Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Tinkle Tinkle Death Star
2008-04-04 05:38
by Alex Belth

I have always been nervous about peeing at a urinal in a crowded public restroom. It is a leftover anxiety from childhood that I can trace directly back to my experiences at the men's rooms in Yankee Stadium. Not that I can recall any one traumatic incident, but the overall mood of the place--loud, profane, rushed, pressurized--still makes me uneasy, the place filled with cigarette smoke and the smell of urine and beer. So I wait for a stall just like I did when I was a boy.

Last night, I went to my historic first game of the final year of Yankee Stadium. It is the earliest in the season I've ever been to a game. Some cherce seats landed in my lap the day before, and so here I was, in the "rattle your jewelry" section down on the field level, standing in a narrow, grey stall, trying to concentrate on peeing as I listened to a young boy crying hysterically in the stall next to me as his father, impatient and frustrated, tried to get him to stop. The walls felt as if they were closing in on me like the trash compactor scene in Star Wars, and it occurred to me that one of the benefits of the new stadium will be more spacious restrooms.

We know that the new park will have better amenities, wider corridors, bigger and better places to buy food and Yankee gear. It will no doubt be a new and improved mall. I wonder, however, if the customer service will improve any? As it now stands, the almost palpable tension that exists between neighborhood commuters and Yankee fans on the subways extends, to some extent to the relationship between the people who work the concession stands and fans at the park. When I went to order a pretzel in the third inning, I waited on line for five minutes and was then told that the pretzels weren't ready yet.

Ah, the joys of Yankee Stadium, a throwback New York landmark where customer service or quality is unimportant. Maybe we'll miss the discomforts and inherent rudeness and vulgarity of the old place when we are in the mall next door. Then again, maybe I'll be able to take a pee without having flashbacks to an anxious childhood.

While the hype around the final year of the Stadium has already become overbearing, there is something genuine about the heightened sense of loss that will draw people to the park. The term "historic" is being thrown about casually, but for most people, their final trips to the park this year will be part of their own personal history. There is no stopping what is coming, as the new stadium stands across the street, like the not-quite-fully-operational Death Star.

When Jay Jaffe met up with me on the corner of 161 street and River Avenue, where I had been waiting and people-watching for fifteen minutes, I mentioned the Death Star analogy and he said that Derek Jacques had a similar take on Opening Day. Jacques writes:

The new new Yankee Stadium looks a bit like the Death Star, circa Return of the Jedi, enough so that I half-expect it to sprout a laser cannon and vaporize the present stadium sometime after the last pitch of the 2008 season is thrown. Its still-under-construction exterior shell self-consciously recalls the original structure, but the ballpark within will be thoroughly modern and built from scratch-there's no longer any plausible deniability that this isn't a break with history. Talking to fans around the ballpark, the recurring theme was anxiety about the new ballpark. Will they be able to afford tickets? Will they be near the other regular ticket plan holders in their section? Will the new Stadium be the same kind of place the old one was?

Over at the New York Sun, Tim Marchman adds:

The stadium's last year will mark the passing of many things, but perhaps most of all it will mark the end of Yankeeland as a wonderful act of pretense and belief. New Yankee Stadium will be no more and no less than what it actually is: a preposterously expensive representation of a boom time for the city and the Yankees, one that may have passed by the time the place opens its gates. The old park is sustained by the myth that Ruth built it, and the truth that it rose as an expression of the city at a time when it was announcing itself as capital of the world. The new one will be sustained by the myth that it was built by Jeter and a city made rich on sub-prime mortgage profits. One myth isn't necessarily better than the other, but one is certainly more evocative.

Ballparks are places of business that exist to make money. This was true of the stadium that will be abandoned after this year, and it is certainly true of the one due to open next year. The sustaining myth of each is mainly a marketing gimmick, most useful for packing in the people and getting them to part with their cash. So far as the new park will doubtless prove more effective at that, its myth, no matter how drab it seems in contrast to the one that preceded it, is more useful and therefore better. But throughout this season, it won't just be the truest believers who will mourn the old ballpark. Those who see the flaws at the heart of its legend will mourn it as much as anyone else, and perhaps even more so.

