarkable, but rather the field itself. It’s like PNC Park in Pittsburgh, except it’s not nearly as dire a situation for the Mets.
At least so far. When you see the picture at right and wonder if new Knicks draft picks Toney Douglas and Jordan Hill feel like having a summer job, you know things are not going well. I mean, that pitch Hill is throwing probably had a better chance of finding the plate than many that Oliver Perez (seven walks) offered up on Wednesday.
There is zero question that at least at this point, the on-field product takes a back seat to the park experience. And to be certain, it’s great for fans. It’s a perfect place to simply hang with friends, drink a beer and sort-of watch a game.
If you’re a baseball traditionalist who scores a game by hand — probably while wearing a derby hat and smoking a cigar — this park was not designed for you. What they had in mind was a place where you can wait on a line for a “Shake Shack” hamburger while watching the game on a screen on the back of the scoreboard. A place where you can get sushi, if you’re so inclined. (I usually am, but not at a ballgame) A place where you can frequent a center-field beer garden — which, despite the flowery name, is indistinguishable from any other beer vendor.
If you simply want to sit and pay close attention to a baseball game, well, nobody’s stopping you. It’s just that in the back of your mind, you know they didn’t make the park for you. Continue Reading