• Getting Your Freak On, Subways Series Style

    Posted by on June 29th, 2009 · Comments (19)

    Via the smart and funny Stephen Dubner with a hat to Craig Calcaterra and BBTF -

    Having now taken the family to the new Yankee Stadium and the Mets’ new ballpark, I find it hard to believe that any neutral observer wouldn’t agree that Citi Field is a far, far more pleasant place to spend a few hours. It is well-designed and handsome, and fan-friendly in many ways that Yankee Stadium is not. Yankee Stadium is full of pride and tradition and all that, but it is essentially a vast concrete bowl with chairs. Fill in your own blanks: Citi is to Yankee as ______ is to ______. (What comes to my mind is Google is to Microsoft.)

    Now, here’s what I really wanted to write about. Because interleague play puts fans from two teams in close proximity, you can expect a lot of fan interaction. In the section where we sat — right above the Modell’s sign in right field — the yapping between Yankees and Mets was loud but generally friendly.

    A pattern quickly emerged. The many Yankees fans regularly broke into their thunderous cheer: “Let’s go Yankees!” (clap-clap-clap-clap … clap-clap). If you are a Yankees fan (we are; but we do not hate the Mets), this was a sign of what might be called prideful hubris, or maybe hubristic pride: we can come into your stadium and rock it very, very hard.

    How’d the Mets fans respond? Succinctly. In the space where the Yankees fans did their rhythmic clapping, Mets fans shouted “Yankees suck!”

    The first 13 times or so, this was pretty funny. The two cheers fitted together nicely, like a married couple who know their comebacks well. Yes, we told the kids, it’s too bad “suck” is so commonplace and yes, it’s too bad the Mets fans can’t come up with something more clever or (God forbid) more positive, but hey …

    This pattern was repeated all night. What surprised me is that neither side found a way to improve their effort. I kept waiting for the Yankees fans to fill in their clapping with some chanting that couldn’t be hijacked by the Mets fans, and I kept waiting for the Mets fans to either be proactive in their chanting or to move beyond “Yankees suck!” But neither side budged. By the end of the game, the only people chanting were the kids in the stands, all of them up way past their bedtimes, their voices ragged and high-pitched.

    I fear not that we are teaching our children to be coarse (as these things go, suck isn’t the worst word they’ll encounter in a given day) but that we are teaching them to be uncreative and unskilled in the use of game theory.

    More and more, we hear about how Citi Field is better than the new Yankee Stadium. If Big Stein were still calling the shots today, Lonn Trost would be fired, more than likely. As far as the cheering and jeering chants, it is interesting to see such a lack of creativity. Between the Mets choking in 2007 and 2008, and the Yankees 2004 post-season and recent in-season losses to Boston, there’s material there, to pull from, for sure. And, if needed, there’s always A-Rod’s PED usage, Luis Castillo’s dropped pop-up, Nick Swisher’s haircut, and David Wright’s lack of homeruns this season, if someone wanted to go in that direction too.

    Comments on Getting Your Freak On, Subways Series Style

    1. Corey
      June 29th, 2009 | 3:36 pm

      (What comes to my mind is Google is to Microsoft.)
      ========
      not sure what the relationship in that analagy is…i guess green-fun corp to blood thirsty evil corp? But then aren’t all corporations evil?

      anyways, tangent aside, yes Citi Field is a nicer place to watch a game, it just so happens that i don’t want to watch many games there. Will it take a subway series ticket for you to go check out the new digs Steve?

    2. YankCrank
      June 29th, 2009 | 3:37 pm

      Nick Swisher’s haircut
      —–

      I happen to love Swish’s haircut, btw. Not all of the players can have the same, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air flat top like DJ does. Plus points for style, Nick.

