Tagged: New York Times

Yanks-Twins Game 3: Let The Party Begin!

Since the players seemed very well protected from the sting of champagne tonight, I figured I’d follow suit and don my rain slicker, shower cap and goggles. Why suffer? 
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Despite their sputtering en route to the playoffs, the Yankees showed why they’re the reigning World Champs, sweeping away a good-but-not-good-enough Twins team. I was so proud of them. But special mention has to go to Huuuuuughes, who stepped onto the mound and delivered a spectacular performance. It’s very heartening to see a young player reward a team’s faith in him that way. There was a time when I would have considered shipping him off to get a Santana or Halladay, but clearly I was a fool. (See above photo for further proof of that.) I also doubted that Marcus Thames would make a contribution earlier in the season, and he, too, proved me wrong. (I would make a really lousy G.M.) Anyhow, what I loved about this entire series was that our “core four” guys were as superb as ever and the newer guys did a great job too. Joe managed each game as if we were talking about Game 7 of the World Series, and while I winced every time he called for Mo, I can’t argue with wanting to get this round won and done – the first time the Yanks have moved into round two as the wild card team. I’m just glad I made it home from my friend’s daughter’s wedding this afternoon in time for the first pitch. The cake was pretty, wasn’t it? You can’t see the inside, but the center layer was chocolate heaven. 
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On the subject of cake, I’ll announce a cake-related contest in Monday’s post and will simply say now that one lucky winner will be eating sweet. In the meantime, most of you have “met” my mother from all the She-Fan Cam videos I’ve done with her. Now, you’ll find out how she became a Yankee fan. A piece I wrote about her is running in Sunday’s New York Times sports section (it’s on their web site tonight). Enjoy.
CHEERING SECTION

Twice Widowed and Now Smitten With Men in Pinstripes



Baseball is full of heartwarming “Field of Dreams”-y stories about fathers and sons playing catch in the backyard, going to their first ballgame together and building a closer relationship over hot dogs.

Bob Eckstein

Bats

Keep up with the latest news on The Times’s baseball blog.

Major League Baseball

Yankees

Mets

My mother, on the other hand, wasn’t big on playing catch (“It’ll
ruin my manicure”), didn’t take me to a single ballgame (“Go with your nice friends, dear”) or eat hot dogs (“God only knows what’s really in them”).

In those days, she wasn’t a fan of theYankees or any other team. Widowed, newly remarried and the mother of six, she was focused on raising our blended family in Scarsdale, N.Y., and commuting into Manhattan to teach Greek and Latin at Hunter College. The only time she ever talked to me about baseball was to scold me for thumbtacking Mickey Mantle posters to my bedroom wall and poking holes in the avocado green paint.

She grew up in the Bronx with a father who adored the Yanks, so she could hardly escape the names Babe Ruth,Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio, but the sport itself held no appeal for her. To wit, she was cleaning out her closet one afternoon during my college vacation and came upon what looked like a yellowed, tattered menu.

“You might as well have this,” she said, handing it to me. “It’s got Babe Ruth’s autograph on it, so maybe it’s worth something.”

I was stunned and said, “How in the world did you get his autograph?”

She shrugged, nonchalant about a bona fide treasure, and said: “He was at the next table when your dad and I were out for dinner. I walked over with the menu and asked him to sign it.”

As I got older, my Yankees fandom became a genuine mania, and Mom, now widowed for the second time, would stare at me as I’d watch games and rail at whichever batter left a runner in scoring position, saying, “You’re very entertaining, dear, but why do you raise your blood pressure with this nonsense?”

I decided it was time to explain the basics of baseball to her — just the way so many fathers have explained the sport to their sons. I went through the list of Yankees players on the roster that year and gave them each a back story. I described the difference between a slider and a splitter and pantomimed various pitchers’ windups. And, of course, I ticked off the many, many reasons why Yankees fans hate the Red Sox.

Mom absorbed my lecture, then asked lots of questions, including: “Who decided there should be four balls allowed but only three strikes?” “Does the D.H. get paid less money since all he does is hit?” “Why do the players spit so much?”

I didn’t have all the answers, but I was glad she was interested enough to care. When we had finally exhausted the subject, she nodded and said: “To think I’ve been wasting my evenings watching ‘Law & Order.’ I’ll give baseball a try.” Have I mentioned that she was in her 80s when this conversation occurred?

From then on, she started watching the Yankees every night, settling in with the YES Network, familiarizing herself with the players and coaches, learning the rhythms of the game, staying awake until the final outs. She realized what good company the Yanks were; she was no longer alone or lonely. In other words, she became a fan — late in life, yes, but no less hard core.

