I thought I planned well for this year’s Subway Series. I would go to the Friday night game, instead of baking in the sun on the weekend. So much for that! The game was rained out and I schlepped up to the Bronx and back for nothing.
Game 1 has been rescheduled for a day-night doubleheader on Sunday, and even though it’s a separate admission for the afternoon game, it will still only be seven innings, as per MLB’s new rules. (Sounds like a ripoff to me, but that’s Rob Manfred for you! Between this, those awful All-Star Game uniforms, and his other dumb decisions as of late, Manfred makes me long for the days of Bud Selig. But I digress!)
Anyhow, I paid $51.10 last week for my ticket, which included not just admission to the game but a pass to prepay for a hot dog and a beer. Considering that this is the Subway Series, arguably the biggest baseball event in NYC with crowds allowed since the 2019 playoffs, with the ballpark available for 100% capacity (COVID-19 restrictions were removed in mid-May), I was expecting these to be sellouts. So I was surprised so many tickets were still available, and at relatively reasonable prices.
You would think there would be pent-up demand for this rivalry. Then again, the other Rivalry — Yankees vs. Red Sox — only drew around 20K per game in the Bronx at the beginning of June!
Anyhow, my guesstimate, given on the crowds that I saw tonight, is that this would have been the best-attended Yankee game of the season so far, with around 30,000 fans in the ballpark. (The dirty little secret about the Yankees this year is that even with the recent relaxed capacity rules, they are still drawing much smaller crowds than in recent years. 30,000 is terrible for a Subway Series but great compared to the rest of the season!)
I am fully vaccinated from COVID-19 (I participated in the Johnson & Johnson research study for the vaccine this winter; although I received the placebo then, I was able to get the real deal in early April) so I have no worries about catching anything, not even the much-hyped Delta variant. But I didn’t want to go to a ballgame until restrictions were loosened, as it didn’t sound like much fun.
That being said, I didn’t care for the massive lines to get into the ballpark tonight and the jam-packed crowds. (And it was so chaotic people were pushing into lines willy-nilly and nobody was stopping them.) The only previous time I ever have been in security lines that long was Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS — fans had thrown garbage on the field the night before after the A-Rod slap play was overturned by the umps and security was tightened.
If the game tonight had started on time, I would have missed the start, despite getting on line 25 minutes ahead of time.
The lines were also ridiculously long for food and drink at the Stadium. It made the Shake Shack lines at Citi Field look like a breeze. I first waited around 40 minutes for a Lobel’s “prime rib” sandwich, which was awful, overpriced, and not worth the money. I ended up throwing half of it in the trash. Prime rib? I’ve had better sandwiches at Subway!
Then I waited so long on line to redeem my prepurchased food and drink pass that the game was cancelled before I could get anything! (Hopefully the Stadium will honor the pass when I use my raincheck.)
Also, I didn’t get positive vibe from the crowd tonight. (And it’s not just because of the Mets fans in the crowd!) Many people did not seem in a good mood. I’ve heard all sorts of stories about how Americans are acting up more in public since the pandemic, and the last thing I wanted was to be stuck at the ballpark half the night, through multiple rain delays, with unruly spectators!
Ironically, the Yankees had a rainout for Thursday’s game that was called hours before the game, and it ended up not really raining. Yet there was rain in the forecast all along tonight, but they didn’t call the game until nearly quarter to nine. (Of course, they were able to get several hours of food and drink sold! They pulled the same nonsense for the 2019 Subway Series.)
Given that weather forecasting is one of Hal Steinbrenner’s top interests (he’s much more interested in meteorology than he is in running a ballclub!) you would think the Yankees could get this right!
Also, we were basically kept in the dark in the ballpark as to what was happening, and when they would decide to play the game or not. A Facebook friend told me the game was cancelled at least five minutes before they announced it in the ballpark. (He heard it on the WPIX broadcast.) Oddly enough, I saw people still waiting on food lines even after the game was called!
I have a 5K road race on Saturday morning and a 10K race on Sunday morning, so I didn’t want to be at tonight’s game too late, and I’m not 100% sure I’m going to attend the Subway Series raincheck game on Sunday. Obviously, I would have preferred if the Yanks had postponed the game much earlier. But they have chicken buckets to sell, after all!