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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Pinch hitting: Alex Bleiweis

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Pinch hitters on Feb 06, 2011 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Our next Pinch Hitter is Alex Bleiweis, a sophomore studying history at the University of Maryland. He co-hosts a sports talk show for the university radio station called Quahog Pizza, which can be heard at 10 p.m. on Tuesdays at wmucsports.com.

Alex says being a Yankees fan runs in the family – his grandfather was born while the old Yankee Stadium was under construction — but experiences away from the Bronx have left him questioning some of the Yankee fan experience.

I have been a Yankees fan all my life, however, after going away to college during the 2009 championship season and being exposed to other baseball markets, I’ve realized that there’s a lot to complain about as a Yankees fan. Sure, it’s always nice to root for a team that puts a great product on the field, but since the opening of the new Yankee Stadium, it’s become more and more frustrating to root for a team that treats its fans so poorly.

As a student at the University of Maryland, I have been immersed in the surprisingly boisterous fan base of the Washington Nationals. With a state of the art stadium and the prospects of slowly climbing up the ranks of the N.L. East, people in the area are oddly excited about the team’s potential.

Because the games are on TV locally and the stadium is so accessible, I’ve adopted the lowly Nationals as my team away from home. I still pay attention to the Yankee Universe on a daily basis but have found it enjoyable to follow another team and familiarize myself with the likes of Ian Desmond and Roger Bernadina. I’ve also enjoyed going to a stadium where the employees are courteous and accommodating to their guests — the fans. After experiencing life in Nats-Town, I’ve become severely disappointed in the treatment of fans at Yankee Stadium.

There is no doubt that the Yankees and the Nationals are distinctly different teams. One has 27 World Championships and international fame while the other barely manages to make it onto SportsCenter. But they are still two Major League Baseball teams, and the Yankees should definitely take advice from the Nats when it comes to how to treat their fans at games.

Before I go into detail on my experiences in Washington and in the Bronx, I would first like to dispel some of the arguments that my friends have made when I’ve tried to draw the comparison between the two organizations. I always hear people say that the Nationals stink and pampering the few who actually show up on game day is the only way to maintain a fan base and make a profit. Others have said that since nobody shows up to the games, the employees are less strict and don’t really keep control of the fans like they do in New York. Both of these arguments fall short, as explained through these experiences.

• At a SOLD-OUT exhibition game against the Red Sox in Washington, my friend and I were in line to buy a pretzel at a concession stand. Just before we reached the front of the line, the stand sold out. Instead of sending us on a long search for food (which, by the way, is substantially less expensive than it is in New York), we were given a free bag of roasted nuts while we waited for more pretzels to be brought to the stand. We were perfectly content to wait, as we stood in the concourse with a good view of the game and had a bag of free food (every college kid’s dream). I could never imagine that happening in the Bronx, where the ultimate goal is to make money, more so than to make patrons happy.

• A week later when I went to Nationals Park for an opening series game against the Phillies, where 27,000 fans showed up, my friends and I were treated to another pleasant surprise. While walking around the stadium to explore it a little, an usher actively invited my friends and I to sit in the section that he was assigned to, which was two levels closer to the field than the upper-deck seats we had purchased. There was no need to get bodies closer to the field for TV or PR purposes, as some have suggested, because the stadium was already relatively full. It was simply a kind jester on the part of a Nationals employee who had a few empty seats and noticed a handful of eager baseball fans. Not only could I not imagine this event happening in New York, but I have, in fact, experienced the exact opposite treatment, as I’ll explain.

These are just two examples out of many of where the Nationals go out of their way to please their guests and show a great interest in making sure that their experience is as memorable as possible. They go the extra mile even when it’s not necessary. I contrast that with the following experience at Yankee Stadium and it has led me to become almost hesitant to continue going to games in the Bronx.

• At a game this past summer against the Angels, in which the Yankees were destroyed 10-2, my three friends and I felt mistreated by the Yanks. With the team trailing by 8 runs in the later innings of the game, the Stadium had emptied almost completely and only a small fraction of the 47,000-person crowd remained. A majority of these fans were in the upper deck, like I was, which is apparently where the true fans are relegated to sitting in the new ballpark. After watching our favorite team get clobbered for three hours, we decided to head down to the lower level for the ninth inning so that we could bolt to the train station as soon as Frank Sinatra starting blaring through the stadium. For the first time, I was grateful that the Yankees decided to build a stadium with open concourses so that I could catch the game while standing by the exits, but this was not to be. An usher, who was diligently guarding a literally EMPTY section behind home plate, made it her personal business to rid the lower level of the ballpark from the mere peasants. We were not even attempting the blowout ritual of moving up to the better seats when the fake fans left. However, this usher continued to harass us and attempted to move us out of the concourse. She was aggressive and rude, as were the ushers around her who swarmed in to support her cause. We were only standing next to the concession stands, not even in the ticketed section that she was guarding, yet she continued to push us away until Derek Jeter bounced into a game ending double play. This stood in stark contrast to my experience in D.C.

When an usher actively prevented my friends and I from standing behind a completely empty section while the Yankees were down by 8 runs in the 9th inning, I realized that I had been spoiled by the usher who actually invited me to move down to better seats in a crowded April game in Washington. Although I wrote a letter to the Yankees explaining my feeling that fans who are loyal enough to stay till the last out should be treated better, I never got a response.

Would it kill the Yankees to allow fans to move up when a section is completely empty? If they can’t because we haven’t paid for access to the section, could they at least let fans be when they’re standing in the open concourse? I thought the point of that architectural design was to allow this exact sort of access. As an innocent adolescent, I never cared about how the fans were treated at the stadium.