    3. YankCrank
      June 29th, 2009 | 3:41 pm

      This is always an argument that doesn’t matter much to me. Citi Field can be better than Yankee Stadium for fans, i’m ok with that. I’m ok with that because i’m a fan of the Yankees, and I very much enjoy the new Yankee Stadium. As a Yankee fan, I choose to see my team play in the Bronx, and I can stomach doing that knowing that a Mets fan may be eating a more delicious burger than me while they witness their make-shift infielde throw the ball around like a three-ring circus. Good for them, I enjoy the new Stadium and i’m sure, with all of these complaints, the Yanks will do all they can to fix some of them this offseason.

    4. June 29th, 2009 | 3:43 pm

      YankCrank wrote:

      I happen to love Swish’s haircut, btw. .

      If Big Stein were still alive, that doo would never be allowed on a Yankee.

    5. clintfsu813
      June 29th, 2009 | 3:43 pm

      At Turner wednesday the many Yankee fans began the chant and the Braves fans responded with, Lets go Bravos! That was just to add a syllable, lol. We also did a Bleacher Creature-esque shout out to Damon, BG, and Jeter in the 8th while on D. I got more giddy each time they gave us a shake of the glove, lol. I bet they enjoy that slice of home on the road.

    6. YankCrank
      June 29th, 2009 | 3:43 pm

      If Big Stein were still alive, that doo would never be allowed on a Yankee.
      ——

      Very true.

    7. June 29th, 2009 | 3:44 pm

      Corey wrote:

      Will it take a subway series ticket for you to go check out the new digs Steve?

      Yeah, and a “free” one that that too. ;-)
      It’s either going to be that, or being forced to go for a work-function, or, once they’re old enough, my kids expressing a desire to go see it.

    8. Raf
      June 29th, 2009 | 3:54 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      YankCrank wrote:
      I happen to love Swish’s haircut, btw. .
      If Big Stein were still alive, that doo would never be allowed on a Yankee.

      Not necessarily true. Remember Gooden in 96? Or Pascual Perez?

    9. Corey
      June 29th, 2009 | 4:07 pm

      I happen to love Swish’s haircut, btw. Not all of the players can have the same, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air flat top like DJ does. Plus points for style, Nick.
      =======
      ugh thats the ugliest hair cut known to man kind lol

      =======
      Remember Gooden in 96
      ======
      Didn’t gooden just have the “fresh-prince” fade ? albeit the top grown out a bit more? The way i see it, as long as you look business-like while your hat is on, you can do w/e under the hat (that means i’d prefer swish to limit the fo-hawk a bit)

    10. G.I. Joey
      June 29th, 2009 | 4:51 pm

      Gooden had a what is known as a high-top fade whereas Jeter just has a fade, although earlier in his career he had more of a high-top fade. Personally, I don’t mind the Swish’s fo-hawk, but it’s pretty corny when announcers refer to it as the Swish-hawk. My pet peeve happens to be ridiculous facial hair in baseball. Some these guys in the league have the most heinous goatees and beards (Big Sloppy’s beard sans mustache comes to mind).

    11. Corey
      June 29th, 2009 | 4:53 pm

      @ G.I. Joey:
      speaking of facial hair, i see bruney is bringing back the power of the stache to this team

    12. MJ
      June 29th, 2009 | 4:58 pm

      If Big Stein were still calling the shots today, Lonn Trost would be fired, more than likely.
      ———-
      Not that I’d have a problem with Levine or Trost getting the boot but, ultimately, it shows what a stupid, petty, childish man George Steinbrenner was. What would firing Trost accomplish, AFTER THE FACT? The stadium is built. If people don’t like it, then they don’t like it. You can’t make people like something.

      Think of it another way: can you imagine the outcry and uproar if the Yanks abandoned their classic-looking ballpark, with its identifiable blue for red brick and green? Imagine if the Yanks played at Citi Field. Fans would be screaming that the team not only abandoned the old Yankee Stadium but that they redesigned it in such a way that would make it a somewhat bland and cookie-cutter ballpark.

