"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

First Look

The Yanks and Cubs are due to play the first of two exhibition games tonight. We’ll see if they get it in. Cliff will be there, as will I. I’m eager to get my first taste of the new place. And it’ll be on TV so everyone will get to check it out.

As A. Gleeman says, Happy Baseball, y’all.

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1 PJ   ~  Apr 3, 2009 6:24 pm

Enjoy Alex! I look forward to your report!


2 rbj   ~  Apr 3, 2009 6:50 pm

I'm looking forward to it.

3 rbj   ~  Apr 3, 2009 6:51 pm

Wow, looks like Sheff will get to go for #500 in New York after all.

4 Just Fair   ~  Apr 3, 2009 7:07 pm

Game on. Adios to the last 6 months. Yee-haw.

5 rbj   ~  Apr 3, 2009 7:10 pm

Just a spring training game.

6 Just Fair   ~  Apr 3, 2009 7:16 pm

Just psyched to see the new joint. Thas'all.

7 rbj   ~  Apr 3, 2009 7:20 pm

Well that certainly doesn't sound anything like Bob Sheppard.

8 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Apr 3, 2009 7:23 pm

Oooh, bad ab by Tex. He let two hittable pitches go by.

Oh well, it's baseball!!

9 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Apr 3, 2009 7:25 pm

Hideki trying to pull the outside pitch.

Not a good sign.

10 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Apr 3, 2009 7:25 pm

[4] Yee-haw, indeed!!

11 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Apr 3, 2009 7:27 pm

Kay thinks the scoreboard is "amazing."

I don't see what's so amazing about it.

12 knuckles   ~  Apr 3, 2009 7:30 pm

Funny when they do the camera pan from high in foul ball territory above the dugouts then out towards CF, it looks a lot like the old house until they reach the foul poles...

The navy blue padding/fences is going to take some getting used to. I know the royal didn't match the uni's but I am going to miss it.

13 rbj   ~  Apr 3, 2009 7:35 pm

Ah, the first "past a diving Jeter" of the new stadium.

14 rbj   ~  Apr 3, 2009 7:42 pm


15 randym77   ~  Apr 3, 2009 7:44 pm

The first homer in the new stadium.

16 seamus   ~  Apr 3, 2009 7:44 pm

anyone watching on mlb.tv? I turned it off because of too much going on here but I was amazed at how they have really upgraded that service!

17 seamus   ~  Apr 3, 2009 7:45 pm

oh sweet!

18 Diane Firstman   ~  Apr 3, 2009 7:48 pm

That home plate camera shot (behind the screen) is very annoying.

19 Diane Firstman   ~  Apr 3, 2009 7:51 pm

FWIW, Citi Field reminds me of a combo of Jacobs Field and Jack Murphy.
(That's not a happy combo)

20 randym77   ~  Apr 3, 2009 7:51 pm

Cano looking like an all-star tonight.

21 rbj   ~  Apr 3, 2009 7:51 pm

Hopefully Worm Killer is just getting his bad Yankee Stadium outing out of the way early.

22 Diane Firstman   ~  Apr 3, 2009 7:52 pm

My goodness, Michael Kay quoting "defensive statistics" ....

(stop the presses)

23 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Apr 3, 2009 7:53 pm

[16] I am, seamus. I've never used it before; how have they upgraded?

24 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Apr 3, 2009 7:53 pm

[22] heh heh heh.

25 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Apr 3, 2009 7:53 pm

I missed Robbie's dinger. Recap, please?

26 ny2ca2dc   ~  Apr 3, 2009 7:54 pm

everybody back up your DVR: didn't that dude next to the guy who caught Cano's HR look like our Alex Belth? The one who was grabbing on the ball-cather's arm and jumping around.

27 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Apr 3, 2009 7:55 pm

Oh my God.

Are we going to have to spend the whole year raving about how great this park is?

I think I'm going to be ill.

28 cult of basebaal   ~  Apr 3, 2009 7:56 pm

yup, jeter's toast.

just look how slooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow his bat speed was ...

29 seamus   ~  Apr 3, 2009 7:57 pm

[23] it is a totally new interface from anything i remember using in the past. looks like they are using flash. hopefully it doesn't hog too much memory. The quality is fantastic and there are a lot more settings than before. the enhancements are quite extensive!

I am also using the iphone app. It took less than 5 minutes for them to add robbie's homer to the videos. BUT i couldn't get it to actually play.

