Archives for posts with tag: New Yankee Stadium

It’s nice when things start falling into place. It’s been almost a month since a trade deadline that saw the Yankees uncharacteristically trading off their established stars for farm talent and the Yankees are actually fighting their way back into relevance and possibly the AL East. Of course, it helps to have a rookie Phenom like Gary Sanchez carrying the team with his historic start. The Yankees have an AL East best record of 15-9 in the month of August and are definitely giving Yankee fans reason for hope here in 2016….not to mention 2017 and beyond.

In his first 21 games in pinstripes, Gary Sanchez, aka The Sanchize, is living up to and exceeding expectations. Sanchez is off to a juggernaut rookie campaign with a slashline of .400/.467/.900 highlighted by 11 HRs and 23 RBIs. He is quickly galvanizing the joy of Yankee fans and garnering respect from the league as well as demonstrated by his pair of intentional BBs in the Seattle series. It’s still too soon to tell if this just a small sample size but it’s hard to not be excited by such an impressive debut. And while he may see the majority of starts behind the plate this season, the Yankees would be smart to give the lion’s share of DH at-bats to Brian McCann, who is still on pace for another 20 HR season.

While Gary Sanchez is the current straw stirring the drink, at least offensively, there are plenty of other Yanks who have contributed to this August run that most recently has produced 64 runs in the last 10 games. Starlin Castro is on another hot streak with 3 HRs over this past .444 week. Didi Gregorius is only hitting .258 over August but has 6 HRs in the month. The Yankee middle infield of Castro/Gregorius has combined for a very impressive 35 HRs this year. Ronald Torreyes is campaigning for regular playing time with his .414 August. And even Aaron Hicks is starting to silence the boos at New Yankee Stadium with 4 HRs in 71 August at-bats while hitting .310.

Yankee starting pitching is finally being anchored by Masahiro Tanaka’s ace-like August. Tanaka holds a 2.91 ERA in the month to go with 34Ks and a single BB. Luis Cessa has won back-to-back starts with a 1.50 ERA to go with 10Ks/2 BBs. And despite not being able to qualify for the win in yesterday’s dominance of the Orioles, Chad Green has made great strides in the last few weeks. Green has a 2.51 ERA in his last 28.2 innings, which includes an 11K, 6-inning, no-run gem against the mighty Blue Jays.

The Yankees have plenty of season left and hopefully enough young talent to keep them in the hunt for October. Their current 5 ½ game deficit in the division may seem daunting but they still have time and plenty of opportunities with 28 of their final 34 games against the AL East. They may fall short but Yankee fans are getting a glimpse of the future, and it’s a bright one at that. #TheSanchize.

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The more things change, the more they stay insane. And such is the case with New Yankee Stadium. It’s been five years since the Yankees left the old digs for this billion dollar monument so I had a pretty good idea of what to expect based on what I have seen on TV and from the descriptions by friends and family. But I guess it wasn’t until I made my first visit last Saturday that I truly got to experience what New Yankee Stadium is all about.

After a shuttle ride from our hotel in New Jersey to Port Authority, my wife and I took the A train uptown to the D train. I only mention this because this is the first time I ever took the subway to the game. Growing up on Long Island, my previous trips involved and an hour and a half car ride and then finding the least sketchy parking possible, never an easy task. So, it was quite refreshing to exit the 161st Street station and see New Yankee Stadium right across the street. After a breakfast that consisted of Sabrett’s hot dogs, the most underrated hot dog, we walked around the outside and marveled at the pristine state of the stadium and it’s surroundings. I had to keep reminding myself that I in fact was in the Bronx. I wasn’t necessarily looking to get mugged or get propositioned by a hooker but it would have been nice to see a few reminders of my old home.