      I love Citi Field as a place to see a game. It’s fan-friendly, the food is great, and the views are spectacular. But, at the end of the day, it doesn’t look any different than most of the other new retro-looking places like new Busch Stadium, the new park in Washington, DC, etc.

    13. June 29th, 2009 | 5:40 pm

      MJ wrote:

      Not that I’d have a problem with Levine or Trost getting the boot but, ultimately, it shows what a stupid, petty, childish man George Steinbrenner was. What would firing Trost accomplish, AFTER THE FACT? The stadium is built. If people don’t like it, then they don’t like it. You can’t make people like something.

      Putting on my “Big Stein” hat and answering MJ, in a George voice…

      “That’s like saying what good is it to jail Bernard Madoff AFTER THE FACT!”

    14. butchie22
      June 29th, 2009 | 6:09 pm

      MJ wrote:

      If Big Stein were still calling the shots today, Lonn Trost would be fired, more than likely.
      ———-
      Not that I’d have a problem with Levine or Trost getting the boot but, ultimately, it shows what a stupid, petty, childish man George Steinbrenner was. What would firing Trost accomplish, AFTER THE FACT? The stadium is built. If people don’t like it, then they don’t like it. You can’t make people like something.
      Think of it another way: can you imagine the outcry and uproar if the Yanks abandoned their classic-looking ballpark, with its identifiable blue for red brick and green? Imagine if the Yanks played at Citi Field. Fans would be screaming that the team not only abandoned the old Yankee Stadium but that they redesigned it in such a way that would make it a somewhat bland and cookie-cutter ballpark.
      I love Citi Field as a place to see a game. It’s fan-friendly, the food is great, and the views are spectacular. But, at the end of the day, it doesn’t look any different than most of the other new retro-looking places like new Busch Stadium, the new park in Washington, DC, etc.

      Agreed on Shitti field looking like Busch field. It also has a Coor Field Lite kinda look took! The green seats from the Polo Grounds? Most Mets fans hate it. The Black and Orange Giants out field fence…once again most Mets fans hate it. In essence, Shitti Field looks like so many other baseball fields. The most startling thing is that it doesn’t look like the Mets play there! Bad job by the nostalgia loving Wilpons.

      Even though I have problems with the House that Greed built, the new Yankee Stadium, it at least looks like the Yankees play there! It also pays tribute to the grandeur and the history of the Yankees. Yes, it is grandoise and there is overkill involved BUT so be it! Yes, it looks like the Jetson’s version of Yankee Stadium BUT a least it is not as nondescript as Shitti Field. Shitti is a mish/mish of Coors/Safeco,Citizens,Nationals, PNC and God knows what else…….

    15. Corey
      June 29th, 2009 | 6:34 pm

      butchie22 wrote:

      Shitti is a mish/mish of Coors/Safeco,Citizens,Nationals, PNC and God knows what else…….

      so? does that mean it’s a bad park to watch a game at? Sigh don’t make me defend something met related…it makes me feel dirty…how about… we have 2 great new parks that are spectacular places to watch a game.

    16. Raf
      June 30th, 2009 | 7:50 am

      Guys, Shea was a cookie cutter stadium too, ya know :)

    17. June 30th, 2009 | 9:56 am

      Shea was a toilet bowl, in the shape of an ashtray, masquerading as a ballpark.

    18. Raf
      June 30th, 2009 | 10:53 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Shea was a toilet bowl, in the shape of an ashtray, masquerading as a ballpark.

      Actually, that was Olympic Stadium, about 400 miles to the north :D

    19. MJ
      June 30th, 2009 | 10:55 am

      Raf wrote:

      Steve Lombardi wrote:
      Shea was a toilet bowl, in the shape of an ashtray, masquerading as a ballpark.
      Actually, that was Olympic Stadium, about 400 miles to the north

      You can’t ash in a closed-roof stadium. Olympic Stadium was merely a septic tank.

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