Jul
01

Outfield at the Stadium in poor shape

By

On June 3, as fans filed out of Yankee Stadium following a 6-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles, the preparations began. While the Yankees would spend the next week on the road, the Stadium would not cease activity. Instead, it would host its first boxing match in 34 years. The event went off without a hitch, it appeared, and they got the Stadium back in order for the Yankees’ return on Friday the 11th. Yet not everything was right.

The first thing I noticed after taking my seat in the bleachers that night was the condition of the outfield. You could see the outline of a stage, which did not come as a surprise. But that wasn’t the worst part. Instead, it looked like half the outfield had been overrun by a football team running drills for the past seven days, from morn till night. My friend commented that the grass looked brown, unwatered. It wasn’t that, though. It was that in many places there was almost no grass at all. The outfield was a shambles.


Photo from Flickr user baseballoggie, who also writes about the games he attends on his blog.

The Yankees played nine games in 10 days there before hitting the road again. They spent eight days on the West Coast, but that wasn’t enough time to get the field back in shape. That was the first thing I looked for when I got to my seat on Tuesday, and I was disappointed to see that it actually looked worse. That was just aesthetics, though. They patched up some parts, but clearly not all. Some parts are light green, others a darker forest green, and others are an even darker mix of green and brown.

In his notes column in the NY Post today, Brian Costello relays Curtis Granderson‘s take on the matter.

“It’s not necessarily better,” center fielder Curtis Granderson said. “They put some new grass out there, but it’s not everywhere. It looks like there’s a lot of seed stuff maybe. There’s a lot of green stuff out there. I don’t know what it is. Before it looked like paint. [Brett Gardner] slipped and his uniform turned bright green. I’m not sure what’s out there.”

The grounds crew will have to do their best to maintain the field as the Yankees play the next four games, but after that they’ll have 11 days to get the outfield into better shape before the team returns on July 16 to play Tampa Bay. While it sounds like they could get the job done in 11 days, they had eight days last time and didn’t accomplish much.

I’m not sure that they’re going to get much accomplished before the off-season, and even then it’s going to be a pain. Jay-Z and Eminem come to the Stadium on September 13th and 14th, so that’s going to take a further toll on the outfield grass. Just in time for the postseason, too. After that maintaining the lawn will be difficult not only because of the winter conditions, but because of the Pinstripe Bowl on December 30.

It’s nice that they’re getting more use out of the New Stadium than the old park, but this is first and foremost a baseball stadium. Are we going to have to look at a half-dirt, half-grass outfield every year?

Categories : Yankee Stadium
  • BG

    Thanks for bringing this up. I noticed this when I went to the games two weeks ago against the Phillies. I think it’s embaraasing for Yankee Stadium to have such a poor playing field. Can’t the groundskeepers do something about it? There must be someone out there who knows how to fix a field in short time.

  • Rick in Boston

    I hate to say it, but the Yanks should talk to the Sox. Fenway hosts concerts during the baseball season, and the field usually looks pretty decent shortly afterwards.

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

      I assume the Fenway grass stays well fertilized, what with all the human feces freely lying around Boston all the time.

      • Rick in Boston

        Well, it is (literally) a landfill.

      • pounder

        Zing.

    • vin

      The grass may be fine, but the infield is the worst in the game… just ask Dusty Pedroia.

    • Brian in NH

      I was about to say the same thing.

  • Mike HC

    There was got to be a solution to this. I know nothing about grass (the one you walk on), but I would have to think there is a better way than this.

    • jsbrendog (returns)

      i’m picking up what you’re putting down.

  • Frank

    My question is why is this happening in the first place? Are the Yankees so desperate for $$$ that they need to hold a boxing event/concert during the baseball season at the risk of ruining the field and possibly leading to player(s) getting hurt?

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

      Are the Yankees so desperate for $$$ that they need to hold a boxing event/concert during the baseball season at the risk of ruining the field and possibly leading to player(s) getting hurt?

      Desperate, no. Greedy, yes, just as everyone else would be.

      If someone offered you several million dollars to host a boxing match in your living room, you’d take the money whether you needed it or not.

      • http://soxandpinstripes.net Angelo

        Free cash is free cash I guess.

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

          It’s not about the money.

          http://itsaboutthemoney.net/

  • Mike HC

    That grass is a trainwreck. They need to go back to the OG (Original Grass). The Afghani’s have nicer grass than that. It makes me think the government can do a better job of growing grass. I don’t know. Maybe the Yanks should get some Hawaiian grass shipped in. That shit always gets the job done.

