This used to be the place I ran to

Decisions, decisions, Tito. Photo taken in 2008 by Kelly O’Connor/ Used with permission.

I watched some of Sunday’s Sox game on (Sox beat the Phillies 3-1) but I watched not really caring about the outcome. With every pitch all I could think was “A week from Monday these games will matter!”. Then I remembered that I’ll be sitting in Citi Field this coming Friday and Saturday – for games that won’t, really, mean a damn thing. Given this trip is more than likely the only road trip that I’m taking this year, I plan to make the best of it, regardless of whether the games count in the standings.

I’ve been looking around to see what folks are saying about the new park and the best descriptions have come from Caryn over at MetsGrrl. She went for the St. John’s vs. Georgetown game this past weekend but, by her own admission, was really only there to scope the place out. Check out her blog for photos and tips on the best and worst ways to enter the park, commentary on the food and the scoreboards and all the rest of the features of Citi Field. One thing I found really interesting, according to Caryn:

There are no representations of the Mets or Mets history aside from the old Home Run Apple and the skyline once you enter the ballpark. If you enter the ballpark through the Jackie Robinson Rotunda – which, again, is lovely – you are presented with the entrance to the Ebbets Club, and the only other visual is Ebbets Field imagery. There is NOTHING about the Mets anywhere near the main entrance to the ballpark. There is also no sign yet of the retired numbers, the championship banners, the trophies or the Mets Hall of Fame. I continue to hope that this is a temporary situation and that it will be rectified by Opening Day.

This is disappointing. How can the new stadium for the New York Mets remind you more the Brooklyn Dodgers than the Mets? Reflecting on baseball history is great but I’d expect some Mets history at the Mets’ stadium, no? I’m wih Caryn in hoping this is just temporary. I’d really like to get see the retired numbers and banners this weekend.

The other disappointment for me, one that KellyO pointed out to me earlier in the week and that Caryn has a photo of, is that Alyssa Milano’s “Touch” actually has its own store. Instead of selling the clothing in the team store, she has a store all to herself. Anyone who thinks this is a good idea to wear to a baseball game is probably someone I don’t want to be at a game with. While I hate to wish bad things upon most people, I truly hope this store doesn’t last long. Just what we need is MLB sanctioning a store that encourages the stereotype of women baseball fans who only go to the games for show. Thanks a lot, Alyssa.

Back in Fort Myers, we have pitchers vying for the number five spot in the rotation (I’m beyond thrilled that 1) Beckett will be pitching Opening Day and 2) Masterson will be in the bullpen. Both I had taken for granted as absolutes so it was nice to hear it from Tito) and position players competing for the backup 1st baseman/outfielder position. Do I get to pick? I don’t think I’ve kept it a secret that I like Clay Buchholz and would love to see him back in the rotation – as long as he can handle it. And if this spring is any indication, I think he’s ready to get back on that horse. So I’d be happy to see them start the season with Clay pitching every fifth game.

As far as the backup fielder, it’s a tough call for me. I’ve been fortunate enough to see both Chris Carter and Jeff Bailey play quite a few games and both are players I am eager to see make it to the bigs. Both have worked long and hard to make it with only brief visits to Boston (although Bailey was around long enough to get a ring in 2007). If I have to pick one of the two, though…Bailey’s my guy. He isn’t as comfortable in the outfield as he is on first (and Carter is the opposite), but I think between the time he’s put in (2009 is his 12th season in professional baseball) and how successful he’s been recently (he was the International League MVP in 2008) – I really want to see what he can do, given the chance, in Boston.

A week from today I’ll be sitting in Fenway with my sister, probably freezing my butt off, and watching baseball that finally matters. Amen, baby, Amen.

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