On a chilly April night, the Yankees and Jays played another brisk game--this one clocking it at just under three hours--and the Yankees won again by the score of 3-2. Phil Hughes had a decent outing and Joba Chamberlain and Mariano Rivera closed the door in the eighth and ninth. Bobby Abreu's bloop single drove in the game-winner. It was good to be back in the Stadium, despite my complaints (I don't even need to get into moaning about the spoiled fans that were sitting around us in the land of the corporate boxes). Organist Ed Alstrom played the National Anthem. It was brisk and efficient and hey, how can the sound of an organ at a ballpark ever sound bad? As far as I'm concerned if that's the only version of the song I ever heard again, I'd be pleased.

When Kate Smith's recording of "God Bless America" played during the seventh inning, the clock on the scoreboard read "9:11," which reminded me of the 15-inning, tie game between the Yankees and Orioles I attended shortly after the attacks in '01. I remember seeing the snipers next to the lights on the roof of the Stadium, where they would stay throughout the playoffs that year.

Last night, when the game was over, Frank Sinatra's voice flooded the park. People rushed out of the place and to their cars or the subways, faster than I ever remember seeing people leave (it was the cold and the time of year). Now, here's something scary to imagine: What if the last sounds you hear as you leave the Stadium for the historic last time, are that of Liza not Frank? Would that be some kind of cosmic bummer or what? And, by just mentioning it, have I put the whammy on myself?

2008-04-04 06:28:40
1.   williamnyy23
Being a procrastinator, I haven't yet allowed myself to get fully absorbed in the emotions of the "final season". I usually attend around 20 games, so it's been easy putting off the reality that this is the least year that I'll be entering the stadium on the south side of 161st Street. At times, I've eagerly anticipated the new place (such as on the first Opening Day as I tried to walk amid the sea of people taking refuge in the tunnels from the falling rain). Other times, I wonder if there really are "ghosts" and if it wont be easy for them to simply "cross the street". Ultimately, however, I've pretty much put both thoughts to the side because there is still one more full season to play. After all, why worry about something today, when you can put it off until tomorrow? That seems to be the appropriate tact for an event that is inevitable.

While myth is clearly a part of the Stadium's legacy, Marchman is off base in linking the new Stadium to the sub-prime situation and even Derek Jeter. The new building is a product of the immense financial and on-field success that the Yankee have enjoyed over the past 10-15 years. It is independent of any one factor or prevailing trend.

Myth aside, perhaps the most relevant concern I (and many others) have is what the relocation plan will be for season ticket holders. I'd hate to lose my tier MVP seat behind home plate (formerly tier reserve before being re-branded and priced accordingly), and would prefer to keep my section mates in tact. The site of a familiar seat and familiar faces has made the Stadium feel like home. Add in that I know the place and all its secrets like the back of my hand, and I do have some fear that new place will lack that warm feeling.

2008-04-04 06:32:52
2.   BobbyBaseBall
Alex, man...what about Jose Feliciano's "National Anthem"? I love the organ just as much as the next guy. But, Jose? DAMN. Gives me chills just thinking about it.
2008-04-04 06:36:18
3.   Alex Belth
Yes, there are some particularly good renditions of the Anthem--I'm partial to the Marvin Gaye, NBA All Star game one, others I know love Whitney's Super Bowl version--but mostly the song is so butchered, that I just like an unpretentious, straight-forward version like the one Ed performed last night.
2008-04-04 07:02:38
4.   Sliced Bread
I'm not digging this (perhaps this is too harsh) Disneyesque JarJar Binksification of the Bombers brand.
Embracing the assinine "Evil Empire" nickname with a shiny new Death Star (the prevailing description), the Star Wars music accompanying the opening festivities, the Joba The Hut characterization of Chamberlain... it's becoming more than a bit much.
Not much of a stretch to imagine the "rattle yer jewelry" crowd rattling light sabres like "Thunder Sticks" in their luxe boxes in the new place. Yuck.

Just play me something snappy or sweet on the house Hammond, and that's all the musical accoutrements I need at the park.

re: Liza. as long as she doesn't get the last word sometime in October, I can handle hearing her one last time at the old joint.

Great stuff, Alex.

about last night: long live Girardiball! With the first series of the season on the line, and the bats scuffling for runs, he has them bunting, and taking small bites for the win. It was great to see them shift it into that gear.

