Citi Field A Ghost Town As Mets Head Toward 3rd Straight Losing Year

NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — As the Mets skid to their third straight losing season, the plus side is that few of their fans seem to be paying much attention.

New York (71-77) has lost four in a row and six of seven since pulling within a game of .500. On “Star Wars” night, fans stayed away from Citi Field as if fleeing Darth Vader. The announced crowd was 25,359 and actual attendance in the 41,800-capacity ballpark appeared to be half that.

In the fourth inning, the last eight sections in the left field upper deck held a total of 10 fans.

The Mets are averaging 30,240, according to STATS LLC, down from 32,402 last year and their lowest since 2004.

More empty seats figure to be ahead: $134 Delta Club tickets behind home plate for Wednesday night’s game were available on for $53.35.

Dillon Gee, Nick Evans and Ruben Tejada all failed to get down bunts, and the Mets blew a two-run lead in their latest defeat, a 3-2 loss to the Washington Nationals on Tuesday night.

“They’ve all bunted in big situations. They have to execute,” Mets manager Terry Collins said.

Listen: Collins after yet another loss in Flushing

Gee struck out attempting to bunt after Josh Thole’s leadoff double in the fifth. With two on and no outs in the sixth, Evans struck out following a fouled bunt attempt. And after Jose Reyes’ leadoff single in the seventh, Tejada popped to first on a bunt.

“There’s mechanical things involved. I don’t want to say that they’re ‘careless,’ but you got to do it the right way,” Collins said. “There’s a correct, mechanical way — we have to get back to doing it.”

With the score 2-2 in the seventh, Washington went ahead when pitcher Craig Stammen (1-1) singled off Dale Thayer (0-2) for his first hit since July 30 last year. Ian Desmond singled him to second with one out, Rick Ankiel advanced Stammen by grounding into a forceout against Tim Byrdak, and Ryan Zimmerman lined a single to left off Bobby Parnell.

New York put runners at the corners in the ninth on two-out singles by Reyes and Tejada before Drew Storen (36th save) struck out Lucas Duda on three pitches.

A 2-0 lead in the fifth appeared promising. After Thole was thrown out at the plate by Ankiel on Reyes’ single to center, Duda hit an RBI single for his third hit of the night. Another run scored when the ball skipped by right fielder Jayson Werth for an error.

But Gee immediately gave up the lead in the sixth on RBI doubles by Ankiel and Michael Morse.

“He’s nibbling too much, fell behind, and then he got himself in trouble,” Collins said. “He changed the way he went about things, got a way from the success he had earlier in the game.”

Gee gave up two runs and six hits in 5 2-3 innings. He remained tied for second among rookies with Tampa Bay’s Jeremy Hellickson at 12 wins, three behind the Yankees’ Ivan Nova.

“I think I got a little carried away with myself,” Gee said. “When things start speeding up, that’s when I need to step off and remember what is working.”

But will anyone be there to see it?

Have you been to a Mets game recently? Tell us about the dwindling crowds in the comments below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • The Hondy

    Mets have no one to blame but their owner Fred Wilpon. He angered the baseball gods by trying to turn Citifield into a shrine for the old Brooklyn Dodgers. No disrespect to Jackie Robinson but he even named the entrance the Jackie Robinson Rotunda. Jackie had no connection what’s so ever with the Mets. If he is so in love with the Doders he should have bought the team in L.A. Not until the Wilpons sell the team will the gods of baseball shine on Citifield.

  • Mr. Met

    C’mon fans! It’s a team-building decade.

  • FYI

    None of this would really matter if the Mets were winning & in the playoff hunt. Get over of paying just 40 bucks for you & your family, that was 50 years ago, players now make a ton of money.

    You’re paying for those huge contracts of Santana, Bay, Wright & Reyes, & in the past, Beltran, Martinez, Delgado, K-Rod, Glavine & so forth, add the hotel, travel expenses, minor leagues & the upkeep of the field.

    You want the Mets to keep Reyes at 23 mil a year, it will cost you at the gate.

    That’s just the way it is. I bet some of you bought a home for less than 100 G’s yrs ago, but if you’re looking to sell it you would want in the neighborhood of 500 G’s or more, after all, it’s a business & that’s what baseball is, a business.

    You don’t have to attend the games, you can always watch it on TV, which by the way, will also cost you, just check your cable bills from 15 – 20 yrs ago to now. You want a winning team, it will cost you.

    There’s always little league baseball, oh wait, that Mets baseball

  • BrooklynDodgersComeHome

    They should give the tickets away for free. This way they can make money at the concession stands. Are they nuts?

  • lawmsh

    When the Judge ruled that the Wilpons would have to pay 300 million to Bernie Madoff’s creditors it was bye bye Jose. NY fans now know what its like to be a fan of a majority of MLB teams who do not have the cash to compete with the big boys

  • BigAppleGuy

    I was a vendor at SHea when I was a kid. Needless to say I was a huge mets and jets fan. I used to take my kids to shea, This is when you could get, usually outer field box tixs (i called them foul ball tixs), for 40 bucks each. This made my family trip to shea cost maybe 250 bucks with a train ride and some snacks. Now, at Citi, that same trip will be closer to 500, and it’s just not worth it. Not to mention, after cultivating my kids to be mets fans, the continual disappointment of their performance has left us all turning to the yankees.

  • jim

    Price … expensive… Players .. amateur Management Expectations…failure

    its not the lack of interest in baseball look across the bridge.. Wang thinks a new stadium would solve his problem and make a team . take the mets as a learning lesson .. its not the stadium ..

  • Frank Morrissey

    It is nice to know that elbow room will not be an issue when Stephen and I go down in a couple of weeks!

  • CK

    Yeah I am still going, I have ticket plan and paid for the seats last Fall. I am able to split the tix with friends, and not taking too bad a hit on them. I sit in the 400 level, and the tix prices are reasonable to begin with. Its nice not having crowds to get food or use the bathroom. But then again, its been like this the past few years anyway.

  • Steve Groark

    Nets … Take heed, A new stadium will only get you through the first year if you dont put a winning product on the field!

    • KPMc

      A losing team in an empty arena in Brooklyn is still better than ANYTHING in New Jersey OR Flushing!

      • 2gruesome2b

        strange, but i entered “national league baseball, brooklyn dodgers”, in wikipedia, and it came up with “no entries found”. almost afraid to google it – i only have one shot of whiskey left to assuage my grief. how quickly they forget.

    • 2gruesome2b

      more importantly, in new york, it doesn’t help the mets that the yanks are leading the american league. gone are the days of “the new breed”, circa 1964, when the fans would come out if the tickets were only so fans could watch the grass grow…

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