Monday, June 29, 2009

Mets search for character via an OF fence: FAIL

Disclaimer: I have not been to CitiField.

I have, however, spent the weekend watching the games played at CitiField. What they have seemingly tried to do, by creating a stadium with "character" via kooky OF lines, is just stupid. Mets fans, if you know this already, please allow me to be the last seat on the bus since it's not exactly new.

From all I have heard, CitiField is great. Except for the fact that the entire front lobby/theater is dedicated to the Dodgers, not the Mets, of course. I'm supportive of deeper dimentions to suppress offense; Yankee Stadium is playing ridiculous so far.

What's absurd:

  1. The OF lines that have sought to create an artificial "character" to the park. You can click on the blueprint to the right for a larger view of just how silly these lines are. I'm good with a big park, but these angles and nooks are just silly.
  2. The equally wacky, random and varying OF wall heights.
If you click on the aerial shot of CitiField or the NY Times diagram, you will get a pretty good view of these random and varied OF wall heights. This has to be the reason why Instant Replay MUST remain in the game. Just look at this stupidity. Starting at the left field pole, you come out a few feet horizontally, then dip down. After that dip, you have an angling wall height for a seating section-and-a-half, from 12 feet to 15 feet. The wall remains the same height until you approach center field, where it dips down a few feet (to 11') again until it gets to The Apple (16'), where it rises back to the previous height (11'). After The Apple, the wall again dips (8') and seemingly follows the same height as the right field begins to jut out and then recede for no good reason. As you get to that right field depression, the fence rises to (18') make room for the Modells sign. Nice work, Modells, getting some prime real estate. It actually looks like the park's dimentions were modified to fit advertising, not the other way around. As you get to the right corner, the wall angles inward while the height becomes quite low (8').

This makes sense why? Just to be different? To add character? The ballpark didn't have to be cookie-cutter and uniform, but why take it to an extreme like this? They could make it deep and have character without these "additions". Just dumb. Why, too, are the poles and boundary lines in a reddish orange, not yellow?

The rest of the park looks great. I love the dark brickwork. Love the overall look of the stadium, but I just can't get used to these walls and lines in the OF.



tHeMARksMiTh said...

I'm okay with the weird dimensions, but the walls are just gratuitous. They should probably just level those out. But after a few years, we won't really care anymore.

Different parks are something I really, really love about baseball. Football stadiums and basketball arenas are all essentially the same, except for the design on the floor. Baseball fields are completely different. Different dimensions, designs, quirks, and foul areas. I love it.

Jason @ IIATMS said...

I like nuances, originality... but grounded in common sense.

Working in the surroundings is good. mixing up the angles and wall heights, just to be "unique, like everyone else" is silly.

Andrew Fletcher said...

Re: the orange poles

Shea was the only stadium with orange poles (don't know why), so the Mets wanted to keep that tradition alive in their new park.

Matt said...

Citi Field's OF is weird for the sake of weird. And for the sake of Wilpon's sick obsession with anything related to the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Old parks had quirky dimensions in order to fit into the cityscape around them. Citi's outfield is not shaped that way to preserve Flushing's famed chop shops. It's a contrived attempt at originality.

Nice work Jason.

Jason @ IIATMS said...

Thanks Fletch, for the update. I didn't realize that.

Matt, that's exactly it: weird for the sake of weird. Camden and Petco have worked buildings into their "footprint". Pittsburgh and SF have the water impacting the design. The Mets just created a mess of bad angles and inside-the-park-HRs-yet-to-happen.

There's a lot about CitiField that's worth noting, but the lines and heights of the OF are not two of them.


Alex K said...

I actually like attending games at Citi Field. Every seat I've sat in I had a nice view of the game.

I totally agree about the fence though. They probably should just make it 8-12 feet all the way around the entire (funny shaped) outfield.

If they took out all the strange angles would it take away the whole overhang? I sure hope so.