A New Season: A New Yankee Stadium

I had the honor of attending “workout day” and working the first exhibition game against the Cubs in the New Yankee Stadium. An experience that I suppose I will brag about one day in my older years. Right now, I’m trying to figure it all out.

Although I’ve been to a few “openings”, this one was the largest – literally. I am not going to bore you all with stuff you’ve read everywhere else, but there are a few points I’d like to make outside of the fact that the place is HUGE.

The view from my "new" seat

The view from my "new" seat

The pressbox has characteristics of Camden Yards, only at a higher elevation. At first I thought the stadium clock was again hidden from view in the Official Scorer’s seat, but then I realized there are digital clocks down both outfield alleys. Looking down on the field, there is no doubt you are looking at the field of Yankee Stadium. To me, walking around the stadium was reminiscent of US Cellular Field in Chicago, and the wide concourses are very much like Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.

As I struggled to decide how I felt, my first thought was “why couldn’t they have surrounded the OLD field with all this stuff?” My second thought was “Dave, let it go.” And so I have. Turn the page.

A few of my personal thoughts after my first two “visits”:

If anybody wants to know what to get me for future gifts, the answer is simple: a gameday ticket for the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar, located in centerfield. I stood inside during the workout session, and in my opinion this is as uniquely cool of a view as anyone can find on the planet. Think “glass bottomed boat” in the Carribean, only baseball. Add alcohol, and I’m all set for a few hours of relaxing. Some blogger wrote, “who would pay $100 to sit 500 feet from home plate when they could just go to the ESPN zone?” The answer? ME.

I’ve never had “vertigo”, but it’s got to be a lot like how I felt navigating around the new Stadium. You have a familiar reference point (the field) that is NOT a reference point any longer. I’m thinking it’s going to take me a while longer to find all the shortcuts around Yankee Stadium than it might at say, CitiField.

Is is just ME, or do “interim” PA Announcer Paul Olden and the immortal Mark Fratto sound frighteningly similar? I’d watch out Paul, at the very least Mark sounds more like you than Mr. Hall sounds like Mr. Sheppard. Of course, the other three would simply be keeping Mr. Sheppard’s seat warm for his return. I keep hoping.

I watched Yankees batting practice alongside the smartest man on TV, and we both commented simultaneously about the wind patterns in right field. It’s only April, but if the winds continue to blow towards the short porch it’s a safe conclusion there will be quite a few balls flying into the right field seats.

Along the backstop...

Along the backstop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was looking forward to spending a few moments chatting with my boyhood friend who’s been the producer of Cubs telecasts for WGN for over a decade. Turns out, he has moved east to ply his trade with the Pirates. Good luck Pete!

There was a farmer’s market located next to the press elevator, on the way up to the press box. Market, like fruits and vegetables. Who knew?

Of course, these first two visits were practice. It’ll be for real come April 16th.

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