Baseball: Visiting the Home of the Enemy

Sometimes, Democrats pay visits to Republicans. Dog people reach out to cat people. A Hatfield buys a beer for a McCoy. In that same spirit, I on occasion pay a visit to that hive of villainy, the Death Star of the Bronx, home to all that draws the impressionable to the Dark Side.

That’s right, I went to a game at Yankee Stadium this afternoon.

I know what you’re thinking: That I’ll have to go to confession or something before I try to attend another Red Sox game at Fenway. Still, my youngest son has somehow grown up a Yankee fan (I haven’t ruled out DNA testing to confirm paternity.) I blame his mother’s insidious influence for this. In any case, today was the last day of the Yanks’ home stand; they hit the road after today until Aug. 6 (when the Red Sox come to town to administer a proper thrashing.) And so it was that we left Vermont after my brother and sister-in-law’s wedding yesterday and drove for a couple of hours so we would be that much closer to New York this morning, enabling us to make a timely arrival at the new baseball palace on East 161st Street. Hey, it’s a dad thing.

I’ve got to say, it’s a pretty amazing stadium. Modern but still with some of those old-fashioned touches, like the signature facade from the Yankee Stadium of old. The seats were very comfortable and the restrooms clean. The food and drink prices stopped just short of blatant robbery. Our “assigned” seats were in Section 307, in the deck second from the top directly behind the right field foul pole. My youngest and I started the game up there. My wife has issues with sitting very high up at sporting events, so she remained downstairs with my middle son. We had a terrific view, though the intense sun (yes, it does come out on occasion this summer) made me a little sleepy. However, sometime around the third inning, I received a text message summoning us downstairs to Section 125. It seems my wife had fanagled four seats there for us, directly across from third base on the lowest level. This gave an even better view for those of us actually interested in baseball and a fine perspective for the person among us whose primary interest was Derek Jeter’s physique.

The day was far from perfect, in that the Yankees prevailed over the Oakland A’s, 7-5. Worse, the Red Sox’ continuing experiment with John Smoltz suffered a setback as the Orioles beat them, 6-2. This allowed the Yankees to add a game to their lead in the A.L. East. However, my son got to see his pitching role model, Mariano Rivera, come in and save the game for the Yanks, and that’s really what he wanted to see. So, I’m glad for him. That said, I hope the Red Sox slap Rivera silly when they visit the Bronx in August.

On Tuesday we check out the Mets’ new home, CitiField, in Queens. I’ll post an in-depth, quality comparison of the two facilities that will contemplate an analysis of ambiance, quality of views, and customer service. Or it may just depend on the selection and price of beer. Either way, you’ll get my thoughts, such as they may be.

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