She developed an attachment to Bernie Williams and was bereft when he wasn’t re-signed. She regarded Melky Cabrera as her wayward son and called him “my Melky.” She became positively giddy whenever Mariano Rivera trotted in from the bullpen to “Enter Sandman,” although I’m sure she thought Metallica was a type of jewelry sold on QVC.

Now, at 93, she is as addicted to the Yankees as I am. Her memory isn’t what it used to be; she forgets the players’ names or mangles them. Cano can be “Canoe.” Jorge is often “Hor-gay.” And C. C. is — well, she doesn’t remember the Sabathia part unless prompted.

Still, every time I fly in from California for a visit, we eat dinner on tray tables in front of the TV so we can watch the games without missing a pitch. We bond over baseball in a way we never bonded over shopping, cooking or other girly pleasures — a mother and daughter debating the pros and cons of batting Jeter in the leadoff spot.

Here’s the catch. I may have turned Mom on to the team I love, but she ended up being the truer, more steadfast fan. She doesn’t scream at the TV, doesn’t panic when the Yankees are losing, doesn’t second-guess Joe Girardi‘s every move, doesn’t even freak out when Austin Kearns whiffs with the bases loaded. She’s unwavering in her cheering, without all the hysteria I bring to every game.

“How come you never get angry at them?” I asked during my most recent trip east.

“Because they’re the Yankees,” she said with conviction. “They always try to come through and do their best. You of all people should know that, dear.”

“Yes,” I said, chastened. “I should.”

As I watched my team compete against the Twins in an American League division series last week, I tried to come through and do my best — to emulate the fandom my very wise mother taught me.

Jane Heller is the author of “Confessions of a She-Fan: The Course of True Love with the New York Yankees.”

I know, I know. It’s only May. So what?

I still don’t like losing – May or no May. In fact, this is practically my anniversary of the article I wrote in the New York Times announcing I was divorcing the Yankees after they lost a series to the Mets.
CHEERING SECTION

To Love and to Cherish for All Eternity, or Not

Published: May 27, 2007

I am no stranger to divorce. I am a two-time loser, having severed my unions with both the man I married when I was too young to know better and the man I wed when I was too work-obsessed to pay attention.

But I honestly thought I was over that particular brand of heartbreak — the accusations, the recriminations, the tears, the lonely nights, the division of property. I was determined not to put myself through another breakup, and yet I do not see any other way out. My current relationship has unraveled.

I gave it everything I have. I am sick and tired of the “I trieds” and the “What do you expect me to dos?” I’ve been begging for answers and all I have gotten are platitudes. Enough is enough.

And so I am divorcing the New York Yankees — all 25 men on the active roster, in addition to the manager, the coaches and the general manager. Oh, and the trainer, too. And, of course, the owner and all his baseball people.

The grounds for the divorce will be mental cruelty. I mean, I made a commitment to these guys, emotional and financial, and they betrayed and humiliated me by allowing the Red Sox — the Red Sox! — to run away with the division. When I think how I defended the Yankees to their legions of detractors, it hurts. It really hurts.

I was so loyal, so trusting, so willing to shell out $165 so I could buy Major League Baseball’s Extra Innings package and watch all the games from my house in California. And yet look at how they treated me. I will tell you how they treated me — as if I were a Kansas City Royals fan.

Yeah, I know. There have been injuries. A sore back. A cracked fingernail. A bone spur. A hammy. Please. I am not stupid. If a guy does not want to show up for me, he should simply say so and stop making excuses.

And yeah, there have been disruptions in routine. But again. A rainout is no reason to act all out of sorts and say, “I guess I just didn’t have good stuff.”

When, exactly, did I fall out of love with the Yankees? (To clarify: I will always love them, but I am no longer in love with them. There is too much anger, too much baggage between us now.)

Maybe it was when Cashman started spending a fortune to acquire pitchers who suddenly could not pitch, at least not in pinstripes. Vázquez. Loaiza. Contreras. Weaver. Wright. Pavano. Every time one of these guys would take the mound (or consult a surgeon), my heart would crack a little more. I kept wanting to slap Cashman, to make him feel the pain I was feeling, to strike back against what I perceived to be his abusive behavior toward me.

And do not get me started on how he breached my faith by overpaying for Clemens, a man who forced me to care about him only to leave me for Houston. It is still too raw.

Or maybe the love died when Zimmer quit and Torre had to make managerial decisions on his own. There were all those nights when Joe would call for Tanyon Sturtze in relief — so many nights that he turned that poor guy’s arm into a pretzel, the way he is doing now with Scott Proctor. There were also the nights when he would pull Mussina or Wang or whichever starter was actually pitching brilliantly and efficiently in favor of a reliever who would blow the game. (See Sturtze.)

