Friday, April 28, 2006

View from the Cheap Seats

Your parents grow old. Your food grows stale. Your back grows hair. Almost everything fresh and idyllic eventually wilts or sags or finds some way to lose its luster. One exception, though, is the sparkling diamond and well-manicured outfield lawn of Yankee Stadium.

No matter how many times I walk out the tunnel to the field level, the historic beauty of that place brings me back to the first time I ever stepped foot inside the hallowed grounds. They should have Foreigner's "Feels Like the First Time" on a loop before every game.

And every time out, I can't help but imagine a simpler time when larger-than-life heroes roamed this very grass and dirt. Shit, that's where DiMaggio dove for balls in Death Valley, where Ruth knocked out more homers than the rest of the AL combined, where The Mick stood and eye-raped female fans, where Gehrig was lucky and Whitey scuffed balls. Who needs Cooperstown when you've got baseball's most immortal history right here in New York City?

For those of you who have never been to the temple called Yankee Stadium, these are the famed center-field "black seats." Personally, I think that's just fucking racist.

(As an aside, only 18 players have hit homeruns into the black seats a total of 24 times. Mickey Mantle was the first on June 7, 1955, when he smashed a 486-foot Ballantine Blast out there. The most famous black-seats shot is easily Reggie Jackson's third homerun of Game 6 of the 1977 World Series, a shot off knuckler Charlie Hough that measured 475 feet -- yes, that far off a knuckleball.)

We sat fairly close to those black seats, but we sat even closer to the less-heralded "latino seats." A large group of hispanic gentleman came barreling into the bleacher seats in the bottom of the first, led by a high-larious dude in a Beltran jersey and 1980s Mets bullpen jacket. These dudes were fine, but as a result of the law of unintended consequences, they inspired a group of four white douchebottle college-aged kids to get all rowdy and root against the Yankums. One kid even wore a Yankee hat and rooted for Tampa.

Last night must've unofficially been Idiot Night at the Stadium, a special promotion in which if you bring one idiot friend, you're both fucking idiots. I've never in all my games there seen so many unfunny hecklers and monumentally dumb fans. It was borderline embarassing, although most were actually Mets fans, which is obvious. The inferior breed needs to come to the Bronx just to smell the championships...

Let me say this: If you want to heckle, if you want to be loud and obnoxious, at least be funny. Please, for the love of gods, shouting out "Jeter sucks" and "A-Rod's a bitch" as loud as you can isn't productive. It just makes you look incomparably stupid.

If you wanna be loud, be clever. Don't stand above the visitor's bullpen yelling "Fuck you, Miceli." Instead, try something like, "Who's the boss, Miceli, who is the boss?"

Over the past few years I've sat within 10 rows of the Yankee dugout somewhere around 10 times. Roommate Dorsey's got great seats, and Chuck B took me to Game 1 of the 2004 ALDS against Minnesota when we sat on the dugout. Figures, though, that I buy a digital camera and we sit in the last row of the bleachers. The cheapies:

And one at night from the cheap seats:

But the game was great, a 4-1 Yankee victory, making me 1-0 on the young season. Thanks to Russ and Rob Ronanea for the company, and thanks to Derek Jeter for batting .408 so far this season. You're good at what you do, sir, keep it up.

Slack Link of the Day: Very funny clip of a hot girl caught trying to be seductive on a webcam, it's billed as "This is why doors have locks, and why some people shouldn't have friends." (may not be work safe, but I think you're cool)

Slack Video of the Day: Enter Sandman, Mo trots to the mound...

Slack Song of the Day: Sorry for the back-to-back Trey-related tunes, but I promise you this is good stuff. In honor of yesterday's big announcement -- a so-called Ambiguously Trey Duo* tour with Phil & Friends (Mike, Trey, The Duo & Phil? Holy shitballs!) -- here's Big Red sitting in with Phil on They Love Each Other, Up on Cripple Creek and Eyes of the World. *Geniusly coined by GZ's Henge


At 11:03 AM, Blogger Matty Mac said...