However, now that I’m older and I’m a paying customer, it has become more enjoyable for me to go to a ballgame in Washington than in New York, which is incredibly disappointing. While the Nats will trail the Yankees in wins for many years to come, the Yankees trail the Nationals in giving their fans a great experience. If the Yankees want to truly maintain greatness, they should aspire to be more like my adopted team, and be willing to go out of their way to improve the ballpark experience.

Associated Press photo

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170 Responses to “Pinch hitting: Alex Bleiweis”

  1. austinmac February 6th, 2011 at 9:04 am

    Since my niece is in charge of food services at the Nationals park, I will claim all credit for good service. I was clearly a good uncle. :)

  2. Wave Your Hat February 6th, 2011 at 9:09 am

    “Since my niece is in charge of food services at the Nationals park, I will claim all credit for good service. I was clearly a good uncle.”

    I’ve been to the Nationals park a number of times. The food there is really, really good. Congrats to your niece.

  3. KPB February 6th, 2011 at 9:12 am

    MTU

    If your around, I’ll talk to you later. It appears to be time for another hour long nap aka sleep. Wish me luck. I’ll need it. :smile:

  4. Abe Peterham February 6th, 2011 at 9:13 am

    New York attitude gets old at times..
    It’s the toughness doctrine for handling the masses.
    Individual thoughts don’t count. It’s a trade off of a massive city functioning I guess..

  5. MTU February 6th, 2011 at 9:15 am

    KPB-

    Instead of just counting sheep I suggest you try counting NYY World Championship trophies. That should take a while and help you to have a restful sleep.

    ;)

  6. austinmac February 6th, 2011 at 9:20 am

    Wave,

    Glad to hear about the food. She got my nephew and friends tickets to a game. He was to see Strasburg only to have him get hurt. I will check for an inter league game this or some year.

  7. Wave Your Hat February 6th, 2011 at 9:24 am

    FWIW, some LA writers’ views on Russell Martin:

    http://www.pinstripealley.com/.....ell-martin

  8. Tar February 6th, 2011 at 9:25 am

    Good job Alex.

    It’s been many years since I have been to Yankee Stadium on a regular basis.

    When I was on a regular basis I would buy the cheapest seat I could, or even better fold up a five and hand it the ticket taker. Same thing for the usher, You were guaranteed great seats. I wonder did you offer the usher a tip?

    Anyway, my point being, everyone is trying to make a buck. You would probably have to have some “corruption rules” in NY, that you may not necessarily have to have in Washington.

  9. MTU February 6th, 2011 at 9:28 am

    WYH-

    Thanks for the article.

    I have a good feeling about Martin.

    Maybe it’s just my optimistic nature coming out.

  10. pat February 6th, 2011 at 9:32 am

    Did you let the Yankees know of your experiences so they would have an opportunity to review their policies and did they respond to your letter?

  11. Fran the original February 6th, 2011 at 9:35 am

    Many will blame Joe Torre for running him into the ground, and for two years he did catch more games then any other Dodger catcher in history (2007/2008)
    *******************************
    Wave Your Hat,

    I thought Torre only ruined relief pitchers.

    Thanks for the article. I think Martin will do a good job at catcher. I especially hope he is good defensively since runners were stealing at will last season against Posada and Cervelli.

  12. MTU February 6th, 2011 at 9:38 am

    Pat-

    “Although I wrote a letter to the Yankees explaining my feeling that fans who are loyal enough to stay till the last out should be treated better, I never got a response.”

  13. pat February 6th, 2011 at 9:42 am

    Thanks MTU. Guilty of skimming.

    Fans deserve a response even if it’s not one you like.

  14. MTU February 6th, 2011 at 9:43 am

    Pat-

    Absolutely. He should not have been just blown off.

  15. Betsy February 6th, 2011 at 9:43 am

    LOL It’s hard to take that article seriously when one of the writers calls Martin a “douche”. That’s a journalist? As soon as I saw that word, exited the link. I’m looking forward to seeing what Martin can provide and, like you MTU, I’m

  16. Betsy February 6th, 2011 at 9:44 am

    Oops………….point is, I agree MTU – I have positive feelings about him.

  17. Cashmoney February 6th, 2011 at 9:46 am

    some thoughts on this Yankees off season thus far… Soriano came a little pricey, but heck, why not if there is nothing else out there. The Yankees will need one or two frontline starters, but that might have to come from within in a few years or via some unforeseen blockbuster trade down the road. I like some of little pieces the Yankees are picking up such as Garcia, Prior, Beliard etc, etc… I am surprised Manny signed for so little. As i think he can still be a better DH then Po.

    All in all, Can’t wait for baseball. I think this might be a transition year but nonetheless, hope spring eternal… can’t wait for baseballl in general.

  18. MTU February 6th, 2011 at 9:47 am

    Betsy-

    I hope he does a Swisher.

    :)

  19. Bronx Jeers February 6th, 2011 at 9:49 am

    As a season ticket holder I have to say that Alex’s Yankee stadium experience is merely the tip of the iceberg. Lot’s of a-holes working there.

    The beer girls are cool considering they’re dealing with drunks all night.

  20. MTU February 6th, 2011 at 9:53 am

    Jeers-

    Of course I know you wouldn’t be one of them.

    ;)

  21. upstate kate February 6th, 2011 at 9:56 am

    You would know better as a season ticket holder Jeers. From my limited experience, the personnel at new YS have been very pleasant and helpful. I do know you can’t move down during batting practice to get a closer view. I would guess that they are trying to make the expensive seats have more value by keeping the rest of us out!

