Rooting for U.S. Steel

A tale of two Jobas
2009 Draft Preview: Damaged Goods

In the mid-1950s, when Casey Stengel’s Yankees were doing a whole lot of winning, some bemused and frustrated baseball writer (or executive or player) coined a phrase: “Rooting for the Yankees is like rooting for U.S. Steel.” This year, as the Yankees are seemingly involved in more off-field controversies than ever before, I am reminded of that phrase but for all of the wrong reasons.

The big story yesterday concerning the Yankees and the way the organization treats its fans focused around confusing communication during Monday’s rain delay. As I reported yesterday, some fans were told by employees that the game was being canceled. When those fans attempted to return, security guards refused to let them in.

In truth, everyone was to blame for that debacle. The fans shouldn’t be leaving without official confirmation from the team, and the team’s employees at the stadium should not be spreading false information about the game. That’s the short of it though. There was an undercurrent to the events on Monday that really bothered me. It goes well beyond a story told in The Times today about a guard who refused to let one fan see someone he knew in another section. At the time of that incident, the only thing on the field was the tarp and some rain.

When a riot nearly erupted outside of Gate 6, a Daily News photographer happened to be nearby. As he started snapping pictures of the brewing dispute, Yankee Stadium security guards threatened him with a revocation of his press credential if he did not vacate the scene. That’s a pretty egregious abuse of power.

The rain delay melee overshadowed what, on any other day, would have been a fairly shocking column by Bob Raissman’s mustache. The Daily News columnist is known more for his facial hair and outrageous opinions than anything else, but his column on the Yankees’ heavy hand in the stadium is well worth our attention.

Basically, members of the media are pretty unhappy with the way the Yankees are treating the press at the new park. The team has jacked up the park-and-power fees and live broadcast fees by 300-400 percent. The Yankees are trying to charge networks $12,000 per game, up from $3000 at the old park, just to broadcast. The team is jamming internal communications frequencies and isn’t allowing off-duty broadcasters into media-only areas that go unused.

According to Raissman, even Paul O’Neill was hassled by security. The beloved ex-Yankee was watching the Yanks take BP when a security guard told him he couldn’t loiter by the indoor cages. What an odd turn of events.

Having read Jane Heller’s book the Yanks’ efforts to block her access to the team, having seen Yankee officials defend obscenely high ticket prices, exclusionary access to the Stadium and blatant abuses of political power, I feel like I am rooting for some evil version of U.S. Steel. I know some RAB readers will accuse of me of being overly sensitive to the Yanks and buying into some anti-corporate portrayal of the team’s leaders. Still, from stadium issues on down, the Yankee Front Office has been rubbing me the wrong way this year. They certainly know how to lose a PR battle.

For now, though, I’m going to take solace in the fact that I’m rooting for a baseball club. I don’t need to like what the Yankees media department is doing or how their security forces won’t let fans watch BP from the empty expensive seats three hours before first pitch. I’ll cheer on Joba and Derek, Mo and Mark and hope they do well. Maybe as the Yanks win, the Front Office will relax and just let baseball happen as it should. We all like control, but at some point, overbearing control and security just become too much.

A tale of two Jobas
2009 Draft Preview: Damaged Goods
  • Corey

    meh, rich people treatin rich people poorly, where’s my violin at?

    • http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/00mwbIM15ofMv/340x.jpg Mike Pop

      In UrAnus.

      • Corey

        how lohud of you

  • jsbrendog

    is it just me or has everything changed? it seemed like while george was an egomaniacal maniac who was so competitive and hated losing so much he’d do anything/spend anything to win he was also in it for the fans. He wanted to win for the fans who came out to pay to see his team.

    the quotes he used to drop like the fans deserve better and such when attakcing players in the media are my evidence. granted, this could have been only a ploy to light a fire under an underperformig superstar, but I honestly feel George came to the stadium, heard the roars of the crowd and reveled in it and wanted to repay the fans with a winning product to continue the cycle.

    hank and hal have turned the yankees into wal-mart. again, maybe it is just me but they are butchering our experience and, personally, my desire to even attend games.

    The fact that I have to give my first exhibition game ticket to my girlfriend and ask her to try to get it signed when she attends yanks/mets at citi field because the yankees dont let you down to the rich ppl seats EVER, even 2 AND A HALF HOURS BEFORE A GAME WHEN IT IS POURING!!!, is disgraceful.

    I was having a conversation with a friend of 10+ yrs the other day, also a die har dyankee fan and I made a comment I felt i would be ostracized for, but I oculdnt hold it in any longer. As I get older and possibly move on to family life and have kids, I will seriously have to consider taking my kids to more mets games than yankee games because of things such as this. The current climate at Yankee Stadium is driving me, an absolute die hard who never missed a game on tv from 90-93 and was obsessed with guys like alvaro espinoza, andy stanciewitz, scott sanderson, and mark hutton, away from even wanting to attend.

    just my opinion, and I’m sure a lot of people will read this and not get a word other than “go to more mets games” and attack me for being a fair weather fan etc yada yada yada. But I know I will never stop being a Yankee fan and I will always watch as many games on Yes as possible and continue to get genuinely mad when the manager does something stupid, or aplayer makes a stupid play, or we snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. What it comes down to, for me, is the experience, and right now the Yankees are poised over the fan experience with a pillow slowly applying pressure to it, ushering it into the next lifetime.

