The Yankees lost to the Rays while I stood in line for a Mariano Rivera bobblehead


Source: FanGraphs

Tuesday night’s Mariano Rivera bobblehead fiasco was perfectly symbolic of this current soon-to-be-officially-eliminated Yankees team. Something went wrong and the organization was completely unprepared for it, so they slapped together a quick fix devoid of any real planning and hoped for the best. The Yankees in a nutshell.

I spent the fourth through ninth innings in line for the bobblehead — after waiting about an hour to get in the door in the first place — so I can’t really talk about the game all that much. I did see Hiroki Kuroda get knocked around in the first inning (again), and, from what I understand, a bunch of guys hitting in the middle of New York’s lineup after being released by real contenders because they weren’t good enough made outs in big spots with men on base. The Yankees in a nutshell.

The bobblehead thing was a complete disaster. Apparently the truck carrying the bobbleheads to Yankee Stadium broke down, so they had to hand people vouchers when they walked through the door. Then, in about the second inning, they announced the bobbleheads could be picked up at Gate Two. One location for 18k bobbleheads. I got on line near the Lobel’s stand in right field and it snaked all the way up the ramp, around the grandstand, then back down the ramp. We were on line for more than two hours.

The staffers directing traffic weren’t much help and were rude more often than not. I heard more than a few of them tell people they were welcome to cancel their season tickets if they were unhappy. Great sales pitch, eh? At least attendance didn’t drop this year or anything. The Yankees didn’t make an announcement about giving people free tickets or anything after they missed the game waiting on line and I don’t expect them to. Customer service has never been their strong suit.

Anyway, go to for the box score and highlights. One more Yankees loss or one more Indians win will officially eliminate the Bombers from postseason contention, so expect it to happen soon. Phil Hughes will make what is almost certainly his final start as a Yankee on Wednesday night. David Price will be on the bump for the Rays.

Categories : Game Stories


  1. It’s George’s fault.

    Think about it – that guy couldn’t prepare the Stadium for a fitted cap promotion day, remember? Plus, this is the same bastard that once lost a Phil Rizzuto bobblehead in the street, only for it to get covered over by cement later on. This guy hates bobbleheads! No doubt he botched the Mariano Rivera bobblehead promotion as well.

  2. YankeeFan says:

    Mike, there’s been a handful of instances regarding YS customer service/security. Do you think ownership is completely in the dark with this? I heard you get kicked out for saying a profane word and are told to pipe it with cheers against the visiting team. My family and I were constants at the old Stadium which felt like home. We continued our season tickets to the new YS until 2010. It just still doesn’t feel the same and I wonder if ownership is even in the clue as to what is going on or if they just don’t care due to the sudden disconnect.

    • vicki says:

      i can’t swear this is true; i’m usually treated pretty nice in the bronx.

      but i will say i go to spring training every year, and legends/steinbrenner field is the worst place i’ve ever been. i try to schedule as many away games as i can down there. phillies complex is fun like spring break; twins complex is fun like frickin mardi gras. anywhere is more fun than no-fun central on dale mabry.

      our owners are dicks.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      Chants against the other team are fine. Yelling obscenities at a player on the field, or calling the woman in the Sox hat a whore, aren’t. I’m pretty fine with that. This isn’t Philly.

      I actually think the ushers have been nicer this year after taking a turn on Dick Turnpike for a few years there.

    • Adam says:

      Screw YS security and honestly going to the new stadium sucks. I took my twins (3 yrs old at the time) to a day game early in the season. As expected, my wife and I constantly had to take the kids to the bathroom, etc. After doing this twice, the JACKASS next to us said to my wife, next time you need to get up, I am not moving. Sure enough, an inning later my wife needed to take the kids to the bathroom and he refused to move and said something to my wife.

      My wife went out the other end of the row (we were basically on the other end). I then said something to the guy and he basically challenged me to a fight. Im not an idiot so I didn’t accept the challenge but I did use profanity out of anger and complete surprise at what this prick was doing. He also told me I was a horrible parent for bring kids to a game and that I was going to damage their hearing.

      I went to security and they did jackshit. He denied doing anything and not one person in the row stood up for me. So screw YS security.

