• The Yankee Experience

    Posted by on March 20th, 2012 · Comments (10)

    As a Yankees fan, when I think about “The Yankee Experience” today – meaning the team, its players, the front office, their broadcast crew, the Stadium, and even the fans themselves – it’s soooooo much different than it was in the mid-to-late ’70′s.

    Think of Roy White batting at Yankee Stadium in 1976 with Phil Rizzuto covering the game on WPIX and George Steinbrenner watching from his office at the Stadium, while the ballpark is reverbing the noise of gritty down and dirty fans – and then compare that to Mark Teixeira batting at Yankee Stadium in 2011 with Michael Kay covering the game on the YES Network and Hal Steinbrenner down in Tampa watching the game on his smart phone, as he’s out for dinner, while the backdrop of the field of play is empty Premium Seating boxes that are either not sold or vacant because those using them would rather be on the buffet line than watching the game.

    It’s night and day.

    Then again, you can say the same thing about the Yankees of today and those of the 1980′s or 1990′s. And, for those born before 1960, you could probably throw the Yankees of the 1950′s in there too.

    Was it, meaning “The Yankee Experience,” better back in the day? Or, is that just the “everything when you were younger seemed better” factor coming into play?

    I’m too tainted to answer that question. How about you?

    Comments on The Yankee Experience

    1. Raf
      March 20th, 2012 | 10:16 pm

      I’m not going to say one’s better than the other, things are just different. And that goes for whatever decade you’re in. I wonder if kids nowadays will wax nostalgic about the current days.

      A lot has changed over the years, from the team to all kinds of outside factors… I guess some for the better, some for the worst.

      One other thing, I don’t know if anyone has been by Heritage Field (the park across the street from Yankee Stadium), but they’ve painted an outline of the Yankee Stadium playing field. Doesn’t look as good as it could, because the diamonds don’t match up, but it’s a nice gesture nonetheless. Still wish they had kept Gate 2 standing, tho’

    2. MJ Recanati
      March 21st, 2012 | 7:28 am

      Raf wrote:

      I’m not going to say one’s better than the other, things are just different. And that goes for whatever decade you’re in.

      Agree completely.

      Think about our grandparents and parents for a second: each generation always talks about “the good old days” yet, somehow, when our parents talk about their “good old days” they’re specifically referring to a time that our grandparents lamented because they were so different than their “good old days.”

      Raf wrote:

      I wonder if kids nowadays will wax nostalgic about the current days.

      Of course they will.

      To wit: I’m 36 years old and remember things about my neighborhood and definitely resent some of the changes that have come and made my childhood street much different than it was in the early 80′s.

      It’s only natural that a person of a certain age becomes nostalgic for the things that felt familiar from one’s youth/adolescene/early adulthood.

    3. Garcia
      March 21st, 2012 | 10:05 am

      @ MJ Recanati:
      Well said. And Raf, too.

      For me, when I go into the stadium, or any baseball stadium for that matter, when I first see the field, batting practice taking place, people walking around with their favorite jerseys, peanuts, the organs (if said stadium has any), then that’s what it is for me. It’s not knowing that Steinbrenner is sitting in his nice luxury suite, or he’s in Tampa, eating foie gras, having his scrotum sack tickled, or anything stupid like that because I don’t care, and just cause we might be rooting for the same team doesn’t mean I can relate to these people on any other level other than the team we root for.

      For me it’s the simple things, it’s not even about players so much. I kind of get the same feeling seeing Brooklyn Tech play Dewitt Clinton HS in the middle of the Bronx. The baseball diamond is the start of my childhood nostalgia, and my “Yankee Experience”.

    4. March 21st, 2012 | 10:20 am

      @ Garcia:

      The Boss & Hal thing was more so meant to say it’s like when Ruppert owned the team compared to when CBS owned them.

      The M.O. and involvement of the owner creates a vibe throughout the organization.

    5. Garcia
      March 21st, 2012 | 10:45 am

      @ Steve L.:
      Yeah, sorry, that wasn’t a jab at you. Though I can see how it can be perceived that way. My point was merely, once I’m in the ballpark, the focus is on baseball and the beautiful diamond. All the other stuff is just noise.

      Surely once the game is over it’s easy to focus on all the other things, it’s part of our sports radio culture. And I love sports radio, so I know a lot of the crazy talk that takes place there. But when I’m watching a baseball game, then I’m not thinking of a lot of those things.