    /rant end

    • steve (different one)

      maybe we should give the new stadium more than 11 games before we switch teams?

      • jsbrendog

        see? prove my point. its not about switching teams. i will never switch teams. its about thinking, as i said above, and will now repeat, that as i get older and if i have kids i will have to seriously consider taking them to mets games IF the yankees continue to foster this type of environment.

        “just my opinion, and I’m sure a lot of people will read this and not get a word other than “go to more mets games” and attack me for being a fair weather fan etc yada yada yada.”

        “The fact that I have to give my first exhibition game ticket to my girlfriend and ask her to try to get it signed when she attends yanks/mets at citi field because the yankees dont let you down to the rich ppl seats EVER, even 2 AND A HALF HOURS BEFORE A GAME WHEN IT IS POURING!!!, is disgraceful.”

        “As I get older and possibly move on to family life and have kids, I will seriously have to consider taking my kids to more mets games than yankee games because of things such as this.”

        thank you for proving my point

        • steve (different one)

          my point was more about giving it more time than the mets thing, but you are right.

          my bad.

          • jsbrendog

            its all good my friend, i was just saying. time is what i got most of.

            • http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/00mwbIM15ofMv/340x.jpg Mike Pop

              jsb,

              I can help you save money by taking your wife to the game while you go with your kids, will that help?

              If I gave you some money out of my wallet, would that help ease the pain?

              ;)

              • jsbrendog

                its not about the money. i just felt id be mroe comfortable playing for the team that gave me the most of it. they have great schools. but it was never about the money

                • http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/00mwbIM15ofMv/340x.jpg Mike Pop

                  Ooooh, okay. I see sir.

                  It does seem ridiculous, but I don’t go to games all that often. Watching a Yankees game without the voice of Michael Kay just makes me feel dirty. Heh, JK!!!!!!! But, once the train goes right to the stadium, gonna be great!

                • jsbrendog

                  yeah to clarify, im not going to stop going to games personally now, im going to go just as often as i always do. i was only saying, that should things remain the same/worsen in the regards that i mentioned i would be hesitant to bring the kids there. now thats quuuuuuuuuuuuite a bit down the yellow brick road haha

      • Chris C.

        “maybe we should give the new stadium more than 11 games before we switch teams?”

        Isn’t it during this time period that people should voice their concerns so things get rectified? These issues aren’t gonna get fixed unless people speak up.

        This is NY. People don’t except losing, and they don’t except conditions they don’t feel are worth the money they’re paying.

    • Steve S

      See I dont get this. I realize things havent been perfect at the New Stadium but everyone I speak to that has gone, for the most part, raves about the place. And a lot of these guys are casual fans who really dont follow the team on a daily basis.

      I see Monday as the exception, considering the weather and the mistakes made, if a fan who didnt get back in wants to be angry I can understand. However, I just dont get how you could go to that place watch 9 innings of baseball and somehow walk away unhappy. If the cost is prohibitive then Im sorry to say it but just dont go, watch it on TV. If going to the games and watching baseball is not enough, I dont know what to say. I didnt know it was the divine right of a fan to get autographs, I didnt know we needed to worry about how much NBC pays the Yankees to broadcast from there. I really didnt know I have to worry about Bob Raismman. To be honest Riasmann, Mushnick and Best, who I only know because I have heard their names on sports talk radio when Im caught in traffic, are really irrelevant figures in the sports media. They dont even write sports, they write about the coverage of sports, which I guess there can be an interest but I dont understand how they are relevant at a site like this.

      I think everyone is jumping to extremes because we are all unaccustomed to change. I think that statement is even stronger for baseball fans. I mean the NFL routinely changes major rules in the offseason, and some people complain and they live. Baseball fans are analytical and they love the ability to predict things based on past results. I think those characteristics make us uncomfortable with this change. But Im sorry, I have defend the Yankees and the Steinbrenners. They have a billion dollar empire on their hands that they want to grow. And whether it resembles walmart or not, they are trying to grow it and unfortunately for guys like us, the new additions and expansion are marketed for our demographic. And thats because ultimately, they know they have us because we dont go to the games for the food or the scoreboards or the cupholders or any of these other things, we go because we like to watch 9 guys in pinstripes play against 9 other guys in pinstripes.

      • Steve S

        corrections:

        “arent marketed”

        and

        “9 guys in pinstripes play against 9 other guys.”

      • Chris C.

        “See I dont get this. I realize things havent been perfect at the New Stadium but everyone I speak to that has gone, for the most part, raves about the place. And a lot of these guys are casual fans who really dont follow the team on a daily basis.”

        I believe you.
        Because the real fans you’d ask have described the place as gaudy, un-fan-friendly, and overpriced.

        People who don’t give a shit rave about the building? Congratulations. From the sounds of the stadium, I think it’s filled with casuals.

    • RustyJohn

      “hank and hal have turned the yankees into wal-mart”

      I can afford things at Wal-Mart and someone is nice enough to greet me at the door.

    • Chris C.

      “According to Raissman, even Paul O’Neill was hassled by security. The beloved ex-Yankee was watching the Yanks take BP when a security guard told him he couldn’t loiter by the indoor cages. What an odd turn of events.”

      Completely hilarious. This organization has become a complete reflection of team president Randy Levine.
      If this clown had his way, people would walk into the stadium, hand over their money, and there’d be no baseball game.