And then there was his flip-flopping: “I won’t use Mo in the eighth”; “I have to use Mo in the eighth.” Those mixed messages can really get to a person in love. We all need to know where we stand, don’t we?

But my passion — that mad, crazy, dizzying feeling — really petered out as a result of the team’s collective offensive slump. (No, this is not about you, Jeter, although I have not forgiven you for not sticking up for A-Rod last year; and Jorge, you are not to blame, given your smoldering-hot bat.)

When I first fell in love with the Yankees, players knew how to bunt. They knew how to get runners over and get ’em in. They knew how to make productive outs. And — here is the biggie — they knew how to hit consistently and in the clutch.

Watching the current lineup flail at the ball was what finally made me decide to take action. I will pack up my Yankees T-shirts and caps and anything else I own with the interlocking N and Y and donate them to charity. I will stop checking the scores hourly. I will no longer dream about what might have been.

The truth is, I have already started to look elsewhere for satisfaction and companionship, which is how you really know a relationship is over. I have been watching the Devil Rayslately, and let me tell you: They do for me what the Yankees could not. They entertain me. They make me laugh. They put me in a good mood. They run and hit and they are young and cute. They do not win often, but they are fun!

Do you know how refreshing that is? How liberating? I am feeling frisky and free and unburdened now that I am with the Rays. (That is our little pet name.) It is not quite love. Not yet. But I am open to it.

As for the Yankees, if they suddenly start winning and somehow become not only the American League champions this season but the World Series champions, I will take that as a sign that they want me back and I will give them serious consideration. But as of right now, we are over. I am not that into them anymore.

Jane Heller is the author of 13 novels. The latest is “Some Nerve.” She lives in Sant
a Barbara, Calif., but grew up in Scarsdale, N.Y., worshiping at the cathedral in the Bronx.

The article led to my She-Fan book, which led to this blog. Fortunately, I came to my senses and got back together with the Yankees for better or worse. Still, watching tonight’s game made me remember the “worse.” Poor Yanks. They looked like this.
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Sure, they teased us with yet another late-inning comeback, but it was too little too late and the series was lost. Santana was great and CC was horrible and the offense continues not to be clutch. I really expected Girardi to shuffle the lineup, just to shake things up, but no. So here’s what I think needs to happen to get the boys back on track.
1) AJ should shove a whipped cream towel in every player’s face, just to remind them what come-from-behind wins feel like.
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2) Their traveling secretary should arrange for oxygen masks to be available during the entire charter flight to Minny.
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3) On the plane they should be forced to watch nothing but this.
Any other ideas? Besides hiring a faith healer to work on everybody who’s injured?
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It’s All My Fault

The other day I wrote a post about how there hadn’t been a single controversy swirling around the Yankees lately. I even listed possible scandals that might be just around the corner. Well, as most people know by now, the answer turned out to be #2: “An A-Rod Something.” From the New York Times…


Rodriguez to Meet With Investigators

Kathy Willens/Associated Press

On Monday Alex Rodriguez said he didn’t know when he would meet with authorities but that he intended to cooperate.

Published: March 1, 2010

TAMPA, Fla. — Alex Rodriguez said on Monday that he has been contacted by federal authorities seeking to interview him in connection with their investigation of the Canadian doctor Anthony Galea, who is suspected of distributing performance-enhancing drugs to various athletes.

Keep up with the latest news on The Times’s baseball blog.

Go to the Bats Blog »

Major League Baseball

Yankees

Mets

In brief remarks issued in the Yankees clubhouse after the team’s workout Monday afternoon, Rodriguez said he did not know when he would meet with authorities but that he intended to cooperate.

Asked by reporters if he had ever been treated by Galea, Rodriguez responded: “I can’t really get into that. You’ll know within time all at the same time.”

General Manager Brian Cashman spoke to reporters after Rodriguez did and said he did not know anything about federal authorities having an interest in Rodriguez until he read about it in newspaper reports on Monday morning.

Cashman said he did not want to comment further until the Yankees “get caught up to speed.”

However, one person in baseball familiar with the sentiments of Yankees executives said they were distressed that Rodriguez had again been linked to the issue of performance-enhancing drugs and that they do not know where the matter will lead. In a s
tatement the Yankees issued about an hour after Rodriguez spoke, they said that they had “never authorized Dr. Tony Galea to treat Alex Rodriguez nor do we have any knowledge of any such treatment” and that they would continue to monitor the situation.