    • Mike HC

      Granderson even said he could see seeds all in the grass. That is a sure sign of shitty grass.

      /ok, I’m done now

  • Ross in Jersey

    Call me crazy but I can’t get crazy about this one.

    Sitting in the bleachers all the time, this isn’t even noticeable. You don’t see it on TV unless you look really closely during fly balls. Let the Yankees hold as many boxing matches as they want for all I care, as long as it helps them keep the best team money can buy on the field. If the downside is some slightly annoyed fans in the nosebleed section, so be it.

    And “poor shape”? “Shambles”? It’s a patch of dead grass in the outfield, not a crater.

    • http://soxandpinstripes.net Angelo

      It effects the fielders I’d imagine. This has less to do with fans.

      • Mike HC

        And perception/image as well. If you want to be considered the preeminent modern ball park, I mean, the outfield grass can’t be beat to shit, and the players can’t be coming off the field saying it looks painted on. That is literally bush league.

      • Ross in Jersey

        Does it? The Granderson comment just talked about how it looked, I didn’t hear anything from him or anyone else about effecting the fielders.

        • Mike HC

          He mentioned Gardner slipped and got green stuff all over him, but it was unclear if the slip was because of any problems in the grass or not.

          • Ross in Jersey

            Yeah, I took that Granderson comment as expanding on the grass “looking like paint” and not that they were having problems running across it.

            • Mike HC

              Same. But I was not sure.

    • http://newstadiuminsider.com Ross

      The players are complaining about it.

  • pollo

    yep was commenting about this when i was at the park for the last two days.

    Absolutely disgusting. I think if George was the George of old he’d have been furious at seeing the ugly dirt patches.

    • CountryClub

      There’s nothing that can be done. They would have to re-sod the whole area and I’m sure 8 – 11 days isn’t enough time for the sod to take. I guess we’ll find out when they go on this extended break.

  • http://newstadiuminsider.com Ross

    Great point. Just another example of the front office trying to squeeze every last penny out of the Yankees machine.

    I noticed how bad the outfield was on June 11 when I went to the game, then I got married and went away and haven’t been to a game since. Really disappointing that it is still all effed up.

    The Yankees were always known to have great outfield conditions. Heck, they even sold the seeds for Yankee Stadium brand grass last year.

    If they can’t keep the field in playable condition, they shouldn’t have the other functions on the field. Simple as that.

    • CountryClub

      They can do whatever they want.

    • Mike HC

      Agreed. But considering this was the very first time, I’m hoping they make some adjustments so they can have these outside events and still keep the grass nice.

      • CountryClub

        I agree.

    • Mike HC

      “I noticed how bad the outfield was on June 11 when I went to the game, then I got married and went away and haven’t been to a game since.”

      haha, I couldn’t help but laugh at that, sorry.

  • CountryClub

    Like anything else, they’ll learn from whatever mistakes they made and it won’t be as big of a problem in future years. As Mike mentioned, there probably wont be much improvement this yr.

    • CountryClub

      I meant Joe, not Mike. Sorry Joe.

  • Country Jim from Orange County

    Sod needs 14 days to really develop a strong rooting system. 14 days is the minimum with lots of water and sunshine. They may be out of luck until after that Pinstripe Bowl.

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

      After this homestand wraps up on Sunday, we hit the road and then have the ASB. That’d be 11 days before we come back on the 16th.

      We also have an 11 day (9 game) road trip in mid September.

      11 isn’t 14, but it’s close.

    • CountryClub

      Thanks for the info.

  • pounder

    They should host a ‘Throw Back Day’, seriously. These players, like many of us,learned to play on fields(or,in many case,city streets) in much,much,less ideal conditions than this.If we can replicate the fields of their youth,and make some money to boot,well this.as an issue will be lessened.

    • Gardnerella

      Most of us here learned to play/still play online (except Pete).

  • http://newstadiuminsider.com Ross

    I should have qualified my statement about getting married before by saying that it was a destination wedding/honeymoon, so I was out of town since, and thus haven’t been to another game. LOL!

  • mike

    completely agree, this is a baseball field first!!

    they need to fix this up ASAP

  • Carcillo

    Pardon my ignorance, but if you recall, there was also the JayZ/Alicia Keys thing before Game 2 of the World Series last year. Literally, a half hour before the game.

    How was that stage set-up, and would that have impacted the playing surface at all? It was obviously set-up to be easily taken down.