Friday, April 3, 2009

Rain dampens Citi Field debut

The Red Sox didn't get much of a chance to wander around and explore Citi Field thanks to the rain that's fallen on and off all afternoon. Pitchers are out on the field stretching now, an hour and a half before the game; it's the first time all afternoon it's been dry enough to do anything.

That means players have been stuck in the locker room and players' lounge. The players' lounge, of course, is a friendlier spot because it's off-limits to reporters. In the locker room, though, plenty are spread out on chairs, playing cards or watching a random Pirates-Cubs game -- featuring Skinny Barry -- on MLB Network.

Between innings, the Fix-It scratch-remover product came onto the screen.

"I'm going to start scratching up my car just to fix it!" piped up Mike Lowell.

The park itself, though, is beautiful. The upper deck in right field hangs almost over the field; same with both upper decks in left field. The orange numbers on the left-field fence say it's 364 feet, but it looks far closer than that. There's nothing scenic behind the ballpark the way there is in Pittsburgh and San Francisco, but it's an awfully nice new stadium.

Pregame note: Kevin Youkilis is sick and will not play in today's game; newly anointed backup first baseman Chris Carter will take his place in the Red Sox lineup. Regulars are expected to play about five innings and get two or three at-bats. Starting pitcher Jon Lester should throw between 75 and 85 pitches.

Other pregame note: Brad Penny will throw in "kind of a camp game" on Tuesday in Fort Myers, his last outing before his scheduled season debut on April 12. If the Red Sox are rained out at all before that date, Penny would be pushed up to April 11, the fifth game of the season, and Josh Beckett's second start would be pushed back.

The question the press corps here can't figure out, though: What's Penny doing with the team in New York? The consensus is that he's just excited about participating in Opening Day festivities in Boston; he'll still have to fly out that night to get back to Fort Myers, but he'll at least get to be introduced with the rest of the active roster.

No comments: