Mr. E and I took a Mets sabbatical this weekend and enjoyed some crabs, clam strips, hush puppies, some blues music and above all some Orioles baseball in Baltimore. Now, I bleed Mets blue, but for those who truly know me know my favorite player ever across all teams is Cal Ripken. I know, a non-Met. But besides his blue ocean eyes (which you will see me glowing over in my "Fantasy" team post), he played the game hard, honest and was an overall good guy. Guys like him are gone from baseball, I'm afraid, for good. But maybe for the exception of David Wright. But even Wright doesn't (yet) have the power to make everyone around him better. That was Rip.
But I'm not going to talk about Rip. Instead, I'm going to "rip" on the Wilpons and basically all the owners of baseball and give them a big ol' MSF-U for ruining the sport of baseball. I mean, we can look at history, and point the finger at George Steinbrenner and the Yankees for outspending everyone and making the art of free agency an art in dickery. But I mean instead of owners having a gentleman's agreement about this stuff, we get douchebags like A-Fraud getting pay days that are 3/4 the GDP of a small impoverished African nation.
But as we can see with the advent of CitiField, fans like you, me and even Mr. Met are going to be drastically changed by this new landscape.
When Metsgrrl and I went to Miller Park last year, it was interesting because the seats were good, the food was fairly priced (but then again, we are used to $6 hot dogs and $8 beers in NY, and this is the midwest, maybe fans out there don't like 'em either) and we got into the .300 Club, their version of the "Diamond Club." If any of you have been in the Diamond Club, I mean, there is the restaurant where you can sit down and get non-baseball fare, which from what I hear is pretty good (I have never been in there, though I have had Diamond Club passes for two years). I know in the bar-area, the bathrooms are heinous and the help is rude. Whatever. My point is, the .300 Club was definitely catering to the businessman special. But wait - this is Milwaukee we're talking about. Is Jim-Bob going to drive his tractor to the game and hang out in the .300 club?
With the pushing off of CitiField's pricing structure and the failure to reach out to season ticket holders to discuss options, I am getting a little upset about the prospect of being priced out of my favorite team's ballpark. Meanwhile, Richie Rich will be able to entertain his client non-fans in seats that should be open to us. I'm not saying corporations don't have a right to this stuff - I'm just saying it not only sucks, but baseball (as I have been saying all along) is a jay-oh-bee, and no longer a game.
I found this article via a link on Yahoo! today: Far from Cheap Seats. Basically stating the obvious - that baseball will eventually become like Knicks games at the Garden - empty, devoid of any real fan except the stars.
" 'Are we going to charge 5,000 people a lot to go to the game?' Trost asked. 'Yeah, but we will deliver.' As big money changes baseball, pushing salaries ever higher, the fan baseball is trying to attract is changing, too. A generation of new stadiums with the latest in innovations has allowed teams to transform the old box seat into an entertainment palace, essentially moving the luxury suite to the field level, bumping families for corporations."
Now, I don't mind getting bumped out of the field level because I've seen over the years, the "real fans" don't sit there anyway. But why? I know that times change and the rules change, but this is all ridonculous already. I don't even attend all my games, but I'm just a little concerned about reselling my tix. It's a little selfish I know - but it sucks for people who want to attend the games all around.