April 4, 2009 [LINK / comment]

Yanks, Mets stadium "exhibitions"

The new stadiums of the Yankees and Mets were on display for exhibition games last night, and the threat of rain did not prevent the games from being played. The Yankees beat the Cubs 7-4, and all their runs came on three home runs -- by Robinson Cano, Hideki Matsui, and Cody Ransom, in that order. I think that's an indication of what's to come in this slugger-friendly, scaled-down version of the original "House that Ruth Built." The Yankees begin the regular season on the road, and christen* their new "cathedral" on April 16, hosting the Cleveland Indians. See MLB.com.

From looking at all the photos on baseball-fever.com and from taking a closer look at various blueprint images people have sent me, I've decided that the dimensions of the new Yankee Stadium are closer to the original than I had thought. In particular, the left field fence is 10-15 feet further back than my previous estimate, but the right field fence is where I thought it was, significantly closer to home than in Yankee Stadium I. Some fans have complained about the significant number of seats with obstructed views of the field, and the photos bear this out. From the back corner of the bleachers near center field, you can't even see first base from the left side, or third base from the right side. That means I'll not only have to fine-tune the diagrams for the actual stadium, but come up with a suggested improved version as well. Stay tuned...

* Speaking of "christening," televangelist Joel Osteen will hold a religious service (of sorts) in the new Yankee Stadium on April 25, but you have to buy tickets to get in. It's $15, apparently.

Several miles to the east in Queens, meanwhile, the Mets split their two exhibition games with the Red Sox, winning the inaugural game at their new home last night, but losing today, 9-3. The fans were delighted with Citi Field, at least. The first regular season game there will be on April 13, as the San Diego Padres come to town. See MLB.com.

Ballpark humor

Somebody in baseball-fever.com posted this fake headline from The Onion: "PNC Park Threatens To Leave Pittsburgh Unless Better Team Is Built." Ouch! smile