Rodriguez’s remarks to reporters lasted all of 61 seconds. But brief as they were, they thrust the Yankees back into territory they have become painfully familiar with in recent seasons. Jason Giambi‘s links to the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative case was a major distraction for the Yankees in 2005.

In 2008, Andy Pettitte was forced to hold a news conference at the start of spring training to address his use of human growth hormone, which had been first disclosed in theMitchell report.

And then one year ago, it was Rodriguez who held a news conference at spring training to elaborate on his use of steroids from a period ranging from 2001 to 2003.

By now, the Yankees have become used to this issue. But the fact that it is back again will undoubtedly rankle team executives, who have had to deal with repeated distractions from Rodriguez involving a whole assortment of subjects since he joined the Yankees for the 2003 season. In Rodriguez’s favor, of course, is that he is coming off a standout postseason in 2009 that helped the Yankees win their first championship in nine years.

During his remarks on Monday Rodriguez was asked whether the Galea investigation would distract him as he prepared for the 2010 season.

“This is about someone else, this is about someone else,” he replied in a reference to Galea. “Like I said, I’m going to cooperate the best I can and focus on baseball.”

Galea, who is based in Toronto, has been charged by Canadian authorities with conspiring to smuggle human growth hormone and other drugs into the United States. He has not been charged in the United States.

He has denied that he provided professional athletes with performance-enhancing drugs but said that he had used human growth hormone for the last 10 years and prescribed it for some patients. Among the more notable athletes he has treated are the golfer Tiger Woods and the swimmer Dara Torres.

So, digging deeper, just who is this infamous Dr. Galea?

For starters, if he’s really Canadian, then he explodes the myth that all Canadians are paragons of virtue.

Second, the Feds spoke to Jose Reyes about the guy and all Reyes said was, “He didn’t give me performance enhancing drugs. He just spun my blood.”

Which brings up another question: If blood spinning really works, then why did both Reyes and Xavier Nady, who had the procedure last year, end up having surgery anyway?

I don’t know whether Galea treated A-Rod and, if so, whether it was in connection with his hip surgery. I only know that I’d be hiding under my bed if the Feds said they wanted to talk to me. Of course, my impression of “Feds” is based on what I’ve seen of them on TV – an admittedly distorted view. But I bet they wouldn’t laugh at my jokes or engage in a debate over whether Hughes or Joba should be in the Yankees rotation. I picture them as very tall men with deep voices and bad skin – men who wear white socks and have guns in their ankle holsters. I think they would call me Ma’am and then grill me for hours without letting me eat or drink – not even a sip of water. I imagine that by the end of their “interview,” I’d be in tears, even if I did nothing wrong. But hey, that’s just me.

I really hope this A-Rod business goes nowhere and my blog post from the other day didn’t jinx anything.


What’s Baseball? Chopped Liver?

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Seriously. After reading yesterday’s New York Times article announcing that the Super Bowl was the most watched show in television history (not the most watched sports show, but the most watched show of any kind), I had to ask myself why the World Series doesn’t approach such spectacular numbers.
Sure, there were good reasons why the Saints-Colts game drew a huge audience.
* The two quarterbacks offered a nice head-to-head story arc.
* The heavy snow kept people indoors and in front of the TV.
* People watch the Super Bowl for the ads.
* There are Super Bowl parties.
And then there’s the fact that the football season boils down to one dramatic contest as opposed to a series of 4-7 games. But it was this comment by Rich Sandomir that got me thinking: “Football is engaging us more than ever.” Is that true? And if so, what is baseball doing about it?
On this blog we’ve talked about ways MLB could improve the sport itself. But what about the marketing of the sport? Why aren’t there World Series parties and better ads and more human interest stories in the media about the individual players so that people who aren’t diehards can still appreciate the games? 
I don’t like seeing baseball trounced by football, so if Bud Selig wants to hire me to help market the sport, I’m available. How about the newly created position of vice president in charge of fans? Just leave me a comment, Bud, and I’ll get right back to you.

Presenting The 2009 She-Fan Awards, Part 7 (The Grand Finale) – UPDATE!