    Probably the worst experience we had at any stadium was at the Trop when my elderly Mom’s handbag was searched and her unopened bottle of water was confiscated. At least at YS you can bring food and water in.

  22. Drive 4-6 February 6th, 2011 at 9:57 am

    The treatment of fans at the new Stadium is much improved over the old one. The Customer Service is far better now than it was. But last year we noticed some vendors being more rude and it seemed to my wife & I that the old attitude was starting creep in more.

    Our seats are in the upper deck. We’ve often seen large sections of better seats emtying out after the 7th ininng and can never understand why the team’s policy is to prevent the real fans from enjoying the rest of the game from a better seat. The worst feature of the new Stadium is the ugly concrete moat. We find the moat separating the unwashed from the priveledged as disgusting.

    I would suggest to anyone who wants to get a small taste of the best seats in the house that they come to the game about 1 1/2 hours before gametime. For about 30 minutes or so The Yankees allow fans to enter the Main Boxes and watch batting pratice. Just don’t try to cross the moat. They shoot those people on sight.

  23. Joe from Long Island February 6th, 2011 at 10:00 am

    Alex – I salute you for writing so well (something always difficult for me), and being brave enough to submit your work.

    As far as your points you raise – Maybe I’ve been lucky, but at both the old and new Stadiums, my wife and I have always been able to move down, late in the game if we so chose (maybe we look more responsible, I don’t know). And I’ve always found the Stadium workers – mostly older, retired folks from the neighborhood – to be nothing but pleasant to me. I tend to tip these folks (I can imagine them working hard to supplement their SS incomes), maybe that helps. In the new Stadium, I’ve found the kids who wave those “May I help you” signs to be helpful, and smiling.

    Heck, the only non-pleasant experiences have been from loudmouths who have had way too much beer.

    Again, I can only speak from my own experiences.

    Good luck on your studies.

  24. Bronx Jeers February 6th, 2011 at 10:01 am

    But I’m one of those happy drunks.

    Also, the more I drink, the more I tip. Can’t risk getting cut off late in the game. :smile:

  25. MTU February 6th, 2011 at 10:05 am

    Jeers-

    So. You’re a season ticket holder, eh ? And you didn’t tell you good buddy MTU until now.

    Good move on the tipping. Can’t afford to get the shakes during a critical moment.

    :)

  26. Drive 4-6 February 6th, 2011 at 10:06 am

    The biggest improvement is in the Season Ticket Sales Dept. Prior to 2009 you were made to feel fortunate if you received more than a grunt as a question’s response. The folks now are very helpful and go out of their way to assist you.

  27. MTU February 6th, 2011 at 10:09 am

    It’s time walk the Pupperattzi.

    BIAW.

  28. Barry February 6th, 2011 at 10:12 am

    The Yanks have nothing to learn from the Nationals. This piece is incredibly naive. Unworthy of Lohud.

  29. neilselvester2 February 6th, 2011 at 10:15 am

    I have been to 3 games at Yankee Stadium and 1 at Nationals park(i come from Scotland so getting to games isn’t easy). While i haven’t had any particularly bad experiences at Yankee Stadium, excluding losing to the Angels, i would have to say that i was treated exceptionally well in Washington. I also had nosebleed seats for a game between the Nats and the Phillies when an usher, after finding out this was my first MLB game and that i was foreign, offered me seats usually saved for handicaped fans. Strictly professional – maybe not, but there were dozens of these seats free and i was made aware that i would have to move if anyone needed the seats. And then the Phillies lost. Good day all in all.

  30. Ruby Tuesday February 6th, 2011 at 10:19 am

    The

    biggest

    Y a w n e r

    yet .

  31. Bronx Jeers February 6th, 2011 at 10:26 am

    MTU,

    Partial season ticket holder. The Friday night plan.

    And I think I’ve been to about 13 different ballparks and yes, Yankee Stadium is definitely at the bottom in terms of “service” or whatever you want to call it. But I do think it’s more of a NYC thing. I can probably say the same thing about the TSA screeners at JFK or the clerks working at a drug store.

  32. GreenBeret7 February 6th, 2011 at 10:34 am

    Looks like the Red Sox are kicking the tires on Alfredo Aceves and looking to possibly sign to a minor league deal.

  33. Mell February 6th, 2011 at 10:39 am

    “Looks like the Red Sox are kicking the tires on Alfredo Aceves and looking to possibly sign to a minor league deal.”

    Any indication the Yankees are doing the same, or do you think his time as a Yankee is finished?

  34. BoJo February 6th, 2011 at 10:40 am

    Wave Your Hat February 6th, 2011 at 9:24 am

    FWIW, some LA writers’ views on Russell Martin:

    http://www.pinstripealley.com/…..ell-martin

    _______________________
    From that article:
    “1. Russell Martin strengths/weaknesses? The Russell Martin who played for the Dodgers since the 2008 All-Star Game has little power, is pull crazy, and is a douche. ”

    Is a douche being claimed as a strength here..as in he is handy to have around if things start to get foul? :lol:

  35. JCPD February 6th, 2011 at 10:41 am

    Ruby Tuesday February 6th, 2011 at 10:19 am
    The

    biggest

    Y a w n e r

    yet .

    ————————————————————————————

    Not possible. That distinction would go to you and Yankeesnmore……. the Twin Sons of Different Mothers

  36. GreenBeret7 February 6th, 2011 at 10:43 am

    Mell February 6th, 2011 at 10:39 am
    “Looks like the Red Sox are kicking the tires on Alfredo Aceves and looking to possibly sign to a minor league deal.”

    Any indication the Yankees are doing the same, or do you think his time as a Yankee is finished?