Then we walked inside and continued to marvel at the newness of it all not to mention enough concession stands to rival a World’s Fair. Gone are the cracks in the concrete, distinct urine odors, and memories of days gone by. This new stadium has tried to replicate the past but all it does is make me yearn for it. As much as I love the Yankees and want to see them win many more championships in this new arena I can’t help but caught up in wanting to be in the old stadium. Old Yankee Stadium was where I saw Don Mattingly hit upper deck bombs, Graig Nettles vacuuming every grounder at third, Ron Guidry strike out the side repeatedly, and Derek Jeter doing just about everything right in pinstripes while building his legacy. Maybe I just need to see a lot more games and let new memories be created. On the other hand I cannot voice enough disgust over the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar that jets out into CF. It is an eyesore and creates limited views for anyone sitting on either side of it. This is of course rectified by the the placement of a row of flat screens TVs. The whole purpose of going to a game is to NOT watch it on TV, so that’s a section I will make sure to avoid.

As for the game itself, that was a disappointment all on its own. After a pre-game ceremony where Tino Martinez was honored with a plaque in Monument Park, the current Yankees continued to play their mediocre style of baseball. Vido Nuno allowed 3 HRs and may have pitched himself out of the starting rotation. The only true excitement was provided by Mark Teixeira’s solo HR in the 4th which would account for the Yankees only run. The Orioles won 6-1, which sucked.

On the bright side I got to watch Derek Jeter play one more time. He made two nice plays in the field and went 1-4 at the plate (though I thought his hit was really a gift and should have been an error). On the not-so bright side, this is the ninth consecutive live game that I have watched the Yankees lose. At some point, I must give up on the notion that I can watch the Yankees win a live game, or maybe Yankees fans should unite and have a restraining order filed against me. If that’s the case then hurry up since I have tix to see them in August at Fenway.

All in all, it was a nice day at the Stadium. Whatever quibbles I may have with New Yankee Stadium, it is the home of my beloved Yankees and I will respect that. It’s like when a friend starts dating someone new, and you were a much bigger fan of their previous beau. In the end, you have to trust their judgment and hope you can see what they see. New Yankee Stadium is far from perfect but it will grow on me eventually.

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After a four game sweep of the “2013 World Series Champion Toronto Blue Jays” and a series victory over the Houston Astros, the Yanks are sitting pretty at 17-10. And I really wish I could focus on that and take joy in their success. Unfortunately, this past week has been more of the same in the Bronx. Ivan Nova, Francisco Cervelli, Kevin Youkilis, and Joba Chamberlain have joined the ever-growing group of players on the disabled list. I guess the more things change, the more they stay insane. And yet, the Yankees keep marching on. Again, they may not compete for the entire season, but this new “Walking Dead” squad is showing a resilience that’s making even the CDC get nervous.

How do the players feel? Used to be that ballplayers didn’t want to play for the Yankees out of intimidation of the media and George Steinbrenner. Now, ballplayers are afraid to come to the Bronx because it seems to equal an immediate trip to the DL. It’s like New Yankee Stadium is Camp Crystal Lake. At what point does Brian Cashman ask for help from the Red Cross?

And yet, its hard to not be optimistic. The pitching is solid, currently anchored by Hiroki Kuroda. The absence of Nova just means David Phelps steps into the rotation. Despite a shaking start against the Astros, Phelps should be fine. The bullpen is solid with Logan, Robertson, and Mo. And Vernon Wells, Travis Hafner, and Lyle Overbay continue to impress by providing the power that most experts thought would be absent this year.

This weekend’s series against the Oakland A’s should be a legitimate test of the current state of the Yankees, and I am looking forward to it. In the end, this is why they play the games. Otherwise, the experts would have the league skip to their wet dream World Series between the Toronto Blue Jays and Washington Nationals. Sorry, guys, you’ll have to save that match-up for your XBox.

On a final note, I am starting a new campaign. Mariano Rivera has stated this is his last season, but if he keeps pitching this way I don’t now how we as fans can let him go. So, in 2013, we, as Yankee fans, have one goal: another season of Mo. Or, more aptly titled: Don’t Go, Mo!

#DontGoMo