30 randym77   ~  Apr 3, 2009 7:58 pm

[26] Beats me. I'm really not sure what Cliff and Alex look like. Yes, I've seen photos, but it's amazing how often photos don't look much like the person.

I was really surprised to see Cliff's SI photo. For some reason I thought he was much older.

31 cult of basebaal   ~  Apr 3, 2009 8:01 pm

new interface, larger screen size ... added HD quality (nextdef)

quality has been so-so tonite. sometimes the HD is awesome, sometimes the time the system automatically drops down to quality that's nearly unwatchable (you can always drop down out of nextdef to get back to regular quality)

it would be nice if you could adjust the player screen size to improve quality, as it is, it's ok.

32 rbj   ~  Apr 3, 2009 8:04 pm


33 randym77   ~  Apr 3, 2009 8:04 pm

Two-run homer for Godzilla.

There sure are a lot of empty seats.

34 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Apr 3, 2009 8:04 pm

Nice little shot by Hideki!

He kind of golfed it out.

35 Diane Firstman   ~  Apr 3, 2009 8:05 pm

MLB.TV Premium's video is very sweet.

36 Diane Firstman   ~  Apr 3, 2009 8:07 pm

MLB Network ought to be available on MLB.TV .... sigh.

37 Just Fair   ~  Apr 3, 2009 8:08 pm

2 things that have jumped out to me are the outfield wall business and the courthouse cannot be seen beyond center field.

38 randym77   ~  Apr 3, 2009 8:11 pm

I've just had such terrible experiences with MLB.TV I'm kind of afraid to subscribe again. If they weren't such incompetent jerks, I would at least subscribe to MiLB.TV.

39 Just Fair   ~  Apr 3, 2009 8:14 pm

The Mets are in a Rain Delay. fwiw

40 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Apr 3, 2009 8:16 pm

Why would Jorgie throw after double-clutching with Gathright running?

41 rbj   ~  Apr 3, 2009 8:17 pm

[40] Just to test his shoulder? I'm guessing.

Kind of a sloppy game tonight.

42 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Apr 3, 2009 8:22 pm

I love watching Robbie hit when he's on. He can hit anything with authority. It's a joy to behold.

43 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Apr 3, 2009 8:22 pm

[41] Fair enough.

44 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Apr 3, 2009 8:25 pm

Damn, that thing got out in a hurry!

45 rbj   ~  Apr 3, 2009 8:25 pm

A-Rod who?

46 Just Fair   ~  Apr 3, 2009 8:26 pm

Lots o' squirrel hunting tonight. : )

47 randym77   ~  Apr 3, 2009 8:26 pm

Co-dy Ran-som!

48 cult of basebaal   ~  Apr 3, 2009 8:26 pm


49 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Apr 3, 2009 8:35 pm

Can anyone explain the mlb packages to me? The deal for every "out of market game" amounts to what, essentially? I only have access to the Yankees on the road?

What kind of shit is that?

50 cult of basebaal   ~  Apr 3, 2009 8:41 pm

where do you live weeping?

51 randym77   ~  Apr 3, 2009 8:44 pm

[49] Obviously, it's the local TV affiliates who insist on that.

You can get around it by using a proxy. MLB.TV blacks out games via IP address, so if you use a foreign proxy (I like Thailand), you won't be blacked out.

52 seamus   ~  Apr 3, 2009 8:49 pm

[49] it works better for us who have moved from the nyc area. I live in Pittsburgh. out of market is all of them. :D

53 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Apr 3, 2009 8:49 pm

New Haven.

54 randym77   ~  Apr 3, 2009 8:52 pm

And you get access to all the games once they are archived. You can't watch in-market games live, but you can watch them once they're over...any time you want.

55 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Apr 3, 2009 8:56 pm

Happy Returns to the game thread!

[51] RandyM, I had the MLB package last year from here in Japan but could not watch games live..all blacked out. How does using the foreign address get around that?? A lot of Yankee games are on tv live here in the morning but not every day..

56 Mattpat11   ~  Apr 3, 2009 8:56 pm

Reed Johnson can't possibly think he looks good.

57 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Apr 3, 2009 8:58 pm

Mariano Rivera, ladies and gentlemen.

58 Yankee Mama   ~  Apr 3, 2009 9:03 pm

Do we know who's pitching tomorrow?

