I’ve been sitting in the right field bleachers frequently this year, so the recent string of ejections has me worried. My buddy Mischa G, who also frequents the right field benches, has written a little something-something about the whole situation. As Ben’s mother pointed out yesterday, the Fascism in Yankee Stadium is not limited to the bleachers, but it’s certainly more emphatic there.
So begins most home games this season in the right field bleachers. With Bald Vinny standing, surrounded by the most die hard of fans, Yankee Stadium’s Bleacher Creatures lead as the right field bleachers chant each Yankee’s name. As they player waves back, the fans move onto the next player, from Melky in center to Matsui in left and Bobby in right. And so on. After A-Rod‘s name is chanted the fans turn to the section of box seats just across the divide and chant “Box seats suck!” several times before Vinny instructs everyone to “Sit down and shut up!” and the ball game really begins.
Except recently there’s a new tradition. Starting around the series vs. the A’s at the end of June, the chant of “Box seats suck!” was met with ejections. In fact a zero tolerance policy was instituted in the right field bleachers, far beyond any enforcement in any other section of the park.
Pointing at out-of-town fans and singing “Why are you gay?” during the YMCA is now met with immediate ejection in the bleahcers, and rightfully so. Those doing so are usually not the regulars anyway. Instead, those leading the stadium tradition of roll call have often been thrown from games before the first out for so little as shouting “sucks”. The enforcement is highly inconsistent from day to day, but is generally strict.
Slowly the Bleacher Creatures, saluted on billboards outside the park, are being killed off. Their cruder rituals like the gangbang song, have long since gone the way of the dodo in the stands. Now you only hear whispers of “Mets Suck” sung to every song piped through the stadium. “Box Seats Sucks” has only been chanted (and not met with ejection) a few times in the last month. The wave even occasionally ripples through the right field stands.
So these days roll call often ends a different way.
“De-rek Je-ter! De-rek Je-ter!”
“No Fun Allowed!”
Update on Miranda: Miranda rolled his ankle running after a foul pop-up the other day. Nothing major, but the Yanks are being overly cautious as always. That’s from our good pal Mike A., who should be out enjoying the sun.
Triple-A Scranton (5-2 win over Ottawa)
Kevin Thompson: 4 for 5
Alberto Gonzalez: 2 for 5
Angel Chavez: 2 for 5, 2 K
Erubiel Durazo: 2 for 5, 1 2B, 1 K
Justin Christian: 0 for 3, 1 BB, 2 K
Eric Duncan: 0 for 5, 3 K
Wil Nieves: 3 for 5, 1 K
Ben Kozlowski: 3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K — not bad for having a reliever start
Ross Ohlendorf: 3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K — gave up a solo shot
Scott Williamson: 1 IP, zeroes, 2 K — noice
Edwar: 1 IP, zeroes, 2 K — noicer
Jason Brower: 1 IP, zeroes
It’s late on the East Coast, but the West Coast is still enjoying live baseball. I see Grady Little is mirroring Joe Torre’s patterns as our old friend Scott Proctor is on the hill for the Dodgers for the second night in a row. With one out and runner on second, Barry Bonds, who hit home run number 749 off of Proctor, came to the plate. Proctor intentionally walked him. So Scotty, who I pegged as the victim for 755, dodgers that bullet. Update: Scotty is showing why the Yanks traded him. He faced four batters, got one out, gave up a run and is leaving the game with runners on the corners. Good luck with that one, Grady. · (4) ·
Lots going on at the good ol’ SWB Yanks Blog. It spans a few posts, so I’ll sum it up for you.
- Chris Britton has been activated from the DL and has been added to the SWB roster.
- Brett Gardner has been cleared to play and is awaiting activation.
- Joba is back in Scranton, so it appears he’s not headed to New York this weekend. Then again, with the performance of Farnsworth today, that could change real quick.
- Jason Giambi will rehab in Scranton starting tomorrow, and will play first base while he’s there.
Plenty of roster moves have to be made at the top three levels of the organization in the next three days. Someone has to get axed for Hughes (guess: Henn, but it could be Bruney), and eventually Giambi (hope: Cairo). There’s also a logjam at AAA, as Joba, Gardner, Basak, and then Henn (or Bruney) have to be added to the roster. Jennings speculates that Ohlendorf could head to Trenton to hone his bullpen game.
Honestly, if they want to bring Joba up, just DFA Kyle and send him through waivers. Yes, I know that handicaps your ability to make a deal; but the mere fact that he’s Kyle Farnsworth already immeasurably handicaps any deal. Just rip it off like a Band-Aid.
It’s just so frustrating to have him in the bullpen while Britton and Ramirez are still in the minors.
A story from Tuesday, courtesy of my mom. She witnessed the following incident while putting the stuff she brought to the game in one of those flimsy terrorist-proof, clear plastic bags.
