04.15.09

Mets V.P. David Howard : Pissing In Our Mouths And Telling Us It’s Rheingold

Posted in Baseball, Blogged Down, Sports Radio, The Marketplace, Ugly New Stadiums at 1:58 pm by

(the view from row 4, Section 436 of Citi Field, Monday, April 13, 2009)

Sorry for the crude headline folks (especially as I’ve used it before), but it’s the first thing that came to mind upon reading the following comments Mr. Howard made yesterday while appearing on WFAN’s “Mike’d Up” and addressing the furor over obstructed view seating in the 400 and 500 levels of Citi Field (quotes courtesy Mets Today)

The way we characterize “obstructed¬Ě “is if you have an obstruction, something in front of you — a beam, a pillar, something that’s blocking your view. That’s not the case here. It is a function of the geometry of the building.

The seats are great seats, the value is tremendous. I understand people have their own point of view, but, when you sit in those seats in the left field promenade, it is a GREAT sightline. Yes I understand that if there’s a fly ball hit to the wall, you’re going to lose it, we do have, you know, TVs extensive, high definition televisions everywhere, you know, we do, we made that accomodation.

There are additional comments / inaccuracies to squirm over in the Mets Today post, but I’ll deal with the above items. Mr. Howard’s limited definition of “obstructed” isn’t quite the same as mine. If a view of left and/or left-center field is almost entirely blocked by lower rows of seats, as was the case for yours truly Monday night, the Mets have no business selling those tickets for full price. I don’t consider $49 “great value” for a ticket more than 420 feet from home plate that affords no view of balls hit to left, and I’d characterize the Mets ticket rep who sold me a 15-game weekday plan as nothing more than a budding mini-Maddoff. I specifically asked if the seat in question would have an obstructed view and was assured otherwise.

It’s not just fly balls that are hit to the wall that are lost if you’re sitting in the left field 400′s — anything hit past shallow left is a mystery. Howard’s comment about the plethora of high definition screens at Citi is ludicrious. Even if — and this is a pretty huge stretch — paying customers were prescient enough to gather around the promenade concession stands in advance of a fly ball being hit — they’d arrive at said snack aisles to learn the mammoth flat-screens Howard refers to are only visible at the ballpark’s lower tiers. Even on the level of being a comfortable, expensive place to watch television outdoors, Citi Fleld comes up short.

That said, I don’t want to be a total killjoy. MetsBlog’s Matthew Cerrone tweeted on Monday night that he’d just high-fived Omar Minaya after David Wright’s 5th inning HR (a ball that just happen to land in an area invisible to patrons of the left-field promenade) from the cozy confines of a suite. As long as the well-connected are having a good time, that’s all that really matters to me.

3 Responses to “Mets V.P. David Howard : Pissing In Our Mouths And Telling Us It’s Rheingold”

  1. Metsies says:

    Cerrone is a shill for SNY and the Mets. His blog is good for little more than reporting Mets news. Basically all the opinion posted there is rags. In the offseason, the blog basically copies and pastes from MLBTradeRumors. Congrats on your high-five Matt.

    Also, I sat in section 535 in the left field upper deck. Couldn’t see the leftfielder cause of the obstruction. What a joke.

  2. GC says:

    I think you’re being a tad harsh, James. Metsblog is hardly a poor source of Mets news and on average, there’s less C&P over at that site than there is here.

    That said — and perhaps it’s unfair to cite a Twitter message as part of some unwritten Metsblog ethos —- Matt’s glee at glandhanding the club’s GM on opening night recalled last summer’s “Mets Weekly” segment in which Mr. Cerrone hosted a number of fellow bloggers in a Shea luxury box. If Cerrone is only a step removed from being a Mets employee, collaborator or business partner, I can hardly accuse him of a conflict of interest. But on a historic night in which countless other Mets fans learned they’d paid an arm and a leg for a partial peak of a baseball game, it seems ill-advised to boast of hanging out with management.

    I’m not so naive to think everything about Citi Field could’ve been perfect. But for all of the new park’s highly touted creature comforts, I’d trade all of ‘em to be able to see most of the outfield.

  3. Greg says:

    I think the nature of the game is this: you can have the uppers a lot closer to the field (like you see here) and miss a corner of the field directly underneath (the same way the old Yankee Stadium used to be), or you can have your seats significantly farther back, and see all of the field. I prefer this. I like to be somewhat near the infield, the pitcher/catcher/hitter, and if I miss a few plays by the fence, c’est la vie.

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