      Whether ARod was reported to have a threesome with three bulky women from the New York Sharks football league is irrelevant. I just want to see my team win, I want to see sound fundamental baseball, and I want to see a competitive fire from both teams.

      For me, the Yankee experience is ultimately about baseball. I grew up with Rizzuto, and I appreciate him more when I watch an old game and hear his voice. I also like Sterling, I know a lot of people do not, but I find him very comforting in the same way I found Rizzuto comforting. Kind of zany, a little off, and a lot of time spent talking about things other than baseball.

    6. MJ Recanati
      March 21st, 2012 | 3:31 pm

      Garcia wrote:

      For me, when I go into the stadium, or any baseball stadium for that matter, when I first see the field, batting practice taking place, people walking around with their favorite jerseys, peanuts, the organs (if said stadium has any), then that’s what it is for me.

      Me too.

      Garcia wrote:

      It’s not knowing that Steinbrenner is sitting in his nice luxury suite, or he’s in Tampa, eating foie gras, having his scrotum sack tickled

      HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! That last part cracked me up.

    7. MJ Recanati
      March 21st, 2012 | 3:34 pm

      Garcia wrote:

      For me it’s the simple things, it’s not even about players so much. I kind of get the same feeling seeing Brooklyn Tech play Dewitt Clinton HS in the middle of the Bronx.

      Agree completely. It’s why I drive the 8 minutes from my apartment to watch Fordham play baseball. Sure it’s crappy Atlantic-10 conference games but it’s fun to just watch baseball, see the fielders toss it around, watch the hitters take hacks, etc. Plus I always end up going home with 2-3 foul balls. I dunno why I feel the need to keep all my scuffed up college baseballs at home but I always keep them and I like having them in my apartment because it makes me feel closer to the game.

    8. Garcia
      March 21st, 2012 | 5:06 pm

      @ MJ Recanati:
      Exactly!

    9. Evan3457
      March 21st, 2012 | 9:37 pm

      I dunno…guess I’m a little different. But going to games at the Stadium always gives me a little charge. I have to drive from Sheepshead Bay, but when I see the Stadium emerge from behind the shopping (which wasn’t there just a few years ago)…that gives me a charge. Parking in my favorite lot and walking around Heritage Field, and the Stadium gets bigger and bigger until it takes up all my vision…with the hundreds of people walking with me…that gives me a charge.

      It’s rarer now than in the old place, but when the Yanks are rallying, especially from behind, and the crowd is buzzing…still gives me the same thrill as it did when I went to the old place as a teenager or a young adult.

      Batting practice is always a treat, when I get there early enough. But if I’m there early enough, I can’t get a spot in my favorite lot, so…

      Sorry to disagree with Garcia, I did love Rizzuto, and maybe because he was so “Yankee” from his head to his toes, but I won’t listen to Sterling unless I absolutely have to. The Kay experience is meh, not great, not awful. Singleton is fun. O’Neill’s solid, when he and Kay can stop “entertaining” us long enough with their “banter”. Leiter is strong. Flaherty is stolid. Not terribly exciting, but he does the job. Cone is sharp, and he’s the only one who really looks at the “new stats”. Lou, well, we’ll see. Jack Curry is superb on the pre- and post-game.

      The lack of people watching near the field is a bit distressing, but, well, they pay the big money, they can do what they want with their seats. I’m perfectly fine taking Field MVP off of Stubhub for up to 75% off face value for the less desirable mid-week night games against lame opposition.

    10. Garcia
      March 22nd, 2012 | 9:12 am

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Sorry to disagree with Garcia, I did love Rizzuto, and maybe because he was so “Yankee” from his head to his toes, but I won’t listen to Sterling unless I absolutely have to. The Kay experience is meh, not great, not awful. Singleton is fun. O’Neill’s solid, when he and Kay can stop “entertaining” us long enough with their “banter”. Leiter is strong. Flaherty is stolid. Not terribly exciting, but he does the job. Cone is sharp, and he’s the only one who really looks at the “new stats”. Lou, well, we’ll see. Jack Curry is superb on the pre- and post-game.

      I think among my friends the majority share your opinion, and disagree with me on Sterling. We do agree on all your other points.

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