Tier Reserve Section 8, Row O, Seats 9-11 (Photo on flickr by Ben K.)
Shortly before the 8th inning tonight, a small piece of metal went flying past me and landed on the back of the Cubs’ fan sitting in front of me. “Can you pass that back here?” a voice behind me shouted.
When we examined the projectile, we saw it was a silver seat plaque with a black 13 on it from one of the Yankee Stadium seatbacks. As the people around me handed this erstwhile souvenir of a doomed stadium back to the person who worked to pry it off, my thoughts jumped back to Opening Day when the Yankees announced the arrests of two people attempting to steal parts of Yankee Stadium. For the sake of the people sitting behind me, I wondered if the security guards had noticed.
Approximately five minutes later, I wondered no longer. Three Yankee Stadium security guards and a cadre of New York City police officers converged on Row O in Section 8 of the Tier Reserve. The perps tried to flee. One of them darted across the aisle until either an undercover office or a Good Samaritan stopped the kid and handed him over to the cops. The accomplices were carted off, and as everyone left in handcuffs, I realized that these vandals would be in a lot of trouble over what amounted to a flimsy piece of metal.
New York Magazine this week has printed a piece about the selling of Yankee Stadium and the price people will pay to acquire a piece of the House that Ruth Built. These kids — souvenir-hunters who announced their collecting attentions to anyone in earshot — are going to pay with marks on their records and public service or even jail time. They were caught prying seat numbers off their seats with a knife, and the glare of the lights and camera flashbulbs hit that tool. They could face weapons charges and probably won’t be allowed back in Yankee Stadium. The lesson is, of course, that Yankee Stadium vandalism is stupid, and it just isn’t worth it. Undercover cops and eagle-eyed security guards have the place covered.
Meanwhile, on the field, the Yanks sent something of a message to
Victor Zambrano Scott Kazmir and the first-place Rays. The Yanks, of course, won’t back down, and behind eight four-hit innings from Andy Pettitte, the Bombers beat Tampa 5-0. Andy Pettitte is now 7-1 with a 3.55 ERA over his last 10 starts, and Robinson Cano continued his hot hitting with a 2-for-4 evening.
Four other Yankees had two hits apiece, including a huge two-out, two-run double from Derek (who did manage to fulfill his GIDP quota for the night). Melky Cabrera homered after a three strike-out evening, and A-Rod went 0-for-4 in the first game after news of his divorce hit. Good game. Good win. We’ll do it again at 1:05 p.m. today.