The Ostroy Report

The Ostroy Report is a fresh, aggressive voice for Democrats and a watchdog of the GOP/Tea Party. We support President Obama and the Democratic agenda and seek to preserve the Senate majority while taking back the House. But we're also not afraid to criticize the left when necessary.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Citi Field, Shmiti Field. I Want Shea Back


So in just a few short days the NY Mets baseball team will have its first 2009 home game in its brand-new stadium, Citi Field. Though many of my Metsy friends are ecstatic and can't wait to pay the higher ticket prices, I say bah-humbug. I could care less about the new park and have no intention of ever going. Ok, that's me belly-aching today, and I'm sure there'll be a game or two I'm dragged to, but my heart just ain't in it. In fact, I find the whole commercial motivation behind Shea's demise offensive and disheartening.

For the record, I have been a mad-crazy Mets fan for 40 years ever since Cleon Jones, Tommie Agee, Tom Seaver, Buddy Harrelson, Jerry Koosman and my favorite, No 22, first-baseman Donn Clendenon, were among the "Amazin's" who gave us that miracle season in '69. I never looked back. Which is why I feel tearing down Shea was sacriligious.

Baseball is America's pastime. It's how and where lifetime memories are made. Memories that include family, friends and co-workers. What's baseball without a strong sense of nostalgia? Will any of us be able to peer across Citi Field and remember their first game with mom and dad? Will any of us be able to spot the seats we sat in the first time we went to a game alone with our teenage pals? Or that great date we were on? Or the night out with the office boys? Or the annual games with our childhood friends? Or when we took our own sons and daughters for their first game? Or what about sitting in a place that saw two incredible World Series Championships? Or where those four kids from Liverpool created musical history? That's what Shea means to me. Citi Field, you say? No thanks.

Yes, baseball is apple pie. It's not sushi or some trendy gourmet Danny Meyer restaurant. It's about enjoying the game, not shopping is some new ritzy store. Baseball is an American tradition for the massses. It's supposed to be where a family of four can spend a glorious Summer afternoon without needing an AIG-like bonus. Those days are gone.

Call me crazy, but I like life simple. For me, happiness was a hot dog, a cold beer, sunshine and my Shea memories. I enjoyed the crappy seats, the bad angles, the lousy food, the joy that was orange and blue. All I needed was my Shea and my Mets.

Adding insult to injury, couldn't they have at least kept the name Shea instead of bestwoing this honor on some near-bankrupt, TARP-fund-guzzling dinasaur? Citicorp will be shelling out $400 million over 20 years for the right to hang its tarnished shingle over the new stadium. To me, a life-long Mets fan and taxpayer whose money is part of Citi's $45 billion government bailout, it all just stinks.

3 Comments:

  • At 5:25 PM, Anonymous Mark Friedman said…

    I hear your pain and i lived through all that you describe but sadly, it was time to move on. Hopefully the Mets will keep some of the nostalgia that you speak of, but memories are what you make of them, not some physical place. I live my life in that stadium and with the Mets (now 47 years old) and it took me, maybe 46 of them to realize that i care way more about them, than they do me. Its still a beautfiul place to watch a game and i will hopefully share those experiences you speak of with my kids. They will create their own memories in what is now Citifield. Yes, its way unfortunate that the sponsor has huge issues, but i cannot let that spoil my good time.

     
  • At 1:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Mr. Ostroy, I understand your nostalgia for a ballpark you grew up in, but what makes you think that somehow Citi Field will not create its own memories? You ask, "Will any of us be able to peer across Citi Field and remember their first game with mom and dad? Will any of us be able to spot the seats we sat in the first time we went to a game alone with our teenage pals?" The new generations will have these experiences that you had at Shea. It's rather narcissistic to think that just because this will not be the ballpark you grew up with, no one will be able to create their own memories.
    As for your ultra-American-apple-pie-family-of-four attitude, just grow up. People love to grandstand and decide that somehow every generation after theirs sucks, but give it a rest. Yes, I agree that baseball is about enjoying the game--so instead of bitching and moaning about a field you dislike only because it's new, perhaps you should take it off of your blacklist and watch the team you love play. Those days in which a family can enjoy a ballgame on a summer afternoon are not gone, Mr. Ostroy. Quit condescending and just watch the damn game.

     
  • At 10:03 PM, Anonymous Vinnie Barbarino said…

    Andy----welcome to corporatism---which is what Mussolini called "fascism". Seriously, look it up. He said you can call fascism "corporatism". Obama is a BIG part of that since he was funded by AIG and the other big bankers. He was put into power by the very corporate elitists that have taken over baseball--and the entire country really. Just like Jake in the show "Jericho" said, "This isnt a country...it's a corporation"---sooo sooo true.

    I have one comment for anon 1:06---baseball is NOT a game anymore. It used to be--back in the days when they played for the LOVE of the game and not how much recognition they got, how much money they made and how many models and movie stars they could fuck. I blame the collapse of our national past time SOLELY on the OWNERS. They are the ones who let it all happen. They pay the players 20 million a year and jack up the price of a hot dog to 7 dollars. A middle class family cant enjoy this anymore. Going to a baseball game nowadays is like going to the movies---its a fucking EVENT that you have to save 6 months for. High class rich people like Ostroy can dish out the cash Im sure, but most middle class people find it a bit hard to part ways with $150 just to take their family to one game. Every single team in major league sports should operate like the Green Bay Packers----after all these years--STILL owned by the citizens of Green Bay. Wouldnt it be nice if the decisions on what is done to a ballfield rested in the hands of the very people who keep it going----the fans.

     

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