The grand spectacle that was Yankee Stadium is now gone. Lost for the ages with only its memories to preserve its image.
Now, the new Yankee Stadium opens. A $1.5 billion monstrosity that caters to the player’s every need. I mean did you see Nick Swisher’s interview? I swear that guy creamed his pants at least twice while talking about the Stadium.
And yet, the fan can enjoy it too. Wireless Internet access, over 50 luxury boxes, espresso bars…wait. What the Hell are the real fans going to do? And how is any normal middle-class fan going to afford tickets to take their family to the new Yankee Stadium? Hal Steinbrenner came out last week and said given the recession some Yankee tickets “may” be overpriced.
No frickin’ way!
Hey, at least you can go see the Yankee Museum inside the park. It features signed baseballs from over 600 Yankees and ex-Yankees, and Thurman Munson’s entire locker, that was kept empty in the locker room as a tribute to him after his death in 1979.
So today, the Titanic of ballparks opens its gates to the public as the Yankees take on the Indians. The pitching matchup pits Yankee starter and ex-Indian CC Sabathia against flash-in-the-pan Cliff Lee. Oh boy.
This could be the smack-job to end all smack-jobs.
OK, the pregame show has started on time. Let’s follow this bad boy from the gaudy pre-game spectacle (that only New York fans can enjoy) to the game itself. And we’ll play “Count the fakes!” This is the game where we count all the fans wearing either A-Rod or Mark Teixeira jerseys or shirts. These are the obvious fake Yankee fans. I expect the stadium to be littered with fakes, obvious and hidden alike. I love that my Red Sox have not sunk to the depths of a gaudy new stadium…yet.
12:11pm: An interview with Derek Jeter is being shown with him talking about the new stadium. Unlike Swisher, Jeter is nowhere near creaming his pants. This has to hurt for Jeter.
12:15pm: A classy show so far with the West Point Marching Band providing music from the outfield.
12:25pm: One of my favorite artists of all time, John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival is performing his song “Centerfield”. I’m going ahead and saying 83% of people in that stadium have no clue who Fogerty is. Fogerty’s very good live, however. And his guitar is designed like a baseball bat…awesome.
12:30pm: Bernie Williams, former Yankee centerfielder is now performing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” with his guitar (which is not shaped like a baseball bat). So far so good for the Yankee pregame. This has to be the single best and classy non-lyrical rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” I’ve ever heard.
12:35pm: Old and ex Yankee players are being introduced, including Yogi Berra, who is slated to throw out the first pitch.
12:49pm: OK, ever since the Red Sox brass dubbed the Yankees the “Evil Empire”, the Yankees have done everything they can to get rid of that. Now, as their players are being introduced, the hero theme music from Star Wars is blaring in the background, as the “Imperial March” (bad guys in Star Wars) is played for the opposition. How original, New York, how original.
12:58pm: Kelly Clarkson is singing the National Anthem. I love this part of sporting events, because I like to see all these pop singers butcher the song to try and jazz it up. So far, she’s doing just that. Kudos to American Idol for ruining singing. The rendition was bad, but not as bad as it could be. And of course, the announcer’s loved it.
1:09pm: CC Sabathia throws the first pitch to Cleveland’s Grady Sizemore. It was a ball. Yankee Stadium has been christened with a ball. Way to go CC.
1:15pm: Sabathia has struck out Victor Martinez to end the inning and to become part of useless sports trivia in 80 years. The first K at the new Yankee Stadium.
1:20pm: The first base hit in the new stadium belongs, fittingly to a Yankee. However, it was hit by Johnny Damon, a man who won the World Series with the Boston Red Sox in 2004. Irony.
2:18pm: Un-mercifully, Cody Ransom throws out Jhonny Peralta at the plate to thwart the first run of the game. The score remains 0-0 in the 4th.
2:20pm: Kelly Shoppach gives the finger to Cody Ransom and hits an RBI double to deep left field. 1-0 Indians. The first run in the new Yankee Stadium belongs to Cleveland.
3:01pm: Yankee catcher Jorge Posada has hit the first home run in the new stadium with two out in the bottom of the 5th. The score is 1-1.
3:22pm: CC’s day is over after 5.2 innings of work and 122 pitches. This type of early season pitch count is what’s going to screw the Yankees come playoff time.
3:48pm: Jose Veras can’t hold it for the Yanks. Jhonny Peralta hits his second double of the day and knocks in 2. Indians 3, Yankees 1 in the 7th. This is the Achilles heel of the New York ballclub. Their bullpen needs some work.
3:52pm: Kelly Shoppach continues to give the Yankees the finger. A bases-loaded single scores one. 4-1 Chief Wahoo.
3:56pm: Damaso Marte walks in a run. The angst of Yankee fans is palpable. 5-1 Cleveland.
3:57pm: WHAMMY! Grady Sizemore breaks this one wide open with a Grand Slam (the first in New Yankee Stadium history). 9-1 Cleveland. Now the Yankee bullpen is giving the finger to their own club.
3:59pm: This is getting spectacularly embarrassing. Victor Martinez wanted to do yard-work so he brought his rake. Solo shot makes it 10-1. The first double-digit score put up in the new Yankee Stadium.
4:01pm: Ronan Tynan performs his version of “God Bless America” for the 900th friggin’ time at a Yankee game. Even God is sick of this song. There’s only so much blessing God has to give, and the Yankees request far too much. This is a song tailor made for crappy American Idol “singers” to butcher.
5:00pm: No, it’s not yet over. Indians’ pitcher Rafael Betancourt not only takes about 30 seconds between pitches, but with one out in the bottom of the 9th, he has loaded the bases. Sure, the lead is safe with the Indians up 10-2, but this game is approaching four hours.
5:04pm: Mercifully, Cody Ransom grounds into a double play to end this marathon. A poor showing by the Yankee bullpen sinks them in their home opener. Thousands of dollars were spent by a lot of rich people to watch them lose today. That gives me a good feeling inside.