Sunday, May 3, 2009

Judgments: The New Yankee Stadium

Brethren: Jackson, my roommate from my first-year of college, was in the Big Apple this weekend, which is always a good time. We used the opportunity to head out to the new Yankee Stadium with some good friends, including my roommate Malick, a big Yankees fan. With our crowd of six, we bough bleacher tickets and hopped on the 4 train to take the trek to the Bronx.

I had been to the original Yankee Stadium five times in my time here in NYC, but I had never sat in the bleachers before, for a few different reasons. One, I had always been wary of the "no alcohol" rule and two, in those five trips, I had only paid for my ticket once (and bought that one at face-value in the 2nd inning in the Upper Deck). But I had to pony up for this ticket, and we had already decided the bleachers were the destination. Walking off the 4 train, I was immediately impressed with the marble columns and sense of tradition and majesty that really only the Yankees can pull off. With that said, there was nothing particularly majestic about the product on the field, but the experience was all-around awesome.

For my best details and description of a great Saturday of baseball, let's follow the Jump:

Brethren (cont'd): The home team couldn't pull out a win, as a huge 7th inning by the Angels ultimately undid a solid afternoon from C.C. Sabathia. But what was great about this trip to the new Yankee Stadium wasn't that the game particularly mattered (it was May 2nd after all), but just the great experience of spring baseball.

Jackson was rocking a "Uncle" Chuck Knoblauch t-shirt, our friend Andrew was donning an official Yankees batting practice jacket, Malick was pimping the Yankees t-shirt OVER a white collared shirt (he's so counter-culture, see pic below), and I was just happy to be wearing my Rainbows flippy-floppies. After a brief bout of rain on the trip to the Bronx, the sun came out, and the bleachers were a fine place to sit.

Beer was expensive ($10 for a souvenir cup of Bud Light), but it was allowed, which makes the New Yankee Stadium bleachers better than the Old Yankee Stadium bleachers. The hot dogs and popcorn was solid, if not particularly amazing.

The trip to New Yankee Stadium reminded me that live baseball is one of the best experiences sports has to offer. Football offers more passion; basketball more awe-inspiring opportunities, but nothing tops sitting on a sunny afternoon, drinking some beers, talking sports with good friends and watching a 9-inning contest. It's experiential, it's visceral, and it's incomparable.

The New Yankee Stadium bleachers experience: one I highly recommend and one I'll be going back to enjoy several times.

Quick Hitters From Around the Sports World:
1. If you haven't been reading SKEETS and Kelly Dywer's coverage of the NBA Playoffs over at Ball Don't Lie (Yahoo!), you're sorely missing out. All season long, they've enhanced my NBA-following with their game recaps, analysis, previews, entertaining write-a-captions, links lists, and general awesome knowledge of the NBA game, but they've particularly raised their game during playoff-time. The work ethic the SKEETS/Dywer team show, along with their pure passion, remind me of the early Simmons days when he chugged out 3 columns a day for Page 2 and brought the noise on the NBA. He still can do that every now and again, but for a day-in-day-out appetite of all things NBA, Ball Don't Lie is where it's at. Hat tip, brothermen.

2. Wow, Manny Pacquiao. Dominating performance. Made me cringe several times for Hatton. Pound-for-pound, the best boxer today. Just ridiculously fast and powerful. Overhyped fight? Maybe. But what the Pac Man delivered last night was awesome to watch.

3. Great in-depth look today at the Observer by our Bobcats beat-man, Rick Bonnell. Very thorough examination of the 'Cats roster, along with acquisitions that are spot-on for what Larry Brown would want. Very entertaining.

4. Tiger in contention at a Charlotte PGA Event = me watching golf on a non-major weekend.

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