  • Todd

    Good read. I have felt this way for a long time. Ever since then Richard Kraft, the Yanks Director of Community Relations, referred to community residents as “monkeys” hanging on basketball rims in the park adjacent to Yankee Stadium and spoke of “colored boys” losing their roots. I love the team, but I have often viewed the front office and administration with suspicion. And the events you mention as well as Levine’s bullying antics have not helped.

  • Bo

    With all your talk on the stadium issue and every other issue besides the actual team you may actually be happier rooting for a smaller team.

    I don’t really care who they give or don’t give access to. I don’t care that security makes sure the grounds are safe and on lockdown. I especially don’t care that the press is not given carte blanche and is upset about it. I dont care that fans who should know better tried to get back in the stadium and were denied.

    • UWS

      If you don’t care, why did you bother to read Ben’s article and comment? It’s entirely possible that we don’t care that you don’t care.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

        This statement misunderstands Bo/Grant/Sal. Think of him as Raskolnikov. Everything will make much more sense.

        • http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/00mwbIM15ofMv/340x.jpg Mike Pop

          Wait a tick, he’s Sal too?

          • http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/00mwbIM15ofMv/340x.jpg Mike Pop

            Robert Sully Grant?

        • jsbrendog

          he’s sal too?! it makes more sense now

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

            I’m 90% sure.

        • Hobbes

          Holy! a Crime and Punishment reference on a Yankee’s site. I’m tingling.

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

            Actually, upon further reflection I think he’s more Pytor Petrovich, though that can be considered part of the whole of Raskolnikov.

            And yes, I love me some Dostoevsky.

        • JimT

          Love the “Crime and Punishment” reference. A bit of a Dostoyevsky fan myself.

  • Pauly O

    Should have broken a water cooler over that dudes head…. And where is Hank when you need him? Can we get some ridiculous quotes soon please? We just have 10 games away to the Sox in the standings!

    • Pauly O

      ****Gave

  • Anonymous

    At the end of the day, if the team was playing like a 90-100 win club I think the complaints would be a lot fainter.

    Combining disappointing play on the field with disrespectful treatment of and disregard for fans makes the pill that much tougher to swallow.

    Ha, I said “swallow.”

    • jsbrendog

      i disagree. while it may help somewhat, to me personally it wouldn’t. it is the experience of going to the ballpark itself, not the product on the field. I waited 3 or 4 yrs to see them finally win a game and after 30+ losses at yankee stadium didnt see them win until i went to fenway in 93 i think it was and saw tartabull hti 2 hr and the yanks win something like 14-5. but is till kept going back, and loving every minute of it.

      again, im separating rooting for the team from going to the games, tow compeltely different things. I will always root for the yankees whether they win, lose, or draw (bud will find a way). I will always WANT to go to the stadium, win lose or draw. But if the experience and jyo is gone, why bother going?

  • Sad Fan

    I’ve loved the Yankees my whole life but I haven’t been to the stadium and probably will never go. Everything about just seems to be done in poor taste. The team would rather play in a giant half empty building while keeping the real fans at as far away from the field as possible. Gone is the home field advantage, and the heart and soul of the Yankees, the House that Ruth built.

    • steve (different one)

      11 games

      it’s been 11 games.

    • Hobbes

      Sweet! More seats for me!

    • jsbrendog

      Gone is the home field advantage, and the heart and soul of the Yankees, the House that Ruth built.

      completely disagree. it is still in the bronx and yankee staidum. monument pakr is still there, and now theres a museum too which is pretty cool, and the same team still plays there. just now it is the house that babe ruth gave derek jeter a chance to build. the team will win championships there, the seats will fill as the economy gets better.

      nto to harp on it, but the only thing i agree on is that it seem they dont care about a fans experience, only their wallets. but again, so it goes. I only hope this is an anomoly and not the future norm for all teams.

  • Yankeegirl49

    Ben..well said. I agree with all of it.
    I root for the team on the field, not the corporation. I have been to 6 games plus the 2 exhibition games and have been treated well by everyone I have come in contact with. If it gets to the point that Im not..Ill revisit it then.
    Im not going to stop going to the games to prove a point or take a stance against the prices. I buy what I can afford and Im happy that Im in a position to be able to go to as many games as I do.

    Of course I’d be much happier if they would start winning some more, but I sat there thru the 80’s and Ill sit there now.

    • jsbrendog

      i was surprised when my friend got grandstand seats for 20 bucks, and they were real good seats. this whole pricing thing is being blown out of proportion. i couldnt afford field level seats then and i cant now. prices for everything goes up because as time goes by our money is worth less cause of inflation as well as a higher demand. things will even out

      • RustyJohn

        Yet another reason to banish the Federal Reserve and return to a gold standard- our Yankee ticket prices will remain stable. I knew I should have voted for Ron Paul.

  • Rich

    I suspect that the general atmosphere depicted is a reflection of employees carrying out policies that have been crafted by Randy Levine (and those who work under him), who Hal, as a fairly inexperienced CEO, has probably relied on too much.

    For all we know, Hal may have even been unaware of much of what has gone on. Assuming that he now does (the O’Neill incident may serve as a catalyst), he has to know that this atmosphere is putting the Yankee brand at risk and that it must be changed.

  • Jon W.

