Citi Field opened yesterday and fans filled the rainy stadium to check it out. On the evening news, a few expressed that in the planning of the stadium, the regular folks had been ignored in favor of the corporates. Still, Bernie Madoff's seats, right behind home plate, were likely empty, so some of those corporates just won't be coming.
I happened by the ballpark on Friday, on a trip to Flushing, and took a run around the place. On the 7 train, before you pull in to the station, you pass the rubble of Shea. An ignominious reminder of what was. Couldn't they have cleaned this up before the opening?
I found the old home-run apple stashed away on a side street, looking a little forlorn at the bullpen entrance. A barely rescued artifact, it doesn't even have a full view of the field. Meanwhile, the bigger, shinier, new apple is polished and ready to pop (probably with a Mac logo stamped on it and accompanied by the computer's start-up sound).
The Mets' new home is a nice-looking stadium, made of brick and archways, but that name. Oh, that regrettable corporate name.
George Vecsey at The Times asks us to: "Suspend for a day that the name of the field is currently Citi Field, named for a banking company that has pledged $400 million over 20 years in naming rights while pocketing a gigantic bailout from the government, that is to say, from us."
That's hard to suspend.
The MTA's got it right, as they seem to be boycotting the name. What used to be Shea Stadium...
...today is merely "Mets." Maybe they're waiting for Citigroup to go under with the rest of the banks, or just hoping, like many of us, that the stadium gets a decent, human name. Something that actually has to do with baseball.
What if we all just refuse to call it Citi Field? What if we all agree to call it Mets Field? (Or, as a commenter notes happened with Candlestick Park, just keep calling it "Shea.") It could work. The Flatiron Building was originally the Fuller Building, but people preferred the nickname. It stuck. This kind of thing happens all the time.
Whenever you utter "Mets Field," think of it as one small way to take a little something back from the banks.