It's only a little over a month into the baseball campaign, yet the Bronx Bombers have faced one of the toughest years in recent memory. Not only have their troubles been on the field, but they've endured difficulties in the stands, and the dark cloud of juicy A-Rod rumors.
With the signings of Teixeira, Sabathia, and Burnett, and the opening of the much touted Yankee Stadium II, 2009 seemed looked magical, but the downturn of fate began in February with the bombshell that Alex Rodriguez had been doping.
A-Rod has been a constant fixture in the headlines, especially now with the release of Selena Roberts' book, titled after the superstar. He's been noted for his self-love, potential use of hair plugs, and still has yet to take the field for the Yankees. Recently, the now clueless Joe Girardi even claimed the story of A-Rod as a success story. How is that possible? He's brought nothing but bad headlines since 2004, and I am fully confident calling him a failure in New York.
The A-Rod cloud has surrounded the team heavily in 2009, but it doesn't stop there.
The season started in April, and the opening of New Yankee Stadium brought near embarrassment to the organization. While the stadium is magnificent in aesthetics, it appears as if several logistics were overlooked by the Yanks' brass.
The Bronx Palace has turned into Coors Field 2.0+, with home runs flying out of park like Josh Hamilton made fashionable and marketable last July. Routine fly balls have launched into the seats time after time, and the lone bright star about bandbox for the Bombers was a piece of nostalgia from the old digs in the form of Jeffery Maier.
So why is the ballpark playing differently if the dimensions are the same? That's simple, the new place is not aligned like the old park. Since the New Yankee Stadium is at a different angle, the wind plays different. Now the wind blows straight out to the short porch in left, hurting the new acquisitions in the rotation.
While the ballpark has been filled in the bleachers, providing a full transition for the Bleacher Creatures, the high rollers in the "sucky" box seats have been rather empty.
We're seeing the first signs of a collossal embarrassment for the NY Yankees. We've discussed this ad nauseum last season and this off-season: the out-pricing of the "average" fan while chasing the ultra-rich/corporate "attendees". I call them attendees as they are generally not fans like you and I, but rather using the game as a lure for future business/favors. Yankee Stadium, for all its $1.5 billion glory, is circling towards a caste system that threatens to treat its most loyal fans the worst. In what other industry would an organization seek to price out its best customers and treat them like second class citizens? It's All About the Money, Stupid
The extreme prices that the Yankees have placed on the box seats is not a trend that their limited to, as the Mets are struggling too. However, it is not an excuse to provide large gaps of blue seats behind the plate and dugouts, while filling every other seat in the House the George Built.
Seriously, how can the Yankees invest so much money into that ballpark, and overlook the factor of wind and the economy. Then again, it's not too surprising as the Yankees feel that they're in their own universe, to loosely quote the Steinbrenners.
To add to the misery is the trouble of an ace gone bad, Taiwanese star Chein-Ming Wang and his astronomical ERA of 34.50. Not only has Wang been beaten hard, getting jerked around by the Indians among others, but even the Yankee faithful themselves are turning on him.
I'm not so sure I think that anymore. There's no two ways about it. Wang sucks right now. I can't believe how bad he sucks right now. I'm not even sure he'll be able to bounce back from this. He's God awful.
Baseball & the Boogie Down
Although Sabathia, Burnett and Joba provide support for the slump of Wang, his struggles have not even been against the Red Sox, who took the first five games against the Bombers.
Yes, it's early, really early. But losing five in a row to a division rival that is as good as the Sawx? It's trouble for the Yankees. Their answer? Kicking out Red Sox fans.