    We can all be as mad as we want to be about the prices, lack of access, etc., but one thing we should not be is surprised. The stadium was never about “giving the fans a better experience”, but only about making more money. The Yankees’ actions with the city (trying to gather as much taxpayer money as possible), and in the new stadium prove that. It doesn’t mean I’ll be any less passionate of a fan, but it does mean I’m not going to spend a lot of my hard earned money for obstructed view bleacher seats and poor customer service.

    • dexcente

      What taxpayer money did they gather?

  • UWS

    I wonder how much of the “fans treated rudely” thing comes from the higher-ups and how much is simply security people having an ego trip.

    Allow me to illustrate:

    I went to my first game at the new digs last Thursday. My friend and I got there early enough to catch the Angels’ batting practice and wanted to get a little closer than our Section 410 seats. We tried to sneak into Section and the usher told us to take a hike when she saw us (very rudely, I might add). So we went a few sections over, were nice to the usher there and he let us in.

    Also, while Yankee security certainly takes a lion’s share of the blame for all the shenanigans, fans going out of their way to be rude and disruptive instead of polite contributes as well.

    • Chris C.

      “I wonder how much of the “fans treated rudely” thing comes from the higher-ups and how much is simply security people having an ego trip.”

      Doesn’t matter, does it? The security people are a reflection of the organization.

      “I went to my first game at the new digs last Thursday. My friend and I got there early enough to catch the Angels’ batting practice and wanted to get a little closer than our Section 410 seats. We tried to sneak into Section and the usher told us to take a hike when she saw us (very rudely, I might add). So we went a few sections over, were nice to the usher there and he let us in.”

      The Yankees are well aware that this nonsense has been going on, and have done nothing to fix it. Does that answer your question?

      “Also, while Yankee security certainly takes a lion’s share of the blame for all the shenanigans, fans going out of their way to be rude and disruptive instead of polite contributes as well.”

      I think you’ll find that the more money people spend, the ruder they will act if they are treated like shit. I think there’s a definite correlation there. And to top it all off, the team stinks.

  • Derby

    I just want to know if this has happened to anyone else, but a buddy and I were ejected from last night’s Yankees sox game because we were heckling the sox bullpen players. And we were yelling “boston sucks.” What the hell man, we’re in yankee stadium, you should be allowed to yell that stuff. I feel like yankee stadium has lost its balls!!

    • http://www.twitter.com/MatthewHarris84 Matt H

      I heard a lot of stadium are trying to crack down on it in fear that it may lead to a fight.

      I’ve also heard stories that in Philly, security guards issue like 2 warnings before you are thrown out.

      Either way it’s kinda of weak.

      • Yanks3tb

        i will ALWAYS yell boston sucks at the yankee game regardless of how many times i get kicked out…fuck yankee stadium security

        • Chris C.

          I can’t even begin to express how impressed I am with you. Yelling about how the rival team sucks, while being surrounded by your own fellow fans, is just so damn renegade!

          • Yanks3tb

            bull sh*t bro there were more redsox fans around us at the game then yankee fans… 238 is like a vistors bleacher or as we call it the stub hub bleacher section bc there arent die hards in there only away team fans and yankee fans that “jus wanna check out the new stadium”

    • Yankeegirl49

      My daughter and I were almost ejected for a similar incident in the old stadium.
      My daughter was 14 or so and we were in monument park. Schilling was warming up in the visitors pen (I guess I didnt need to clarify which pen lol), and my daughter yelled out really REALLY loudly “Schilling YOU SUCK”. It took maybe 10 seconds for security to come over and tell us we would have to leave. The other fans kinda took up the cause and used the “she is just a kid” excuse. They let us stay, but made us leave monument park.

      Last night, some guys sitting near me in the upper deck were doing the routine “Boston sucks” chant. Security came over and said something, not sure what, but when he walked away the guy was yelling about how we better not yell anything at a baseball game or we might get tossed, which of course is utterly ridiculous.

      • http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/00mwbIM15ofMv/340x.jpg Mike Pop

        At Fenway, they are literally allowed to bend Arod over.

        • Yankeegirl49

          Trust me, I know..I have heard and seen worse at Fenway than I have ever seen in NY.
          I got crap from security for a Boston Sucks shirt years ago, the next week at Fenway I saw people wearing “Arod Sucks, Jeter Swallows” and no one said a word.

          • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt ACTY

            I got crap from security for a Boston Sucks shirt years ago, the next week at Fenway I saw people wearing “Arod Sucks, Jeter Swallows” and no one said a word

            Class. The Yankees has it.

            • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt ACTY

              (I know this is grammatically incorrect–I was going for the LOLCats speak)

            • Chris C.

              Yes they does!

        • Chris C.

          Yankee fans today are sounding alot like Red Sox fans of 10 years ago. They can’t have a discussion about their own team without bringing up the rival.

    • http://eastrutherfordrant.com donttradecano

      i was at the game last thursday and guys in the front row of the bleachers got tossed for heckling the angels bullpen. Thats understandable i guess, but everytime we started an Angels sucks chant we got dirty looks from the security guards.

  • Aidan

    This can’t be the only time the stadium staff has acted this way. I went back to NY for last year’s All-Star Game. After the game, an MLB employee gave out several white cardboard “2008 MLB All-Star Game” signs (about 10 inches by 15 inches) he was removing from the wall and throwing in the trash. He gave me one as a souvenir. I carried it down to the ground level and then two stadium security guards accosted me for “stealing” what they said was “stadium property.” When I told them it was given to me instead of being thrown in the trash, they only got more in my face, yelled at me more, and threatened me with arrest unless I handed it over. And here I am a 42-year old Yanks (been a Yanks fan since ’74) wearing a Thurman Munson #15 jersey and literally walking out of old Yankee Stadium for the last time. That’s how the Steinbrenner regime lets its staff treat its fans.

