The Yankees, The New Stadium, The Great Fans
I missed the game yesterday, since I was flying cross-country, but I’m glad I did. I mean, really. The Nationals? Losing the series? Getting shutdown by a rookie pitcher who had never won a major league game before? I say to the Yankees:
STOP THE MADNESS!
For starters, give A-Rod a day off or three. The Yankees said, while he was rehabbing from the hip surgery: “We’ll probably play him sporadically, use him as DH every now and then, and rest him.” Hello? He hasn’t had a day off since the day he came back. As soon as Jeter’s ankle is OK, use Pena at third for awhile, would you please?
If Gardner has a concussion, even a mild one, don’t send him out there for any reason. And why no MRI?
Do something about Joba. Yes, he’s young. Yes, he’s still growing/learning/adjusting. But clearly, he’s struggling more often than not. Fix it!
Bring up Kei Igawa. No, that’s not a typo. You paid for him. He’s tearing it up in Scranton. Make him a long man in the pen and let him get major league hitters out.
That’s it for the moment. On to more pleasant things.
There I am outside Stan’s Bar in the Bronx just before my signing on Wednesday. I’m wearing my Mariano Rivera jersey, of course.
The first person I saw was the lovely and talented MLBlogger Vanessa of “Flair for the Dramatic.” I turned the She-Fan Cam on her immediately. Note the subway noise – a little Bronx flavor.
Once inside the bar, the folks at Stan’s, who were fantastic, let Barnes & Noble set up their table and get the books all stacked and ready. It was quiet there at 3:30, but it wasn’t long before the joint was jumping.
Here’s a pic of me with Vanessa, Serena (“Traveling Baseball Babes”) and Bernadette (“This Fan’s Life” and “Lady at the Bat”).
Also stopping by and snagging a copy of the book were the daughter and sister of “Generation Third” Yankees blogger Chris.
Then along came a she-fan named Samantha who wanted to buy the book AND be interviewed by the She-Fan Cam. I was happy to step outside and oblige. (Note: more subway noise.)
It was fun to meet the bloggers and commenters whose names I’ve been seeing for so long, including “Cheshirecat.”
Not everyone wanted to buy the book. Here’s a guy who gave it a look, then said, “My wife hates baseball. She’d never read this.” LOL.
At six o’clock, it was on to the new Stadium! I admit it was an emotional experience to pass the old place and see that the demolition has begun. Sob. But the new place beckoned.
And I just couldn’t resist having Michael take a picture of me with “Jeter” in front of the team store.
Now, it was time to go inside for the first time and watch the Yanks take on the Nationals. I have to say that the Great Hall took my breath away. It was that impressive with all the photos of Yankees legends – a cathedral indeed.
I gave myself the tour and, although the stadium still has that “new car” smell with everything looking sparkling clean and polished, I thought it was beautiful. Plenty of time for the dents and dings that give a ballpark its character.
Michael and I scoped out the food choices, of which there are many, and decided to eat near our section, 323, up in the Terrace. We wandered over to a place called the Jim Beam Lounge and were told we needed a special ticket to get in. Huh?
“You have to be in section 323,” said the guy standing guard.
Obviously, we happened to land in the right section and got in to the restaurant. But still. Why limit people’s access?
There was a full bar and the Food Network concession. Michael ordered a truly delicious burger and fries – no greasy little patty on a crummy bun – and I had a really good grilled chicken sandwich with goat cheese and a spicy tomato sauce. I stopped at the bar and got a glass of red wine (yes, I know I’m a wuss, but I hate beer) and we put everything on a tray and started to walk to our seats…..until we were stopped by the guy at the door.
“You can’t take wine to your seats,” he said.
“Um, people can drink a million beers but I can’t bring this thimble full of wine?” I asked.
I don’t know if it was a city ordinance or just a Yankees thing, but it was annoying.
Our seats, on the other hand, were a joy – behind home plate to the third base side. And they were the cushy, padded ones just like they have down on the field level for the swells! I felt like I was sitting in a Barcalounger, and I made a discovery: It’s really nice to sit in comfortable seats!
Mostly, what struck me was that the field was gorgeous. Seriously. After all the negative things I’ve heard, I couldn’t get over what a great job the Yankees did in replicating and even improving on the old place. That huge, hi-def screen alone is worth the trip.
We had a surprise visit from Alex of the MLBlog “River Avenue” who showed up with the balls he’d managed to snag before the game.
The game itself was pretty discouraging, since the Yankees didn’t do anything to generate much crowd excitement. My friend Patty from the New York Times joined us, and I asked her if she thought the Yanks would make a comeback, among other things.
Patty was wrong and, although Gardner was at third with one out in the ninth and A-Rod was on first, Cano grounded into a double play to end the game. If A-Rod had only stolen second…
Oh, well. It was a great trip and I enjoyed being in the Bronx again. I’m hoping to come back later this summer and go to more games at the new Stadium. (I think I’ll stop calling it that; it’s the Stadium, period.) Yes, it’s pricey and there are adjustments to be made. But what an amazing place to watch baseball. I highly recommend it.
Seriously. We almost got swept. We got lucky to win the first game. We had to come from behind to do it though. And we lost the other two. I am extremely depressed from this.
Woah, I look weird in that vid [and had some bags under my eyes.. ahh, what a Yankee game the night before does to ya, lol].. lmao..
Glad you had a great time, despite the loss =( .. The stadium really is amazing =)
It was a cool blogger reunion, lolz..
