All quiet on the Yankee hot stove front

There’s not much going on in Yankeeland – or in the rest of the baseball world these days, for that matter. Squawker reader McGreevey1903 writes:

I’m scratching my head over the slow start for this free agent market. It seems ages since the Yankees made their offer for Sabathia, and the longer this goes on, the more likely it seems that he ends up on the West coast somewhere. Worst case scenario for the Yankees would be that none of the big pitching free agents sign, leaving a rotation of Wang, Chamberlain, Hughes, Kennedy, and some fifth starter.

I wonder if any of this quiet is connected somehow with the uncertainty regarding the economy these days. Speaking of which, I also wonder what the powers that be in Yankees and Mets ownership are thinking right now. They are finally opening their new ballparks – both of which are playgrounds for the rich – only to have the economy tank so badly. That’s gotta hurt.

Did you ever visit one of those historic mansions, like Hyde Park’s Vanderbilt Mansion? And all the ostentatiousness seems both gorgeous and disgusting? That’s what I’m thinking Yankee Stadium and Citi Field are going to look like.

In a time when even Oprah Winfrey’s “Favorite Things” show has morphed from the program showcasing $3800 refrigerators with an HDTV built in, to this year’s “Thriftiest Holiday Ever” episode, where the big give featured free MP3s of Christmas songs, I’m thinking that the new stadiums are already out of style before they’ve even opened. It could be like how Chicago’s new Comiskey Park became a dinosaur as soon as Camden Yards opened and changed the style of baseball stadiums forever.‘s Larry Dobrow wrote a funny column on the new Yankee Stadium, talking about the new amenities, including the Yankee seats with teak armrests and the concierge service. The kicker to the story is that he finds out that his old 20-game ticket plan will now cost $550 per ticket per game, adding up to $22 grand for two seats. Unreal.

While the stadium does sound like it will be beautiful, I think it will also seem vulgar in this economy. Not to mention that it’s unclear who will be able to afford these prices. Remember, many of the cheap seats in the old ballparks have been eliminated, in favor of more luxury boxes and suites. Worst. Timing. Ever.

As for Citi Field, the Mets really should either let Citigroup out of their $400 million naming rights contract, or force Citigroup to change the name to something more appropriate. Two NYC City Council members suggested that it should be called Citi/Taxpayer Field, since the U.S. taxpayers are bailing out the company.

My own thought is that the Mets should make official the derogatory name Yankee fans have come up with for the new stadium (hint – it rhymes with Citi.) Because it’s fitting for the current situation, given that taxpayers are paying towards naming rights for a stadium that many of them can no longer afford to attend on a regular basis.

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Two other notes:

  • If you haven’t already entered our A&E Essential Games DVD giveaway, you can do so here. We’ve gotten a terrific response so far. And thanks to our friends at baseball blogs Was Watching, Baseball and the Boogie Down, The Musings and Prophecies of Metstradamus, and The Sommer Frieze for helping us get the word out about our new digs, and about our giveaway.
  • And it looks like Alex Rodriguez and Madonna are finally going public with their relationship – he was in the front row of her recent Miami show, and he even handed her a water bottle during the concert. In a year, A-Rod has gone from MVP to Madonna’s waterboy. Let’s hope he can have some more greatest hits next season.

But what do you think? Leave us a comment!

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