    • RustyJohn

      Exactly- it has always been like that- whether it is staff arresting people for having to take a leak while God Bless America is playing (no irony there) or tossing people out for arbitrary reasons. The team (not the players, but the stadium, upper management, some of the people attending games) has no soul. They are a boring team to watch and when watching on t.v.- I now live 3k miles away- it is quiet as a chapel in there.

      When you compare how other teams treat their fans- Anaheim, the Dodgers, and Seattle come to mind as stadiums I have been to where staff went out of their way to make it a good experience- it is a wonder anyone puts up with the Yankees shit anymore.

  • RustyJohn

    Speaking of stadium experiences, an article from Bloomberg.com on the crap food-

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601093&sid=ayBg3kXtEI84&refer=home

    • Yankeegirl49

      I usually eat at the Yankee Tavern before I go in. Last night I decided not to and try the Lobell’s steak sandwich. It was good..but not $15 good.

      • jsbrendog

        i bring in my own hero from the deli along with a bag of chips, a ziplock bag of peanuts, a couple granola bars, and maybe some cookies.

        • Yankeegirl49

          I have done that too, but I have “friends” at the Tavern..they treat me well :)

      • Sonny Red

        Are we even still allowed to do this? Considering i practically get strip searched when i walk in the stadium i would think theres a new rule that forbids bringing in any outside food

        • Yankeegirl49

          Yes, you can still bring in stuff in clear plastic bags.
          Whats funny is that I found Im being checked LESS now that at the old stadium. They havent asked to see my phone and barely look in my bag, whereas in the old stadium they would practically empty it out.
          I think it really does depend on the individual security people. Some are more overzealous than others.

          • Sonny Red

            Thanks for the info on bringing in food. And i do agree with you about the inconsistent level of the security, i’ve been lucky enough to go to 5 games at the stadium and 2 of the times they barely said a word. The other 3 ive had to either take my jacket off and be patted down or lift my shirt show my belt and turn around. Its a weird sight, as they were making every guy on my line do it.

          • http://eastrutherfordrant.com donttradecano

            me too, they dont pat you down anymore.

    • V

      Frickles = awesome.

      • Yankeegirl49

        Agreed!!!!

  • Number 27

    Came across this article on si.com. It’s about A-Rod pre-draft in 1993. It’s a nice change from all the stuff in the press these days and a good read if you have time (or are trying to avoid studying for exams like me).

    http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1137524/index.htm?eref=sisf

    • http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/00mwbIM15ofMv/340x.jpg Mike Pop

      Heh. I’m right down that route. Me = biggest procrastinator of all time. Today for example, paper due today at 2. I’m on page 2 right now.

      • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt ACTY

        I have two finals today. Awesome.

        • http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/00mwbIM15ofMv/340x.jpg Mike Pop

          Yep, I got one.

          • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt ACTY

            What are yours on? I’ve got Women in 20th Century Literature at 3:330 then Depictions of Italian-Americans in Cinema at 6.

            • Yankeegirl49

              Good luck to all of you!!!
              My daughter has her last one today.

              • http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/00mwbIM15ofMv/340x.jpg Mike Pop

                English 102 and Statistics. First year of college, man. Kid stuff. Accounting next week ;(

                • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt ACTY

                  I took stats last semester. It was not pretty. Good luck. What kind of stuff are you reading? And where do yo go to school? I’ve never asked, haha.

                • http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/00mwbIM15ofMv/340x.jpg Mike Pop

                  http://www.sunydutchess.edu/

                  One more year here and then hopefully Sacred Heart. Short stories and plays, we have to write on. I was banking on you to help me out with that play last night!!!

                  Rule 1: Never trust an online friend.

                • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt ACTY

                  I’m thinking of going to SHU for grad school. Gotta get them apps in quick.

  • Mark from Chicago

    I have a hunch we can have the warm and fuzzy Randy Levine to thank for this……it seems like his cold and callous ways have now extended to the staff at the stadium.

  • Moshe Mandel

    You know what happened to the people who rooted for US Steel, or Walmart, or Microsoft? They got freakin rich.

    • jsbrendog

      if only the yankees were a publicly traded company with rock bottom prices. or i could go bakc in time like that brendan frazier movie blast from the past and somehow procure stock in apple, microsoft, ibm from their beginnings

      • Moshe Mandel

        Lol. My analogy was more along the lines of getting rich in terms of victories. We invest ourselves in the team and “get rich” when the team wins. The Yankees are Microsoft, but they are also the biggest winner out there.

  • http://www.scottproctorsarm.com Andrew Fletcher

    I think it all comes back to Randy Levine and Lonn Trost. They don’t care about the fans.

    • Mark from Chicago

      Can’t say I know much about Lonn Trost, though it seems the decline of Papa George has allowed Randy Levine to have a huge influence on things – an influence I doubt he would have had if The Boss was still in charge.

      I never thought I would be commenting on this topic, though getting swept again by Red Sox makes me one bitter hombre today….

    • Chris C.

