15 April 2010
Editor's Note: Today Stadium Insider welcomes a new author to the team - Leonora. For the past year, we have had the pleasure of reading Leonora's well-reasoned Yankee musings on Twitter (she's known as LeoKitty over there),as well as on her blog. We've linked to some of her work before, and she definitely understands what the Stadium Insider concept is all about. She goes to at least half of the home games every year and just like us, mostly resides in the upper deck. For the time being, she will be providing Stadium Insider recaps for the games she attends, attempting to give our readers a sense of the atmosphere. Hopefully she'll contribute even more down the road. Please make her feel welcome in the comments, and feel free to add your two cents if you were at today's game.
The game after Opening Day is generally a low demand game. It's usually a weekday day game for scheduling purposes (if they need to make up Opening Day itself, people like me who hold tickets for Game #2 don't suddenly have Opening Day seats in their hands) and other than that, the excitement seems to just go away for the general public for that one day. It doesn't mean that Yankee Stadium is empty, just at 60% capacity or so (see Ross' post about today's attendance here).The view from Grandstand 423, Row 14, Seat 30
I was running a bit late to the game as my bus had gotten backed up in traffic. The crowd outside seemed rather large but I quickly found a short security line and got on it. The female guard just sort of poked her nose into my bag and just waved me right in. For reference, here is the purse that I brought with me today:
It's a bit large and I think for a bigger ticket game it would have gone through a more thorough inspection.
The stadium was filled up at about that 60% rate I mentioned earlier. The bleachers were, as usual, totally stuffed and the Legends/Champions area was actually pretty full. Some of the outfield field level seating was pretty empty and the main, terrace and grandstand were thin in places. I'd guess that a lot of people with the Friday+ plan didn't go. Row 14 of Grandstand section 423 where I sit for that plan had me and two other people sitting in it for most of the game until I relocated a few rows down to sit with some friends in another mostly empty row.
The attitude of the crowd itself was a little annoying. I am a bit of a grump, but I found that people were being rather unfair to Javier Vazquez. Beyond that, the crowd was rather diverse in nature but pretty college student-age heavy. Many of the people there were imbibing at a rapid pace which can make things unpleasant and is probably responsible for the boo-happy nature of the crowd. The Yankees offense having a slow day helped also likely exacerbated lingering angry feelings towards Vazquez. I find it hard to believe that so many fans would boo a pitcher for allowing two runs in a game (the real booing started in the 3rd inning) if the Yankees had matched or scored more than that.
The Yankees made some changes to their outfield graphic/video boards this year. The player stats area now lists out a more detailed list including OBP (so now when Jeff Francoeur heads across town for the Subway Series, he'll know what is important) and SLG. The main HD video board features the current lineups for both teams, and now breaks the pitchcount out into balls and strikes. The last change is the out of town scoreboard is now a full list of all the games for the day. That is the change that I liked the least.
Here's what it looks like now (click for larger size):
Last year, the out of town scoreboard only showed four games at a time and cycled through them all. I liked that it gave a sense of what was going on by letting you know the current batter and if there were any runners on base. The condensed view with only scores, outs and numbers of the pitchers doesn't give you a great idea of what's going on. It's a small thing, but I liked being able to quickly get a sense of what was going on in an out of town game without having to pull up the MLB WAP site on my phone.
Overall, this wasn't a fun game to attend. Between the Yankees not playing to the best of their abilities, the small crowd and the boo-birds looking for any excuse to get on Javier Vazquez' case, it was what I imagine Kansas City Royals games are like when the bullpen comes in and blows a Greinke start.