    ———————————————————————————————————————-

    I would hope the Yankees were talking to Aceves, but, I haven’t seen anything about it since November/December.

  37. BoJo February 6th, 2011 at 10:45 am

    Bronx Jeers February 6th, 2011 at 10:01 am

    the more I drink, the more I tip
    ===================
    Do you mean physically? Must be hard to walk that way.

  38. BoJo February 6th, 2011 at 10:48 am

    Alex–I enjoyed your article. Well done.

    I hope you have the chance to visit many other stadiums in your life…

  39. yankeefeminista February 6th, 2011 at 10:49 am

    GreenBeret7 February 6th, 2011 at 10:34 am
    Looks like the Red Sox are kicking the tires on Alfredo Aceves and looking to possibly sign to a minor league deal.
    _______________
    I am not a fan of this happening. Do we think he is that damaged that he is not usable? He is a great long man when healthy.

    As for Yankees PR, the customer service at NYS, is much improved. The new employees cannot be nicer. Although I agree the moat issue is laughable and elitist. But why blame the little people who just follow orders from the top? Blame the Yankees themselves who were actually shamed into letting fans go down to the moat area during BP. That too was once a “no no.” My main complaint is that some at the Yanks ticket office show utter indifference to handling upgrades and utter season ticket holder needs properly depending on which ticket rep answers the phone. Yanks need to work on their general ticket office equity b/c it is not an even playing field. I know people who have 20 years seniority who via fluke have worse seats than new business season ticket holders. However, that is a whole different story.

    Nice effort, Alex, if a bit subjective, and based on one experience at NYS.

  40. Crawdaddy February 6th, 2011 at 10:49 am

    “I would hope the Yankees were talking to Aceves, but, I haven’t seen anything about it since November/December.”

    With the Yankees starting pitching situation being what it is, if they’re not interested in Aceves, it tells me that something beyond his physical problems have soured them on Ace.

  41. BoJo February 6th, 2011 at 10:55 am

    I know I would be worried about Ace’s back conditino. I suspect the Yankees want to see him audition in spring (after his shoulder recoveryu is complete) before signing him…and I suspect the Red Sox would as well. I would be surprised but not shocked if they signed him without an audition, whereas I would be shocked if the Yankees did.

    At the end of the day, I suspect Ace’s agent will advise him to wait until healthy and then audition before Yankees and Red Sox and run up bids. I think at that time–if he is healthy–Cashman will bring him back.

  42. Betsy February 6th, 2011 at 11:01 am

    Aceves has a chronic back problem that eventually is likely going to need surgery, so I’m not sure how he could possibly hold up as a SP…..

  43. Cashmoney February 6th, 2011 at 11:03 am

    who is Russell Martin? One year rental? Anywho… the Yanks looks on paper a slightly weaker team than last year. With P gone, the Yankees are currently are weaker club starting rotation wise and offensively (with Martin slotted as starter) than the club they trotted out last spring. I am not enamored with Jeter’s contract length and dollar amt , but he is a ‘legend’. It’s has been a bland winter due to lack of quality and quantity in FA market. Surprised about lee forgo the dollars to go back to Phillie of all places. But that’s his prerogative. I thought the dollar could have been better spent on Benoit rather than Soriano. Mo for two year seem to be reasonable.
    I see lopez went to Tampa on a minor league contract. He is prolly a better candidate than Belliard or Chavez. But these peripheral concerns are not really that big of deal in lieu of the starting rotation.

    Lastly, how does Mitre survives the purge year after year… read something about him being a potential fifth starter… no no to that.

  44. Gary February 6th, 2011 at 11:07 am

    Well your never going to get free food at Yankee Stadium and probably in the time your waiting for more food to arrive they will raise prices. :-)

  45. J. Alfred Prufrock February 6th, 2011 at 11:08 am

    I’ve always found the Stadium workers – mostly older, retired folks from the neighborhood – to be nothing but pleasant to me. I tend to tip these folks (I can imagine them working hard to supplement their SS incomes), maybe that helps. In the new Stadium, I’ve found the kids who wave those “May I help you” signs to be helpful, and smiling.

    ///
    OYS first aid very responsive.wouldn’t even accept tips.in the new park the stand-arounds with signs are polite & greet you in a friendly manner,but some of the section guards are in overdrive when it comes to returning to your seat after a restroom stop or whatever & demand seeing the ticket again.loosen up,people.my wife said to the guy,i’m a season ticket holder,i’ve come through twice before this,learn my face, & walked back to her seat without showing the ticket a third time.the guy shrugged & left it at that.they can be a pain in the a s s .

  46. G. Love February 6th, 2011 at 11:09 am

    Alex,

    Ever since the Yankees moved to the new stadium the employees and staff have been nothing short of wonderful to me and my family.

    Here’s a news flash–The people standing around the stadium holding signs asking if they can help you? They actually will help you! They’ll even go out of their way to help you. Amazing, right?

    My Mom, who is a Senior Citizen now, was allowed to use private elevators in Yankee Stadium when a Yankee Stadium employee noticed her walking with us a little slower than the rest of the crowd. He went out of his way to get her over to the elevators and allowed all of the family to use them for the game. Made all of our days a lot more enjoyable.

    Or when my nephew had his birthday party at Yankee Stadium and as part of the tour they allowed him to go on the field with his family to take pictures even though they are not supposed to do that. Bunch of real meanies there.

    I haven’t had one bad experience with the staff at the stadium of late. They are professional and polite and willing to help you out.

    When my wife ran a 5k at the Stadium for charity this year, the staff opened up sections for us to sit in so we could take pictures and cheer her on.

