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.
What 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.