Stadium setup stymieing autograph hounds

Shadowing the Mock Draft
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Yesterday afternoon, Rudy Giuliani and Sarah Palin were sitting in two seats in Section 20 of the Legends Suites. With those tickets, the former mayor and Alaska governor could catch a field-level glimpse of batting practice and ask the Yankees’ and Rays’ stars for autographs. They and their fellow Legends Suites patrons are the only ones with such unfettered access to the lower reaches of Yankee Stadium, and the autograph hunters who haunt the Yankees are not happy.

In an article examining the unintended consequences of the Yankees’ restrictive access policies, Times reporter A.G. Sulzberger explored the lack of autograph opportunities at new Yankee Stadium. As the areas around the dugouts are now off limits during batting practice and as the players’ parking lot is now accessible underground instead of via a public walkway, fans looking to see their favorite players up close cannot. For its part, the teams says it knows autographs are an important part of fan interaction, and Yankee officials are attempting to figure out how players can better connect with fans. We’ll have to see how the Yanks iron out this kink before passing a final judgment.

Shadowing the Mock Draft
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  • ChrisS

    Obviously, the best solution is a $99 meet and greet with select members of the Yankees on certain off-days where you too can meet such luminaries as Kevin Cash, Angel Berroa, Jose Veras, and Melky Cabrera.

    Ticket price does not include certified autograph book included with any purchase of stadium food or beverage of more than $25.

    Thanks, and enjoy your day at the park!

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

      Now, that’s not fair to Melky.

      • UWS

        Wait. Wait. Did you just imply that Melky is not quite as craptacular as RAB has previously led me to believe?

        /snark

        • ChrisS

          No, Melky is forever a 4/5th OFer. He just had a less than craptacular decline from his April heights (his .707 OPS over the last month hasn’t done much to convince me that he’s turned a corner).

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

            So is Melky an April tease? He’s OPSing .712 over his last 100 PAs. Over the same May 6-June 7 time period last year, he OPS’d .599. Right now, league average for CFers is a .735 OPS. He’s holding his own overall, but can he keep it up?

            • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

              N0.

              but does he need to? we didnt start the year thinking he’d even be playing 5 out of 6 games, so this is all bonus. ALL OF IT I TELL YOU!!!

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

                Well, he does need to if the Yanks want to field an average offensive player at center field. Right now, it’s a bonus, but if his overall numbers slip further, it becomes a problem instead.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      where you too can meet such luminaries as Kevin Cash, Angel Berroa, Jose Veras, and Melky Cabrera.

      You know, with a few quick swipes of a Sharpie, I can turn that Angel Berroa into “Yogi Berra”; Jose Veras can become “Mo Rivera #42”, and Kevin Cash can look just like “Kevin Maas”.

      No? No interest in a Kevin Maas autograph? Nothing?

      • Andy in Sunny Daytona

        And Melky Cabrera could become Mary Carey.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Brilliant.

          Bonus: Being able to say, “Hey, does anyone want to see the balls I had Mary Carey autograph?”

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    My plan for getting Yankee autographs remains the same:
    1) Figure out which Yankee player’s autograph I want
    2) Instruct Andy in Sunny Daytona to get said player’s autograph for me during spring training
    3) Have Andy in Sunny Daytona FedEx me the autographed memorabilia
    4) Continually hem, haw, and otherwise postpone and weasel out of the giving of sexual favors I that promised Andy in Sunny Daytona in exchange for the autographed memorabilia

    • ChrisS

      Would that work for all of us, or do you think Andy in Sunny Daytona would catch on eventually?

      • Andy in Sunny Daytona

        I’m not that bright, it may take a while.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Jay: Yeah, but what happens when you don’t make with the head, don’t they kick you out?
        Hitchhiker: Sure, if you don’t make with the head.

    • Andy in Sunny Daytona

      Nice. The favor will be all yours though.

  • AMS223

    you can get autographs in the sections that they opened up down the lines and in fair territory during BP. My seats are in 111 and there are often players who sign there. Also, the Yanks have been doing that meet and greet when gates open once a homestand to help with fan interactions.

  • gxpanos

    So. Autographs.

    Why do kids even want these?

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      My 4 year old nephew wants to be a dinosaur.

      Kids want crazy crap, because they’re dumb. We love ‘em, though. Probably because their dumbness is entertaining.

      • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

        AA ball…my 4 year old daughter got Nelson Cruz, Gwynn Jr, Fielder, Yovani Gallardo, Derek Miller, Alcides Escobar, and two random outfielders who got traded whose names I don’t remember.

        Ok, so Derek just got cut and his wife is making them move home to New Hampshire…but she likes that one the most because he signed it FOR HER at her school.

  • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

    In 14 years of going to Yankee Stadium I’ve never gotten an autograph while there.

  • Texeiramvp (JobaCyYoung)/Letsgoyankees-It depends on the blog

    I see Swish and Damon signing autographs all the time.

