Afternoon games at Wrigley…idyllic, no?
Not this one. And that was the only one we get for 2008, which is OK from here. The Cubs are good and the Mets are relentlessly so-so, making it difficult to enjoy the ivy for the trees. The charm of America's most charming ballpark dissipates when you're losing 8-1 the day after the night you lost 7-1.
You can analyze the poor fielding by Delgado and the poor hitting by Delgado and the poor relieving by Delgado (what fun is blaming Jorge Sosa?), but I won't. The Mets defy useful analysis at the moment. The slippery slope of trying to unravel their ennui runs from “what's wrong now?” to “what's wrong tomorrow?” to “will it ever be righted?” and in about 15 seconds you're hosting one of those enlightening shows on SNY wherein second-tier WFAN talent shouts each other down for half an hour.
Let's go back to Wrigley instead. It looks so good on television. It looks so good in real life. It looks great in daylight. Get Ronny Cedeño the bleep out of there and you can't do any better for a few hours' commune with nature and baseball.
It boggles the mind to realize that not only was the darn thing built in 1914, it was built to play home to a Federal League team. A Federal League team, for cryin' out loud. Shea was sort of planned for a Continental League team, but it's not quite the same. Nothing's the same as Wrigley, no matter how many bricks are used by those who would be inspired by it. Compared to Wrigley Field, all those places are brick teases.
'Twas pointed out by Gary and Ron how Wrigley's the “template” for so many of the retro parks of the modern age — though not for limestone-based Nationals Park, the Mets' next stop and mine, too. We won't be seeing any more of Wrigley Field this season though a Mets prism, but we may as well get used to what they've got in D.C. as we play them down there nine times this year and nine or ten times every year for years to come. (Rumor has it we play nineteen different clubs in 2008, but mostly we seem to play the Washington Nationals.)
I look forward to telling you what it's like on the inside. If the Mets play the Nats like they did last week, it will be a far nicer place than Wrigley Field was this week.