The votes are in and, although it was a close race between Surf Dog, my mother and four-year-old Karissa (I’m laughing as I type this), the winner of the 2009 She-Fan Award for Best Yankee Fan Video is…
***** Bill “Surf Dog” Connell *****
If it ever stops raining here in Santa Barbara, I’ll take the She-Fan Cam over to Bill’s hot dog stand and videotape his acceptance speech. I have no doubt it’ll be a show stopper. Thanks to all who participated!
***
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With the Winter Meetings kicking off on Monday and the certainty that Brian Cashman will be giving Yankees bloggers something juicy to write about, it’s time for the seventh and final 2009 She-Fan Award to be handed out to a person who contributed to the Yankees’ joyous season.
Derek Jeter said during the post-parade ceremony at City Hall that it was the fans that made the season special, so it’s only fitting that we turn our attention to the Yankee fan who best embodied the spirit of the pinstripes when captured on the She-Fan Cam this year. The judges have reviewed the nearly 100 videos on YouTube’s SheFanVideos Channel and come up with clips of the the ones we feel are most praiseworthy.
Here, in chronological order, are the nominees for the 2009 She-Fan Award for Best Yankee Fan Video….
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Alphonso Uses Pessimism To Protect Yankees (And Himself) From Disappointment –
On March 5th, during a visit to Tampa for spring training, I had dinner at a very dark restaurant with Alphonso of the Yankees blog “It Is High, It Is Far, It is….caught” and asked for his prediction on the upcoming season. As you’ll see, he was correct about almost nothing, which I found very heartening.
Lisa Declares Herself Descendent Of Yankees Legend Joe DiMaggio
On my way out of Steinbrenner Field during the March trip, I met Lisa, a Security Officer for the Yankees. She not only gave patrons excellent directions and handled beer-soaked troublemakers with ease, but announced that she was related to Joe D. Enough said.
Joyce Intends To Be Buried With Yankees (Sort Of)
Prior to the March 7th spring training game, I chatted with Joyce, who caught my eye because of all the Yankees pins and medals she was wearing. A Yankee fan for 65 years, she had surprising news to share.
Michael Picks Yanks To Win World Series Without Being Bribed
Yes, She-Fan family members are eligible for the award. (Why disqualify them?) On April 1st my husband Michael made a bold prediction about the Yankees’ season. He was not coerced. If he doesn’t want to do or say something, he doesn’t. Trust me.
Patricia Reads She-Fan’s Tarot Cards And Pronounces Yanks World Champs
On August 18th, I had my second reading with Santa Barbara tarot card reader Patricia Diorio, whom I had consulted for a New York Times article back in February. Once again, she was extremely encouraging about the Yankees’ chances of winning the World Series.
Karissa Roots for Yankees Despite Being Only Four Years Old
As I was leaving Angel Stadium after the Yankees had just beaten the Angels in Game 4 of the ALCS on October 20th, I heard cheering –  really high-pitched cheering. I followed the sound and came upon Karissa, whose father Mark had clearly raised her properly.
Bill “Surf Dog” Predicts Yankees Win World Series in Six
Local legend Bill Connell, proprietor of the Surf Dog hot dog stand in Carpinteria and former New Jersey-ite, hoisted his Yankees flag on October 30th and let me videotape him in action. He also gave me his thoughts (and a free hot dog). His prediction of six games made him more accurate than Jimmy Rollins.
Mother Knows Best
I couldn’t leave my 92-year-old mom (she’ll be 93 next month) out of this competition, could I? On November 13th, during my trip to New York, I asked her how she was feeling about the Yankees’ big victory. She was thrilled – and very candid.
And now comes the moment of truth…without any interruptions.
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The envelope please.
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The winner of the 2009 She-Fan Award for Best Yankee Fan Video is…
***** Oh, Wait! You’re Picking This One! *****


That’s right. You. And you have until Monday at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT to leave a comment with your vote. Good luck to all the nominees. The final gold fan awaits.
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And My Tarot Card Reader Says….Yankees Will Win!

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Some of you may remember that I wondered about the Yankees’ future back in February, sought answers from Santa Barbara-based tarot card reader Patricia Diorio, and wrote about the reading in The New York Times.
While Patricia did predict the Yanks would win the 2009 World Series all those months ago, I needed reassurance on the eve of Game 6. So I went to see her this afternoon – with the She-Fan Cam in hand. The reading is split in two parts. Yes, they’re long by YouTube standards. But if you want the whole story, here it is. God, I hope she’s right about everything.
I will now go to sleep visualizing Yankees pouring out of the dugout, jumping all over each other on the field, spraying champagne in the clubhouse, waving to people during the parade, all of it. Sweet dreams.

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.
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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.
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Here’s a pic of me with Vanessa, Serena (“Traveling Baseball Babes”) and Bernadette (“This Fan’s Life” and “Lady at the Bat”).
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Also stopping by and snagging a copy of the book were the daughter and sister of “Generation Third” Yankees blogger Chris.

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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.”
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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.
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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.
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And I just couldn’t resist having Michael take a picture of me with “Jeter” in front of the team store.
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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.
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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.
“Right.”
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.