NEW YORK -- For most teams, a trip to Citi Field usually means getting a chance to explore New York City. For Rene Rivera, Yasmani Grandal and Tommy Medica, it gave them a chance to explore the MLB Fan Cave for the first time, too.
Friday morning before their series opener against the Mets, the two catchers and first baseman were given a full tour of the Cave, which included answering some interactive video questions and a game of ping pong.
"They showed us around, talked a little with the interns there, played some ping pong, played some PlayStation," said Grandal. "I think it's great. I think it's awesome just to have a place like that. I don't know of any other sport that has something like it, but they've got something good going on down there."
Rivera impressed on the table tennis platform, beating one of the Fan Cave employees, which apparently had never been done before.
"I'm OK," Rivera said of his game. "I used to play tennis when I was growing up. I've had a racket before in my hands, so I know how to play.
"It's a good place to watch baseball, good place [for] people to start knowing what baseball's about."
Medica was impressed with the 30-screen television station, consisting of live-feeds of home plate and dugouts at every Major League Park. The trip also meant another visit into Manhattan where Medica has fond memories.
"It's unbelievable," Medica said of the city. "I know last time I came here I saw one of the shows. I saw 'Wicked.' One of my favorite things I did, [I] went to an underground comedy club. They had about five or six comedians."
Grandal however, was a little more star struck. Friday marked the first time he had ever been to New York City, and the chaotic atmosphere caught him by surprise.
"I live in Arizona and one of the reasons why I left Miami was because it was super fast-paced," he said. "New York is like two or three times as hectic as Miami. Everything is so cramped up, but that's New York. It has so much history and it's a beautiful city."
He joked he was warned not to take the subway, but might consider it if he's forced to.
"I've got friends who live in New Jersey that are coming out [Saturday] so maybe if we go out and eat, we'll take the subway."
Jake Kring-Schreifels is an associate reporter for MLB.com.& This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.