BP IN THE NEW WORLD.

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In stunning news, today I learned first-hand that the Mets have drastically changed access to the field for BP. As those of you who read my report of my Citi Field tour know, it was one of my first questions. I was told it was going to be unchanged from the Shea policy. The policy at Shea was one of the most generous in the MLB, so I was thrilled that the fancy new digs weren’t going to deprive just plain folks of getting down to the field before the game.

That is no longer the case.

I arrived at Citi Field just before gates opened for BP. In a move of startling intelligence, they have changed the early opening gate to the Rotunda from the Left Field gate. I headed inside, charged up the stairs and out to right field. I saw ushers checking tickets close to home plate so I moved down another row until I found an usherless row, and then cut over. I was there for five seconds before a cranky old guy came over and yelled that unless we were ticketed, we couldn’t be there; that it had been five days now and everyone should know this.

Here’s a view of how close you can get now.

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You can no longer get behind the dugout unless you are ticketed for that section. You can’t get behind the photographer’s well, the next section over. You have to go all the way to the outfield corner. There was no reason given. In addition to being much further away from the players, it’s a much smaller area, so it’s now much more crowded. Yes, you can go in the outfield, but that’s kind of useless if you’re trying to get photographs of players, or if you’re a kid hoping for an autograph.

I am heartbroken. BP was my one chance to get decent shots. There is no logical reason for it. I understand keeping people out of the seats right behind home plate. But behind the dugout? If you’re going to argue that the people who paid for those seats should have first access – sure, if they’re there, then people who aren’t ticketed for those seats have to move. And why are the people in 111 more important than the people in 100? I guess because they paid more money. What’s the price point at which the Mets determine that you’ve paid enough that you shouldn’t have to deal with the great unwashed?

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I know. You’re going to tell me how lucky I am, that I have this beautiful new ballpark and I should be so thankful and so grateful and no one really goes to BP and it’s not important and it doesn’t matter. I’m going to argue to you that it does matter, because it was the one chance for someone who sat in the upper deck had to get close to the field. It was important for kids and for families and for teenagers and for people who just loved to stand there and be close to the players. There is no reason the Mets had to do this. It is just one more clear indicator of the fact that the Mets really, really wish they didn’t have to sell tickets to actual baseball fans. (It’s like the nonsense of covering 2/3 of the bullpen with tarps. What was the point of having open bullpens if you were just going to cover them up?)

You can see the whole set of photos. Super disappointing. A few good shots, but nothing like I used to get. It’s just a shame. Wanted Willie, wanted some of the Brewers, couldn’t get close enough to get anything worthwhile.

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