Friday, October 30, 2009

More on a Philly sportswriter's "pain and suffering" at Yankee Stadium

My Squawk about Philadelphia Inquirer sportswriter Frank Fitzpatrick's complaints over the Yankee Stadium auxiliary press box has gotten picked up in the tweetosphere, so I thought I should follow up on it.

The biggest thing that got me about Fitzpatrick's complaint about the press box was that he was griping about the very same weather conditions that the fans - and, for that matter, the players - also had to endure. Besides, as I wrote, it was 52 degrees at game time. That's not exactly the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field.

Look, I get that sportswriters don't have the easiest of jobs - they have to write quickly, they don't always get treated very well from the people they're covering, they have a lot of travel, and their industry is shedding jobs like crazy. But at the same time, to gripe that - shocker - there are a lot of press jammed in at a World Series game seems a bit much to me.

We count on sportswriters to give us the inside scoop on what's going on with the teams we follow. And we want to hear the sportswriters' insights on the game, not their moaning that they didn't get a good seat in the main press box.

What do you think? Tell us about it!


steve said...

What a baby. I'm sure Yankee writers will be given luxurious conditions over in Philly.

Uncle Mike said...

He should get down on his hands and knees and thank God, and the City of Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, that Games 3, 4 and 5 of this World Series will be played at the beautiful, classically-designed, and most importantly properly-ventilated Citizens Bank Park.

I attended 17 baseball games at Veterans Stadium, including some where it was over 100 degrees. I attended one football game there, and it was about zero degrees. Whatever the weather was like on the outside, the inside intensified it. I have good memories of the place, but it had to go. And I say that without ever having been in its press box: I don't know what conditions were like in there, but I'll bet there was at least one leak.

I've only been in two ballpark press boxes: Fenway Park from the tour, and... Robert F. Kennedy Stadium in Washington. There was an exhibition baseball game there a few years back, when that was all the baseball they got in D.C. unless they wanted to drive up to Baltimore or see a minor-league game in Maryland or Virginia.

The crowd was only 23,000, half its baseball capacity, and I made my way to the football press box in the upper deck, and nobody tried to stop me. (This was well before 9/11, and not a Redskins-Cowboys game. Completely different level of security.) There was no protective glass, apparently because longtime Washington Post writer Shirley Povich insisted on being able to feel what the fans felt, no matter how hot in a D.C. summer (and that's hot) or how cold in the winter.

I read a book about D.C. sports, and they listed the top 10 things they loved about RFK Staidum and the top 10 things they hated about it. That press box was both Number 9 on the love list and Number 8 on the hate list.

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