  3. forensic says:

    Wow, quite a recap.

    Sounds like you had a fun time…

  4. Beantown Bombers Fan says:

    Yankees Customer Service is having a bang-up week. I went to Sunday’s game and sat in the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar (cool spot, BTW). When Metallica started to play during the Mo ceremony, we didn’t get any sound over the speakers in the bar. When the fan next to me complained later in the afternoon about it, he got a very terse “Well, we did our best with a live event, but you could have chosen to be outside.”

  5. Absolute insanity tonight. Spent about an hour in line going from bleachers to the top level and then all the way back down. Many people tried to cut the line but our section at least policed itself and kicked people out. Left in the 5th inning after I got my bobblehead. So disgusted with the Yankees and the way they handle everything in general. Really need to reevaluate if I am going to renew my season tickets. It was the last straw when I was walking out saw that people in the moat had the bobbleheads delivered to them in their seats.

    • Wheels says:

      You all should have stormed the moat.

    • vicki says:

      well, i’m pretty disgusted with you too. and i forbid you to renew season tickets ever again, you lazy philistine.

      • Nice SAT word. Points for you Smarty!

        It wasn’t about the bobblehead, it is how the situation was handled by the Yankees and their staff. Giving preferential treatment to those in the high priced seats was just icing on the cake. Who knows if they were among the 1st 18,000 to get into the stadium and they just gave them away just to give them away to people. (Unless I am mistaken and one of the perks of sitting in a $800-2,500 seat is that you get the giveaway no matter what) Put that on top of the awful team on the field and it just doesn’t really seem worth me shelling out considerable money to be there in the coming years.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      The moat stuff is awful, yes, but the Yankees are far from the only entity to royally fuck up something involving mass mobs of people wanting one thing. Let’s not equate this with not trading for Cliff Lee. :)

  6. Chris says:


    I feel like you/we should alert the Yankees regarding YS customer service. Employees telling fans that they can cancel their season tickets is unacceptable.

    Perhaps if we all write in/sign something our voice will be heard. I know there are a few avenues to email the Yankees through

    • Chris says:

      do you honestly believe that would do anything? mercy

      • Chris says:

        maybe if you get a letter together and print it in nice card stock with some yankee stickers on it…the secretaries will make sure it gets into Hal’s hands immediately.

        Serious question for Mike though. Could one not wait until the end of the game to pick up these bobbleheads? If somebody was one of the first 18,000 that were given vouchers, I wouldn’t think they’d send you home without one. The fact that grown adults stood in a long ass line for a toy bobblehead is amazing to me. It’s not like the game was entertaining after it was all said and done, but still. I must be missing something. I’m starting to think people would fight over glitter covered turds if they were advertised as free and limited supply.

        • vicki says:

          too many chrises.

        • Kat says:

          They were only giving them out till a half hour after the game. Of course.

        • Usty says:

          They stated that you could get them up through :30 after the 9th inning ended. There’s no way they handed them out by that time. We had 3 vouchers in our group of 8 (separated at the clusterf*ck that was the entrance as well) and in the 8th inning the end of the line was still over by the Great Hall opening at the Hard Rock side, snaking all the way through the stadium back over to the 3rd base side.

          Needless to say, we came home with 3 Mariano Rivera bobblehead…vouchers.

          They’re really lucky it wasn’t worse, for the most part as I was getting beers/food and staring in shocked amazement at the line during the game, everyone seemed semi-orderly and weren’t fighting with each other.

  7. Roba Has No Innings Limit (and needs Tommy John) says:

    What a shitty, lost season…

  8. Chris G. says:

    Well we were in it until 5 games to go in the season. Play the kids.

    • WhittakerWalt says:

      You do realize that “playing the kids” will undoubtedly result in an even worse season? Like, 90-100 losses probably? We’d just be losing with young players who stunk instead of old players who stunk.

      • Chris says:

        I’m not disagreeing with you. But you’d rather lose with old players who have no upside (ichiro, wells, etc) than give some younger players the experience to progress and get better?