    The only issue I ever have at the games are the drunk beer muscled idiots who think they’re on an episode of Jersey Shore every time they leave the house.

    And every time those kind of fools start to ruin other people’s enjoyment of the game, the stadium staff deal with them.

    While you should be thrilled about your free bag of nuts and the fact that the Nats allow you to sit in seats you haven’t paid for, taking a shot at the Yankees seems petulant to me.

    The new stadium is like Disneyland compared to the old stadium where they must have hired ushers from a special home for the disgruntled.

  47. YsGuy February 6th, 2011 at 11:11 am

    nice post alex!
    i coudnt agree more. i havent been to a yankees game in several years, and dont much misss anything about it. the last time i went we got stuck behing an accident on the gwb and didnt get into the park till the 5th inning. the time before that i was drenched with a beer thrown from behind us and aimed at the very nice people visiting new york from toronto for the first time (they had to leave)

    but it wasnt always this way. back before 1997, when the yankees didnt draw, they did let you move down quite easily. in fact, when i used to go to games all the time, back in the 70′s, you could buy a bleacher seat and go into the park and pretty much sit anywhere.

    i have been to ballparks all over america and consitently the worst one is yankees stadium in terms of the way you are treated. and its not just bacuase of large crowds, the phillies do a much much better job, as do the angels and dodgers. and all the midwestern teams that i’ve gone to see treat you better, but that’s just the midwesterner’s way.

    i root like hell for the yankees since i saw mickey in center at YS in 1964, but it is often a struggle.

    one last thing, might i suggest gesture in place of jester…

  48. Gary February 6th, 2011 at 11:17 am

    YsGuy same here. I used to go alot, but not anymore. Things in Yankee land I think at times are too regimented almost to the point of suffication. They must have a flock of event planners on the staff that script out every movement and moment of every game. After we stopped going to the stadium we went alot to Toronto to see them. Much looser atmosphere, easier for the kids to get close to the players and it just seemed so relaxed compared to the Bronx.

  49. Cashmoney February 6th, 2011 at 11:19 am

    Only been to YS a couple times, both times i bought food and watch the game. Not really a whole of complaint as long as Y is a competitive team. As far as other amenities goes, I will tried a spa or a resort to max those exp. anywho, i personally prefer home and hd tv. much more comfortable exp personally.

    Go Yanks.

  50. YsGuy February 6th, 2011 at 11:25 am

    i will say there are several reasons i dont go any more, one is the expense, while i can afford to go to a game occasionally, i just dont see the experience as being a hundred dollars better than what i get watching the game on t.v.

    the other big one is that i grew up in a half empty YS, where you could just go to the game and get a ticket for pretty much any RS game except opening day and otd (and sometimes on those dates, too!) then move BACK a bit and spread out into the seats in front and besides you. it was so much more comfortable than packing in like it always is now. these are obvious problems that have come up due to the team’s resurgence in the past generation, which is great for the team, but not that great for the casual fan who just wants to go see a game.

    throw in the drunk factor, the music being blasted at 8X the nessesary volume, the stupid cotton-eyed-joe crap they play and i’d just rather be home doing something else while i watch or listen to my team play.

  51. Gary February 6th, 2011 at 11:27 am

    YsGuy you forgot that at home you can watch endless replays of blown umpire calls.

  52. UpState February 6th, 2011 at 11:31 am

    BoJo February 6th, 2011 at 10:40 am
    Wave Your Hat February 6th, 2011 at 9:24 am

    FWIW, some LA writers’ views on Russell Martin:

    http://www.pinstripealley.com/…..ell-martin

    _______________________
    From that article:
    “1. Russell Martin strengths/weaknesses? The Russell Martin who played for the Dodgers since the 2008 All-Star Game has little power, is pull crazy, and is a douche. ”

    Is a douche being claimed as a strength here..as in he is handy to have around if things start to get foul?
    =======================

    Hilarious, BOJO – just hilarious !

  53. LGY February 6th, 2011 at 11:33 am

    They are not supposed to give you nacho cheese in the side with the garlic fries, but I am always able to convince them to do so.

    What more can you ask for???

  54. GreenBeret7 February 6th, 2011 at 11:36 am

    The last time I went to YS for a game, they refused to let me sit in the dugout and help manage the team. What a bunch of rude, insensitive people. The dugout food/snacks were terrible and few. Since I couldn’t sit where I wanted and the food choces were terrible, I’m never going back.

  55. J. Alfred Prufrock February 6th, 2011 at 11:36 am

    The Martin signing only works if he’s not blocking Montero.Even if he stays healthy & performs decently,it will be a bad deal if the yanks use his presence to stall Montero,who is much more important to the franchise’s ongoing success.

  56. GreenBeret7 February 6th, 2011 at 11:37 am

    the food ***choices***

  57. Betsy February 6th, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Martin is not going to stall Montero…………

  58. 86w183 February 6th, 2011 at 11:43 am

    If’s Martin is a “douche” that’s good news — he won’t stink!