Sweet shots. I've been to Yankee Stadium twice, and it is hallowed ground (this is coming from a Red Sox fan, so you know that's a big step for me to take), and the Yanks are 0-2 when I attend games there. Of course, the Sox are 0-2 this year with me in attendance, so I think I May refrain from attending anymore games this year. But I have tickets to 8 more games, so I'm kinda fucked. I did not, however, go to the game last night. But my ass still hurts from the whoopin we took thanks to the tribe.

At 11:07 AM, Blogger Jacob Eli said...

I'm curious who the other 16 players are who socked one into the nubian seats...

At 11:15 AM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

Thanks, Matty...I've also got some great shots of former Net Mark Hendrickson warming up before the game, but I omitted them for time purposes. And he's so tall he barely fit in the frame.

I couldn't find a list online, Jake, but I'm sure it exists. I didn't look very hard. I know Tony Clark in 2004 was the 17th, so someone must have done it in the past two years. Find me that fucking dog/list, man.

At 11:50 AM, Blogger ScuffyMcgee said...

Ace I had to chime in on this column because as holder of a 61 game package I have seen it all. In regards to the chanting, I have a guy in my section who thinks he's funny by responding with "George" instead of "Jorge" when prompted by "Hip Hip." By the way just to give you a desription of this gentleman, let's just say he's only been riding on the front of the bus since about 1956.

Last night was $5 night which I figured out on the subway. You see how it works is that every night, the white folks get off at the stadium and the ummm not whites usally stay on. Well, last night a slew of the "anti Jesse Neumans" got off at 161 and River so I knew it was 50 dimes night.

At 12:13 PM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

I enjoyed $5 night financially, but socially it was a fucking mess.

Scuffy, is the "Hip Hip George" chant as bad as the guy at the Islander game that night who repeatedly (and I mean repeatedly) yelled out, "Hey, Iafrate, you got ice on your dick!"?

That guy sucked.

At 12:16 PM, Blogger ScuffyMcgee said...

Ace, completely off topic, but I'm thinking of changing my Slacklalane user name to MilliZager. Your thoughts?

At 12:21 PM, Blogger Some Dude said...

Ace you're so right on with this post. There is nothing better then taking the 4 train and as you leave the tunnel you see Yankee Stadium come into your view - I never get tired of that. I also still get chills when Mo makes his way to the mound to "Enter Sandman". I could go on and on here, but I digress.

At 1:16 PM, Blogger Alex Fritz said...

I made a funny via e-mail and Ace wanted me to share it with the rest of LaLane-ville:

" So what did you think of Farnsworth's tremendous bulge in person? I swear those pants are painted on him by a bullpen catcher.Must take the poor guy
6 hours."

Also, this is the greatest thing of the day:

At 1:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is just too Bad they are knocking that place down. Not that they will ever win another championship there with this old team. The Yankees are done! It is the METS THAT WILL TAKE OVER NY.


I was sitting in the upper deck for all Reggie's homeruns of Game 6 of the 1977 World Series and love that stadiums history which will all go away once that first recking ball hits it in 2009. The new place will not be the same.


At 2:30 PM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

Yeah, I'm definitely upset about the new Stadium, but at the same time, it looks pretty sweet! Time will tell if this is a mistake or another amazing business decision by the man everyone loves to hate.

At 2:44 PM, Blogger Some Dude said...

New stadium is going to be awesome. You have to remember that this one was totally gutted and renovated in the 70s so it's not like it's the original stadium. It would have needed a major face-lift to repair and improve everything that needs to be done to make it like all the new parks that opened in the last few years.

At 5:25 PM, Anonymous Rashid Muhammad said...

Cheap seats? Man, when I went to see NY vs. BOS last year I was in the freaking ZZ section. ZZ as in, you turn around and you're looking at a hazy block of concrete as you try to determine whether that red stuff on your hot dog came out of your head.

But hey I saw at least three fights while I was up there so that was kind of cool. It takes some serious nerve to walk up in that place with Boston gear.


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