        I can’t get on board with that. There is a way to sprinkle those young players in with talented veterans, but let’s be honest…the Yankees rarely do that unless those players start out like gangbusters immediately. And that isn’t the norm.

      • Bo Knows says:

        Re-read what he said; there are 5 games left in the season, they are practically eliminated from the postseason so play the kids for these 5 games

        • WhittakerWalt says:

          My mistake. I thought it was just another generic “play the kids/fire Cashman/we shoulda sold at the deadline” thing.
          For the rest of this season, absolutely. Nothing to lose.

  9. HateMclouth (formerly I'mVernon) says:

    Title made me laugh, but wow that sucks Mike. I wouldn’t let them hear the end of it if that happened to me.

  10. As usual, Mike’s snark is the best part of this article.

  11. Al says:

    This is a team of quitters! They quit on joe

  12. Pyscho Trish says:

    Mike – You got to see Alex though right? So that’s something. I really like that guy. I hope he avoids getting suspended.

  13. rebecca says:

    Damn. I was in 231 so I ended up in the right place and only waited about 10 minutes for mine.

  14. CUYanks says:

    My favorite part(s) of tonight:

    Coming in on one gate and being told there were no vouchers left, then subsequently seeing a stadium worker holding up about 15 vouchers for 50+ people to grab at like piranhas, sometimes coming close to fighting and being restrained by the police.

    Then, walking down several gates and seeing another stadium worker handing out casually vouchers (in a stack of literally hundreds) to some fans as they came in, simultaneous to many people openly weeping at other gates after being told there weren’t anymore.

    Oh yeah, the hoarding of vouchers by non-fans and attempts to sell them at ridiculous prices was a nice touch too.

    That being said, if Mariano had gotten into the game, it at least would have made it all worth it. But alas…

  15. Stratman9652 says:

    I don’t know whats worse, people standing in line for hours waiting on a bobble head or people bidding 100-400 bucks for one on ebay right now.

  16. Mr. Roth says:

    lol I would have cut that line so hard.

    • Ed says:

      And your funeral would be tomorrow. There were angry people in that line. Like me. My wife left in the 4th gave up in the 7th. After we yelled at each other in public, something that has never happened in 27 years together, I went off to miss the last 3 innings plus. And why did everybody stand in that line for 3 innings? Because it meant that they didn’t have to watch the pathetic excuse for a ball club the Steinbrenner boys have given us. After more than 50 years of living and dying with this club I’m seriously considering taking 2014 off.

  17. Pat D says:

    All I can say is that I am truly disappointed with Nick Swisher.

  18. MB923 says:

    I was there too. It “only” took me about 45 minutes or so to get mine. What’s ridiculous is that people in the 100 and 200 sections had to go UP the ramp to the 300/400 sections, only to turn all the way around and go back down the ramp.

    Fortunately my seats are int he 400′s (as you all know, same concourse level as the 300′s) and I only had to go down the ramp.

    The team should have at least given out free food or something and given a free ticket to a game next year.

  19. MB923 says:

    Check out how much people are selling those for on Ebay. It’s ridiculous. The only reason I waited is because my girlfriend really wanted one. Thinking of selling it for $100 or more (they that’s what people want it for)

  20. mustang(The Has Beens & Wannabes Bunch 2013) says:

    It’s Yankees Stadium Mike!

    People are lucky that staff didn’t beat them down for just asking questions…LOL

    Seriously I think Yankees fans are not the only ones soiled by this dynasty I think the organization has been to. Maybe a few years of attendance like they had in the 80′s will wake them up.

  21. forensic says:

    Speaking of Hughes tomorrow, how is Ben Zobrist 0-14 in his career against him. That just makes zero sense.

  22. mustang(The Has Beens & Wannabes Bunch 2013) says:

    OMG The next 2 years are really going to suck asss!!!

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      Someone’s been jacking screen names on the overnight, I see.

      • mustang (The Has Beens & Wannabes Bunch 2013) says:

        Nope it was me just realize that this organization probably thinks that its more cost effective to take a hit in the media and with the fan base for the next 2 years and get under the luxury tax.
        If the kids work great and if they don’t they can make a big push for free agents in 2015 and win back the hearts of the fan base.
        Regardless it’s probably going to get real ugly before it gets better again, but I had 15 great years since 1996 (minus 2008 & 2013) so who am I to complain.

