Friday, April 17, 2009

What a perfectly lousy Opening Day

Maybe I will have a more positive opinion of the new Yankee Stadium when I see it in person, but right now, I think it's just all too much. And I write this as somebody who wanted a new Stadium.

To me, the way the seventh-inning tradition of Ronan Tynan's "God Bless America" was "upgraded" yesterday with a cheesy musical backing track seems like a metaphor for the stadium itself. It was superfluous swill being marketed as an upgrade.

I don't know if it's the acoustics, or the seating, or the crowd itself, but it sounded so dead at the Stadium. Up until the seventh inning, it was still a close game, but you wouldn't know it from the crowd.

Not to mention the lack of historical perspective from too many in the crowd. While I did like the Pavano boos, and the "We Want Swisher" chants during the seventh inning, I also agreed with Joel Sherman about this:
And there is one more element to add to the lost ambience, and that is a metastasizing lack of historical perspective now. These days, Boomer Wells and Paul O'Neill get larger applause in pregame introductions than Whitey Ford and Yogi Berra. It is as if Yankees history began in 1996, though the architecture of this place is supposed to transport us to the glory of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.
Oh, and how about the fact that it looked like at least 70% of the crowd fled after the bullpen debacle? You're at the first game ever at the new Stadium, and you leave early? Unreal.

Or how about the West Point cadets involved in the pre-game ceremony being given the honor of sitting in the $5 obstructed view seats in the bleachers. Nice!

The YES broadcast also made me angry, as I noted yesterday. It treated the game as an afterthought, and not the main reason to watch. Heck, they couldn't even manage to have Yogi Berra's first pitch airing live. Unacceptable.

I heard Bud Selig on that broadcast talk about how MLB was "sensitive" to the economic conditions in this country. Yankee COO Lonn Trost claimed much the same thing on WFAN before the game. Trost claimed that when you take out the luxury seats/suites from the equation, 90% of Yankee tickets are $100 or less. Earth to Trost - $100 for one ticket at a baseball game isn't exactly affordable.

And guess what? After all the hype, the Yankees didn't even really sell out the joint, contrary to what they're claiming. From the New York Times:
Though Thursday’s paid attendance of 48,271 was roughly 4,000 below the stadium’s capacity, the Yankees still called it a sellout. They said that sponsors’ tickets did not count toward paid attendance and that standing-room tickets were not being sold yet.
Why couldn't the Yanks have given some of those unsold good seats to those military cadets stuck in the obstructed view seats? Because that would have made too much sense.

What do you think? Leave us a comment!


Anonymous said...

Trost and Selig are not living in the same world as average people.Money is no problem for them as it is for a working guy with 2 or 3 kids that would like to take them to a game. But the average joe is not Trost's target audiance--it is the corporate entities that will shell out the big bucks and ask for a bail out if things get tough. Average, hardworking people built this country but seems like all that is forgotten.

Rob said...

Anon, let us all not forget that if all of a sudden all the hard-working average joes like us decided to not show up for work, the rich and powerful corporate entetites would be instantaneously paralyzed. Who the hell is gonna run their business?

We have a voice, and we can take back our basic civil privelages if we all unite and demand change.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you.

Roger 9 said...

You are right on target with all your comments!This was not the perfect day that we all looked forward to.It looks like we have really turned a corner!

Uncle Mike said...

I had to follow the game from my work computer, where I had access to's Gameday and stats and tendencies I didn't know could be obtained.

And I noticed something: At least two of the Yankee (pardon me, I'm being loose with the language here) relievers had, according to Gameday, as their "out pitch," a four-seam fastball. And guess what kind of pitch at least three of the Indians were said to like: You guessed it, the four-seamer.

It reminded me of the scene in "Bull Durham":

Crash: What're you shaking me off for?

Nuke: I wanna bring the heater! To announce my presence with authority!

Crash: This guy's a first-ball fastball hitter! He's looking for heat!

Nuke: So what? He ain't seen my heat!

The scene is familiar: Crash tells the hitter to expect the fastball, and he crushes it.

Nuke was played by Tim Robbins, and, aside from being a Met fan, Robbins was simply reading a script. What's Joe Girardi's excuse for throwing Phil Coke and Damaso Marte, four-seamer specialists, against those hitter?

Joe, I will forever be grateful to you for 1996, but this has to stop.

The scary part is, the next guy to be brought in as manager could be Saint Donald Arthur of Evansville, as a way of appeasing the cult. And then we'd never, ever, EVER win another Pennant, because you don't fire Don Mattingly, you just don't.

And, of course, if Mattingly did become the manager, Michael Kay would probably react to that the way Suzyn Waldman reacted to Roger Clemens. It would make sportswriters' "mancrushes" on Brett Favre pale in comparison.

Please, Joe Girardi, straighten this out! I don't want to see Donnie Regular Season Baseball as my team's manager! I want to win!

Please, Joba, throw strikes and give us seven strong today!

She-Fan said...

I, too, was mystified by the lack of crowd participation. As Pete Abe said, "It was like being at a funeral." And this was BEFORE the Indians scored all those runs in the 7th. As for leaving before the game was over? Out here in CA, that's the knock on Dodger fans; they leave in the 7th to beat the traffic.

"Nutball Gazette" said...

Jeter just Homers in the 8th to take the lead and it sounds like 1971 when 12,000 fans were in the ballbark and did anyone notice all the empty seats as noted and pictured on the blog New Stadium Insider.

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