The Philadelphia Phillies have offered the New York Mets and their fans an olive branch in what has quickly become one of professional sports' most heated rivalries. Today, the Phillies announced that Saturday, May 2, 2009 will be "New York Mets Day" at Citizens Bank Park.
"We understand, with 2009 being the inaugural season at Citi Field, that Mets tickets will be a little hard to come by for some of their most passionate fans," explained Scott Palmer, Phillies Director of Public Affairs. "We just wanted to let the Mets fans know that Philadelphia is nice and close, and that they can consider Citizens Bank Park a home away from home. We'd like them to think of Philadelphia as the 'sixth borough.'"
The team plans to make a multitude of changes around the park to accomodate their new guests. Nathan's hot dogs will replace Philadelphia stand-by Hatfield Franks, and a special White Castle stand will replace Tony Luke's. Pinkberry frozen yogurt will stand in for Pennsylvania classic Turkey Hill ice cream. "We're going to go all out with the concessions," Aramark representatives said. "We want to give them a real New York experience here in Philadelphia."
Additionally, the Phillie Phanatic will be given the day off, with Mr. Met providing entertainment in the stands for fans of all ages. "We know that fans of both teams can appreciate the hilarity of such a fine mascot!", Palmer stated.
"We also understand that Philadelphia is easily accessible for many of the Mets fans in central and northern New Jersey. We're planning special contests to cater to this portion of their fanbase. We'll be raffling off a no-deposit summer rental house in Seaside Heights, a free consultation with world-famous stylist Giuseppe Franco, and a $5,000 shopping spree at Garden State Plaza," Palmer added.
Comcast SportsNet will forgo their normal announcing crew of Harry Kalas, Chris Wheeler, and Gary Matthews, who will hand the microphones over to their friends in the SNY broadcast booth -- Keith Hernandez, Gary Cohen, and Ron Darling.
Actor/comedian Kevin James, a lifelong Mets fan and star of blockbuster Paul Blart: Mall Cop, is expected to throw out the first pitch.