2008-04-04 07:07:03
5.   OldYanksFan
"I have always been nervous about peeing at a urinal in a crowded public restroom."
What a wonderfully universal 'seinfeld moment' thought to share.
2008-04-04 07:07:36
6.   JL25and3
1 There simply won't be great seats in the upper deck of the Death Star, at least not more than a few. It's a terrible loss, to my way of thinking.
2008-04-04 07:13:22
7.   OldYanksFan
Good thing Torre wasn't there last night, 'fore having Jeter bunt would have certainly gotten a force of curses from this crowd.

Twas a very good game. I still maintain that age and weather will have our bats coolish for a few weeks. The young and the hungry can conjure up more energy to fight the cold then our group of seasoned vets on the slow march to October.

Our bats don't really matter, as we know they will be there. What we saw was Phil (I don't need no stinkin' Santana) Hughes show us the light.

I am ready for a highly enjoyable year.

2008-04-04 07:31:33
8.   Knuckles
If the rich people start using thundersticks in the new ballpark, I will mortgage my house to buy one expensive season ticket and spend all my time (between innings, natch) stomping and popping them (the sticks, and the people.)
2008-04-04 07:37:06
9.   Bama Yankee
4 re: GirardiBall. Nice to have you with us on the "Dark Side", Sliced. Those bunts were great, it put the pressure on the defense and they blinked both times (Jeter should have been called safe).

I know that bunting is not that popular around here (and it's fun to joke about) but IMO, games like last night show why we need to be able to lay one down in certain situations. For example, in the postseason when you are facing a top-notch pitcher and runs are scarce, playing for that one run can make a big difference. However, you have to work on it during the regular year so you can be ready to execute it during the postseason.

GirardiBall Fever... Catch IT!!!

2008-04-04 07:45:18
10.   mehmattski
Hey Alex, since you were there, maybe you can answer for sure whether the crowd Boo'd A-Rod after either of his strikeouts with men on. There was some debate about that last night.

9 I didn't have a problem with either bunt in the 8th inning last night. The Melky-Damon-Jeter combo is exactly the personnel you want up there for bunting. Other than Molina, if anyone else is at the plate with two on and nobody out, I want them swinging away.

It was also the correct situation with that personel- one on (and then two on), no outs, tie game in the 8th.

I also feel that the bunt needs to be used sparingly enough that the defense is thrown off guard as they were last night. If the team refrains from using the bunt in early innings, I think it accomplishes the surprise goal.

In summary, playing for one run has its place, and one of that was last night in the eighth inning, because of the situation and who was at the plate.

2008-04-04 07:50:53
11.   mehmattski
Oh, and on your last comment about Liza vs Frank as my last sound of Old Yankee Stadium- I'll find out on July 8 against the Rays... my tickets just arrived from StubHub!
2008-04-04 07:55:58
12.   RIYank
I thought both bunts were borderline: they neither raised nor lowered the chance of winning.

Jeter's bunt, by the way, wasn't so straightforwardly 'playing for one run'. I think it increased the chance of scoring two runs, actually. (Not quite sure about that.) It severely lowered the chance of getting three, but with Mariano warming up that's almost negligible.

2008-04-04 08:01:21
13.   mehmattski
12 Well, according to the Run Expectancy Matrix (which I think I will be trotting out a lot this year):

1st/2nd, 0 out: 1.573 runs/game
2nd/3rd, 1 out: 1.467 runs/game

Now, we'd need to see the variance on that to determine whether it it increases the chances of scoring two runs (i.e. lower variance) relative to the 1st/2nd 0 out scenario.

Jeter's bunt was also not a straightforward sac-bunt, either- it was definitely a bunt for a hit. I like those about 10000 times more than if Jose Molina were at the plate and just dropped one in front of the catcher... the chances of a forceout at third are too great.

2008-04-04 08:02:28
14.   Schteeve
I really don't get all the hand wringing about the new stadium. Things change, it's the way of the world. They will still play baseball in the new stadium I imagine. Beer will still be overpriced just like it is everywhere, parking will suck, it will fuck up the neighborhood ( I live 6 block from Wrigley Field and my fiance and I curse the Cubs whenever they are on a homestand.)

But it's still a place where baseball will be played and great memories will be born, comparing the stadium to a "Death Star" just seems needlessly overwrought.

2008-04-04 08:03:22
15.   rbj
Frank will be singing after A-Rod hits a walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth of the seventh game of the World Series.