  23. vicki says:

    well, yes. customer service is one thing. but if you could be convinced to wait in line for a doll instead of watching (okay, inconsequential) actual baseball, you’re not who i thought you were.

  24. Matt DiBari says:

    There’s very little the New York Yankees as am organization can do right these days

  25. vicki says:

    also, and i mean this from the bottom of my heart. go tribe. cleveland rocks!

  26. Steinbrenner's Ghost says:

    If Steinbrenner was still alive he would have made the the bobbleheads run on time.

    • forensic says:

      I just find it hilarious that they’ve had this planned for probably 5-6 months, and they couldn’t plan for them to be delivered yesterday? or last Friday?

      What? Do they not have a spare room to use to store them? Did they think fans would storm and burglarize the Stadium to get them overnight? Just absurd business planning.

      • dkidd says:

        things that break down:

        39 year-old shortstops coming off major ankle injuries

        • vicki says:


        • toad says:

          Things that are easy to replace when they break down, provided you allow for the possibility and plan ahead:


          • Robinson Tilapia says:

            I’ll make sure ownership contacts all the budding Operations Managers here next time. I’m sure you all could do better.

            They can manage operations involving 18,000 bobbleheads better. They can scout better. They can make better trades. WHY ARE THEY BORED AT WORK/SCHOOL/TOILET, THEN?!?!

  27. Steinbrenner's Ghost says:

    Bobbleheads Failed.

  28. Pseudoyanks says:

    Bobblehead fiasco was just reported on Morning Joe…making national news, one more twist though….they said people in the good seats (Legends?) had their Bobbleheads hand delivered. Yikes.

  29. Robinson Tilapia says:

    Sucks about the bobbleheads. We’ve all been in some sort of similar situation before. Glad you got one. It’s over now.

    (Lobs one up)

    I hope the lineup got their bobbleheads as well. They seemed to be on line all night as well.

  30. ropeadope says:

    Have they set a date for the Joba bobblehead giveaway?

  31. ropeadope says:

    The Joba and Phil bobbleheads will always have their head facing the other way.

    Of course (as they watch their previous pitch sail over the fence)!

    Lol, you have a wicked sense of humor, RT.

  32. Rizi Walnutz says:

    This entire blog has deteriorated into a whiners paradise.

    • Coolerking101 says:

      If you don’t think people have a legitimate gripe, then you’re a fool.

      • Captain says:

        a legitimate gripe about waiting on line for a bobblehead? thats very low on the scale of legitimacy. you either suck it up and wait on line for the bobblehead if that was why you came to the Bronx tonight (which for people showing up an hour plus early for a Tuesday night game in September is the only reason they came) or you watch the game. either one.

        • You’re right.

          They only had this promotion set on a fixed date for months, had plenty of time to make sure the bobbleheads found their way to Yankee Stadium, didn’t allow people to enter the Stadium when the bobbleheads didn’t show up on time, gave out vouchers instead, THEN told people with the vouchers that ALL the bobbleheads were being distributed at ONE place in the entire ballpark, creating a nightmarish line instead.

          Nothing to gripe about at all there.

          (this is where Tropicana Field has its perks – if there was an 18k bobblehead giveaway, and the bobbleheads arrived late, they could just have stadium ushers give out bobbleheads to the fans in their seats, because seldom does the Trop exceed 18k.)

          • SDB says:

            an 18k bobblehead giveaway at the Trop? Wouldn’t there be about 17k left over?

          • Captain says:

            so they went with their 3rd or 4th option to distribute the bobbleheads. there was a game going on. I’m sure there was a certain number of stadium employees available to distribute the bobbleheads and unfortunately, this was their best option with the resources they had. people came upwards of an hour early just to get the bobblehead, not for the game. wait longer and deal with it if you really want the doll or just pay for it on ebay.

            also the date was fixed for months and so were the plans to get the delivery. when both legs of the delivery have major issues, its not the easiest thing to plan for with such a large event.

