Saturday, November 11, 2006

Livin' For The Citi

Wait...you mean to tell me that Jackie Robinson's middle name wasn't "Citigroup"?

I suppose we could have done worse than CitiField. The Mets certainly could have done worse than $20 million a year for the naming rights...in fact, every other stadium naming rights contract pays less than the bid that Citigroup has provided.

It's a figure that wouldn't have even paid for half of Daisuke Matsuzaka's posting bid.

But it should pay for one and a half Barry Zitos, no?

It certainly should pay for about three or four Julio Lugos.

Speaking of which, this is why I can't go ape over the latest hot stove rumors...because more often than not, they're wrong. Take into account a phone call I received today...and I'm not going to reveal who it is because it would embarrass this guy to no end (that, and if I told you who it was, you wouldn't believe me anyway so why bother?) But let this be a lesson to all that if you're going to call me, you don't necessarily need to have all of your facts straight...but at least have one fact straight.

Mystery Caller: Hey, I heard the Mets signed Julio Lugo!

Metstradamus: They did?

MC: Yeah.

MD: Where did you hear this?

MC: I heard they signed a second baseman.

MD: And who told you it was Lugo?

MC: Well...I just assumed it was Lugo. There's nobody else out there.

MD: Have you ever heard of Mark Loretta? Maybe, Ray Durham?

MC: Oh.

MD: But they signed a second baseman?

MC: Well, they're interested in a second baseman.

MD: (exasperated) That doesn't mean they freakin' signed one!!!!

MC: Oh, well I gotta go.

I obviously have acquaintances that live in alternate universes. Some have accused me of living in one of those alternate universes...don't I wish. Hey, if I had an alternate universe at my disposal, Adam Wainwright's curveball would have ended up in the right field bullpen.

Of course, I tooled the internet, and no Julio Lugo. It's just as well, because as I've said before: I don't completely trust a second baseman who can be repositioned defensively by a stiff wind.

10 comments:

gbaked said...

I have always refered to New York City as "The City". I have no problem calling the new stadium "The Citi". For better or worse, CitiBank will be around for the full 20 years of the contract.

$20 mil a year... holy shit is that a ton of money. Double the most ever for a stadum name. They bought us Wright and Reyes, and then their replacements.

Donn the Realist said...

Damn it, Metsra... I thought you agreed to keep our coversation between the 2 of us. Besides, I had a tip from Peter Gammons, and you know Peter Gammons has never been wrong before.

jabair said...

can they call it NEW YORK CITIFIELD?

Mike said...

If Citibank is gonna pay $20 M/yr that we taxpayers DON'T have to pay . . . they can call the damn place Shit Field for all I care.

It's one thing to root for your team (I do), and another to want to pay it's rent, taxes, and overhead (I don't).

Last I checked, my team charges me a lot of money to sit in its plastic chairs and drink its warm beer.

Unser said...

Does this mean CitiBank will charge visting teams $1.50 to remove, or "withdraw", a pitcher from the game?

k. said...

Terrible name. I can see the Met haters calling it "ShittyField." And perhaps they're correct--the little corporate-named ballpark has shut out 13,000 fans of modest means (like moi) and will lead to higher ticket prices and a much heavier corporate atmosphere. For all its faults, Shea's a people's ballpark--and what other contending team had $9 tickets available on gameday in 2006???

Ed in Westchester said...

unser - that's some funny stuff.

The Metmaster said...

K:

There is a real misconception about the seating capacity of this new stadium. I've heard all these fans calling into WFAN and writing on blogs lamenting the fact that the new place will "only" hold 45,000. The Mets set a new attendance record this season. Do you know what the average game attendance was? It was 43,327. They filled all 55,000 seats very infrequently during the regular season. What an owner wants to do is create a situation where there is demand for EVERY game, not just the Yankees, Braves, Dodgers and Cardinals. You want the Pirates to sell out. You want the Rockies to sell out. How do you do it? You control the supply of seats. It's not personal, it's just good business. The good thing is that each of those 45,000 seats will have a much better view of the field than Shea, or the current and new Yankee Stadiums. If you have been to Philly or Pittsburgh you know what I mean. Two great stadiums. Very fan friendly.
So relax. You will see some games at "The Citi". Citigroup's deal pays for at least half the place, and just about all of it if the option is played to extend it to 35-years. That's potentially 700 million bucks that can be used to get us players over the years. This is a very good deal.

k. said...

Metmaster:
I wish I had your optimism.
I see a corporate gobble of good seats.
I see the price of avergae seats going up great guns in 2009.
I spend 70% of my income on rent and utilities. Yet I was able to go to 20 games this year, despite living in Upper Manhattan--90 minutes away from Shea. A lot of those seats were $9--the best deal in NYC.
I took a friend to the '86 Celebration--$36. I bought a small single-seat plan to ensure I had playoff tix this year ($159).
Now I'm priced out.
Plus with the 'novelty' of the new park, even games against second-rate clubs will be sell outs. In March.
In March 2009, I won't know if I can economically afford a $50 seat for a theoretical game that's being played in August. A playoff plan?--never again. I can't even imagine what they'll want.
Plus to hell with this Dodgers fetish--we beat them in the playoffs, as I recall. Why are we still celebrating them? (And not the NY Giants?) After 45 years, the Mets should have their own identity.
Shea's been my home since 1970. I saw my middle-class Glen Oaks, Qns, neighbors, Jerry Grote and Al Weis, play there.
This is a day of mourning for me. Like the folks on craigslist begging for Islanders tickets because they want a week's salary to see a game...
But thanks for trying to make me feel better, Metmaster. It's appreciated.
[end of futile rant]

The Metmaster said...

K:

I feel your pain. I have a few years on you. I watched the place being built. My first game was in 1964 against the Reds and I can remember how excited I was as if it was yesterday. Back then, Shea was palatial. It was the envy of baseball. I grew up in Woodside and remember my mother giving my brother and I a whopping 5 bucks to go see a game. In the late '60's that bought us 2 General Admission tickets, 2 subway roundtrips, 2 sodas and 2 programs. (We brought our own sandwiches. No security patdowns back then) We thought we died and went to heaven. Maybe we did. We saw Mays, McCovey, Gibson, Marichal, Clemente, Koufax, Drysdale, Aaron, Banks, Stargell, Brock, Seaver, Koosman, etc., etc. It was great. And when the weather turned cold I watched Namath, and Snell, and Boozer, and Maynard, and The Sack Exchange.
I will weep when Shea is knocked down, but I'm old enough to realize that good things don't last forever. It was, and still is, a magical place. Warts and all.