Today’s news is powered by …. Post-its!:
- Christina Kahrl has some thoughts on the construction of the Yankees roster:
The Yankees are supposed to be a good team, but it might be a little hard to see that when, to replace the immortal Cody Ransom at third base, they’ve stopped to… Angel Berroa. Apparently innumerable other bipeds weren’t available, or had already sought other engagements to make themselves unavailable . . .
The alternative would be that this organization, the same proud organization that struggled to come up with a first baseman better than Miguel Cairo in 2007, learned nothing about the value of adequate replacements from that particular lineup atrocity, and was blowing another week of their season on some new A-Rod substitute at third base that almost no other team in the league might consider. Sure, when Alex Rodriguez returns next week, this might prove a minor matter, but blowing the last few roster spots—let alone lineup cards, not to mention forgoing a decision to simply try to stock their minor league affiliates with useful journeymen—has cost this team in the past, and costs them to this day. It’s as if Clay Bellinger wasn’t a happy accident, but a choice informed by what we hope must be an appallingly parochial and ideally uninfectious local sense of taste.
[My take: OUCH! (but she's right) . . . for a $200+ million team, the Yankee teams of the last few years have been increasingly "bipolar" in terms of their roster construction. "Stars and Scrubs" might work in Roto . . . but it doesn't work in real life.]
- Hurricane Alex is now scheduled to hit NY a bit earlier:
Alex Rodriguez and the Yankees have moved up A-Rod’s target date and are now shooting for a return to the team sometime in the first week of May, sources say.
Rodriguez and the Yankees were originally calling May 15 the target date for his return, and that is still the publicly stated goal. However, Rodriguez’s progress has been so good, both he and the team are hopeful he can return more than a week earlier than first expected.
- Ken Rosenthal allays any “Joba (back) to the ‘pen” fears.
- The Bombers have sort of seen the error of their economic ways, and are reducing prices on some of their top tier seats. Here are some of the reductions:
• Tickets in the first row of sections 15A, 15B, 24B and 25 will be reduced, from $2,500 to $1,250, per regular-season game.
• The first row of sections 11, 12, 13, 27B, 28 and 29 will drop, from $1,000 to $650, per regular-season game.
• All fans who purchased full-season, $2,500 Legends Suite seats in the first row of sections 16-24A will receive an equal number of complimentary Legends Suite seats in the first row of the same sections for each of the remaining regular-season games this season.
• Fans who purchased full-season, $1,250 Legends Suite seats will receive an equal number of complimentary Legends Suite seats in the same price category for 24 games during the season, as selected by the Yankees. . . .
In addition, the Yankees are adopting a program affecting a few hundred seats in Field Level sections 115-125.
From now on, fans purchasing on a full-season basis three full regular-season ticket plans priced at $325 in those sections will receive a fourth ticket free.
[My take: Wonder if the Mets will follow suit . . .]
- Speaking of tickets, “New Stadium Insider” has some insight on the empty seats:
We were recently introduced to the extremely useful FanSnap.com. It is essentially Kayak.com – but for event tickets instead of airline tickets. In other words, the search engine has access to inventory for tickets from multiple sources and aggregates them within a well-designed website (why don’t we ever think of this stuff?!) In perusing the website for Yankee tickets, we realized that there is considerably more inventory on the secondary market for Yankee tickets than for any other baseball team. This may explain why Yankee Stadium looked so empty during the first homestand. . . .
The Yankees officially state the maximum capacity of the new Yankee Stadium at 52,235, which includes “approximately” 2,000 standing room only tickets. However, the Yankees announced opening day’s crowd of 48,271 as a sell out. Therefore, we will operate under the assumption that 48,271 is the maximum number of Yankee tickets that could ever be on the secondary market (standing room only will only be day of game sales, if they ever start selling them).
Referring back to FanSnap.com, the number of tickets available for the remaining 75 Yankee games is ridiculous. Doing math based on the rounded numbers of tickets available according to the site (which does not include all ticket brokers, or Craigs List), an average of 16,900 Yankee tickets are available on the secondary market for each game. In other words, 35% of the per-game inventory sold by the Yankees is now back on the market, presumably with the intent of making a profit. Even worse, ticket inventory for “premium” games such as the Red Sox and the Mets come in at over 20,000 tickets available. According to FanSnap.com. nearly half of the tickets sold for the premium games were bought just to sell and and these totals don’t even include outlets such as Craigs List. For some perspective, the Mets secondary market doesn’t have one game with 10,000 tickets available – not even when the Yankees visit their cross-town rivals in Queens.
- Tyler Kepner chimes in on the lowering of ticket prices:
It says something about the starting price of Yankees tickets that even the reduced rates announced on Tuesday are very, very high. Those $2,625 seats that sat empty during the first homestand? Now the Yankees are practically giving them away, for $1,250 each. . . .
Look at the big picture for the Yankees so far, and it’s amazing they’re just a game under .500 with all that has gone wrong.
The new $1.5 billion stadium opened, and two topics overshadowed everything else: unfilled luxury seats within an instantly notorious concrete moat; and the jet stream to right field that produced more homers in the first six games than any other ballpark ever had.
- Someone at the Times has a problem with the new Stadium . . . specifically the beer:
The stadium pushes the usual mass-market brews, which is to be expected of any big venue. It also has a beers-of-the-world stand that sells brews like Heineken, from the Netherlands; Beck’s, from Germany; and Stella Artois, from Belgium — all from nowheresville, if you ask me.
It has a retro-beer stand that sells — give me strength — Pabst Blue Ribbon and Schaefer. If you look really hard, you can find Guinness, which is an acceptable fallback. But with all the great craft beers available nowadays, why aren’t any of them at Yankee Stadium? . . .
Look, I don’t even know if I can afford to go to these two fancy new ballparks, much less pay for the beer. I have children about to go to college, and paying $9 for a can of Pabst, even the 16-ounce can at Yankee Stadium, is one of the least enjoyable ways I can think of to blow their college fund.
But if I do go to Yankee Stadium, I want some beers worthy of the team. . . .
- On this date in 1923, the Yankees sign 20-year-old prospect Lou Gehrig to a contract paying him a salary of $2,000 and a bonus of $1,500. Yankees scout Paul Krichell had watched the Columbia University star blast a 450-foot home run against New York University one day earlier.
- On this date in 1967, Whitey Ford earns his final major league victory. His 236th win comes against the Chicago White Sox, an 11 – 2 decision at Yankee Stadium.
- Sterling Hitchcock turns 38 today. Hitchcock’s best season for the Bombers was 1995, when he went 11-10 with a 4.70 ERA in 168 IP as a 24-year-old. The Yanks then included him with Russ Davis in one of their best deals of the 90s, getting Tino Martinez, Jim Mecir and Jeff Nelson from the Mariners.
- John Vander Wal (reserve outfielder on 2002 squad) turns 43 today.