  • ChrisS

    I’ve never asked for an autograph at a game (I did have Freddy Garcia sign a Hooter’s Menu once in Seattle when he crashed the start of my friend’s bachelor party). However, at AAA games it gets downright silly when sketchy dudes with trapper keepers full of 8X10s are elbowing 8 year-olds out of the way to get prime real estate next to the dugout.

    Little kids looking for autographs = cute
    36 year-olds trying to make a cheap buck /= cute

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      ”I did have Freddy Garcia sign a Hooter’s Menu once in Seattle when he crashed the start of my friend’s bachelor party.”

      That is the most awesome piece of memorabilia ever. Hooters let you keep their menu? I can only assume that you pulled what they call an “Anti-ARod” (you tipped more than 15%) and they were so shocked by this uncharacteristic act of largesse that they had no problem giving you the menu for free.

      • ChrisS

        Well, tipping 20% on $19 worth of wings and two pitchers of beer (Freddy bought two pitchers for us, as well) didn’t hurt. She’s just trying to get through dental hygiene school, ya know?

        But it’s not a legit menu, just a paper special events one that Hooter’s leaves out on the table so when it gets stained with wing sauce, beer, and the tears of shattered dreams, they’re not out much on printing costs.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Awesome story and comment. Kudos all around.

          Oh, and, uh… she’s not really going to dental hygiene school. That’s just what she’s telling herself. In order to go to dental hygiene school, you have to actually submit the application, not just fill it out and leave it on the table by the door.

  • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

    Rios is available for consultation I hear…

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Which autograph would be more awesome to have: Alexis Rios, or Matt Bush?

      I’ll take Bush. Better comedic value. I bet he signs autographs “Matt Bush, #1SS, East F$%&in County”.

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

    Honestly, for every little kid that is really wants an auto, you have about 5 people who are dealers on ebay, or are sending their kid to get an auto and then sell it on ebay.

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

      Autographs are largely worthless on eBay right now. Autographs, baseball cards and comics have really suffered in value with the advent of the Internet. In hyperlocalized markets, those items become rare commodities, but when the marketplace is wide open, they lose value as the space becomes flooded.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        So, you’re saying there’s no point in me holding onto the 20 copies of the Fleer Gregg Jeffries rookie cards I’ve got?

        • http://votepaulformayor.blogspot.com jsbrendog

          ive got a jose canseco tops rookie allstar card somewhere…..gotta be worth something right?

          • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

            A Jose Canseco bat? Tell me…you didn’t pay money for this.

            • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

              we just moved…we found the predominance of my baseball card collection attacked by rats and scattered all over the storage area floor, with each card having one nibble out of the corner.

              my wife couldnt stop laughing as i shrieked ‘WTF? ANOTHER ONE?! YOU COULDNT JUST EAT THE WHOLE )#(*$_#@( THING??’

            • http://votepaulformayor.blogspot.com jsbrendog

              where’d you get bat from?

              ive got a jose canseco tops rookie allstar card somewhere…..gotta be worth something right?

      • Riddering

        So you’re saying my Death of Superman comic won’t set me up for life?

        DARN IT.

  • http://votepaulformayor.blogspot.com jsbrendog

    i jut like autographs because I’m a kid at heart.

    I was giddy when i went to opening day at wrigley and got Rich Harden to sign my opening day wrigley field ticket stub. it was awesome. granted i wouldnt og to yankee stadium everytime and try to get one but why deny someone that experience?

    and all you 36 yr olds shoving 8 yr olds out of the way, for shame. just give it to them and say youll give em 5 bucks. then make off with the autograph and without giving em the 5 bucks.

  • http://anewfrontier.wordpress.com Pablo Zevallos

    I’m surprised Palin could read…

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

      You don’t need to read to go to a baseball game. What was interesting about Palin/Guiliani being there was the utterl lack of institutional attention paid to them. In the past when Rudy would go to Yankee fans, he would always appear on the big screen. Yesterday they showed him once during the pre-game, and the crowd reception featured audible applause and audible boos. They showed Palin for a split second later on before anyone could really recognize her. Politicians and baseball games can make for uncomfortable bedfellows.

      • http://anewfrontier.wordpress.com Pablo Zevallos

        …except for the fact that all of the higher-ups in the Yankee organization (and A-Rod) contributed to Giuliani’s campaign, and most contributed to McCain’s.

        And re: Palin, I was talking about the autographs.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          According to http://Fundrace.Huffingtonpost.com

          Brian Cashman: $2300, Rudy Guliani
          Randy Levine: $2300, Rudy Guliani
          Alex Rodriguez: $2300, Rudy Guliani
          George M. Steinbrenner III: $4600, Rudy Giuliani (presumably $2300 personally and $2300 via the club), $2300, Hillary Clinton, $2300, Charles Rangel, $5000, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, $1500, National Thoroughbred Racing Association

          Big George likes to spread the love all around, apparently.

          • http://anewfrontier.wordpress.com Pablo Zevallos
            • http://anewfrontier.wordpress.com Pablo Zevallos

              sorry, I meant to say that this site has even more info than HuffPo re: campaign finance.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              Meh, HuffPost’s database seems to give way more info.

