After 44 years living in the same run down, multi-purpose building that was an eyesore and lacked the amenities of a modern ballpark, the New York Mets decided to say goodbye to Shea Stadium. On April 13, 2009, the Mets opened CitiField which offered a museum, a Jackie Robinson Rotunda, many eateries, excellent sight-lines, plenty of lower-level seating and plenty of expectations as a pitchers’ park.
The one thing that the Mets and their owners did not factor in to the new park was the possibility of it being a pitchers’ park for everyone else in MLB and not themselves. Over the past four seasons, the Mets home field advantage has actually gone the other way. Opposing players have no problem hitting home runs and extra base hits, and except for the triple numbers that Jose Reyes used to put up, these Mets simply stink at home.
In 2009, the Mets as a team only hit 95HRs, their worst in 17 years and 128 and 108HRs the following two years, respectively. The Mets decided for the 2012 season to bring in the fences and even that did not help. David Wright’s numbers have rapidly declined and even Ike Davis has to go on the road to add to his home run total. So where do they go from here? Manager Terry Collins says that he has no solutions for the Mets lack of production at home compared to visiting other parks.
Collins stated on WFAN-NY 660 today that they have been researching and trying to find out any inkling as to how they can change this dilemma, but nothing is jumping out at them. This is sad because it is a beautifully haunted park that can not simply be understood. Could it be the resemblance to Ebbets Field, or the Jackie Robinson Rotunda, memories of a club that up and left New York and of a player that never played here where the Mets went wrong. Why not draw on your own history and feature your own players?
Whatever the case, the Mets need to figure something out and do it quick because losing now 21 out of 25 games at home in this second half is absolutely unacceptable. No wonder they are showing 22,000 fans paid, but only about 15,000 in the stands. That is on par with the Tampa Bay Rays and for this city, should not be tolerated. So hopefully all the research and tests throughout the season and beyond will figure something out for 2013, otherwise the wonderful park in Flushing will become nothing more than a ghost town.
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