Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Yankee front office forgets that this is a two-team town

Yankee COO Lonn Trost suggested yesterday that "what we're really talking about is memories" in the team's latest money-grab in selling off parts of the old Stadium. But maybe the team's front office ought to worry about making new memories. And maybe they also ought to worry about the the other team in town making new memories.

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!


Anonymous said...

While I don't believe that the Yankees will deteriorate to a level that they were when CBS owned them in the 70's; however, with this current management group I'm not so sure.

The Steinbrenner boys are slowly ruining the franchise their father built(yes George had his moments, and tell the truth the organization FINALLY got it right when the Commissioner Kuhn (a REAL COMMISSONER back in the day, not like Selig)put George on ice for about two years.

Lonn Trost is a clown.

Yes I've heard very postive things about (Taxpayer oops I mean) Citifield in regards to the fan experience. People say that the food choices are better and its way more fan friendly. No one is saying that Yankee Stadium is shabby but people say that Citifield is more of a BALLPARK where you can bring your family have FUN and watch a BALLGAME.

Anonymous said...

While I will wait to pass any judgement on Citifield till I've seen it ...I have heard different views from many Met fans on it just as Yankee Stadium has had from Yankee fans. Some like Citi while others don't. I do like the new Yankee Stadium but I can see room for improvement most especially in pricing. I just don't find it as unflattering as Lisa makes it sound. I have gone to quite a few games with friends (even a Met fan)and all (including the Met fan)thought the Stadium was a great place to view a game. No complaints on the food either EXCEPT for the prices which is always a complaint at events. EVERYONE loved the elevators mostly due to the ease of leaving after the game even from the Grandstand. I haven't used the ramp except to go to the Museum. No need for ramps when I can get a "lift" ..haha.

As I said ...I can't make a fair comparison as I haven't been to Citi but will go in June when Yanks play and see for myself.

Different opinions is what makes the world go round boring if we all thought the same. How dull conversation would be...

I would have preferred to keep the old Stadium but all my experiences at the new Stadium have been good with the exceptions of the weather and the losses.


Go Yankees 2009 !!!

Uncle Mike said...

Lisa: I've heard of a "mad doctor," but that's ridiculous. Make sure you get a second opinion for everything, as you don't want to get a swelled head -- swelled to the size of Mr. Met's! And you don't want him to give you anything that will have you feeling manic until September 1 and depressive after.

If I had been in the waiting room? Forget it, I'd rather go see A-Rod's cousin. (Just a joke: I don't want to see A-Rod or anyone else in his family.)

Yes, New York is a two-team town. Unfortunately, that second team, along with the Yankees, seems to be the Red Sox. How many times do I have to see people walking around our City weairn that stupid little B cap? Maybe Yankee Fans have too much class to do anything about it, but isn't there a Met fan who can rip it off their heads and put it through their legs with the word "Buckner"?

The Mets can please their kid fans all they want, but what's it going to be like when they're old men and their grandchildren ask, "Grandpa, what's it like to win a World Series in New York?" They'll have to tell the truth: Go over to that place across town with the 45 World Championships... and the $10,000 seats.

The Emperor said...

45th World Championship? Geez, the way the Yankees have been these last few years we may not see a 45th WS until 2206!

I'm still holding out for #27!

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