              Thanks, though.

      • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

        hey pablo, got a green card?

        damn, that was one awfully rude and ignorant thing to say, and i bet to many people, that would be hugely insulting and maybe even painfully embarassing. hurtful to say the least.

        maybe we should focus the snarky comments on the sox, eh?

        • http://anewfrontier.wordpress.com Pablo Zevallos

          My statement was a joke on the painfully obvious ignorance of a supremely under-qualified vice-presidential candidate. Your statement is simply racist and uncalled for.

          • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

            that’s the danger of using word obvious…because when something isnt obvious to the receiver, its becomes a personal attack on their inability to comprehend the ‘obvious’ and when the receiver disagrees with the obvious fact, well, then it isnt so obvious then either, is it?

            so if i understand you correctly, if i hated you because you are whatever race you are (er, whatever race i infer or assume your anonymous internet blog non-registered temporary user ID is), then i’m racist, and that’s bad (obviously it is).

            but making personal attacks about a political candidate’s ability to read, being supremely under qualified, etc, that’s not just not bad, that’s called for?

            i’m obviously wrong, since nobody from RAB has weighed in yet, so i’ll yield the field.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              Let’s just agree to the fact that no matter what our respective racial backgrounds or political party affiliations, we’d all thoroughly enjoy seeing the madcap buddy police comedy “Black and White”, starring Keith David, David Keith, Halle Berry, James Marsden, John Salley, Lauren London, and Joe Pesci as “Nunzio”. From Columbia Tri-Star Pictures, directed by Roland Emmerich, in theaters Summer 2010.

              http://riveraveblues.com/2009/06/shadowing-the-mock-draft-12836/#comment-419885

              • http://anewfrontier.wordpress.com Pablo Zevallos

                +1

              • Andy In Sunny Daytona

                I would assume that you and I would receive a Executive Producer tab?

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  Naturally.

            • http://anewfrontier.wordpress.com Pablo Zevallos

              A political candidate’s intellect and qualifications are very much fair game as long as it isn’t race- or sex-based. Racism and sexism are not accepted reasons for criticism. I don’t understand where you get your analogy from.

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

                We are hereby dropping this manner. Please, no more.

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

          I’m going to go ahead and agree with Pablo on this one. He made an tongue-in-cheek comment about a public official. You personally insulted him. Consider this your only warning for this type of behavior.

          Also, I’m going to add to that, please stop changing your name. We’ve asked other commenters to do the same.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Everytime the Rays scored, she stood up and shouted “TOUCHDOWN, YOU BETCHA!”

      • http://anewfrontier.wordpress.com Pablo Zevallos

        IETC.

        • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

          You would, you pinko commie pig.

          • http://anewfrontier.wordpress.com Pablo Zevallos

            Touche.

      • http://votepaulformayor.blogspot.com jsbrendog

        this was quite humorous. and i feel she is quite dumb.

        • LiveFromNewYork

          word

          And don’t forget she represents REAL America of which NYC is not part of.

  • http://www.retire21.org Mike R. – Retire 21

    I have a game used Bat autographed by Justin Upton. It’s an investment.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      It’s gonna be so much more awesome 5 years from now when he becomes the most feared player in major league history (non-Bernie division) and we sign him to a fat FA contract to man CF for us.

  • Tim

    Have the Yankees been using the original player lot, or did they build a new one? If they did build a new one, in what area is it and is it accessible to fans at all? I used to go wait outside the old player lot, and every single time Damon would come out and sign autographs.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      I believe all Yankee players and personnel use Garage #3, the one that’s attached to the stadium on the north side (along 164th Street.) Like Ben said, the access is now off limits since they get to the enclosed garage directly via a subterranean tunnel.

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

      The old player lot has been demolished. The new one is behind closed doors in a personnel-only area of Yankee Stadium.

  • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

    Speaking of autographs, I’m getting the Hammer’s at Last Licks in Rye Brook on Saturday. I’m quite pumped.

  • John

    It is actually worse than you think. Through a contact in the Yankees front office, I was able to score Legends Field seating for saturday’s game (the last row of legends seating, section 17B – right by yanks dugout). I took my nephew, I thought for sure he would be able to get some autographs. However, if you didn’t pay for the $1250 seating the staff would not let you in the part of the font two rows of the section that was closest to the players/dugout. The yankee staffer even made some 8 year old kid cry. It was disgusting. I guess exlusivity doesn’t get you what it used to.

  • Whizzo The Wize

    Why waste time worrying about the “fan experience” when designing a billion dollar new stadium?

    Whizzo keeps his baseball dollars were they get a real return: the minor league parks.

  • Reality Check

    Nothing “unintended” about it. This is simply an extension of past policies. The only way my kid could get down there in old stadium is if I could distract the Gestapo long enough so he could sneak by. They did it completely intentionally.

  • http://www.wiredtowns.com Short Porch

    Looks like a feature, not a bug.