If a fantasy baseball team could have a theme song, mine would be “Slip Sliding Away.” I bet high this season. I took a lot of Mets off the free agent wires, especially when they came out of the gate with that unexpected strong start.
I stick by my theory that they still look good on paper. Nonetheless, after the game yesterday, another soldier fell. Mets Left-Handed Pitcher Tim Byrdak said he would have season-ending surgery to repair a torn capsule in his shoulder. Trying to balance the overflow of players on the disabled list that have spilled onto my bench has become a weekly dance for me.
In more interesting Mets’ news (yes, on occasion it exists), the 2013 All-Star Game has a date, a venue, and now it has a face. The Mets revealed the logo for the 2013 game at Citi Field on Tuesday. Of course, it features their familiar blue and orange. Unlike most things the team does, the logo is actually very cool. Drawing from the Mets’ classic skyline logo and lettering, it has got a funky retro feel.
“The city of New York’s been great in putting this together,” Mets COO Jeff Wilpon said at Tuesday’s press conference. “It wouldn’t happen without all those people coming together, working with us and awarding this game to Citi Field.” I was kind of surprised about how smoothly their bid went. If you are a native to the area, you are well versed in how the team is oft forgotten (and that’s when the team is actually doing well).
“It’s great to be a part of this celebration,” said Mets Third Baseman David Wright. “I can’t think of a bigger or better baseball stage. It’s great that we finally get an opportunity to showcase the beautiful complex, Citi Field, our home to the world. I can’t think of a better place or a more historical city to have an All-Star Game.”
The 2013 All-Star Game is scheduled for July 16 at Citi Field. The last time the Big Apple hosted the game was in 2008 at, of course, Yankee Stadium. More significantly, it is the first time the Mets have hosted the game since 1964, their inaugural season at Shea Stadium.
The Mets have had 109 All-Star selections in their franchise history. Seven of them attended Tuesday’s event, including Wright, R.A. Dickey, Johan Santana, Keith Hernandez, Ron Darling, Dwight Gooden and John Franco. Or, as I like to refer to them, seven Mets we know can’t embarrass us between now and July 16.
Come to think of it. You never want to hedge your bets on Doc Gooden and good behavior.
Dozens of Mets officials attended last month’s All-Star Game in Kansas City. They were taking tours of Kauffman Stadium and familiarizing themselves with All-Star protocol. Though the game will not take place for another 11 months, the team is actually preparing. This is an action most Mets fans normally do not associate with their team brass.
Next year’s event will be the ninth All-Star Game in New York City history. There were two stops at the Polo Grounds, one at Ebbets Field, one at Shea and four at the old Yankee Stadium (who saw that coming?). Between that and getting the Super Bowl, maybe we can all stop crying about losing the Olympics.
The city’s first deputy major, Patricia Harris, estimated that the game would bring more than 175,000 visitors to New York City and generate a $200-million economic impact. That doesn’t even take into account the residual economic impact that will be experienced by neighboring states such as New Jersey and Connecticut. “We have the greatest fans in the world, so it’s only fitting that we host the game’s greatest players,” said Harris to MLB.Com. “The game will not only raise the sports profile of our city, but it will help drive the economy.”
For those of you not familiar with Citi Field, it opened adjacent to Shea Stadium (which no longer stands) in 2009. It encompasses 1.2 million total square feet and holds up to 41,922 fans at maximum capacity. Although it does not bask within the glamor of Manhattan, it stands steps away from the Citi Field-Willets Point stop on the New York City subway’s elevated No. 7 line. It is also accessible via the Long Island Railroad and water taxi.
Unlike 2008, the Mets will host all of the traditional All-Star events at Citi Field, including the State Farm Home Run Derby, the XM All-Star Futures Game and various community events. In 2008, the Yankees actually held Fan Fest in Manhattan. Mets Radio Broadcaster Howie Rose called the 2013 game a “five-day celebration of baseball.”
“By hosting the All-Star Game, New York City will be the center of the sports universe next summer,” Major League Baseball’s Executive Vice President of Business Timothy Brosnan told MLB.com. “We’ll work closely with the city to make sure that the All-Star Game is not only a celebration for baseball fans, but that we leave a legacy behind that says Major League Baseball, the New York Mets and the city of New York care about those in need.”
The Mets and Major League Baseball are promising a post-game legacy for the city and the game on a whole. Has that ever happened? The All-Star Game has gotten a lot of criticism over the years for being a relic of a bygone era. For a team, whose legacy has been questionable at best, making a provocative promise such as that has just made this upcoming year interesting.