      Levine acts like he built the organization. And he hides behind the Steinbrenner family while insulting other team owners who are 100 times more successful in business than he is.

  • Whizzo the Wize

    It surprises Whizzo to see a billion dollar corporation trashing its own image so quickly.

    Fortunately, most of these things are fixable, if the Yankees care to do so.

    • http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/00mwbIM15ofMv/340x.jpg Mike Pop

      He really is “wize”.

  • Sal

    This is baby stuff here. Go root for the marlins n enjoy

    • Moshe Mandel

      Ahh, GrantSalBo. If you dont like it, dont read it.

  • billbybob

    U.S. Steel does have a badass ticker symbol: X, for what it is worth.

  • Will

    I’m sorry, but I could care less how much the Yankees charge the media companies for access. If they don’t like; they don’t have to pay. Something tells me the Yankees are more important to the media than the media is to the Yankees. The times are changing, so the media had better get used to its declining influence. I am not sure if you aspire to join the MSM fraternity; if so, I can understand your being sensitive to the issue. I don’t think most fans care though…as was earlier stated, it’s a case of a billion dollar company asking for more money from other billion dollar companies.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      If you don’t care, why did you — after this post had been up for nearly 3 hours and after 79 comments — feel the need to tell us that? If you don’t care about this post, just think about how many care about your not caring.

      • UWS

        Is Will another incarnation of GrantSalBo?

      • Will

        Sensitive? I must have touched a nerve. While I don’t care what price the Yankees charge the media for access, I do have an interest in rebutting the notion that it somehow represents some kind of injustice. I am sorry if you are too sensitive for criticism.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

          Criticism would be offering up a dissenting opinion as to why it’s ok for the Yankees to act like this. Criticism is decidedly not announcing to the world that you don’t care.

          • Will

            That’s absurd. My point is what the Yankees charge the media is irrelevant to the fan experience. My post included the reasons why I believe that is the case, including a reason why it’s ok for the Yankees decide what they charge large corporations for access. Just because it conflicts with your activist interpretation isn’t a reason to get bent out of shape.

            • Chris C.

              “Just because it conflicts with your activist interpretation isn’t a reason to get bent out of shape.”

              No jackass, it conflicts with the fact that I’m a longtime and loyal paying season ticket holder who has been pretty much priced out of the ballpark of my favorite team.

              And I’m pretty fed up with people like you, who’ve probably spent little to no money on tickets in the past telling the people who have really supported the team over the years how they should feel.

              The truth is, the Yankees can do whatever they want regarding ticket prices, wo they sell to, who they choose to exclude, etc.
              But at the end of the day, the Yankees have chosen the path of making a few extra bucks over the path or doing right by their longtime fans.

              But hey, no skin of your nose, eh pal?

  • Axl

    Anybody think that the way the Yankees treat the media is perhaps the reason there are all these allegations and nonsense circling around our players all of the time?? Maybe they’re pissed off? I understand New York is a tabloid heavy city…but so is LA and you really never hear anything about any of the players out there. Even Manny gets little to zero press compared to the other celebs. Vlad Guerrero faking his age by 2 years got barely any publicity. No other place in the world is as tough on their own athletes as New York is with the Yankees. The Mets barely get anything either.

    And I’m certain that all of the allegations and nonsense that has been brought forth over the years has definitely played a role in why we haven’t exactly been “successful”. Everything is either a real big issue (steroids, drug use, any other form of cheating) or it’s a big soap opera (joe torre, where’s jeter going to play after his contract?, what does jeter think of arod??, etc.) It never ends.

    And if you haven’t noticed…it’s exponentially getting worse year after year. More and more anti-Yankee headlines are printed…more and more dirt is dug up on the players, etc.

    Dustin Pedroia’s brother performs oral sex on an 8 year old boy and it’s forgotten 15 seconds after it’s reported…most people I talk to didn’t even know about the story at all to begin with. But Joba Chamberlain’s mom has a drug problem and everybody and their grandmother knows about it…and it’s the worst thing anybody has ever seen.

    There must be a way to stop it…and maybe it all begins with the way the organization is treating everyone in the first place. That’s the only thing that makes sense to me anyway…

    • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt ACTY

      Dustin Pedroia’s brother performs oral sex on an 8 year old boy and it’s forgotten 15 seconds after it’s reported

      Because that’s not something to call attention to. If the same thing happened to (Yankee Player Here)’s brother, I’d think the same would happen. A story about Pedroia’s brother being a child molester is not one that should be shouted form roof tops or get any headlines, back or front page. It’s just not necessary.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

        I see his point though. Joba’s mom — the mom who was barely in his life — is busted for meth, and she’s a backpage story in New York. That doesn’t line up.

        • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt ACTY

          Fair enough. I knew there was a story but I didn’t know it was a headline. I’m sure I’ll change my tune a bit when I get home and see all the NY headlines. Being this far from the NY press is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, I get a relative lack of Yankee coverage but on the other, I get insulated from the sensationalism and it’s more or less filtered through you guys.

        • Axl

          Exactly. NEITHER are relevant or necessary to report about. But the argument wasn’t determining which is more socially acceptable. I’m just trying to figure out why reporters are constantly and literally digging up as much as possible about our players…while everywhere else that doesn’t seem to be even close to an issue.

        • JimT

          I couldn’t agree more. To me family members should be off limits.

        • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

          Just for the sake of accuracy… I saw the Joba’s mom story on the FRONT page of one of the tabloids yesterday at my local bodega. I think it was the DN, but I’m not sure. Putting that story on the FRONT PAGE of a NYC paper is just indefensible. (Same thing goes for the back page, obviously, I just couldn’t believe they’d put that story on the cover of the paper.)

    • Chris C.

      And I’m certain that all of the allegations and nonsense that has been brought forth over the years has definitely played a role in why we haven’t exactly been “successful”.

      Oh, pulleaze!!!!!
      I think everyone in the Steinbrenner family has publically uttered the phrase, “If we don’t win a WS, the season is a complete failure.”
      So don’t hand us this bullshit about how the media is the reason the Yankees haven’t closed the deal over the past few years.

      The team signs big time free agents to more money than they can swallow, and they NEVER play as well as they did at their last stop. Then they charge enormous ticket prices to watch these guys, which ensures tremendous fan impatience if results aren’t immidiately positive.

      This team took all the success that Gene Michael gave them, then ignored his blueprints and reverted to the loser ways they opertated in the 80’s, which eventually resulted in the hopeless days of the early 90’s.

      And you have the gall to blame the media?
      Are you fucking blind or something?

  • JimT

    As a Red Sox fan I can relate to what Yankee fans seem to be going through. The John Harrington Era at Fenway was awful. Harrington was charcterized by sportswriter Dan Shaughnesy as the “Cowardly Little Accountant” a tag he worked hard to earn. He was a humorless, unimaginative, cold, bottom line guy that didn’t care about baseball or the folks that followed the team. His only mission was to maximize the return on sale of the club for the Yawkey Trust and himself. It was the one thing he did well.

    This might be unfair because I really don’t know the man but Randy Levine strikes me as something of a NY version of John Harrington. They have different agendas, but both have arrogant images with little or no baseball backgrounds that have become figueheads of thier organizations. From my persepective Levine is an ugly face of the team that has outlived his usefulness.

    The Yankees are a great institution that seems to have lost thier way here. They need to take a deep breath, admit thier mistakes and get back to the business of caring about thier fans. Take it from me, it really stinks when you care more about your team than your team cares about its collective fan base.

    • dkidd

      i lived in boston during the harrington era. he and levine are definitely cut from the same cloth

    • Chris C.

      “As a Red Sox fan I can relate to what Yankee fans seem to be going through. The John Harrington Era at Fenway was awful.”

      That is EXACTLY what has happened. The Yankees are operating the way the Red Sox used to, and the Red Sox are operating the way Gene Michael did when he built the Yankee dynasty.

      Theo Epstein is so much better a GM than Cashman, it aint even funny. Their minor league, player developement, and draft day comparisons alone are like night and day! That’s not even getting into the fact that the Red Sox major league team fields way more bargains than the Yankees do.

      It kills me to type this, but to anyone who knows the sport well, it’s as plain as the nose on your face.

    • Chris C.

      “The Yankees are a great institution that seems to have lost thier way here. They need to take a deep breath, admit thier mistakes and get back to the business of caring about thier fans.”

      They never REALLY cared all that much about their fans.
      Steinbrenner barely even cared about his employees!
      You think Gene Michael got demoted because he did a terrible job building the Yankees in the early 90’s?

  • dkidd

    great great post. what are we rooting for: players, a uniform, a corporation, a brand, a childhood memory? is it naive to expect a corporation to do anything other than make money?

    personally, i’m rubbed the wrong way by people who say “duh, baseball is a business, it always has been, the stadium is just a way to make money, who cares how the team behaves towards media/fans/the neighborhood, grow up.”

    i KNOW everything is about money, but i reserve the right to feel bad when the corporation that owns the team made up of players wearing the uniform i root for is TOTALLY FUCKING EVIL

  • Axl

    I always wondered why George Steinbrenner chose his son-in-law to take over the Yankees before one of his two sons…but now it’s starting to make sense. They might be hard-assed “business men” but they sure as hell don’t understand how to please their customer. They’re basically taking the “Yankees” name…and abusing it to the point where they are trying to suck out as much money as possible at literally ANY cost. Regardless of the displeasures the fans (customer) or anyone else may have.

    Sometimes these big honcho business men get too big for their britches and think they are impervious to making bad moves and invinsible when it comes to the economy around them. It makes the team as a whole look absolutely terrible and actually decreases the overall fan base in the process. But they don’t care one-bit. They’ve done the math and realize that if a certain percentage of die-hard fans are willing to give in and pay the outrageous prices…they will still make a fortune. And that’s all they care about. But common sense tells anybody that this kind of mentality, thinking, and process…might look good in the short term…but eventually Rosa Parks is going to sit at the front of the bus…and they’ll either have to change their routine or watch their franchise inevitably crumble to the ground.

    • http://mantisfists.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/julius-carry-aka-shonuff.jpg The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      “I always wondered why George Steinbrenner chose his son-in-law to take over the Yankees before one of his two sons…but now it’s starting to make sense.”

      I always thought Hal/Hank could have been more involved with the team but they chose not to until their hand was forced by the circumstances (Swindal’s fall, George’s failing health, etc.).

