Here at DDD, we love to share as much of as up close and personal experience as we can. With that said, our good friend Seth, a native New Yorker and a realistic Yankees fan, wanted to share with you his first impressions of the "House That Jeter Built" as he calls it. He was at the opener Thursday.Take it away Seth....
April 16th, 2009 was circled on my calendar ever since MLB released the 2009 schedule. I am an "old school" NY Sports fan. I root for the Yankees, the NY Football Giants, the Rangers, and the NBA team that plays at MSG.(or should I say NIT team that plays at the Garden, but that could be for another post) The excitement that was generated for the opening of this $1.5 BILLION stadium was unreal. But did the Yankees really need a new stadium? Was the cathedral that was known as Yankee Stadium antiquated? The answer is a resounding No and No!! Yes, the old stadium had very few luxury suites; Yes, the parking situation was awful.....But every time you got off the 4 train and saw " The House that Ruth built" you knew you were in for a treat. It really was a cathedral...There was a certain buzz and aura...And the seats behing home plate were at 100 % capacity, something lacking at the new Stadium.
So, I arrived Thursday at the NEW Yankee Stadium(the house that Jeter built) at 1130 for a 1pm game. The Yankees asked everyone to be in their seats at noon sharp, for the pregame festivities. That left me plenty of time to get my hot dog (or 2) and soda and settle into my seat. Well....I waited on line for 35 minutes for 2 Nathans hotdogs, a soda, and a water. Not a bad deal for $21...Wow!! And, the guy in front of me was told they wouldn't have hamburgers ready for another 15 minutes. At 1210, the festivities began. They started by thanking the man responsible for all of this, George Steinbrenner. In my OPINION, Steinbrenner was the greatest owner in all of sports. He spent his own millions, putting it into his baseball club. He also made every other owner rich. Plenty of MLB owners, including Kansas City's, are worth alot more than Steinbrenner. However, they put the $$$ into their pockets, not their pitching staffs. Thank you George!! The Yankees then paraded ex-stars onto the field and John Fogarty gave a nice rendition of Centerfield. Bernie Baseball then got 10 minutes or so to blast out take me out to the ballgame. After both clubs were introduced, it was time to play baseball.
However, things seemed weird, almost anti-climactic. I felt like I was at an amusement park. There was a lavish steakhouse in the ballpark...A Hard Rock Cafe, An Audi Club, and scores of other novelties. If I wanted to go to an amusement park, I can go to Six Flags. The Stadium itself was silent. When CC Sabathia had 2 strikes on a batter, the crowd did not stand in unison, as it usually does. When Mark Teixeira hit his 1st Yankee Stadium HR on Friday, there was no curtain call. During the 5th inning, I texted my buddy and said this is one of the most boring games I have ever witnessed. It seemed baseball was taking a back seat to the billion dollar 7th wonder of the world.
I am also baseball purist. I do not mind the long ball, but watching routine pop-ups sail into the bleachers is a joke. 20 home runs in 4 games...this is not Coors Field. In short, the new Stadium has a ton of issues that need to be rectified. I know nothing can probably happen until next season, but here are a few things to consider:
1) Once they tear down the old Stadium down, the wind currents might change
2) The Yankees may have to consider moving the fences back in right field....I know the dimensions are the same as the old Stadium, but Melky Cabrera should not be hitting tape measure shots
3) They should give away the $2000 lower level seats to charity if they are going to remain empty. It looks ridiculous on TV.
If I were Danny Sheridan, the old Stadium would be a 7 1/2 point favorite over the new Stadium!!