Wednesday, July 16, 2008
The MLB All-Star through the eyes of a commoner - a photo essay
So I got home from work Tuesday and figured, "What they hey... why not hop a subway train over to Yankee Stadium where the All-Star game is tonight?" I decided to throw on a Devil Rays shirt and go check out the scene since I hadn't seen the stadium and the area around it yet. No matter what I figured it would be pretty neat... despite being a lowly commoner with nowhere near the means to be allowed anywhere near an entrance of course. Oh well...I mean, how often am I going to be a 15-minute train ride from the All-Star game, right?
So I hop on the train and it literally was only like 15-20 minutes max to get to the Yankee Stadium station. So that was pretty neat. You can see that they support everybody's favorite Belgian brewer, :(, on their sign. I read today that they might sell off Bud's theme park assets, including Busch Gardens... which is just plain sad. Oh well...
Sidenote, some of the people exiting the station were really weirded out that I was taking pictures of "them," even though I was just being an uber-tourist and taking pictures of the Yankee Stadium's subway station entrance/exit.
The station itself was not too different than any other station... save for one thing that sort of caught my eye...
I have never seen one of these at any other station, not even the main touristy ones like Times Square or at the main West Side stop for Central Park. Apparently the Yankees are just that special that their stop gets to be rodent-free?
I wonder if there are signs like that near Shea Stadium? I bet not... how could there ever be any rats in Flushing anyway, right?
I guess it's all kind of a moot point anyway, I haven't seen any rats in any subway stations or on any tracks yet... oh wait... except for the PATH Train tracks in Jersey. The PATH is the subway that connects New Jersey to Manhattan (remember Journal Square?... I vaguely do). I saw lots of mice on the PATH track at Newark Penn Station.
Don't tell me you're even the slightest bit surprised at the only place I've seen subway rodents so far... because I know you're not.
So back to the game (or outside at least for commoners like myself). New York's finest were out en masse for the All-Star game. They were everywhere, literally in the hundreds. I couldn't get a picture to convey the massive police presence. There were also rows and rows of police cars and police vans on lots of nearby streets too.
It wouldn't surprise me if there was a lot of crime in other parts of the Bronx last night, since it seems every cop in the Bronx got pulled for "show of force" duty at Yankee Stadium.
Not that I would have been able to afford one, but that many cops make buying a scalped ticket not the most appealing thing. I did see a deal go down though at one point... it looked like enough cash changed hands to fund a small Colombian guerilla force. One guy offered me a ticket for $675. I almost debated the idea of skipping food and beverage for the next month or so... key word being "almost."
There were tons of people trying to get tickets. One guy asked someone heading into the game for a ticket, and the guy on his way in jokingly said "maybe for $5,000." The guy wanting a ticket said "sure," totally stunning the first guy... who thought about it for a good bit but decided to go in the game and not ditch his family... which could have made for an awkward All-Star game experience for all parties involved.
For non-ticket-having folks like myself there were some neat things and free stuff... most notably gobs of free candy. "The House that Ruth Built?" ... sure, Baby Ruth.
Baby Ruth was out in force with people like this guy giving out Baby Ruth's by the handful... it was awesome.
I don't want to know how many I had, but I do know my stomach was getting a little off... though that definitely could have been a result of being surrounded by thousands of Yankees fans... either way...
I did see a couple of other Devil Rays fans pass by in the throngs, which was kind of neat.
The area around the stadium had plenty of bars and memorabilia stores and such. I like when a stadium has an actual district around it to keep folks busy and entertained. There was one store selling baseball cards including various Rod Carew cards for $20-$30... weird... he's inescapable.
There was also a little fanfest kind of area set up with plenty of ways to drop some cash, but I just wandered and snapped a shot. At least there was a kind of cool mural behind it.
The new stadium being built is right across the street from the old one...
Hopefully I'll be catching some Devil Rays games there in the future (I already have plans to catch one at old Yankee Stadium before it's demolished), but who knows how much tickets to the games at the new stadium will cost, especially since George Steinbrenner is apparently greedy (shocker, right?)... Apparently some folks, like this guy wandering around the throngs, aren't too pleased with the idea of replacing the old Yankee Stadium... oh well..
So after wandering around I decided to find a bar near my apartment and watch the game since one of the biggest names in the game is from Washington Heights... Manny Ramirez... who is affectionately nicknamed ManRam... which I maintain is the worst nickname ever, but whatev I suppose...
So I wandered to the "dos por uno cervesas" bar down the street and parked myself for the game. It was actually pretty fun. They spoke all Spanish for about 90 percent of the time. However, I was able to gather that they, like all good-hearted people, hate E-Rod. They say he should help the Domican Republic more after natural disasters, like many other big-name players do... they also hate him for the other normal reasons too.
One guy, for whatever reason started talking trash about Julio Lugo, which was pretty funny... and especially random since he wasn't in the All-Star game... he didn't speak English, but I could talk with him a little in Spanish and gather that apparently Lugo hits into too many double plays for his liking... and he hates him with a passion because of it.
We bonded over me being a Devil Rays fan... though Navarro totally made me look like a bitch with all his "awesome" plays and strikeouts... oh well... I've been a Rays fan long enough that I'm used to a little ribbing.
Overall it was fun, and the guys were all nice and I think it will be a good place to hone my Spanish skills.
Anyway... dinner time... I think I'll grab something in Chinatown, mmm....