I also like Jimi's version at the end of Woodstock -- it's a total break with tradition, but it is 1) individualist, which is part of the American soul and 2) it is done respectfully, unlike, say, Roseanne's.

They should play at the last regular season game (and why the hell isn't it the last game of the regular season, Sunday night on ESPN) George Harrison's "All Things Must Pass."

2008-04-04 08:04:05
16.   Chyll Will
I think the fans have a right to be concerned and perceive the structure as a testament to the prevailing corporate model that has made a few people rich and many on the brink of foreclosure. When has this project been trumpeted as fan-friendly, unless you're talking about the fans that don't blink at luxury. I'm almost certain that if not for the "tradition" and political backlash, the new stadium would have been either near the Javitz Center, or the mayor and City Council would have cleared out some prime space in East Harlem; much closer to the amenities and luxuries of lower Manhattan. Comparing it to sub-prime mortgages is about as close to expressing the disconnect from the average citizen who would be a baseball fan if they could afford it as you can get, so it doesn't disturb me in that sense. What disturbs me more is how we accept this fear that more of us will be shut out because of the economics as an unchangeable inevitability. But then again, I'm more concerned about being priced out of my dwelling, with no viable alternative in sight.

7 I don't think anyone would have gotten mad at Torre in that situation. Given that it felt like Jeter had been grounding into DPs all game, we probably would have demanded it.

8 Any time you need some help, I've got an old pair of Rugged Outbacks on the shelf that would do the job. But I get to keep the loose change; I'm a freelancer after all >;)

2008-04-04 08:04:18
17.   Bama Yankee
10 I agree 100%.

For the record, I'm not a "bunt-every-time-and-at-any-cost" guy, but some people seem to hate the bunt and never want to see it. I understand the argument of those who don't want to "give up" outs. However, like last night, sometimes when you try to give the defense an out they are not always capable of taking it. Generally, I don't mind giving up outs if they are productive. When even good hitters are going to generate an out 2/3 of the time, I think controlling that out and making it productive can be useful in a close game.

2008-04-04 08:05:17
18.   Adam B
Alex, following up on the Stanton or Strauss street item from yesterday, looks like we're both wrong based on what you said about getting off at the East Broadway stop. If you're referring to the park right by the stop, then that's on Essex between Canal and Hester. Otherwise, I'm not sure, but I know there's no Strauss street on the Lower East Side.

As for last night's game, Hughes looked good early on, and even when he got in trouble, he kept his composure.

Is it me or is it refreshing to have a manager who has spread out the outs amongst different relievers already? Despite what Kay said, not every reliever has been used, though. Michael Kay obviously thinks Jonathan Albaladejo is a ghost.

2008-04-04 08:10:00
19.   williamnyy23
6 From what I've read, they'll be fewer great seats in the upper tier, but also fewer bad ones. In the current Stadium, there is no better seat than behind the plate in the upper deck, regardless of how high up you go. As you curl toward the outfield, however, the sitelines become increasinly bad. I know I wont sit beyond sections 10/11 because you miss too much of the action. If you are all the way in the 20s/30s, right or left field becomes a mystery.

Because the upper tier will be reset more in the new Stadium, you'll lose the closeness of the seat behind the plate, but the sightlines in the wings should be improved. It remains to be seen whether this will be a beneficial trade-off.

2008-04-04 08:11:13
20.   RIYank
13 Right, the run expectancy doesn't really tell us much of anything about the chances in the two situations of scoring exactly two runs. Here's my reasoning: bunting a runner from first two second increases the chance of one run, so adding another runner who's moved from second to third on the same play should increase the chance of scoring two runs. Right? Whatever series of events scores the runner from second in the first case also scores him in the second.

I recognize there may be some subtle differences having to do with, say, moving the infield in, a fly-out-tag-up double play, and other relative rarities. So I'm not positive about this, but it seems right.

2008-04-04 08:14:20
21.   mehmattski
Kei Igawa, master of AAA:

6 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 7 K
44 strikes, 16 balls

He's seemed to have answered the question "which US league is comparable to Japan?" Answer: somewhere between AA and AAA.

