Personal Yankee Dilemma

In a sneaky, roundabout way, this is a review of Yankees Stadium.

Strange year for me as a Yankees fan. Strange times, in fact. And to be honest, it’s got me thinking: Why the hell am I a Yankees fan? I mean, what is it I like about this team? Because there are some things I clearly don’t like. I will elaborate:

1)    ARod.

This is an obvious one. This is the hardest professional athlete in the world to root for. He’s seems to be a habitual douchebag. But the Yanks were bad this year and only looked good when ARod came back and started doing well. It put me in a weird position of conflict. I want this asshead to do badly – but I want my team to win. Sucks. But that’s an easy one.

2)    New ownership blows

There were things I liked and disliked about George Steinbrenner – but for all his flaws the man wanted the Yankees to win 1000 times more than I did.

Now that he’s dead, his idiot son keeps talking about getting the team budget under $189 million. That drives me batshit crazy.

  • The team is worth $500 BILLION – so you can afford a higher payroll. You’re not going broke.
  • There is no salary cap and financial might is a major Yankee advantage. Use it to its fullest.
  • The reason the Yankees are worth so much is BECAUSE they’re great every year.

So shut up about your budget. I want my team to win goddammit. And as the team owner you should want them to win more than I do. It’s your job to field a winning team. That’s all I care about – shut up about your budget.

3)    The playoffs this year have been amazing

I am loving the playoffs. Every day I check in and watch a few innings of an awesome matchup. Without the Yankees in it, I’m not all tied up in anxious knots. It’s just a pure pleasure to watch brilliant baseball. God it’s been fun.

4)    Yankees Stadium

I can only describe this stadium as an embarrassment. Look at these photos (first 2 from angrylongislandguy.wordpress.com):

BASEBALL/

empty2

emptyluxuryboxen

The last one is from the 2009 World Series. Technically the stadium is frequently “sold out” but that’s because all the uber-expensive seats are tickets owned by corporations. Which means the people who actually sit in those seats aren’t fans – they’re tourists and rich people. In other words there is no home field advantage for Yankees Stadium.

Aside from that the stadium itself is beyond cold, it’s imposing. It’s dehumanizing. It misses the point of baseball. 60 foot photos of Mickey Mantle and Lou Gerhig and Reggie Jackson loom over you as you walk in. They’ve amped up the Yankee grandeur to such a degree that they’re not players you rooted for – they’re gods and you’re walking at their feet, unnoticed and unvalued.

The food sucks – it’s all Yankee-brand burgers and fries, nothing creative and all in-house branded to make more money. It’s painfully inconvenient to get to your seats – you’re forced to walk for what feels like miles.

But then…there is only one way to get to Yankee Stadium, and that is by subway. Any other route is insanity. You start at your stop and ride in. We always take the A. Then at 145 you switch to the D. You step on and look around, half the people in the train are in Yankee gear. Dimaggio jersey. Jeter T-shirt. Dark blue hats.

Then at each stop more and more Yankees fans pile onto the train. You smile. Everyone is quiet but you all know you’re going to the same place. Soon the train is packed. It’s an unforgettable building of momentum that is like nothing else on earth.

PHEW – I needed that ending. OK…I’m all right.

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