  59. YsGuy February 6th, 2011 at 11:44 am

    the down side of being a ‘homebound’ fan of the yankees is the terrible state of thier announcing. all my life the yankees have had sub-standard announcers. phil was fun, but more like a crazy old uncle than a good announcer, and frank messer was just a mess. bill white was actually a pretty good announcer but not much of an analyst. mercer was as good as we’ve ever got, but he only got really good towards the end. when murcer started, i think phil was takiing him under his wing and showing him how to take advantage of the gravy train than actually announce.
    tony kubek was an excellent announcer but must have pissed people off in the organization bc it seemed like they just never embraced him. kaat was an excellent announcer but just a little too hung up on his career and his own thinking about the way things ought to be.
    john sterling was better when he started before all the canned calls. in fact i can rememeber listening the first time he did the ‘tha-a-a Yankees Win! which was a spontaneous outburst, unfortunatly he hit upon the idea of doing the same thing the next win and we have been cursed ever since. michael kay was a good writer and that shows in his broadcast work. michael kay is a terrible announcer and that shows, too, although he was much better as sterling’s sidekick than as a lead announcer. charlie steiner who might be as nice a guy as there is in announcing, was just too much like sterling and just didnt work in n.y.
    i hope suzyn waldman’s work hasnt held women announcers back as much as one would assume such bad work would.
    this is the yankees, this is new york! why do we always have substandard announcers? we can go get the best talent in the world to perform on the field, but we get a bunch of hacks to tell us what’s going on.

  60. J. Alfred Prufrock February 6th, 2011 at 11:45 am

    Betsy February 6th, 2011 at 11:38 am
    Martin is not going to stall Montero…………
    ///
    well I certainly hope not,but I remain uneasily about it.Ideally, Martin’s presence will assist Montero’s surer,steadier & inevitable path to the yanks.If that clearing a surer path becomes any sort of delay,that’s when the “veteran” stuff stands in the way of progress.

  61. Carlo February 6th, 2011 at 11:46 am

    A few comments on todays guest post.

    1 – I would rather watch a winning team then a team that stinks regardless of how I am treated.

    2 – as a season ticket holder, my biggest gripe is how anal the attendants are at the entrance to sections…..they make no effort to figure out who belongs in the seats….I go to 40+ games a year, make a trip or two from my seats to grab food or a bathroom break and have to show my ticket everytime I come back to my seat…..annoying

  62. YsGuy February 6th, 2011 at 11:54 am

    …and there is a special place in the hell-hole of all announcing for the michael kay – paul oneill act that we are subject to on yes. loved paulie, but c’mon, generally in the first inning or two he will tell micheal where he was for the past 3 weeks while he should have been following the team. he doesnt know a damn thing. then we are forced to listen to inning after inning of kay describing what oneill eats. then there is an inning or two of jokes about who makes more money and who is cheaper, especially when tippoing. then the game is probably over but we werent really paying attention.
    this is as bad as i’ve ever heard baseball broadcasting be anywhere. i’ve heard minor league games on the radio with a fill in announcer that are better than a kay-oneill broadcast. this is way below the standard of what yankees fans or any baseball fans should expect. kay, who is bad enough on his own, lets his job fall severl notches lower when he sits next to oneill, who makes no effort whatsoever at being an announcer.

  63. Cashmoney February 6th, 2011 at 11:55 am

    Having read a lot about Jesus last couple years, I am looking forward to see some ABs from him in spring training or during reg season. I do get a feeling from some of the stuffs i read that if a frontline starting pitcher becomes avail Cashman won’t hesitate in dangling him again. In dealing with hypothetical, how many Yanks fan here would have trade Jesus for Gaza?

  64. Ruby Tuesday February 6th, 2011 at 11:58 am

    My crystal says Russell Martin will be a complete bust .

  65. J. Alfred Prufrock February 6th, 2011 at 11:59 am

    Jesus for the whole Gaza Strip?I guess that makes a certain amount of historical sense.

  66. upstate kate February 6th, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    I would also think a team trying to build a fan base has to be more accomodating than a team w/ a well established fan base. When we saw the Dbacks play, my son was allowed to run the bases after. We would go see the Expos when they had $5 admission and $1 hot dogs. Toronto draws a lot from western NY, and has Yankee gear on sale at the games. The Rays have a summer concert series. I don’t expect the same extras from the Yankees.

  67. Cashmoney February 6th, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    Jesus prolly is the de facto landlord of Gaza strip Hitch.

  68. BoJo February 6th, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    YSguy–

    I love and appreciate the Yankee annopuncers who actually provided insight intot he game and saw things I didn’t, and explained them.

    I remember Jim Kaat suggesting that Scott Broscius would be an excellent Yankee acquisition in the year before they got him (he was hitting 200 IIRC)…or John Flaherty (great analyst who unfortunately lost his personality in a lobotomy) explaining why a certain play should be called coming up, and then watching as it unfolded as he predicted…or even Joel Sherman subbing for Susyn and talking about the dynamics of some trade opps that were coming up….

  69. J. Alfred Prufrock February 6th, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    upstate kate – I’d say the new stadium is overall a very courteous,fan friendly place,with some disappointments,but generally it’s responsive to the paying customer.

    as to your point that a team building a fan base has to be more accomodating,sure they’ve got to bring that fan back whereas the yankees just being the yankees takes care of that.OTOH,I hope the courtesies at the new stadium will not go by the wayside.in a right world,they should try just as hard if not harder as a thanks to all the support they receive from fans.great though they are,the yankees are not the only way to spend one’s disposable income & time.

  70. BIG AL February 6th, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    Betsy February 6th, 2011 at 11:01 am
    Aceves has a chronic back problem that eventually is likely going to need surgery, so I’m not sure how he could possibly hold up as a SP…..

    ———————————————–
    Thanks for your input doctor. Where do you get your facts that Alfredo will need surgery, when that has already been put behind him by real doctors, not the people who play them on LoHud.

    Having an opinion on baseball matters is one thing, to make a statement like yours, as if it were fact, is quite another.