2008-04-04 08:17:02
22.   Schteeve
16 That's why I will never move back to New York. Too spendy.
2008-04-04 08:17:20
23.   Alex Belth
I don't mean to infer tons of negative, overwrought comparisons with the Death Star, it was simply the first image that popped into my head. In the final analysis, I'm a realist, so no matter what I think of the new place, it'll be here soon enough, and we'll move on, just like we do everyday living in New York, watching our old favorites (restaurants, bookstores, buildings) get knocked down and replaced by something new.
2008-04-04 08:18:21
24.   Bama Yankee
0 "I remember seeing the snipers next to the lights on the roof of the Stadium"

Just one question: Was Hillary Clinton at that game?


2008-04-04 08:22:25
25.   horace-clarke-era
Bunt talk? May I grab a bar stool?

One, I think it is just silly to say DJ was 'bunting for a hit' ... he just laid down an exceptional one and almost GOT a hit. That can happen any time a fast guy with bunt skills lays one down, and is sometimes a reason such players can hit for higher average (The old, 'he could BUNT .300!'). BUT, this was surely a 'classic' lay one down situation for Joe Torre, and it puzzles me why so many are seeing it as G-ball. OYF is right (if I read him correctly) in saying people would have dumped on it if Torre'd ordered it. I vividly remember a lot of posters shocked and appalled at DJ bunting guys over while hitting .325

(And, as it happens, I'm really not sure it was such a brilliant move, given that the pitcher was a lefty and Abreu's numbers against him - they posted them - were not good at all. I think I'd have bunted on a cold night with a superb bunter, yes, but it is hardly a slam dunk. Abreu gets out, A Rod is walked, Giambi has to hit.)

2008-04-04 08:23:35
26.   horace-clarke-era
Sorry, meant to add this: the issue of scoring two runs, in THIS case, is a non-starter. The need was for one, hand it over to Mo. That offers an entirely different equation.
2008-04-04 08:30:08
27.   williamnyy23
16 Not to turn this into a sub-prime thread, but there is no connection between sub-prime mortgages and the economics that have permitted the building of the new stadium. The sub-prime crisis is also a very poor vehicle for expressing class distinctions. While some sub-prime originators surely made money, many "wealthy" individuals and companies have lost a ton of money on the collateralized securities. You can knock the new stadium all you want, but envoking the sub-prime crisis makes no sense.

More specifically to the notion of the average fan being priced out of the game, well, I don't really buy that either. I bought tickets to three games that cost me $5 each. The Yankees still have several discount days that allow a family to cheaply attend a game. Also, the silly food prices only exist because people are too lazy to simply bring food from outside. Baseball still remains one of the more relatively cheap forms of entertainment, so I can't complain that teams are seeking to maximum revenue by introducing more luxury.

2008-04-04 08:30:35
28.   mehmattski
23 Steve Lombardi agrees with you, at least in cultural reference: "To be honest, when I came off the Eddie Grant Highway and made a right onto Jerome...and then I saw "it"...I thought to myself "Wow! It's majestic!" It truly hit me like a ton of bricks. It was a "That's no moon, it's a space station!" type moment. Very impressive. Jaw dropping when it enters your gaze."

25 I think the difference between Torre and Girardi is that Torre might have allowed Jeter to bunt with two on and no outs... in the third inning. The fact that bunting is, so far, restricted to the late innings shows a much better understanding of logic. Even the most rigorous statheads can realize that late in a tie game, a bunt with two on and no outs increases the chance of scoring that go-ahead run... and it eliminates the chances of rally-killing double play. You wouldn't have gotten much fuss from us last year over a similar play in a similar situation.

2008-04-04 08:31:01
29.   RIYank
26 No, you're wrong about that. Mo does give up a run sometimes, you know! So the chance of getting two runs in the eighth is important.
Now, the chance of getting three runs is not important. But getting two there is definitely better than getting one.
2008-04-04 08:33:46
30.   YankeeInMichigan
Just peaked at the matchups in the sidebar. After Bannister's domination of the Tigers this week, Tuesday's Hughes-Bannister matchup could be a nice duel of young studs. (Kennedy-Bannister would be even better, as their styles are so similar.)
2008-04-04 08:34:31
31.   williamnyy23
25 I think the situation is what dictated why the bunt made sense, not the "style of play". With Joba already in the game and Mariano looming in the 9th, getting one run was almost as good as a big inning. Where Torre met with criticism was when he would bunt at times that the situation didn't warrant one. For example, the Yankees had 1st and 2nd a few innings earlier when Damon was at the plate (the 5th?). Girardi correctly had him swing away that time. He lined out to right, but the strategy was sound.
2008-04-04 08:40:35
32.   weeping for brunnhilde
4 "Just play me something snappy or sweet on the house Hammond, and that's all the musical accoutrements I need at the park."