– V [ http://flairforthedramatic.mlblogs.com ]
I am sitting here in my cubicle cracking up at that picture of you with “Jeter” because I have the same picture of Lisa with “Jeter,” only it’s at the old Stadium’s gift shop. I said it then and I’ll say it again now: that bobble head looks more like my brother, Jared, than Jeter. : )
Welcome home. Glad you survived your flight. And that you missed that awful game last nite. You sound like an angry mom the way you started this posting, and Good 4 U! We Are NOT Pleased. I had to endure the chuckling and heckling from Wife and Son #1, both of whom loved to see the Big Bux Yanx go down in flames to the Gnats, cheering every 9th inning out…oh, and the Red Sox don’t spend any $$? I finally quieted the Wife by saying oh yeah, sure, you love your Nats this week — let’s see you how hard you root for them NEXT week against Your Bosox, hmmm? OK, sorry, no more venting. Thanx So Much for all the photos and She-Fan Cam shots…such fun to see The Bloggers! Glad that the food was good too — in fact, it all sounded like great fun except the game…let’s all take a deep breath, it can’t get any worse…!?
Dillon, it’s hard not to be depressed about this series, but the Yankees have had similar losses in previous years. I remember getting swept by the Pirates and KC, and we ended up just fine. So we can get mad but we can’t panic!
V, you’re beautiful in the video, just as you are in person. And you’re absolutely crazy if you don’t think so!
LOL, Serena. That bobble head doll of Jeter looks about as much like him as I do!!!! Thanks again for coming on Wednesday. It was great meeting you.
Good to be home, Dave. And yes, I was scolding the boys at the start of this post. But you know I can’t stay mad at them for long. I do think A-Rod should be rested and all the rest, and Dave Eiland needs to get his pitchers in order. But I will now take a deep breath……Ah. Much better.
I can’t watch the videos at work, but I look forward to seeing them at home. I am glad you like the new Stadium, with the exception of the mens bathrooms on the upper levels I think it’s pretty great also. Let’s hope they pick up their play tonight against the Marlins. Getting shut out by the Nationals was embarrassing. Thank for posting my pic! It was really greta to meet you.
Jane-As usual, Yankee Management should read your blog and follow it line by line. Rest A-Rod, MRI Brett (why not?), Joba needs to chill-or something, bring up what’s his face since you say he’s good and can strike out the big guys…I’d have to add my distaste for continuing to give the ball to WONG, but you know how I love CMW. NOT.
Anyway…You’re trip looks like a great time. How fun that you got to meet fellow MLB bloggers and make new friends at your book signing.
All of your She-Fan Cam video’s were so cute. Again, you’re right-Vanessa is beautiful. Don’t be so hard on yourself Vanessa! Take it from a fellow Vanessa! =) I had NO idea there were so many YouTube Vid’s with the name “Vanessa” in the title. hmmmm…
Glad you’re back Jane-hope you’re rested and enjoying the warm weather here in CA.
Same here, Cheshirecat. I really hope the Yanks don’t go into a slide now but instead come out swinging (and not missing).
It’s such a pleasure to be back and see the SUN, Vanessa. Seven days of mostly rain and clouds was starting to get to me. Wang got a lot of support at Wednesday night’s game. People really were pulling for him, myself included. I do think he looked better than he has in awhile and hope he’ll continue to improve. We need him!
I know, I know…We do need him…It seems that we see two different people when we look at Wong-and truly, I want you to be right-not me. I hope that he lives up to his history and expectations on Tuesday. And I wonder how he’ll do at the plate and if he gets on base-how he’ll run? Kinda scary! =/
You know what’s funny? I think you took the sun with you when you left and brough it back because yesterday was the first warm & sunny day we’ve had in days-since you left!=)
Sounds like you had a great trip! Sorry your guys couldn’t win more games for you.
Welcome back. I love your pictures. Looks like you had a great time. And you did get back safely without incident. Now back to the routine again!! Things just never change, do they??
I see the Yankees do read your blog, it looks like A-Rod is going to be sitting for a couple of days. Gosh, I wish I had that kind of power. It sounds like you had a great trip, even if the series didn’t exactly go your way.-Erinhttp://plunking-gomez.mlblogs.com
Vanessa, the Yankees will probably tell Wang to strike out every time up, so there’s no chance of him being on base!
I did, Julia. Thanks.
You’re so right, Cat. I got back and have been paying bills, doing laundry, the whole routine. But it was fun while it lasted.
They must read it, Erin! I laughed when I read that A-Rod was in tonight’s lineup and then a little while later that he’d be sitting out for a couple of games. Power!
With a name like Stan’s Bar, you know you will get that surly bartender and a positively perfect pour out of the tap. Sounds like another perfect meet and greet with the She-Fan.
Some days you make me wish I could just have the table scraps of your adventures.
Seriously, I always thought I had a charmed life at times, but you put me to shame all the time………but I still smile knowing you deserve every second of it.
Do not worry about those pesky Nats. You can always buy a spray that will eliminate them from everything but playing another game.
You would love Stan’s Bar, Renegade. I know it. And you do lead a charmed life with your access to the Rays and knowledge of all that goes on. I’m merely an outsider looking in. At least my Yanks beat the Marlins tonight, so life is good again.
Jane, it was so nice to finally meet you that day! I’m sorry I had to run off so early. Not a good game, but at least you got to see the new Stadium.
Great meeting you too, Bern. Always nice to put the face with the voice on the phone!