  71. YsGuy February 6th, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    the problem at yankee stadium has alot more to do with the fans than management, imo. although they are the minority, the drunks and some increadibly rude people are what makes it so often a hostile environment for everyone, yankees fans and other fans alike.

    much like our great city when you squeeze that many people into a small space, some are going to use the anonymity to be increadibly rude and do some really really nasty stuff. cliff lee’s wife was only the most famous of many many people who were treated like crap by yankees fans at yankee stadium and this has been going on for decades.

    its too bad, b/c yankees fans are likely the most knowlegable fans in baseball and the majority are great fans and nice people. but in ny we all have the ‘live and let live’ attitude that may be nessesary to live in such a huge city, which can result in nobody seeing what goes on before our very eyes. it ruins the ny experience and the YS experience for people every day.

  72. GreenBeret7 February 6th, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    BoJo February 6th, 2011 at 12:04 pm
    YSguy–

    I love and appreciate the Yankee annopuncers who actually provided insight intot he game and saw things I didn’t, and explained them.

    I remember Jim Kaat suggesting that Scott Broscius would be an excellent Yankee acquisition in the year before they got him (he was hitting 200 IIRC)…or John Flaherty (great analyst who unfortunately lost his personality in a lobotomy) explaining why a certain play should be called coming up, and then watching as it unfolded as he predicted…or even Joel Sherman subbing for Susyn and talking about the dynamics of some trade opps that were coming up….

    ———————————————————————————————————————-

    and not one of them suggested trading Jesus Montero for Gio Gonzalez. smart people.

  73. YsGuy February 6th, 2011 at 12:17 pm

    wnyc is playing baseball play by play intersperced with frank sinatra music. ted williams just homered in his last mlb at-bat!

    can’t wait to see green grass!

  74. BoJo February 6th, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    GreenBeret7 February 6th, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    and not one of them suggested trading Jesus Montero for Gio Gonzalez.
    ______________________________
    I said they were good…not perfect. :lol:

  75. J. Alfred Prufrock February 6th, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    much like our great city when you squeeze that many people into a small space, some are going to use the anonymity to be increadibly rude and do some really really nasty stuff. cliff lee’s wife was only the most famous of many many people who were treated like crap by yankees fans at yankee stadium and this has been going on for decades.
    ///
    Ysguy – I was very close to that section.this wife of cliff lee stuff is basically full of B.S.the entire texas section was involved in bush chanting and shrieking,even as the score rose to 8-0,in an opponent ballpark.THEY were extremely arrogant & aggressively rude.Mrs. Lee is full BS in ridiculiing yank fans.she needs to check her own group’s behavior.you don’t carry on at the top of your lungs,waving texas flags and “woo hoo” ing in the faces of downcast people who are witnessing their team’s elimination from the playoffs.& if someone spit on them,it was not in the section they were in,but would have to have come from the upper tier,who I’m betting could hear their carrying on,even from above & which probably provoked the saliva stream protest (I am not condoning that by any means,if it even happened.I’m telling you I was very close to that section (226) & we were commenting throughout both games I sat through there how utterly disrespectful & bush the Texas “visiting” section was.

  76. Binger February 6th, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    Wow, the stadium sold out when they played the incredibly popular Phillies and Red Sox, who are from a different league no less? Good examples of standard attendance. And I think you were looking for the word “gesture”, not “jester”, though I’m sure the Nationals would hire them if they thought it would make people care about a team in one of the more crime ridden areas of the city.

  77. BoJo February 6th, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Binger February 6th, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    would make people care about a team in one of the more crime ridden areas of the city.
    _______________
    Is that true? I thought the area they built the new stadium was referred to as renovated area with good economic growth.

  78. frankd February 6th, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    Sorry to be late on this and apologize if someone else covered my angle. Alex, your article lacks perspective. Comparing an established team with a new one is not fair to either. I’m happy to hear that Washington is very fan friendly and I hope you will be able to have the same views in a few years. It may not seem like it to you but the Nationals are in a struggle for survival. I’m sure you have heard it before that baseball is a business. Someone or some group bought that franchise with the goal of increasing the value of their investment. Unless these people are extremely wealthy and have bought the team as a hobby there has to be some time limit on their goodwill to fans. They desperately need to attract fans and for the short term will do anything to pack the house. Having the established Orioles very close is not a good thing for them. The Baltimore franchise may have been the reason that the old Senators could not make it. By the way the Baltimore people also go out of their way for the customers. It may be the vicinity of Philadelphia that makes them more fan friendly. Many Yankee fans also make that trip and I haven’t heard anything but positive reviews. To get to at least 8 Yankee games a season and gaining a more balanced perspective try staying in Maryland and checking out Camden Yards.

  79. frankd February 6th, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    After I sent that last I did a quick look at some other comments. I deleted the jester/gesture gaff because I make mistakes sometimes and I got the point anyway. What really caught my eye was the discussion about the Mrs. Cliff Lee controversy. Even the man himself downplayed the incident but even if it were true. Even if it was 10 times worse Cliff Lee choose to go to Philadelphia. Philadelphia! Have you ever been to a game in that town? There is no where in all of professional sports that has worse fans. Sorry, that does not count English Soccer (football) fans. Something else is behind Lee’s decision. He took millions less to play in that town. He better have at least a shutout every time out.

  80. forum7200 February 6th, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    I have to say that these experiences had by Alex are not the norm in the new stadium. I have gone to 25+ games over the past 2 years int he New Stadium and I have to say its been an amazing experience.

    The staff there has been Extremely helpful and kind… I have seen on numerous occasions the concessions staff give kids new food items such as ice cream, soda and fries for free after they dropped the item trying to carry it.

    I have been able to move around the stadium without problem , except when trying to sit in the lower level with my upper deck ticket( which is to be expected) But I have never had an issue with standing behind the seats int he lower level and watch the game.