Ah sliced, dear sliced, I think that ship has sailed.

Most of my experiences at the Stadium come from my childhood in the eighties. I took a long hiatus from baseball through my hippie phase (high school) and my artsy/intellectual phase (college and beyond) and when I finally came around to rediscovering baseball in my mid to late twenties, so much had changed.

Not just the preposterous rate of homeruns, but the experience of being at the ball park. Bells, whistles, noise.

Maybe I'm just romanticizing, but I remember a much calmer atmosphere in my childhood, at least as far as that damned PA system was concerned.

I don't get to see too many games in person, but when I do, man, the constant barrage of noise and commercials almost makes me regret being there.

Almost--it's still baseball and it's still Yankee Stadium, but man, I wish they could just strip away the fat and let us focus on, well, you know, baseball.

2008-04-04 08:42:28
33.   Bama Yankee
25 Yeah, I'm sure Torre would have bunted in that situation also. But I'm just glad to see that Girardi was willing to do it as well. It's funny: the anti-bunters think that Torre bunted too much and the pro-bunters think that he didn't bunt enough (I guess that probably means he did it about the right amount).

It might not have been a slam dunk, but IMO it was at least a layup. In your scenario that results in Giambi up to bat, I would pinch hit Duncan if I'm concerned about Giambi facing the lefty. But I do see your point.

2008-04-04 08:45:55
34.   The Mick 536
My favorite Yankee bathroom story happened on May 20, 1976 at a Bo Sox game at the Stadium. At end of 8th, after a night of several beers, visited the john. Very crowded. Lines for the urinals. Lots of funny routines. Bad smells. Woman in skirt comes into the room, pulls off her panties, pulls up her skirt, puts a leg over the sink and pees. The place went totally quiet. People, even those in mid stream, turned to watch. There were cheers, looks, huhs, and some amazing lines. Haven't gone to the bathroom at the Stadium since that time and not thought about it.

Remember it well for a number of reasons. Ex-wife was a Sox fan who loved Yaz (they had the same birthday). Yaz hit two homers in the game which that Yankees lost 8-2. She cheered and flashed the bird to Yankee fans who screamed at her. Guidry pitched the ninth and gave up 4 runs, including one of Yaz' homers. It was the first time I think I ever saw him in person. Never thought he would be any good.

2008-04-04 08:47:18
35.   JL25and3
28 Jeter used to bunt on his own. It remains to be seen whether Girardi will forbid him to do that.

I'm with 25 . There's nothing new or different about Girardi calling for a bunt in that situation; that's strictly by the book. (I think it was already "by the book" when Albert Spalding called it.)

And there's no real opposition to it here, either. Even Earl Weaver would bunt there.

2008-04-04 08:48:21
36.   weeping for brunnhilde
19 That's my biggest concern. I always find a free seat behind the plate in the upper deck because, yeah, it's just perfect. It feels really intimate despite the height and you can command the whole field.

I don't like the idea of those seats being inferior to what they are now.

It troubles me.

2008-04-04 09:08:08
37.   Rob Middletown CT
I have no problem with the bunting last night. It made sense: 8th inning, tie game, Mo warming.

Torre's bunting (or Jeter bunting on his own) early in a game is what drove some of us nuts. I've nothing against bunting. I'm against stupid bunting.

I too love the upper-deck seats right behind home plate. Great view! I'd rather sit there than just about anywhere else. In the new Stadium, I expect those seats will be 2 miles from home plate.

I don't really mind, b/c I hardly ever go to games anyway. I can watch on YES.

