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Greg Prince and Jason Fry
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

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The Best News About Citi Field…

…from Game 3 of my Getting Acquainted With It tour was this: There wasn't any particular news.

OK, there were a couple of new things I found out. I exited down the ramps in the left-field corner and found them a pleasant surprise — you zig-zag ever downwards, the light filtered by the big sepia banners that were my first happy glimpse of Met history at the new place, accompanied by the giant faces and numbers of David and Jose and Keith and Tug and others. Confronted by a Shake Shack line that fazed even me, I had the Danny Meyer tacos and they were fantastic. I skipped the insane line at the Jackie Robinson Rotunda for the nonexistent one at the Swoboda Gate and decided that from now on this was my entry point to the park. So there were a few more notes to scribble in my Citi Field ledger for next time.

But that was about it — I didn't have another Come to Jesus moment at a concession stand, though those carnitas did renew my faith in a higher culinary power, or revel in additional legroom, though I did start to wonder when I'll break the Shea-style habit of sitting with my feet scrunched under me. And that lack of big moments is for the best. Because what I spent a lot of time doing Saturday afternoon was … watching a baseball game. And while ballpark eats and explorations are fun, particularly for a man on the brink of 40 with a six-year-old son who's not always going to be gripped by impassioned explanations of who should be the cover man, ultimately the game's the thing. And in Game 3 the game pushed its way back to the head of the line.

Unfortunately, the game was a fairly rude arrival. Emily likes to call Oliver Perez the girl with the curl, and today boy was he ever horrid. No life on the fastball, no sense of the strike zone, no inkling of the wisdom to wait a moment while Luis Castillo and Jose Reyes sorted out who was covering second, and no mercy from Jed Lowrie. Exit Ollie to midseason-form boos, enter worry and fuming: Next time they have the fucking WBC, if Omar lets ANY fucking Met play I'm going to TP his fucking house. Fucking Teddy Higuera, not answering his cellphone and pitching our fucking crucial third starter twice in 19 fucking days. Fucking Oliver! Fucking WBC! Fuck we are FUCKED! You'll note there wasn't anything about Danny Meyer or seat angles in that pungent little reflection. And that's as it should be.

Sitting in the Excelsior level (which still sounds like it should be somewhere between the Valhalla and Excalibur levels, but we'll get used to it) just behind Daniel Murphy, my friends Chris and Peggy and I had a pretty good view of the proceedings, though the left- and center-field warning tracks were mysteries requiring a turn to glance at one of the several nearby HDTVs. And as the Mets spotted the Bosox an Alfonsecan handful of runs and then fell further behind, we compared notes on how the new park seemed to play.

* Like there's very little foul ground behind the catcher, and balls come back off the brick hard. The Melvin Moras and Kevin Mitchells of alternate Met universes please take note.

* Like those outfield walls are high, and have already cost Fernando Tatis and Jeremy Reed home runs. I'm sure the Lost Met Home Runs count will start up in the Post or the Daily News any day now. It'll be interesting to see if the top panels in left and center come down and the orange lines (still weird to the eye) get drawn lower in 2010.

* Like those walls and the Moddell's gap in right-center will produce a lot of triples. David Wright may not have quite as many highlights in Citi Field at first, but Jose Reyes seems assured of an additional share.

I'll be happy to not miss a pitch on the scoreboard obverse (working today) while Joshua plays Wiffle Ball or I'm in line for something I couldn't have had at Shea. I want to hang out during a cool summer evening at one of the picnic tables in the Keyspan-style plaza that sits atop the rotunda. I want to find a great vantage point from which I can look out over the field when I arrive late or when I can't bear to take myself home just yet. But most of all, when I'm at Citi Field I want to watch the Mets. Doing that will make the new place home more than any kitchen wizardry or traffic planning will. And today that's what I started to do again.

You can't watch the Mets Sunday — and Monday looks pretty dicey too — so why not watch the words go by in Faith and Fear in Flushing: An Intense Personal History of the New York Mets. You can order FAFIF: AIPHOTNYM from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or find it at a bookstore near you. Keep in touch and join the discussion on Facebook.

6 comments to The Best News About Citi Field…

  • Anonymous

    I don't get orange lines marking off home runs. Why not make the walls an inch or two lower and say the ball has to clear the wall to be a home run? You know, like it always had to do way back when when home runs were defined as batted balls that cleared the wall.
    Umps are going to have major headaches with this and there will be arguments galore.
    Also how long before Wright and others start making passive agressive comments about lowering the walls in the future because no ones hitting home runs anymore which is all Wrighty ever seems to swing for.
    But overrall it's a pretty park that needs some minor adjustments to be almost perfect. Good to have a stadium to be proud of even though Shea had it's charm to most if not all of us.

  • Anonymous

    I was thinking the same thing about the stupid orange lines guaranteed to start arguments until I remembered MLB authorized replay last year. Still, that's a pretty friggin dumb idea, and bottom line: it's going to cause many a game delay.
    Does anyone know if the ball is a homer if it hits off the facing of the Pepsi Porch, or is it in play? It better be a damn homer. That leads to another question: if we have our own Jeffrey F. Maier moment in the Porch, what then?

  • Anonymous

    By the way, what's the story with Ollie using “I'm gonna get you” for his warmup music? was it a clubhouse gag that took flight and hasn't stopped yet, or is Ollie that big of a geek that Bizarre Inc actually pumps him up?
    And speaking of music, Greg, you were prophetic. When I heard BTO Friday night I rolled my eyes. They need a new victory song badly.

  • Anonymous

    Hitting the porch is homer.
    The line is a little confusing, however it actually pretty much takes away the Jeffrey Maier possibility a bit. We'll see how it plays out. But if you look at the wall, There are two parts, one to the left of the apple, and one to the right of the bullpens, where the stand wall continues where the outfield wall turns. Without the line, you could get moments like last year where it hits out of play, and bounces back in. With a clear “Is there Orange under the ball? Yes? Home Run!” it may make it easier. We'll see.

  • Anonymous

    Flies hitting the orange line being called home runs is a stupid groundrule; what ever happened to having to hit one OVER the fence? Besides Jeffrey Meyers, there goes any chance of Cleon Jones catching a rebound off the top of the wall and the Mets gunning down a Pirate runner at home plate.

  • Anonymous

    Regarding the orange homerun line, I have a solution. Actually Gil Hodges had the solution. If the home run line is painted before each game, any questionable ball would have to show some orange paint on it right? Finding the ball might be a problem but….