One park that will now be a parking lot. (Photo by Ben K.)
When the Yankees and the City of New York agreed to the deal that allowed the Yankees to build a new stadium atop a popular park for a green-starved South Bronx neighborhood, the city — and not the Yankees — was supposed to replace the parkland before the new stadium opens in ten months. Now, according to a weekend report in The Times, the cost of replacing the parks has skyrocketed, and the city is well behind schedule.
Timothy Williams reports:
The cost of replacing two popular parks where the new Yankee Stadium is being built has nearly doubled. At the same time, several of the eight new parks, which were supposed to be completed before the new stadium opens next spring, have been delayed by as much as two years, according to city documents.
The price of the new small parks — which are to replace tennis and basketball courts, a running track and baseball and soccer fields eliminated to make way for the new stadium — is now projected to be $174 million, almost one-seventh the cost of the $1.3 billion stadium itself. The original estimate had been $95.5 million. The increase comes amid skyrocketing costs for construction projects, both public and private, around the city.
As anyone who’s read my subway work at Second Ave. Sagas knows, skyrocketing construction costs have impacted all facets of New York construction from the subways on up. It’s not a surprise, then, that the cost estimates for these parks has doubled, and the final figures will probably exceed the $174 million mark when Heritage Field — on the site of the current Yankee Stadium — is completed in three years, five years after the South Bronx lost its parks to the new stadium.
Interestingly, as the article notes, the construction costs for Yankee Stadium have gone up by as much as 60 percent, but the Yankees are loathe to talk about that aspect of the project.
So then, why should we care about parkland in the Bronx? It’s easy to overlook the community aspects of this new Yankee Stadium. Admittedly, the building going up on the northwest corner of 161st St. and River Ave. looks great, but the community shouldn’t be ignored. While the vast majority of Yankee fans coming to the Bronx visit Yankee Stadium as though the building and the surrounding stores and bars are an isolated baseball bubble, they exist as part of a larger neighborhood, and that neighborhood — and the city at large — is getting screwed over.
As a good government advocate, I find it more than a bit dismaying that the Yankees aren’t paying to cover the costs of the parkland. While they’ve donated some money to cover the cost of taking over one of the borough’s most popular greenways, the city is footing the bill. This is just one of the ways in which the city is giving the money-laden Yanks a taxpayer-funded break to build a new stadium on valuable park space.
To make matter worse, the current replacement park at Jerome Ave. and 161st St., which has become very popular, will be turned into a parking lot. The Yankees win while the people who live in the neighborhood lose. At a time when the city is strapped for cash and is looking to cut funds for some vital services, that they have to fund park costs because they did a hundred-million-dollar favor for the Yanks is a black mark on the team. The Yankees weren’t going to leave New York, and the City knew it. Yet, city officials caved anyway. It’s too late to make amends, and the Yanks and the City are simply honoring terms of a deal they struck. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it.
While the final score – 6-1 – of the Yanks’ first loss since Tuesday makes the game sound like a lopsided Baltimore victory, for six innings, this afternoon’s game had all the makings of a pitcher’s duel. Darrell Rasner, throwing a few too many pitches early on, had another outstanding start, and Garrett Olson overcame last week’s outing to flash the stuff that has everyone raving this year.
This game got out of hand when the bullpen took over. Clinging to a 1-0 lead, the Orioles beat up on LaTroy Hawkins and Jose Veras. While Mike advocated for getting rid of Billy Traber, I have to believe that LaTroy wouldn’t be too far behind. He’s been spectacularly ineffective this year, and the Yanks will soon have two high-ceiling relievers in Mark Melancon and J.B. Cox knocking on the Yanks’ bullpen door.
In the end, though, I can’t really complain tonight. While this loss drops the Yanks under .500 and back into last place, if they’ve won five out of six games, and I’d always take that.
Nice little article by Baseball America regarding the River Dogs’ catching tandem. Sorry, subscription required.
Triple-A Scranton (11-5 loss to Pawtucket) how many homers did the pitching staff allow today? let’s count…
Brett Gardner & Greg Porter: both 0 for 4 – Gardner walked, scored a run & K’ed … Porter K’ed twice
Justin Christian, Jason Lane Cody Ranson & Chris Stewart: all 1 for 4 1 R – Christian, Lane & Stewart all doubled … Christian was hit by a pitch … Lane also drove in a run & walked
Eric Duncan: 0 for 3, 1 RBI, 1 K
Bernie Castro: 1 for 3, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1BB
Jeff Karstens: 3.2 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 1-4 GB/FB – allowed 2 homers
Billy Traber: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HB – he’s been terrible this year, regardless of level, he should be the first to go when they need a 40-man spot … allowed 2 homers
Steven White: 1.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K – 25 of 51 pitches were strikes (49%) … allowed 2 homers as well
JB Cox: 1.1 IP, zeroes, 2-2 GB/FB – stopped the bleeding
With 19 of their next 28 games coming against teams with losing records, don’t you get the sense that this team is about to go on a major roll? Something good is cooking in Yankee land, and I’m not talking out the BBQ’s in everyone’s back yard today.
The Yanks face a lefty starter for the upteenth time this season, with Garrett Olsen taking the hill for the O’s in Camden. This is the same Garrett Olsen that the Yanks bludgeoned last week, and Girardi was kind enough to fill out the same lineup responsible for that massacre.
My stupid lineup trick worked yesterday, so let’s keep it going.