2008-04-04 09:24:22
38.   JL25and3
37 That's fine. I just find it a little amusing that Girardi was heaped with praise for bunting in a situation where anyone would have bunted, because Torre would have bunted other times as well.
2008-04-04 09:29:56
39.   williamnyy23
38 I don't think the issue was whether Torre bunted too much or too just seemed as if he always picked the wrong time to do it. Girardi had more than a few opportunities to bunt over the first three games and decided to only use it in a pretty good spot. I think that's a good sign, but admit true tendencies will be established over time.
2008-04-04 09:33:02
40.   Schteeve
I know it was only one at bat, but I'm kinda into Billy Traber. He has that funky hitch in his delivery, where he rolls up onto the balls of his feet and then comes down before releasing the ball. It must make timing your swing pretty difficult.
2008-04-04 09:34:22
41.   51cq24
i was also at the game last night, but in the upper deck (row n) behind home plate. 19 is right, those are by far the best, especially since no one can really get in your way up there where the seats are steep. you can also see the movement of the pitches, which was incredible when mariano came in and when joba threw that slider that made zaun (i think) throw his bat down the line.

i've been all for a new stadium all along, and still look forward to it. alex gets the bathroom situation exactly right. i also don't like having to pee at a urinal with people all around when i feel rushed. yankee stadium is the worst for this. add in the fact that most of the stalls are taken up by smokers, it's really not a good situation (speaking of smoking, i overheard a pretty funny conversation behind me- a girl was complaining about getting a misdemeanor disrupting the peace for smoking when she was drunk at a game one time: "they gave you a misdemeanor just for smoking???" "well i told the cop to fuck off"). anyway, i had my coffee early yesterday and cut back on water, so i was able to go the whole game without having to explore the upper deck bathroom scene. without that, i was free to really think about yankee stadium and all the things i've seen there, and actually started to get pretty sad.

10 it sounded like a couple people booed him after one at bat, but not many.

2008-04-04 10:10:20
42.   jkay
I froze my ass off Tuesday night in the last row of the upper deck, just past first base. I always get a kick out of sitting in row "x" but I will not miss the obstructed view. You can not see the RF corner from these seats. Many upper deck seats have obstructed views. I will have fond memories of the old place but I will not miss it. It is time to move on.

Marchman has a subprime chip on his shoulder. The city was rich long before subprime and will be rich long after.

We will get a first look at customer service in the new Stadium this month. The ticket office is sending out letters with new seat locations for season ticket holders. It will be a good guage on how smooth the transition will be.

2008-04-04 10:13:16
43.   Sliced Bread
39] that's exactly it, but JL and others are probably correct that many of us (myself included) may be jumping the gun on the Girardiball meme.
I was just very pleased to see them pull out a series victory taking small bites, and didn't hesitate to chalk it up as a "Girardi Win."

All this discussion of peeing at the Stadium reminds me of a girl I was once interested in dating. Pretty sure it was in the middle of the miserable 1990 season. Went to the Stadium with a small group of co-workers from my first job out of college, including the lovely young lady who I liked. In my memory she looks a bit like Lindsay Lohan. We're tailgating in the garage, and she and I are talking away, and we get separated from the pack. She tells me she has to go to the bathroom, and next thing I know she's squatting beside a car, not the least bit embarrassed to be hiking up her skirt, or dropping her shorts (don't remember which) in front of me.
I looked away, and we quickly laughed it off, but long story short, I think it prevented me from following my instincts with her. I think I was intimidated by her, or was caught in the old "shyness that is criminally vulgar" phase of my early 20's. Now, had she caught me in one of my horny jerk phases this story might have ended differently... anyway, somewhat regrettable. She was a good-looking, and quite the pisser (as in fun).

2008-04-04 10:24:54
44.   OldYanksFan
My first ballgame 'bathroom' experience was at Fenway, in 1969. Simply put, you could not by intentional design, create a more disturbing experience.

Urinals? Stalls? At Fenway, the entire back wall of the men's room was one, long (maybe 25'?), continous porcelain trough. Men squeezed in shoulder to shoulder. A visual so disturbing I had to close my eyes.

I have not used a ballpark bathroom since, and don't plan on it. I'll just have to read about the 'New Stadium Experience' here.

2008-04-04 12:49:16
45.   Chyll Will
44 Usually under circumstances like that, I take a step back and bellow, " 'scuse me while I whip this out..." (my apologies to anyone who now recognizes me...) If I don't get enough room with that, I pretend the back part of the urinal is a snow bank and write my name en español. I'm really not that self-conscious, after that whole thing with, you know, the ball game and the girl in the stands... >;)
2008-04-04 12:59:35
46.   Chyll Will
43 Wowzers... talk about throwing caution to the wind (among other things...)
2008-04-04 13:04:36
47.   Chyll Will
42 One more... I guess that means Marchman is gonna advance from annoyance to full-blown rage down the line when we least expect it? Look out Merrill Lynch! >;)

I'm done for now...

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