59 RIYank   ~  Apr 3, 2009 9:04 pm

Two center fielders in scoring position!

60 RIYank   ~  Apr 3, 2009 9:04 pm

[58] First base!

61 Rob Abruzzese   ~  Apr 3, 2009 9:09 pm

For a while there I thought Jeter was going to pick up the cycle and just lay it out there that this was his house.

I'm also kind of glad that Arod isn't here.

62 rbj   ~  Apr 3, 2009 9:10 pm

What Mo wants, Mo gets.

63 Rob Abruzzese   ~  Apr 3, 2009 9:10 pm

Burnett and Pettitte are splitting duties tomorrow. I imagine Pettitte would start.

64 randym77   ~  Apr 3, 2009 9:11 pm

[55] I never tried a Japanese IP address. Maybe Japan is blacked out, too. Or maybe they changed it last year. (I was boycotting MLB.TV last year.)

But the previous year, I got around the blackout by using Thai or Indian free proxies. I could even watch Saturday afternoon games. The fastest I've ever seen MLB.TV is on Saturday afternoons, because most of the country is blacked out.

65 rbj   ~  Apr 3, 2009 9:17 pm

Couldn't God Bless America get left behind at the old stadium. Don't need it for every home game.

66 Yankee Mama   ~  Apr 3, 2009 9:20 pm

Thanks for the pitching info. I agree about God Bless America. Totally over it.
I did write on the Banter that I thought Sheffield would go to the Mets. I never get that stuff right.

67 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Apr 3, 2009 9:25 pm

[64] just re-upped my Mlb.tv Premium for the year. No way around the Japanese black-out I fear, but with the tv broadcasts and the archive it's ok..will try that IP address diversion though and see if it works. Thanks.

68 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Apr 3, 2009 9:29 pm

And in classic mlb.com fashion, my account processing now says "Error" and have to call them again..just awful service form these guys!

69 randym77   ~  Apr 3, 2009 9:47 pm

[68] That's why I no longer subscribe. It was just such a headache. I don't think I ever made a purchase there that didn't result in some screwup that meant I had to call them. Usually multiple times. Downloadable games that were not downloadable. (Took them weeks to fix it.) Charging me multiple times for the same subscription. Renewing my subscription when I specifically told them not to - several times, and they admitted it.

Every time I'm tempted to subscribe, I find myself thinking, "Is it really worth having to call six times and wait around on hold for half an hour, in order to talk to someone who doesn't know the Mets from the Yankees?"

70 rbj   ~  Apr 3, 2009 9:50 pm

So who's this J-Rod kid?

71 Rich   ~  Apr 3, 2009 9:54 pm

The stadium looks a lot better on TV than it does in pictures.

72 RIYank   ~  Apr 3, 2009 10:01 pm

No hits after Wang left.
I know, it's the Scrubs of the Cubs, but still.

73 rbj   ~  Apr 3, 2009 10:02 pm

Good way to open the new stadium, with 3 bombs in the Bronx.

Good night all.

74 thelarmis   ~  Apr 3, 2009 10:04 pm

[68] hey buddy, how are ya?!

75 PJ   ~  Apr 4, 2009 12:25 am

Well, I'm very impressed! They did a great job on construction and design, as well as getting the field ready. The camera angles were only subtly different. I love the views from the roof showing the four levels of seating (!) with the last one covered by the frieze. I like the look from the CF camera with the backstop so much closer to homeplate, too (20 feet closer I think?). I'm also glad they didn't have trouble with the batter's eye and I like the preferences Mo added to the bullpen, changing the end the mounds are on and adding the door with direct access to Monument Park. The navy blue looks great everywhere.

They weren't spectacular playing in the field, but it's very reassuring indeed when the offense puts up seven without the benefit of production from Tex! Yay for Robbie getting the first HR! I had hoped they would get it during the first time through the order against Lilly. I thought Wang settled down nicely and adjusted well without his best stuff. The kids played well, but they couldn't push anything across late with tons of chances. There was some trouble with wind and fly balls. It will be interesting to see that coupled with the sunlight of a day game! The turfgrass of pure Kentucky Bluegrass was surprisingly full and lush for the weather, but the infield played very dry and fast. Players said the outfield drained very well after all of the earlier rain and that their traction was fine. I'd love to see a cross section of that new field!