As I was putting food into a clear plastic bag, 3 guys were stopped by the person giving out the bags because their faces were painted. One face was half white and half blue; the other two had the interlocking NY on their cheeks. She told them that facepainting was not allowed in Yankee Stadium. She told them that they had to wash it off before entering the stadium. They were incredulous and asked where they were supposed to do that. After a bit of back and forth, she let the guy with the half white and half blue face into the stadium to wash his face while the other two waited for his return. I never did see the outcome because I went inside but I think the idea was that the friends were kind of like hostages so the first guy would come back out to get them. I don’t know if they had to wash off too, maybe one at a time.
I thought the whole incident was ridiculous. Who’s rule is that? How many times have I seen facepainted people on TV at other stadiums?
Last month, we wrote about the ban on the “Box seats suck” chant (which may or may not have been related to anti-Semitic slurs hurled at Shawn Green). But this story is ridiculous. The Yankees don’t allow facepaint in the Stadium. Are you kidding me?
If the Yankees really think facepainted fans are a threat to those around them or interfere with the enjoyment of the game, they need to remove the giant stick from their collective asses. Facepainting has long been a part of the fan experience, and to ban seems ridiculously over-the-top. If they haven’t banned facepaint, then this security guard needs a stern talking-to.
Much to the chagrin of the woman sitting in front of me at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night, I am no fan of Johnny Damon. As the Yanks’ lead-off hitter – and someone tell me why he still leads off – strolled to the plate, my dad and I noted Damon’s decline and his slow bat speed.
While the lady in front of me with her Number 18 t-shirt on kept glaring back at me and loudly commented, “I guess Damon can still play” while shooting me a dirty look a few innings later when he homered, the fact is that Johnny Damon is an albatross around the Yankees’ necked.
In December of 2005, the Yanks signed Damon to a four-year, $52-million deal. While the Red Sox declined to match that deal, the first season of the contract made the Yanks looked great. For $13 million, the Yanks got a centerfielder with a bad arm but good range who could hit for power and average and steal bases.
This year, it all came crashing down. Damon, hot of late, is hitting just .251 but with a respectable .353 OBP. However, he’s slugging just .356, and he has followed up his 2006 extra-base hit total of 64 with just 23 this season. In the field, he’s a disaster. His arm is worse than ever, and he has officially lost the starting centerfield job to Melky Cabrera, a far superior defender.
Now, the Yanks are facing a choice. They have a lot of players playing good baseball. Shelley Duncan is swinging a hot bat; Andy Phillips has been great of late; and Melky Cabrera has emerged as the heart and soul of the young players on the team. With Jason Giambi due for a return, someone’s got to go from the starting lineup.
As Joe Torre, the Yankees manager who seems to have been the victim of a vote of no-confidence from the Front Office, tends to favor his Experienced Veterans, I fear that Melky, much to the detriment of the offense and defense, will be the odd man out. That is, unless the Yanks bench Johnny Damon.
Now, recently a rumor emerged that Damon was on the trading block. As much as the Proctor trade was designed to protect the Yanks from Torre while improving the team, a Damon trade could do the same thing. And obviously, Johnny Damon, who didn’t play yesterday much to the surprise of himself, isn’t too happy about that. He says he wants to play and win in New York. He says he wasn’t sure why he was the odd man out yesterday.
But if I’m the Yankees and some team wants Johnny Damon, I trade him in a heartbeat. There’s no doubt that, with $26 million left on his contract, he’ll clear waivers. With Giambi in the DH slot and Melky firmly entrenched in center, Damon’s spot on this team would be a pinch runner, and $13 million for a pinch runner is a hefty sum.
So two days ago, I (probably misguidedly) advocated trading current centerfielder. Today, I’m advocating for trading the former centerfielder. If the deal arrives, do it.
Did anyone else get the feeling last night that Pettitte was on the verge of being hammered? I don’t know what it is, but it seems like every time he goes out there, I keep thinking that the hitters are going to catch on and start whaling him. But most of the time, he ends up just fine. Last night was no different, as he turned in a good performance, both in process and results. One run on six hits, two walks, and six strikeouts through seven innings is a damn good line. It’s especially good because he trotted out for the 7th while already over the 100-pitch mark.
Maybe it’s because Pettitte is such a damn nibbler nowadays. He sorta has to be, considering his diminished velocity. But a lot of his pitches out of the zone juuuust miss, leading to a lot of 2-0 and 3-1 counts. Normally, we see pitchers hammered when they get into a lot of those. But it’s not like Pettitte is missing by a lot; he has good enough control to come right back in there and throw you a strike. And he’ll hit a corner while doing it, too.
If you’re looking to buy tickets off of season ticket holders, it appears that StubHub will be the place to go. They’ve just entered into an agreement with Major League Baseball:
In a nod to the growing strength of Internet ticket exchanges, the league has entered into a revenue-sharing agreement with StubHub, an online market owned by eBay that acts as a middleman in the resale of tickets to entertainment events. Under the five-year deal, all 30 baseball team Web sites and MLB.com will direct fans who want to sell their tickets or buy tickets from other fans to Stubhub.com.
I’ve heard from people in the industry that StubHub wasn’t in good shape. I suppose that’s changed now that they’re in cahoots with MLB.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, yes, we’d appreciate it if you use that lil’ ad on the right hand side to buy your tickets through StubHub.