Thanks to the heroics of the one and only Derek Sanderson Jeter last night, the Yankees come into their home opener with a winning record. The pitching match-up today squares up the 2007 & 2008 AL Cy Young winners, both of whom picked up the award with Cleveland. CC Sabathia had Cliff Lee both had poor first starts this year, but in their second appearances Sabathia shut down the Royals, while Lee continued to stumble against the Blue Jays.
In other news, Xavier Nady is scheduled for an exam on his injured elbow today, which all signs indicate lead to season ending surgery. We along with many others have been clamoring for Nick Swisher to be given the starting RF job, but it's unfortunate that is what officially precipitated it. The injury to Nady weakens the bench pretty dramatically this year and Jason from IIATMS looks into the long term implications. The Yanks still have four guys in Swisher, Gardner, Melky and Damon who could all play any OF postion if necessary, but the removal of Nady means more Melky Cabrera, which pretty much no one beside his mother is looking forward to.
Most importantly, however, is that today marks the opening of the New Stadium. We gave you our impressions from the first exhibition game against the Cubs, and since then a number of other posts have been far more critical of the place. I understand these view points and of course there are some things I don't like about the place either.
Reading some of those posts, however, I felt like there was a certain sense of pride in not liking the New Stadium. Like that's what makes you a real Yankees fan. We're pretty cynical and irreverant around these parts, but forgive me if I'm the only one who is a little excited about having a beautiful brand new building to watch one of my favorite teams at. I went to a decent number of games at the Old Stadium (50+), which is probably a drop in the bucket compared to some other people, so maybe I just don't have the same connection or nostalgia associated with it.
The New Stadium isn't perfect, and it's never going to be the Old Stadium, but I think it's pretty fucking nice. Let's not forget that a lot of things that are better:
- There are more and better options for food
- The concourses in the Upper Deck are open-air
- You can see the game when you are walking around and take in a ton of different vantage points
- The big screen in CF is incredible
- It's clean, bright and well lit
- The entrance way looks like part of a museum
- The bathrooms aren't nearly as disgusting
- The bleachers have been transformed from a holding cell in CF to, in my opinon, the best part of the park all things considered
- The facade is prominently featured, and pretty beautiful
- The Bleachers Cafe is a pretty awesome place to grab a bite to eat
As New York sports fans, we've been walking the corridors and sitting in the seats of shitty, outdated Stadiums for a long time.
It's time to move on, time to get going,
What lies ahead, I have no way of knowing,
But under my feet, baby, grass is growing,
It's time to move on, its time to get going.
(It's a cover version. Sorry)
[Note: We've embedded a drunken correspondent, Big Willie Style, to capture some images and the atomosphere of the game today. The best part: He's bringing an actual camera this time, so if he somehow infiltrates a luxury box again, it won't look like there was a fog machine running!]