1. J-Dam, LF
2. D-Jet, SS
3. B-Ab, RF
4. Alexander Emmanuel Rodriguez, 3B
5. H-Mat, DH
6. S-Dunc, 1B
7. R-Can, 2B
8. C-Moel, C
9. M-Cab, CF
And on the bump, the molten hot D-Ras.
Notes: Wilson Betemit is back with the team, the Former Attorney General was optioned back to Triple-A Scranton to make room on the roster. There’s nothing wrong with the move, Alberto was rotting away on the bench for the most part, and he should be getting regular at-bats, something he’ll be able to do in SWB.
As the Yankees are finally starting to look like the competitive team we knew they could be, one more missing piece of the puzzle could rejoin the Bombers on the next home stand. Jorge Posada will head down to extended spring training to play in a few games this week. He’ll test his in-game throwing for a few days, and if all goes well, he could be back in the lineup during the first week of June. Teams will run on him until he throws out a few guys, and I hope the Yanks don’t aggravate Posada’s arm further. It will no doubt be a relief to have his bat in the lineup. · (8) ·
At some point, the Yankees were going to turn things around this season. At some point, the Yanks would go from being the butt of the American League jokes to being a force in baseball. And all it took was a two-game disaster against the Mets and the return of the team’s $275-million man.
A week ago, the Yanks were treading water. They were 20-24 and looked listless against the Mets on national TV. What a difference seven days make. In that span, the Yanks have gone 5-1 to even their record at 25-25 and to move out of cellar of the AL East. A mere 4.5 games separate them from the Red Sox, and the Yanks, hitting on all cylinders, are about to enter the easiest stretch of their schedule.
Today’s game could easily be a turning point in the Bombers’ season. For the first time this year, the Yanks mounted a late-inning comeback to win, and a win like this just shows how the ball is now falling for the Yanks.
Once again Chien-Ming Wang, winless in four starts, didn’t have his best stuff. He walked too many hitters and couldn’t keep the Mariners off base. Jarrod Washburn, long a Yankee nemesis, kept the Yanks off the bases.
But the offense picked it up against the bullpen, and Jose Molina delivered a huge two-out double in the eighth. The Amazing Mariano Rivera nailed the final three outs – two by the big ol’ K – for another save. Rivera for Cy Young!
The Yanks, ridin’ high off a five-game streak, take their act down I-95 to Baltimore tomorrow. Darrell Rasner goes for his fourth wins in as many tries. This is Yankee baseball, and I like it.
Triple-A Scranton (6-4 loss to Indianapolis)
Wilson Betemit & Justin Christian: both 1 for 4, 1 BB – Betemit drove in a run, K’ed twice & committed an error when he missed a catch while playing short … Christian scored a run & K’ed
Brett Gardner: 2 for 3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB
Jason Lane: 2 for 5, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 K
Eric Duncan: 0 for 5, 1 K
Cody Ransom: 0 for 2, 1 R, 2 BB, 2 K
JD Closser: 2 for 4
Jeff Marquez: 6 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 HB, 14-2 GB/FB, 1 E (pickoff) – not the greatest outing, but it’s progress
Heath Phillips: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
Chris Britton: 1 IP, zeroes – 10 pitches, 8 strikes … behold the power of Britton
Keith Law has a new post up at the Worldwide Leader with the latest draft goings-on (sorry, this one falls behind the Insider wall). Amongst other things, Law notes how much worse prep shortstop Harold Martinez looks this year compared to last, as well as the the skepticism surrounding the stress fracture in Fresno State RHP Tanner Scheppers’ shoulder (the only other player I can remember suffering a stress fracture from supposedly doing nothing other than pitching is Bobby Jenks, who had one in his elbow back in his days with the Halos). I know plenty of Yankee fans are hoping that Eric Hosmer falls into their lap at #28 overall, but the Marlins are said to love guy. Thankfully ownership hasn’t given the FO the green light to go over slot … yet. · (11) ·
Is it really the 50th game of the season already? Wow.
Nothing quite like a visit from the ol’ Seattle Nine to jump start a scuffling offense, eh? The 25 run the Yanks have scored in the first two games of the series equals their offensive output over the previous 10 games combined.
On the pitching side, Chien-Ming Wang is looking for his first win since he manhandled these same Mariners 23 days ago. With Kyle Farnsworth throwing 25 pitches yesterday combined with Joba being unavailable, looks like Rock ‘n Rohlendorf and Edwar serve as your bridge to the Sandman today.
The lineup that’ll face the 367th southpaw the Yanks have seen this season:
1. J-Dam, LF
2. D-Jet, SS
3. B-Ab, RF
4. Alexander Emmanuel Rodriguez, 3B
5. J-Giam, DH
6. S-Dunc, 1B
7. R-Can, 2B
8. J-Mol, C
9. M-Cab, CF
I don’t particularly have warm and fuzzy feelings for the Red Sox. I find their fans to be annoying beyond belief, and some of their players – Curt, I’m lookin’ at you – are insufferable. But this whole David Ortiz Home Run Derby flap is fairly absurd. The Yanks don’t want Ortiz to call his shot because it somehow desecrates the sacredness of a stadium the team plans to unceremoniously tear down in five months.
The team officials in Jack Curry’s article come off as whiny, and it won’t kill anyone to allow this promotion to happen as much as we dislike the Sox. A supposed cursed jersey is one thing; bemoaning a gimick during MLB’s week of All Star unity is another. · (5) ·