|Citi Field. Taken, as all the photos here are, by me.|
This weekend has flown by and in a few hours the event we’ve been clamoring for will be upon us: Opening Day at Fenway (and all around MLB)!
|A happy Justin Masterson.|
Being at Citi Field absolutely made me realize how much I missed baseball. It was also my first real taste of Mets fans and I have to say that, on the whole, I really enjoyed them. I was a little surprised that they were booing Oliver Perez in the first inning of an exhibition game on Saturday but the other side of that showed itself the night before when they went wild for both JJ Putz and Francisco Rodriguez. When, suddenly, all the Mets fans left at Citi Field on Friday night stood up, I had no idea what was coming. Then KellyO pointed out the bullpen door opening and K-Rod running out. The reaction of the fans gave me chills. It was special to be able to witness their first sighting of him in a Mets uniform (in the new park!).
|Mr. Met – packing heat.|
So many random things happened this weekend. A (seemingly) homeless man passed us at South Station before we left on Friday and muttered “Red Sox!” at us. Mind you, neither of us had any Sox gear on at the time. (It came full circle when I was crossing the street in New York to get to Penn Station and a man walked by me and yelled “Yankees!” in my ear.) We were constantly being reminded to “watch the gap” when getting on and off the trains. Amtrak (and the LIRR) is quite serious about this. Sadly, I watched the gap all weekend long and nothing seemed to happen. False advertising if you ask me.
I was disappointed that Kyle Snyder didn’t make the trip but am hopeful that he was still in Florida. Because, really, if he wasn’t going to be able to play at the new park this weekend, at least he could be enjoying nice weather while some of his new teammates froze their butts off.
|Julio Lugo taking autograph requests.|
Julio Lugo seems to be trying his best to keep up a positive front. On Friday night, from clear across the park, we noticed someone in the Red Sox dugout tossing baseballs to the fans. Turns out it was Lugo, taking baseballs from the fans and signing them. He then started tossing gum to the kids behind the dugout (at one point motioning for the bucket of gum!). On Saturday, he was out there signing autographs again and chatting up pretty much everyone he came upon. It was like Sean Casey all over again!
Watching Jed Lowrie hit a grand slam – even in an exhibition game – is possibly one of the coolest things I’ve witnessed on a road trip! Everyone on the team seemed to be pretty jacked up for him. There was a small part of me that felt sorry for Perez but mostly I was just really happy to see the team doing well. A split was fine with me.
Jon Lester? Not so impressive this weekend. Daisuke Matsuzaka? He was just fabulous wasn’t he? He just oozed confidence as well – especially when he fielded the two balls that he did. Ice water in his veins, I’m telling you. Also, David Ortiz looks to be in tip-top shape. It’s always tough to tell how his weight is with the way he wears his uniforms but I’ll tell you this: watching him run from first to third in one smooth motion with no chugging along or huffing and puffing once he passed second was very telling. I can’t remember ever seeing him run the bases so effortlessly and it impressed me greatly.
|Daisuke Matsuzaka explaining that the bases loaded thing was all part of his plan.|
Because of technology issues on Saturday, I was without the use of my cell phone. This caused issues where I was supposed to meet up with Metsgrrl and finally get to say “hello” (Metsgrrl is now in Cincinnati for the Mets/Reds games this week!) It also caused me to miss some stellar texting from friends. I feel the need to defend Citi Field and the Mets by saying if it wasn’t for the insane winds, there would have been no garbage on the fields on Saturday. The park is spotless (well, except for a couple of sketchy bathrooms) and I really enjoyed it so I hated the idea that the game airing nationally was the one where there was trash blowing all about. (Did MLBN get Papi holding on to Alex Cora’s pocket at third base and stuffing it full of garbage? Papi was the most diligent of the players, really wanting to get the trash gone!)
I know I’ve missed things to touch upon so I’ll send you here and here to see the rest of the better photos I took this weekend. I’m using a new camera and still playing with settings and such, so the pictures won’t be professional grade but I like them!
To celebrate the beginning of the season, here is my favorite version of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”. Hope everyone enjoys the day!