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The View’s No Better Out Here

I went 615 miles to see the Mets and they didn’t look any better than they do at home.

More like the Mehs.

Meet the Mehs, meet the Mehs
It seems they’re half-asleep, the Mehs

A few months ago Emily and I decided on an August ballpark tour: fly to Cleveland and see a game, drive to Detroit for a game the next day, then a game in Pittsburgh. That would get me to three new stadiums, bringing my count to 24 of the 30 current MLB parks, we’d both get to finally see the much-celebrated PNC, and I’d set foot in Michigan, giving me 49 states visited. (If you’re curious, after tomorrow night the missing parks will be Miami, Minnesota, Milwaukee, Texas, the White Sox and the Reds; the missing state is Alaska.)

Cleveland-Detroit-Pittsburgh is literally a loopy way to see those three cities, but we juggled a bit for scheduling and because this way our second ballpark visit would feature the Mets, facing the Tigers at Comerica Park.

The trip’s been great. The Mets, though, were pretty much what we needed a vacation from.

You saw it: Noah Syndergaard [1] was capable but inefficient, victimized by his own inability to hold runners and a mammoth home run. The Mets were awful with runners in scoring position, a familiar malady. They struck out and fussed irritably at the home-plate ump and lost without showing much of a pulse [2].

(Oh, and I went to get food right before Kelly Johnson [3] homered, then returned — having forgotten forks — as Victor Martinez [4] was trotting around the bases. So I managed to miss the vast majority of the action, as well as the approximately three minutes for which the Mets led.)

At least Comerica Park was worth the price of admission. It’s not the late, lamented Tiger Stadium, which I never saw but my blog partner adored [5], but it’s a pretty impressive place and will age beautifully.

I’ll have a full report later, when I can talk about Progressive Field and PNC as well, but Comerica does at least three things really well: a) it celebrates tigers, from the giant one outside the gates to the ones adorning the walls with baseballs gripped in their mouths and a ton of tigers inside; b) it celebrates Tigers, with nods to variants of the D, the old park, decades of history and franchise heroes; and c) it’s alive with the sense that the Tigers are Detroit and Detroit is the Tigers, inextricably woven together.

There are a bunch of things about Comerica that the Mets could and should copy; they’d help give Citi Field what it still lacks, which is a sense of the team that plays inside as a presence and a source of lore and love. More on that in a few days.

Then again, I saw the team that plays inside Citi Field, and right now they’re nothing to celebrate, wherever one happens to see them.