I'm looking forward to Burnette and Pettitte going tomorrow against Harden. In fact, I'm looking forward to all the games at their new home!

Oh, and I thought Jorge blocked the plate on Gardner's great throw!


76 williamnyy23   ~  Apr 4, 2009 10:04 am

The Stadium is so big it’s kind of hard to sum up after one visit, but my general impression was that in spite of the scale of the building, they did a very good job integrating all of the elements. In other words, I didn’t find it to be overwhelming. In fact, once you make it to the stands, there is a certain feeling of familiarity. The playing field looks exactly the same and the stands seem to provide the same framework.

Where you notice the biggest difference, however, is in the outfield. Where as you used to be able to touch the foul pole in the old upper deck, you are now about 30 feet removed from it. As a result, you lose the cascading effect that made you feel as if a wave of fans was going to crash against the field.

The bleacher section is also very different. Instead of two distinct blue boxes (each compartmentalized) on both sides of the field, you now have two single compartment white sections on either side of the restaurant. Also, the old place had a lot more space beyond the outfield walls, while the new place is much more compact.

Where the new place blows the old one away is in space, access and concessions. The size of the concourses and the amount of entrances make it very easy to enter and walk around the ballpark. What’s more, the open air design allows you to see the field as you traverse the concourse. Not only does that allow you to stay in touch with the game, but there were also several areas where one could stand unmolested and get a great view of the game. I watched an inning from the Field Level concourse behind the plate and the view was excellent…in fact, if my legs could hold up, I could see watching an entire game from the perch. Similar vantage points exist around the field level, so while it definitely seems you will not be able to sneak down to the seats once the game starts, you really have more access to that vantage point than ever before. Finally, although I don’t go to a game for food, those who do will be very happy with the variety.

Clearly, the worst thing about the new place is the centerfield restaurant. It looks as if its addition was an afterthought and it is the only thing that sticks out like a sore thumb. It is basically a big, black box that hovers ominously over Monument Park. Not only does it kind of hide what I think should be more of a centerpiece, but it takes up so much space.

The thing that I loved about the old place was that the outfield seemed as if it had so much going on, probably because all the subsequent alterations had turned it into a hodgepodge. I also really enjoyed seeing the looming court house in the distance as well as the building rooftops and the old Grand Concourse hotel. Now, the Stadium skyline is dominated by the massive diamond vision, which I must admit had amazing clarity. The quality of the screen was so good that it more than makes up for the obstruction.

As for the seating area, the seats and rows are much wider, which is invaluable. Also, the upper tier now only has 13 rows, so the long, steep climb to row W is no more (gone is the amusing sight of seeing someone make it half way up, pause for a rest, and then proceed). The sightlines seem to be great all around, although there is a tradeoff. By moving the upper tiers back (particularly behind the plate and in the wings), the seats are now much further away. On the other hand, 99% of the field is visible, even from the wings, which uses to be so obstructed in the old place that I wouldn’t sit in them. The only worry I had about those seats (I sat there for 2 innings) is that it was a little hard seeing the ball, but I am hoping that was a result of the weather). The best thing about the stands is that they got rid of the annoying walk ways that filtered traffic in front of the upper sections of each level, essentially turning rows 1-2 intro an obstructed section. Of course, that segmentation makes it much easier to restrict access, but anything would be worth getting rid of that nuisance.

Finally, even though I think it looks great and fits in with the team’s colors, the navy blue was a little disconcerting. I really liked that lighter blue that permeated the old place, so it will take getting used to.

On the whole, I think the Yankees did a great job with this place. Aside from some of the quibbles above, I am concerned about the main parking lot built next to Gate 8. There are 5 or 6 levels and the driving lanes are very narrow (if you take a bad angle, you’ll not be able to round the bends). Getting out of there is going to be a nightmare. I would definitely not park there.

As for access, I spoke to a few security guards and they all said that the policy is still a work in progress. Because of the segmentation, it will be easier to restrict access. If the Yankees do go down that path, I think it would be a big mistake. I think too much has been made of the elitist feel of the ballpark because all of the amenities contributing to that argument are really superfluous. However, if the Yankees restrict pre-game access to the field, and by extension the players, it will be a very significant mistake. I am hopeful they’ll see the folly in such a decision.

77 monkeypants   ~  Apr 4, 2009 10:12 am

William, really nice write up. I'm going rather later in the season...we'll see how the various policies shake out by then.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver