The Chronicler and the New York Yankees
Your Chronicler has been going to Yankees games for more than a decade (I admit I started out as a Cardinals fan, and then became a Mets fan when I moved to New York). I began my turn to the "dark side" after the 2000 World Series, when I rooted for the Mets but really got a chance to watch Derek Jeter. After my first visit to the 161st and River Avenue in the Bronx, I began adding tickets each year, and by 2009 I was a full-season ticket subscriber at the new stadium. And I got to attend the World Series. What joy! I still love the Yankees, but doubt that I can maintain a full season of games any more. This page is my effort to share my love for the game, as well as my frustration with the team.
Didi Thanks the Fans
Didi Gregorius, the Yankees shortstop, thanked the fans in an Instagram posting after the Yankees season ended on Oct. 2, 2016. He included a photo taken at the Canon Photo Day on June 26, showing him talking to Ellen Couch, with Sara Piovia, Matt Aballi and me looking on. Sort of nice shot. I pulled a screen grab, and here's the photo:
Ranting and Writing About the Yankees
This is my blog posting from August 4, 2016:
Memo to Yankees: Get Rid of Cashman!
Those of you who have followed my dissatisfaction with this year's player acquisitions and deacquisitions by the New York Yankees, and those of you who have suffered through some pretty insufferable games at the stadium in the Bronx these past few months, might appreciate YANKS TRADE STAR PLAYERS, KEEP DUD G.M., by Murray Chass, a former New York Times sportswriter. On this I think he is spot-on. If the Yankees have any hope of getting my complete devotion back, they really must get rid of Brian Cashman. Dud G.M., indeed!
I keep hearing how the Yankees traded Andrew Miller for prospects that will build the team in the future. As I've noted before, there are still about two months more of baseball left this year (for the Yankees, that is), and I haven't been enjoying the games recently. I have posted my remaining tickets for sale. So far, no bites (I'm not taking a loss, so won't discount below what I paid for them). So I do resent the abandonment of the current licensees for some unknowable "future" team. And if Cashman behaves as he has in the past, he will trade many of these great "prospects" in the off-season for more has-been players. My prediction, agree or not as you believe.
My sales rep says that I will be letting him down if I don't renew my season tickets. Ah, well, never knew it was my duty to keep my rep happy, but if so, so long, farewell, and goodbye. I imagine I will be buying single tickets here and there next year, at a discount whenever possible.
By the way, I actually enjoyed the Mets-Yankees game last night. I figured I'd mention that, since I've been whining so much recently. I don't expect I'll enjoy that many more games, but since I haven't been able to sell my tickets so far, I imagine I'll be hanging out in the Bronx more days than not. I'll be there tonight, for the last Mets-Yankees game of the season.
I intend to cheer for Andrew Miller if he comes in to pitch for Cleveland this weekend. The two photos below are from the game on July 22, when he pitched against San Francisco as a Yankee (I saw him in the stadium the last time as a Yankee on July 23, but didn't take photos).
I have enjoyed several double rainbows at Yankee Stadium over the years. Unfortunately, they don't occur all that often, and rarely predict that the Yankees have a pot of gold at the end of the rainbows. And I do understand that in order to see the rainbows, you often have to survive the storms. I hope the current storm passes quickly. I'd like more rainbows.
I wrote a blog posting on August 29, 2016, about my bad relations with StubHub in trying to sell Yankees tickets. I won't include the text here, but you can read it here.
This is my blog posting from July 31, 2016:
Goodbye, Andrew Miller! Goodbye, Yankees!
This morning the Yankees announced that they've traded closer Andrew Miller to Cleveland.
With that trade, they also lost a full-season ticket holder for next year (and I've put up for resale most of my tickets for the rest of this year). Andrew Miller was the last Yankees player I could cheer for unabashedly. I like a few of the players who are left, but none enough to buy a T-shirt with their number or chant their names. I do like Carlos Beltran, but he won't be a Yankee much longer, nor will some of the other players I've rooted for in the past.
As I wrote in Andrew Miller Is Still the Closer on May 26, Aroldis Chapman was a disgrace to the Yankees uniform. I was thrilled when he was traded to the Cubs last week. I thought that meant that I could now stay for full games and not leave after the eighth inning.
But now I have no reason to even go to the games. The Yankees have no outstanding players left, and they are playing mediocre baseball — they're not even bad enough to be a joke.
If my tickets sell, I will happily be in Central Park or some other outdoor location to photograph nature. If my tickets don't sell, I will drag myself reluctantly to Yankee Stadium and cheer the players on the opposing teams who used to be my favorite Yankees. It's one thing to get my money back, it's another to just throw it away altogether.
On June 26, I went to the Canon Photo Day at Yankee Stadium (one of the perks of being a full-season ticket holder) and had my photo taken with Andrew Miller. It was one of the highlights of my year.
I wasn't going to watch today's game, but turned it one while I wrote this. I just heard one of the announcers saying that it's hard to imagine the Yankees making it to the playoffs this year. Yes, indeed. Or next year, or any other year, as long as Yankees management signs players who are abusers and trades players who are worth cheering for.
Goodbye, Yankees. As I've learned from dropping other season tickets and subscriptions, after a while, I won't miss them. As long as Brian Cashman is general manager, and the Yankees are more concerned about making money than in playing good baseball, I'll spend my money elsewhere.
This is my blog post for May 26, 2016:
Andrew Miller Is Still the CloseR; I'm Leaving After the Eighth
I grew up in St. Louis and was an ardent St. Louis Cardinals fan. Actually, over time I turned into an ardent baseball fan. I will watch other sports, but baseball captures my imagination and makes me yearn to go into a ballpark.
The St. Louis Post Dispatch in the 1960s would give good students a pair of Cardinals tickets for each A they got on their report card (our school used an E-S-M-I-F grading system, so in my case, each E). I got a lot of tickets, and my dad liked to go with me if I wasn't going with a group of classmates. When he'd question an S in a subject (usually gym), I wondered if he was more disappointed that it was one less game I'd get tickets for.
I still have the front page of the newspaper from when the Cardinals won the 1964 World Series over the New York Yankees. And I remember watching the 1967 World Series vs. the Boston Red Sox in the common dorm TV room at the University of Colorado my freshman year. If memory serves, I was the only one who seemed to care. I was in Colorado, home of skiing and football.
When I came to New York in the early 1970s, I rooted for the Cardinals, but began rooting for the Mets when I thought I would be staying in New York for a while. After all, the song does say, "Root, root for the home team." But I enjoyed watching the World Series games with the Yankees and Billy Martin, Reggie Jackson et al. And by 2000, when I was home recovering from hip surgery, I cheered on the Mets in their failed attempt to beat the Bronx Bombers. But I was greatly intrigued by one of the Yankees players.
So it sometimes surprises me that in 2016, I'm a full season ticket licensee of the New York Yankees. I blame Derek Jeter. He was such an exquisitely exciting player to watch, and — with Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte and the incomparable Mariano Rivera — a total class act.
I can't imagine what the Core Four thought when they heard that Brian Cashman signed Aroldis Chapman this past February to be the Yankees' closer. I sure know what I thought: How dare Cashman pay a man who abuses women $11.325 million for a season of throwing a baseball?
Chapman was accused of choking his girlfriend and firing eight shots in his garage in Florida. He was not charged in the incident. When Major League Baseball suspended Chapman for 30 games under its new Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse policy, I cursed Cashman again and knew I'd have a dilemma come May.
After the suspension was announced, Chapman issued a statement:
“I want to be clear, I did not in any way harm my girlfriend that evening. However, I should have exercised better judgment with respect to certain actions, and for that I am sorry. The decision to accept a suspension, as opposed to appealing one, was made after careful consideration. I made this decision in an effort to minimize the distractions that an appeal would cause the Yankees, my new teammates and most importantly, my family.”
When Chapman returned to the Yankees after his suspension, The New York Times reported that he said:
“I didn’t do anything. People are thinking that it’s something serious; I have not put my hands on anyone, didn’t put anyone in danger. Since I didn’t do anything like that, I’m not thinking about it. If I didn’t do anything, why should I think about it? That is in the past. Now, I’m thinking about more important things: my family, kids, my career.”
The Times continued:
"Asked if his girlfriend’s calling 911 last October while hiding in the bushes because she was terrified was a problem, Chapman said: 'It was just an argument with your partner that everyone has. I’ve even argued with my mother. When you are not in agreement with someone, we Latin people are loud when we argue.'
"He added, 'I do not have a problem.' "
How can I cheer a man who was suspended for terrorizing a woman? And apparently doesn't think he did anything wrong, even though he shot off a gun, and who claims that he was targeted because the world goes after Latinos? My answer: I can't.
Andrew Miller is a class act. He had a great early season for the Yankees while Chapman was on suspension, and I was almost as thrilled to hear "God's Gonna Cut You Down," Johnny Cash's song, as I used to be when I heard "Enter Sandman." I sang along (still learning the words).
After Chapman's suspension was over, I had to face my dilemma. I was in the stadium for the Kansas City game on May 10 when Miller came into the game in the eighth inning. The Yankees were ahead 7 to 6. Miller gave up a home run to Lorenzo Cain, the first batter he faced. He seemed uncomfortable in his new role.
But the Yankees came back in the bottom of the eighth and scored three runs. That meant Chapman would be coming in. What to do?
I booed when he was announced, and walked out. Of my section of the grandstand, down the stairs and out of the stadium.
I haven't watched Abuser Chapman pitch this year. If I'm in the stadium, I walk out. If I'm at home, I turn off the television.
And since Chapman will be a free agent after this year, what did the Yankees get for all that money besides the contempt of this Yankees fan? There is speculation that Chapman accepted the suspension because it didn't affect his free agency and would up his value come negotiations at the end of the season. So the Yankees get the pitcher for one year in what looks to be a really mediocre season and probably won't be able to afford him next year. Meanwhile, this Yankees licensee feels cheated.
It really hurts to hear the fans cheer this man.
My game is over after the eighth inning if it's a closer situation. Thanks, Mr. Cashman, for taking away the ninth for me. At least I get home a little bit earlier
Old Yankee Stadium, New Yankee Stadium
The post-2009 World Series seasons for the New York Yankees haven't taken them as far as the fans (your Chronicler among them) would have liked, but it has still been a wonderful time in the ballpark. The 2016 season is under way, and the boys just aren't playing well this year, I'm sorry to say. And I often leave after the eighth (see above). But I have lots of fun in Section 418. Row 3. Come say hello.
In 2013, the Yankees held the Canon Photo Day for the full-season ticket holders. It was wonderful to be on field level and to say hello to the players. I was able to get my picture taken with the marvelous, magnificent, legendary Mariano Rivera, and I had to post it!
WORLD SERIES! WORLD SERIES! In 2009, I got to attend my first World Series! And they won #27. I was at the three games in New York. Oh, yes! We do love it!
And Derek Jeter. Love. There's no other word for it. We love Derek. And Derek loves baseball.
Derek Jeter played with the energy and youth and intensity of all the players I've loved over many, many years of watching the diamond. Your Chronicler has a song she used to sing to him before going to the ballpark, "O Del Mio Dolce Adore." I was there when he had his 3000th hit, and when he said goodbye to the old Yankee Stadium and for his last game in the new Yankee Stadium. It's been a tough without Mr. Jeter to cheer for and drool over. Hope he's very successful in his retirement as a player.
Yankee Stadium. And the Yankees. I've had season tickets for a while, but in 2009 I got a full season for the new stadium, and I renewed for 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and now in 2016. I used to be the crazy red-headed lady with the pins, but I gave up wearing the Jeter jersey with all my hardware back in 2014. But I'm still the one who shouts and yodels and roots on the team in a frenzy, flipping popcorn everywhere when there's an exciting play. My apologies to the people in the second row.
I will say, so many of my memories come not only from watching the games, but also from the marvelous vendors at Yankee Stadium — the amazing Alva, whom I used to buy popcorn from in the old stadium and now works on my level in the new stadium; Dave, who scans my tickets most games; Jonathan, whom I buy my sausage sandwiches from; Michael (I see him so many places around the stadium, and he always has a great smile); the man who sells me popcorn now near 428, and the many elevator operators in my "lucky elevator" who smile and greet me when I say, "Nosebleed, please."
There's a photo below of my seat at the old Yankee Stadium (46-game series, Tier 7, Row M, Seat 15). I didn't buy it when they tried to sell off the old seats after the stadium was torn down (where would I find room for it in the hovel?).
The picture below shows Ellen Couch, a devoted Yankees fan, with her Andy Pettitte stare. We take our Yankees seriously.
The best read around: Murray Chass ... On Baseball. Chass is intelligent and sophisticated and usually asks the right questions. Don't call him a blogger, though. He hates blogs.
A guy who used to sit behind me at the new Yankee Stadium has a blog (he does call it a blog) called Yankee Stadium's Misfits of Row X. The last entry is for 2013, and I am sorry I haven't seen more from him in a while. His blog was a kick to read and gave a passionate fan's perspective of what's going on in the Bronx.
I have so many memories from the old Yankee Stadium, and the new. To watch Mariano Rivera pitch was a true honor, and his final year was a tear-jerker on so many levels. I am thrilled I got to be there on his last day.
I try to make as many games as possible in the Bronx. I'm going to post now a lot of pictures from the Bronx, and hope to keep updating this page and my blog with baseball stories and photos. But before the gallery appears, take a look at this next screenshot.
It's a photo of your Chronicler (in the Derek Jeter jersey) on the final day at the old Yankee Stadium. It was posted on the Newsday site. Ellen is to Chronicler's left. There was no photo credit, copyright Newsday. Ellen and I walked around the field before the game, breathing in as many memories as possible and maybe, just maybe, picking up a little Yankee Stadium dirt.
In the gallery that follows, there's my 46-game seat at the old Yankee Stadium, along with a photo of Matt Aballi, who sat near me for those 46 games. He was such a youngster in those days. Now he's a handsome young man who still loves baseball and blogs about fitted caps in The Fitted Diaries. The last shot shows him in 2012 on a photo day.
These shots are pretty much self-explanatory. The first shots with Brett Gardner and Rob Refsnyder were taken on the Canon Photo Day on June 26, 2016. The shot with Jacoby Ellsbury was taken on the Canon Photo Day in 2015.
On the field level, there are a lot of photos from the Yankees' past greatness. This is one of my favorites.
At Home With the Yankees
Having season tickets means I get lots of bobbleheads, player figures, hats, and — best of all — Yankee Snoopys! The boys of summer guard my art books and other valuables.