I want to be a part of it

It’s everything you’d expect out of a $1.5 billion ballpark.

That’s the simplest, most succinct review I can offer for the new Yankee Stadium, which is an absolute beauty in the Bronx.

capt_592d624e6d934f0ea0ce6bc886952fe2_indians_yankees_baseball_nyy106.jpgWhat strikes me most about the ballpark is that at times you have to remind yourself you are actually across River Street and in a new facility. Because in many ways, this feels like a renovated version of the House that Ruth Built (which itself was a renovated version of, well, itself). The architects did a tremendous job maintaining that Yankee Stadium mystique while bringing this place into the 21st Century (the center-field video board makes you feel like you’re at a high-definition drive-in movie).

Again, though, what else do you expect for 1.5 billion bucks?

My experience here, thus far, has been relegated to the visiting clubhouse (which is nicer than most home clubhouses), the press box (they really took care of us here) and a small portion of the concourse (which, strangely and wonderfully, contains a fresh fruit stand). So if you want a review of the Hard Rock Café, Monument Park, the bleacher seats above the batter’s eye and the view from the upper upper deck (which, by my estimation, is roughly 1.5 miles above sea level), you’ll have to get it elsewhere. All I can tell you is that, from my vantage point, this place is everything you’d expect a $1.5 billion ballpark to be.

EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY…

  • The lineup introductions saw every member of the Indians, right down to the athletic training staff, getting a round of “Bronx cheers.” But no one got harassed more than Carl Pavano. The crowd was merciless after four years and $40 million worth of injuries. Pavano came out of the dugout smiling, and his teammates were loving it.
  • When asked if it would be weird to see CC Sabathia in another uniform, Eric Wedge replied, “I hope it’s a little more weird for him than it is for us.”
  • It was a little weird for Wedge drawing up the lineup for this game, because, obviously, Sabathia doesn’t have a history against nearly every member of the roster. Only Mark DeRosa (2-for-9) and Tony Graffanino (4-for-14) have faced him previously. So that helps to explain why Graffanino was in there today, spelling Asdrubal Cabrera.
  • I’m a little surprised to see Travis Hafner not playing and Shin-Soo Choo at DH today. The Indians still want to protect Choo against some tough lefties, and they don’t come much tougher than Sabathia. But they also have to give Pronk a couple days off per week.
  • It’s looking like Aaron Laffey will start Tuesday’s home game against the Royals. Combined with Monday’s off day, that will give the other four starters an extra day of rest before their next start.
  • Don’t expect the Indians to continue to carry 13 pitchers after the off day. It might be a short stay in Columbus for Josh Barfield, unless the Indians make some other, unexpected callup (as one commenter so accurately pointed out, Barfield can’t be called back up until he’s been in the Minors for 10 days).
  • Jamey Carroll made this trip because he wanted to be here for the Yankee Stadium opening. Nothing new to report about that broken bone in his left hand, though he did experience a little taste of Murphy’s Law when he accidentally hit that hand on the knob of the bathroom door in his hotel room. He’s fine, though.
  • Paul Olden, who was Herb Score’s WWWE partner on Tribe broadcasts in 1988 and ’89, is the public-address announcer here.
  • In addition to Kelly Clarkson singing today’s National Anthem, John Fogerty rocked us with “Centerfield” from, well, center field. It was a tad awkward, though, as he was singing over a studio track.
  • Former Yankees center fielder Bernie Williams also played a little acoustic number that was kind of a mood-killer for me.
  • Before Derek Jeter’s at-bat in the bottom of the first, a bat was placed on home plate. It was the bat Babe Ruth used to hit the first home run in the first game at the original Yankee Stadium on April 18, 1923. Maybe Jeter should have used that bat, because, using his own bat, he proceeded to fly out to center.

~AC

14 Comments

Barfield can’t be recalled on Tuesday. He has to spend the required 10 days in AAA before being able to be recalled. That puts him @ Saturday, April 25.

unless there is an injury

I think the injury will be Scott Lewis – is that his surgically-repaired arm from his OSU glory days. (Sorry AC – had to get a Springsteen reference in there.)

And the Indians are doing well today!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

“WE WON YESTERDAY , WE WIN TODAY AND THATS A WINNING STREAK ” ….. GO TRIBE !!!!!!! IN THE BOOKS FOREVER…. FIRST GAME AT NEW YANKS PARK .. A LOSS TO THE TRIBE !!! FIRST GRAND SLAM GRADY !!!!!!

This game made my life. Let’s hope we see more of this for the rest of the season. Grady Sizemore is my hero.
Melissa

Way to go Tribe! My prayers were answered today! The first game in the new Yankee park was sure a memorable one for us Tribe fans forever!
Aaron
http://mlbtribefan.mlblogs.com

So did anyone see any foreshadowing in this game? With the game Grady had the Yankees will offer him $250 million when his contract with the Tribe runs out. That makes me sad just thinking about it.

1st: I hope that by the time Grady’s contract has run out the Yankees have a set outfield and thus no room on their roster for him.

2nd: I think if there was ever a player the Indians will pay for it is Grady, he is the face of the franchise and still really young, and he puts buts in seats (see grady’s ladies). I hope he is our Chipper Jones in that he will spend his whole career with 1 team and not leave for more money.

bobwickman: remember how they were lusting after Josh Hamilton last season? And since he didn’t sign right away w/ the Rangers, I have a feeling he is the one they’re coveting right now.

Either way, a good win.

Re:Yankees signing Sizemore

Maybe the Yanks will learn a lesson this year. You can have 20 million dollar players in key spots, but if you have a 5 dollar bullpen you aren’t going anywhere.

It was great to see the boys put together some quality at bats against a top tier pitcher. Despite only getting one run, CC’s pitch count speaks volume towards the team’s hitting progress. It would be great momentum to win this series considering the tough stretch we’ve endured and have coming up (21 games in 22 days, 12 of 13 ahead).

also, can someone explain to me how in a matter of ten days Rafael Perez “lost” command of his slider after being so dominant in the WBC? 3 walks?! Um, Mr. Perez, the yips are holding on line 3 for you… would you like to take this now or call them back after the season starts?

Grady isn’t a sellout and the Indians will pay for him. Hamilton’s contract runs out the same year. They have Austin Jackson coming up in the minors. I think we have a chance of keeping him.
Melissa

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