Unexpectedly, I wound up here Monday night:
My girlfriend, Natalie, had her college friend, Megan, visiting for the day. When she asked her what she wanted to do, her response was “see the Mets at Citi Field”. She had never been to the new stadium, and they wanted me to come and show them around and also show them how to snag. I happily obliged.
Here is Megan outside the gate for the 1st time:
On the way to the stadium, it rained for about 20 minutes. When we got to the parking lots, the rain had stopped and the radar was looking like it was in our favor. Plus the gates hadn’t opened yet. I told Natalie and Megan to wait on line and I’d pick up the tickets. While I was over by the ticket office, I ran into fellow N.Y. ballhawk Mateo Fischer. I had read his blog a bunch and have seen him at Yankee Stadium before, so it was nice to meet and talk in person. We talked about how much Citi Field sucked for snagging essentially, I saved him a spot on line, and then we went our separate ways once we got inside.
When I did get inside, however, I wasn’t exactly thrilled at the sight of this:
I didn’t get it. The sun was out, the rain had stopped. I had planned on BP so I could most importantly continue my streak, but Megan wanted me to snag her a ball at her first game. I don’t know why there wasn’t any BP. Lazy, Mets, lazy. Pressure!
A bunch of the Nationals were long tossing to my left:
Here I am with Ross Detweiler:
See that security guard? More on him in a bit. Here’s Tom Gorzelanny…
The next picture was me attempting to get Stephen Strasburg’s autograph. I saw that he was making his way down the left field wall, and then out of nowhere a hundred fans come swarming with binders and smothering me with their body odor and sweaty bodies all while having no consideration for each other. I got stepped on, pushed, and elbowed just to get a signature. I got so fed up I left. It was pathetic. Here’s the best picture I could get of Strasburg, because someone had a binder lodged in my eardrum:
Pictured here is bullpen catcher Nilson Robledo.
I asked him while he was having a catch with Drew Storen if I could have the ball when he was finished in Spanish. He returned the favor by staring at me as if I had asked for a kidney. Anyone else have a problem with Robledo? Anyway, Storen sailed a few fastballs into the stands and Robledo countered by saying that fans deserved to get hit if they weren’t paying attention, because you have to. Yes, this is true, but you don’t need to be so crabby about it. Storen then threw his ball to the fan he says “nearly killed”. So I was still scoreless on the day.
Later, I got autographs from Gio Gonzalez..
One cool thing about Storen is that someone asked him how he generates so much power on his fastballs. Storen said to “Look at Mariano, see how he uses his hips… he’s the best around. Just watch him”. I thought it was cool to see a player not only answer a fan, but give him pointers as well.
I decided to head over by the Nationals dugout to try my luck there. Here is backup catcher Sandy Leon:
Earlier he was coming in from the bullpen, and I asked him for a ball and he put up five fingers as to say “5 minutes”, so I waited. He finally came back out, but told me he had nothing to give me. Phooey.
I later got ignored by Danny Espinosa and Ryan Zimmerman –
I did, however, snap a cool pic of Bryce Harper:
He then proceeded to sign autographs until he absolutely needed to get into the on deck circle because the game was starting. You don’t see that much these days anymore. I snapped this picture as he hit a 2 run HR in the 1st inning, which I had never done before either:
The next inning, this happened:
Not only was it “Star Wars Night”, complete with cheesy between-inning videos on the scoreboard featuring Mets players, it was raining. I was ready to go next to the umpires tunnel in case of a delay. But, the delay never came. I overheard a groundskeeper saying that at the current rate of the rain falling, it was OK to play. So it rained all the way until the end of the game. In the meantime, here’s how we stayed dry:
The Mets tied it late on an Ike Davis homer that hit the foul pole, but once it got to the 10th inning, the Nationals busted it open with 6 runs to take a 8-2 lead.
Remember that security guard? Well, some kids moved down and sat next to me and proceeded to heckle the Nationals for 4 innings. It’s one thing to heckle, but to be dumb and unfunny about it is another thing. Everyone in the section was becoming annoyed, and I was restraining myself from saying something. Finally, the security guard kicked the guys out of the section. Much to the relief of everyone. I figured baseball karma had to be on my side. I was a good sport about EVERYTHING today.
Here’s a photo of the scoreboard:
Then I realized that this was my last chance to get a ball. I was too far away from the dugout to get a toss up, so I waited by the umpires tunnel. I called out to Alan Porter, who looked around for a kid most likely, and then popped the ball into my glove to secure the streak.
SWEET! Not only did I get my streak to stay alive, I almost forgot the Mets use commemorative game balls this year. Stoked was an understatement. I now have 3 of the 6 this year (MIA, LAD, NYM) and need 3 to go (Houston [who I am seeing in August @ the Mets], Boston [Seeing them Saturday], and Baltimore [Seeing next week]). So the chances are there to get all 6. Challenge accepted. I was, however, disappointed that I didn’t get Megan a ball, but she was more than happy with her 1st Citi experience.
Here I am with the ball in all it’s glory:
- 1 ball at this game
- 5 balls total
- 3 straight games at Citi with a ball
- Mets record when I attend: 10-14
- Nationals record when I attend: 3-2