“There’s a school of thought that you never really know a baseball stadium until it’s hosted a World Series,” writes Deadspin founder/former editor Will Leitch (above, left) for Sports On Earth, and considering there’s few people alive who can remember the last time Wrigley Field played host in 1945...sorry, what the fuck is Will on about? Oh, that’s right, THE NEW YORK METS, who unlike his beloved Cardinals, will face the winner of the Jays/Royals ALCS next Tuesday night in either Toronto or K.C. When the 2015 World Series shifts to Queens a week from tonight, Citi Field, gushes Leitch, “is ready for its close-up” (“the World Series takes something familiar — a baseball game, at your local park — and fuses it with massive import, turning it into something extravagant and eternal”), even fantasizing that “the World Series is not a destination for the ‘one percent’ the way the Super Bowl is” (yeah, it’s a super accessible, affordable night for the everyfan!)
Citi Field is an excellent new baseball stadium, one of my favorites. (I’ve been to all current MLB stadiums but five: Comerica Park in Detroit, Globe Life Park in Texas, Marlins Park in Miami, Minute Maid Park in Houston and Petco Park in San Diego.) It’s big but not imposing or aloof. It’s uniquely designed with its own peculiarities, but it’s not aggressively weird or off-putting. The food is terrific. The sightlines are reliable everywhere. You can see the city from the upper concourse. You can take a train home. If it weren’t for the somewhat-garish-even-for-a-ballpark advertising signage, I wouldn’t have a single complaint. I went to the first baseball game at Citi Field — an exhibition game between Georgetown and St. John’s — and I liked it from the get-go. It’s a wonderful ballpark.
Well, yeah, of course Will loves the place. It was initially designed with a very specific team in mind — the 1985 Cardinals! But aside from Citi Field’s formerly cavernous dimensions conspiring to y’know, cost David Wright what should’ve been the most productive years of his career, “the sightlines are reliable everywhere”. ARE YOU FUCKING SHITTING ME, WILL? Have you ever actually sat in the 400’s or 500’s and wondering exactly what was happening to a deep fly ball hit underneath you? Have you ever paid real U.S. dollars to sit in what’s optimistically dubbed the “Pepsi Porch” only to have zero clue what’s happening on a ball hit to the warning track? Is having an appreciably worse view of the action than someone watching the game on television from across the street your idea of reliable sightlines?
Man, good thing they laid off so many Sports On Earth staffers to save space & money for Will’s trenchant analysis of stuff he can’t be fucking bothered to investigate.