If you believe in the “Freudian slip,” you might be forced to conclude that ESPN anchor Anish Shroff isn’t a fan of the stadium where the New York Mets play their home games, Citi Field. When ESPN broke from it’s regular broadcast of the Mets-Cardinals game on Wednesday night to bring viewers coverage of Alex Rodriguez making a bid for his 600th career home run — which we feel he doesn’t deserve the press for — Shroff had a bit of a slip-up when sending it back to New York after A-Rod doubled. Pardon my English, but check out the video of ESPN anchor Anish Shroff calling Citi Field “Shitty Field,” courtesy of The Big Lead:
The first problems we discussed about the new Mets Citi Field related to the lack of hot water in the visiting clubhouse. Now about 55 games into the season, you figure the problem’s been worked out. While that issue was an easy fix, there’s one that seems likely to be here for good: the large dimensions. The pitcher-friendly confines seem to be an issue for Mets players, specifically David Wright, as told by Chipper Jones:
“It is the biggest park that I have ever played in in my life,” Jones told the show “Ripken Baseball” on Sirius XM Radio. “It is a huge ballpark to center and right center and right field. You know, I actually feel sort of sorry for some of the guys out there because their power numbers are really going to take a hit; guys like David Wright, [Carlos] Beltran, [Carlos] Delgado. The days of them hitting 35, 40 homers — they’re over.”
“I juiced the ball just right of center field as hard as the good Lord can let me hit a ball, and it hit midways up the center-field wall for a double,” he said. “And every time there was a long fly out or a double that hit off the wall or something, David Wright would run by me and go, ‘Nice park.’
While Wright (and Chipper) may be bitching about the dimensions, the numbers would actually tell a story that makes you think they have a home field advantage. The Mets are 18-9 at home which is one of the best marks in the league. They’ve also hit 21 home runs in only 27 home games compared to 16 homers in 30 road games. The team’s slugging percentage is also higher at home (.435) than it is on the road (.390). As far as Reyes and Delgado’s numbers go, newsflash for Chipper but their stats are down because they’ve both been injured this year. Thing about it is just like I said in the headline, the dimensions are in Wright’s head: he’s hitting .413 with an OPS of 1.090 on the road while he’s just hitting .280 and .833 at home. Also, his 3:1 strikeouts to walk ratio at home makes me think the park is messing with his approach considering he walks more than he strikes out on the road. He’s definitely suffering from the Petco Park effect.
I’m not a big fan of the Yankees or Mets because of many reasons — the unveiling of their new ballparks would be the most recent. I understand that both organizations planned to have the parks built years ago and couldn’t anticipate the current economic conditions that make the stadium unveilings look ill-timed. Still, when you spend $800 million on a park as I’ve read and have all the bells and whistles, how can you screw things up in the visitor’s clubhouse as badly as the Mets did? According to Padres pitcher Jake Peavy who got the win on Thursday night, Citi Field didn’t have hot water running in the visitor’s clubhouse. For that reason, he had to take a cold shower. Peavy still said they did the park right and that it’s beautiful.
On a related note, there wasn’t much more satisfying than seeing the Yankees get hammered 10-2 on the day they open up their new stadium. Spending over a billion bucks on a new stadium and nearly half a billion on players and you get blown out giving up nine runs in the 7th is a great way to reward your fans. What bothers me most is that the ticket prices for each of these places is astronomical. I remember hearing someone say a few years ago that baseball games would become like the opera before long, only affordable and attended by the super wealthy. When I see that the average ticket price at Yankee Stadium is $75, I have to cringe. Fans shouldn’t have to spend as much as they do to watch Yankees and Mets home games. And just because they have new stadiums and their games cost so much doesn’t mean they’re that much more important than every other team in the league either.