            On Monday, on the trek from Seattle to New Jersey, there was a train issue in Chicago that disrupted the first leg of the journey for the 18,000 little Marianos. Still, the Yankees were hopeful the figurines would show up on time. On Tuesday, a truck that was scheduled to make the final delivery to the Bronx suffered a hydraulic problem, causing a further delay and forcing the Yankees to make a decision.

        • KenM says:

          I wanted to go to Monument park. If there was a “no bobblehead” line to get into the stadium I would have gladly gotten on that one.

          I also wanted to see Mo one last time. I guess I better start shopping for tickets to Thursdays game.

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        It’s a legit gripe. Here are my issues with it, though:

        - I’m hearing this being lumped in with every other perceived wrong on the part of the organization. That’s just not fair. This was probably a bad decision on the part of several people, not one of which was also responsible for Chris Stewart.

        - airports. The MTA. Concerts. Other sporting events. Things involving crowds can, and will, go wrong, and often. At some point, you doth protest too much. You got your bobbleheads. It’s over. First world problem.

  33. I own one bobblehead, a Melky Cabrera Trenton Thunder one, if you want old. :P

  34. KenM says:

    This is going to be long but I just need to vent. Here’s the short version: Last night sucked and Mo didn’t even pitch.

    My experience at the game last night was comically frustrating. I got to work early in the morning so that I could leave early. I would have liked to have gotten a bobblehead but I really wanted to go to Monument Park. I got to the stadium around 5 and got on what looked like the shortest, most orderly line. If there was an “I don’t need a bobblehead just let me in” line then I would have gotten on that. I should have just stood in one of the “blobs” of people because the people at the gates let them cut through the center of any of the lines.

    I finally got into the stadium around 6 and it was tough getting anywhere. There were long lines no matter where you want. I met my father at our seats and, despite getting to the stadium later than I, he had a voucher. The game started and the Yankees looked out of it from the beginning. My father and I decided to walk around the stadium at the end of the first. We were both starving and we wanted to check out the obscenely priced Rivera merchandise. ($75 for a hoodie, $50 for a hat, REALLY?!?) They announced that they’d be handing out the bobbleheads in ONE spot near the third base area of the stadium. By the time we made it there the line was past the left field bleachers. I’m not sure how far it went because we decided not to wait on it. I’d rather see the ACTUAL Mariano than the plastic version. Unfortunately, I didn’t even get that. I’m probably going to buy tickets to Thursdays game. I really want to see Mo one last time.

    I’ll be buying season tickets next year. Again. I’m not sure why though. I got that AT&T moneysaver text yesterday telling me that seats in my section (that I paid $75 for as part of my season ticket package) were on sale for $42.

  35. Remembering Steve Kemp says:

    I wonder when that truck is getting off the DL. We could use that production in the lineup

  36. ClayDavis says:

    Not that it really matters, but I wonder if ownership even releases some sort of public apology. They really do come off as not giving a shit about their average Joe fans.

    It’s a business, I get that, but it seems to be glaringly obvious that Hal really only cares about the bottom line. Apathetic ownership really, really sucks.

    • Patryk says:

      And why don’t they open up the gates before 11 on day games? It is a horror show outside while they slowly open one gate while there are thousands of people backed up sometimes in oppressive heat.

  37. Don says:

    Standing in a line of any length for a bobble head is ridiculous. No one to blame but yourself, and a lot of blame at that.

  38. aluis says:

    Serves you right. Can’t even fathom the idea of waiting three hours for a fricking plastic doll. PATHETIC!!!

  39. Usty says:

    One thing I really did appreciate – A-Rod choosing to come to the plate to “It’s All About the Benjamins”. I laughed my ass off because that’s some epic trolling of fans who would get it. Embrace the darkside A-Rod. I’m all for it!

  40. Patryk says:

    And why can’t they have one bobblehead for every available fan? Cost? Didn’t AT&T pay for those 18,000 giveaways? I don’t understand why the most popular SGA items aren’t available to everyone in attendance. And how in the world can there be so many readily available on EBAY before the game (and how exactly does an EBAY seller acquire these in lots while fans stand in line for HOURS)?

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