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Give the Stadium a 'Wet Willie'

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One of the commenters on my 'Kudos & Wet Willies' post the other day asked if I would give the new Yankee Stadium -- 'the new house' as Michael Kay calls it -- a 'Kudos' or a 'Wet Willie.'

My answer was, at this point, a 'Wet Willie.' Thought I would take the opportunity to expand on my reasoning a bit.

I have written before that the Stadium is a beautiful place. It is. Yet, there are too many issues -- some big and some small. With better planning, many of the things about the Stadium that have been constantly criticized could have been avoided.

We have been over much of this before, but we might as well do it again. We can't talk about Joba or Roy Halladay every day. Well, maybe we can, but I don't want to.

  • The home run barrage -- I am used to it by now, but it could have been minimized somewhat by just making the fences a bit higher. They are ridiculously low. Also, if they have to be that low why no barricade (like there is in St. Louis) to keep fans from reaching over the wall? As it is now, the only thing the Yankees can do is remove some seats and push the fences back, and I hate that.
  • The insult to history -- Monument Park is terrible and can't be seen from most spots in the Stadium. Where is the banner that used to be on upper deck that says "26-time World Champions?" The retired numbers and championship year insignias are almost invisible behind the bleachers.
  • The video boards -- There is a ton of video capability, but the Yankees don't use it well. It's ridiculous that the out-of-town scoreboard in a $1.5 billion building only shows four games.
  • The restaurant -- It's a joke that in 2009 the Yankees built a restaurant in center field that obscures seats. 
  • The moat -- If you want to sell the closest seats for the highest price, that's fine. But, to insult the majority of your fan base the way the Yankees did with their high-fallutin,' you-can't-come-in-here section was a bad decision. I'm not sure it can ever be undone, or if Lonn Trost is smart enough to realize it should be.

Central to the whole thing is a very revealing interview Hal Steinbrenner gave just about a year ago. In it, it's easy to see that Hal -- and probably everyone else in decision-making positions around him -- simply doesn't feel the pull of franchise history the way Yankee fans do. What they feel, of course, is the pull of the dollar.

"Maybe I'm not the most sentimental person in the world when it comes to things like that, but I'm more excited about moving into the new one than I am sad about leaving the old one," he said. "I guess that's just me. Everyone takes something like this in a different way, but having gone over this on a daily basis and walking through it every week or two, I'm just excited. It's going to be phenomenal, just phenomenal, compared to any other stadium in the country. So I'm excited. I've got more excitement than anything."

Anyway, for now a 'Wet Willie' to the new house.

Yankee Stadium Home Run Tracker

Games Played: 42
Home Runs Hit: 132
Pace: 255
Stadium Record:
303, Coors Field, 1999
Monday Homers: Toronto -- McDonald, Rios; New York -- Hinske

(See them all)

(thru 7/05/09)