As the Yankees finally begin to tear down the old dump, they are set to experience rebirth in a new dump. Today is finally the Yankees home opener, just three years after breaking ground and, surprisingly, on time. In fact, it's probably true that the Yankees waited to start demolishing the old place because they weren't sure construction would be finished on the new joint. So salute the construction teams and the endless flow of Yankee dollars for getting this thing ready for today.
But I digress. The Bronx fans may be upset at the ticket prices but hey, they asked for it. I wrote that column before I visited the new Stadium for the exhibition game against the Cubs two weeks ago, and now, I regret the tone of my words. The Yankees have done a great disservice to the regular folks by severely cutting back the number of upper deck seats and pushing them way back from the field, creating bad sightlines. Also, those 600 obstructed view bleacher seats (about 12% of the total) really do suck.
Still, my seats are great, so screw those jerks upstairs. I'm headed out today to see the Cleveland Indians come to town, and the irony is quite delicious:
(George) Steinbrenner, who will turn 79 on July 4, could have made sure it was not the Indians coming to the Big Apple to open the latest Taj Mahal of baseball. But the thinking here is that cantankerous George wanted his hometown team to be in on all the glitz.
The year before the American League instituted the designated hitter, Steinbrenner was in line to buy the financially-beleagured Indians in 1972. Instead, the AL wizards decided to throw their support to a group headed by Nick Mileti. The party line was that Steinbrenner's interest in horse racing would be a detriment to the grand old game.
Think about it, Indians fans...you had a chance to have a wealthy, spendy local owner come in and turn the franchise around. Instead, you had thirty more years of failure followed by success that itself ended in failure.
Come back here at 1PM as our pal D-Mac will liveglog the Indians-Yankees game that will air on the MLB Network. I would live tweet and live comment my experience but the AT&T cellular network at the Stadium is horrible and gets easily overloaded. In fact, the only time I was able to send a text message at the exhibition game was during the National Anthem. Sorry, Uncle Sam!
(Photo courtesy of Flickr user Bari D)