My experience at “new” Yankee Stadium during yesterday’s game started off great. My friend offered me a free ticket in the LF bleachers, I tricked the gate lady into giving me a bat (Bat Day is only for fans 14 and younger), CC was dealing, total attendance was the third highest it’s been at home all season (behind the first two home games of the season, according the baseball reference) and I got to see some friends I hadn’t seen in a long time.
For the first five or so innings the crowd in section 237 was great. We’d start “Let’s Go Yankees” cheers at appropriate times, we’d stand and clap when CC had two strikes on a batter, the majority of us didn’t partake in the wave and everyone was into the game.
Then it soured.
It seemed that after Rauuuuuuuuuuuuul hit the two-run dinger in the sixth inning many “fans” became complacent; they were not cheering as much and didn’t seem as into the game as they had been the previous innings. Some “fans” even headed for the gates (IN THE SIXTH INNING!!!!!) — which I could MAYBE see if it were a Sunday night game and they had work/school the next day, but this was probably around 2:30 in the afternoon. (Then again, this is par for the course.)
To make matters worse, once CC walked in the go-ahead run the ensuing inning it turned into a Reds game. It was like the place became a library. I received many dirty looks as I cheered when something good happened for the Yanks, I was scoffed at when I implored other fans to do the same and it felt like these people were at the game for lack of anything better to do.
However, that wasn’t even the worst of it. I could overlook all that stuff and chalk it up to the Yanks’ recent RISP struggles and having lost four of five coming, but what really stung was the fact that I was having $h*t talked to me by Reds fans IN MY OWN STADIUM. Disgusting. I don’t care if the Yanks are 0-161, if another team’s fans come in and try to run things have some GD respect for the team and let these out-of-towners know where they’re watching the game. Has Yankee Stadium really turned into Camden Yards?
Just for the record: I’m not condoning violence or trying to perpetuate the “Yankee fan stereotype,” but when a team is home — and this goes for any club, not just the Yanks — they should have their fans’ support and not see the other team’s colors in the stands. That’s just the way it should be.
I could understand this happening if I had been sitting in Legends Seats, but this happened in the bleachers. The bleachers — a place that used to be notorious for heckling fans and obnoxious drunks; a place that, in the old stadium, got so rowdy they had to ban alcohol; a place that at one time you didn’t wear the opposing teams colors unless you had brass balls or kept your mouth shut — are dead to me. At least the LF bleachers are, Bald Vinny and Co. in RF still seem to be running things. Hats off to them.
Section 237 could use a few Bleacher Creatures. Maybe they should split up and branch out to keep The Stadium safe for Yankee fans. Until then I’ll stick to the 400 level, that’s where the “real fans” sit anyway.
To steal a line from Jimbo Jones: Fans in the LF bleachers “you let me down. Now I don’t believe in nothing. I’m going to Law School.”