I watched the first half of last night's Yankee game at home, and I was amazed at how vocal the Toronto crowd was. And they even had people sitting in the good seats and everything! Too bad Roy Halladay killed the Yanks, as he always seems to do. Oh, and Derek Jeter has a sore oblique.
But I missed seeing the second half of last night's game, as I had a doctor's appointment (my MD has evening hours.) I knew the waiting room had a TV, so I rather cavalierly assumed that the people waiting there would be watching the Yankee game. Well, there was a baseball game on, alright, but it was the Mets. (I can only imagine what Squawker reader Uncle Mike's reaction would have been if he were in the waiting room!)
So while I did miss the streaker, I got to see Carlos Beltran steal third, his walkoff walk (which I did call as soon as he came up to the plate!) and the Mets' victory. The team seems to have recovered nicely from me jinxing them by showing up at Citi Field Monday night.
My point in bringing up the Mets is this: New York is a two-team town, although the Yankee front office acts like it isn't. And one of the big advantages the Yanks had over the Mets - the better stadium - is no longer there. Squawker reader Peggy may love the new Yankee Stadium, but I think Citi Field (gulp!) has a heck of a lot going for it that the new ballpark in the Bronx doesn't.
The Yanks don't want kids to mess up their precious Legends seating, while the Mets have a whole Kiddie Field/FanFest section in their ballpark. Big difference.
And the fact that the Yanks still haven't sold out a game shows that I'm not the only one who isn't feeling the new Stadium. But Lonn Trost has an explanation for that too - like Milli Vanilli, he blames it on the rain. When asked about the empty seats, he said:
"Can you really tell what's taking place in two homestands with 90 percent of them in rain? I can't.''90% rain? Really? Ross from New Stadium Insider has been tracking the attendance - and the weather conditions - for each game. Here's the reality, from his site:
4-16-09 1:08 PM/ 48,271 / Sunny, lower 60's
4-17-09 1:05 PM/ 45,101 / Sunny, upper 60's
4-18-09 3:40 PM/45,167 / Partly Sunny, mid 70's
4-19-09 1:05 PM/ 43,068 / Mostly Cloudy, mid 60's
4-21-09 7:05 PM/ 42,065 / Cloudy/drizzle, low 50's
4-22-09 1:05 PM / 43,342 / Cloudy/drizzle, low 50's
4-30-09 7:05 PM / 43,388 / Cloudy, upper 50's
5-1-09 7:05 PM / 44,058 / Cloudy/rain showers, mid 60's
5-2-09 1:05 PM / 44,970 / Sunny mid 60's
5-4-09 7:05 PM / 46,426 / Rain, low 50's (2:16 rain delay at start)
5-5-09 7:05 PM / 46.810 / rain showers, upper 40's
5-6-09 7:05 PM / 42,585 / Cloudy/rain showers, upper 50's
5-7-09 7:05 PM / 43,769 / Partly Cloudy, lower 60's
True, the weather has been bad, but not as bad as Trost is claiming.
Aside from Trost's weather exaggeration, it appears that no matter how bad the weather, the paid attendance is going to be at least 42,000 per game. But most of these games have had a lot fewer people show up, as evidenced by all those empty seats on TV.
At any rate, what Trost and Randy Levine miss is this - there is a distinct lack of buzz surrounding the Yanks this year. And selling overpriced trinkets from the old ballpark only serves to emphasize that the front office seems more concerned with making money than giving regular fans an experience to remember. It would be nice if this team would stop living in the glory days of the past and try to focus on giving all fans - not just the ones making six figures - a great experience now.
It pains me as a Yankee fan to see the team I love run this way. Where have you gone, George Steinbrenner?
What do you think? Leave us a comment!