  • Reality Check

    Absolutely right on. The rude and offensive treatment of long-time fans was what the whole “Relocation Program” (ominous name, huh?) was about. I and many other real fans were displaced by suits. The result? Empty seats around the infield. The greed and insensitivity and downright arrogance is appalling. Standing in the stadium (I use to capitalize it) last night, I felt like a very real and large part of me had been ripped out. I was given a pass to the Audi Club, and against my better judgment, I went in briefly. On my way in, the guard/receptionist took a look at my jeans and t-shirt and immediately told me that “the dining area was oversubscribed”. Well, I wouldn’t have eaten there anyway, but at least 70% of the tables were empty. And they want $150.00 just to get into the place which has more guards it seems than patrons. I find the whole thing so sad. And the way the team is playing, I think this season and many more will be lost to the real Curse of the Bambino– for tearing down his house and erecting a monument to greed in its place.

  • Rob in CT

    The rain-delay incident sounds like a major screwup and I hope they apologize for it and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

    The draconian “keep ’em out of the rich seats” thing is something I’ve seen before, at the US Open (tennis). Rainy day, hardly anyone in the good seats, tried to move down for a better view with… kicked out, instantly. This is the the way things are done now, apparently. It sucks.

    As for the media being mad because the Yankees are charging them more $$. Wow. I’m tearing up. How awful for them.

  • Infamous

    I havent been to a game yet at the new stadium, except the exhibition game, however my friend went to the Monday night Boston game. He said it was the worst experience at a yankee game in his life and hates the new stadium. His brother got kicked out for yelling at Jason Bay from the bleachers and standing on top of them. He also said that the security guards would threaten and did throw around 30 people out for being “rowdy.”

    I hope this is just because everyone is being tight about it being a new stadium and this does not continue.

    • http://eastrutherfordrant.com donttradecano

      Standing on the bleachers i can understand, but for yelling at a player in the field doesnt make sense to me.

      Ben, maybe you could help me out. I know in the old stadium the Yankees were considered a state actor, so throwing someone out for saying something would violate free speech. Are they a state actor with the new stadium?

      • Will

        I believe a baseball ticket is a revocable license. Rowdy behavior would certainly provide justification for an ejection. Personally, I think it’s a great thing that Stadium security is cracking down on rowdy antics. Just because you buy a ticket shouldn’t give you the right to behave as horribly as some fans do. We’re always talking about making the game more friendly for kids…a crackdown on unruly behavior would certainly accomplish that.

        • http://eastrutherfordrant.com donttradecano

          Being rowdy is different than saying “Red Sox Suck”, and when concerning the latter, whether its an irrevocable license isnt relevant if the yankees are a state actor. A state actor cant restrict your freedom of speech.

          Ben, correct me if im wrong.

  • Anthony

    It is a shame but what you are saying is dead on. The purpose of goin to a baseball game is to root for your team and have a good time. The Yankees take away the experience of having a good time. I have been to 19 ballparks and besides U.S. Cellular Field the most unfan friendly is Yankee Stadium. How can you prevent fans that during batting practice not be allowed to be in the field level or bleacher section seats because they don’t have a ticket there? That is part of the baseball park experience. I understand when the game starts but it is before the game. Come on. It is also a shame that I have to say that I enjoy Citi Field better and the Mets treat their fans much better. Even Shea Stadium was more fan friendly. Just makes me sick. Love the players and team but rest of orgainization is horrible.

  • http://eastrutherfordrant.com donttradecano

    When I tried to ask one of the Yankee Stadium employees about the lack of access there, I found out a very interesting thing. All employees had been asked to sign a statement that they would not talk to the media, and he didn’t want to talk because he had one friend whose supervisor threatened to “write him up” for doing so at the home opener.

    The employee sounded more scared than evil, which made me think: Is the mean usher really mean, or afraid of losing his job if he doesn’t enforce an awful policy?

    http://www.newsday.com/sports/baseball/ny-spbarb0612734259may05,0,1188874.column

    interesting.

  • Wayne’s World

    There seems to be some debate about whether the famous saying involved comparing rooting for the yankes to rooting for us steel or rooting for general motors. I’d always thought it to be the latter but a quick look at the internet seems to indicate divided opionion. I wonder which is correct.

    As to what’s going on at Yankee Stadium, here’s what I have to say:

    Meet the Mets, Meet the Mets
    Step right up and greet the Mets
    Bring the kiddies, bring the wife,
    Guaranteed to have the time of your life….

    • JohnnyC

      Maybe it’s the quality of the recording or a sly joke on the part of the singers but I grew up thinking the opening line to that song was: “Beat the Mets, Beat the Mets” By the way, do they still have Dixieland jazz players roaming the stands? Nothing like hearing a banjo being strummed between innings. Watch out for the trombone though.

  • RobC

    Seems the Yankees need to just learn to be nice to people

  • BigBlueAL

    I went to a Marlins-Cubs game last season at Dolphins Stadium and sat by the Cubs bullpen. Some guy the entire game was yelling at Jeff Samardjia and calling him a pussy for quitting football (we were all praying he actually warmed up but he never did). Everybody were pissing in their pants it was so funny. Thank God he wasnt kicked out cause he made the game alot more fun (although it turned out to be a good game, Darryl Ward hit a pinch-hit HR in the 9th to win it for the Cubs).

    Dunno what is the point of this comment, but just reading about fans yelling at players and guys warming up in the bullpen reminded me of this game I went to last season….

  • Johnny

    they aren’t quite like U.S. steel. U.S. steel has never made me wanna puke.

    Honestly though, I was at the game last night, and it was a f***ing disgrace, plain and simple.