    I have a great time at the new stadium and if you go enough you learn the tricks of the trade to get the most bang for buck on food, the best way to enter and leave the stadium and the places where you can move around.

    I would not expect Yankee Stadium to be as fan friendly as say the Nationals because the simple fact is they don’t have to be. The Nationals do, the things they did in DC were meant to make you happy that day and then encourage you to come back another time. It has clearly worked, but to dismiss this as them just being plain nice is not true. Giving away free stuff to foster a good fan experience is part of their marketing plan.

    It is just a larger part of the Nationals plan than the Yankees. I have however seen the Yankees staff do this to a lesser extent.

  81. sommerjd February 6th, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    So the usher in DC was “a kind jester.” Was he wearing Nationals apparel or had he stayed with the traditional curly toed shoes with tinkly bells on the toes?

    Ever been to a New York City deli? I think the personnel at the Stadium probably have the same training. Toughen up, kid. I think the last time they gave out freebies to a ticketholder was the day Jeffrey Maier made “The catch.”

  82. ericns1 February 6th, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    G. Love is right – that was petulant but you are entitled to your views – been to Nationals Park – it is okay nothing exceptional but DC has a long way to go before it is thought of as a baseball town again.

  83. ericns1 February 6th, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    Regarding seats at the Nationals Park I went with a friend on a couple of occasions and when the usher he knew was there we could move to a better seat but if that person was not there tough luck – also have another friend who has seats in the 2nd deck behind home plate and when I tried to see him and say hi (I was sitting elsewhere) the security guy would not let me in – so that is not only in Yankee Stadium that this happens

  84. chilly4402 February 6th, 2011 at 11:51 pm

    Frank Sinatra doesn’t play when they lose.

  85. gary from chevy chase February 7th, 2011 at 11:57 am

    I’ve been a Yankee fan forever….. I probably went to 200+ games in the old YS before moving to the DC area. Sorry for the long post here.

    For years, I’ve enjoyed going to Baltimore – where the Yanks usually become the unofficial home team (especially in the past 10-15 years). The staff on hand (and the fabulous food) welcomed us even wearing Yankee gear.

    I also have adopted the Nats as my local team, and try to get to a dozen or so games a year. While it’s obvious they are a couple of years away from being competitive on the field, they are already highly competitive in the stands. The Lerner family (Nats owners) have decided that making this a fan friendly encvironment is a top priority, and it works. They train their employees to say welcome and glad you came, and to say good night and thanks when you leave. It’s a small thing, perhaps, but it sets a great tone.

    Last comment: my daughter is a life-long Yankee fan who had never had the chance to see a game at the old YS. So we made a trip up during the last season. After explaining to the ushers (duirng BP) that she wanted to get a bit closer to the filed since it was her first time at the stadium, they barred the way. OTOH, when the Yanks visited the Nats, she had her Yankee jersey on (we were seated in upper deck seats). An usher INVITED HER DOWN from our perch during BP to come next to the Yankee dugout and say hello to the players. When she called out “I love you Mo!” he smiled and tipped his cap to her. Made her day, month, and year. That’s what being fan friendly is all about.

  86. Joe Yankee February 7th, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    I was out of town for a few days and didn’t get to reply to this thread. I understand the kid’s argument, but there are several things in play here. First, the ritzy seats are for the people who can afford them. I get that. I don’t like it, but I get it. And, like everyone, I miss the old days of being able to buy cheap seats and move down to the good ones later in the game. Back at Shea in the old days, you could buy a $5 seat, grease an usher a few bucks and pretty much sit behind the duguout. But I have to agree that, in many ways, the ushers protecting each section are not particularly fan-friendly. I have seen them chase people from standing room areas, which seems wrong and does appear to defeat the purpose of having that wide open concourse. But I have also been to many, many games where they were very polite and only asked that people block aisles or get too close to the people who bought the standing room or cafe seats. If I’d paid for that ticket I wouldn’t want someone breathing down my neck. And, stranges as it is, in fairness to the Yankees, I’ve seen the ushers in the bleachers, pretty much every game, checking tickets. I once saw someone with $2,500 seats, who just wanted to check out the view from the bleachers, be told by an usher that they couldn’t go down into the bleacher section because it wasn’t their section. The guy literally stood there and said, “But, I have $2500 seats.” The usher didn’t change her mind. If those are the rules and they’re applied to everyone, I guess I can live with it.

    My bigger issue this year is going to be the $35 parking. Really? $35 every game? My little bleacher package, it’s only $15 a ticket.

    One more thing: I was at a game at the end of the 2010 season. They Yankees were losing a game by 5 runs and it was the 7th inning. One woman and her young son stood by the aisle and asked a couple of guys who were leaving if they could have their tickets. They guy gave them his tickets and the mother and son went to the seats. Two minutes later they were being walked up the aisle. The tickets had been confiscated and they were told to go to their actual seats. Tickets are property. Those two men gave the tickets to this woman and her son, so those tickets became theirs. And yet they were booted out. Several people saw this and were furious. The usher didn’t give a damn. The child was crying and the mother was mortified. Really — an end of season game, Yanks losing, people filing out of the stadium in droves, and people — now with tickets in hand — are told to get out. Come on. I’m not sure if these were $500 seats with no freebies or the $2500 seats for which you need a wristband and get unlimited food, drinks, etc. Either way, they had tickets.

    It all really sucks. It’s just not fun anymore. I always laugh when I see photos around the stadium of guys like Ruth and Berra signing autographs for fans. It wouldn’t happen today, because it’s now more of a business than a game, more a corporate write-off than a family activity.

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