Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Dawning of the Age of Aquariums

There is nothing quite like a visit home by my young adult who resides in the Mountain Time Zone to motivate me into doing something I had not yet done this year, which was make the trip to the "new" Yankee Stadium to see the fellas from Pinstripe Tech ply their trade. Last night, with Rob in the midst of a one-week guest stint NTSG ('Neath The Snow Globe), he and I were among the multitude in attendance for the 4-2 victory the Yankees secured over the Mariners.

I had only purchased our tickets on-line about two weeks ago. I was prompted to buy them by one of the e-mails for which the Yankee ticket office has become known during half one of year one at this incarnation of the Stadium. You know the type of which I speak. While the ball club releases them under the banner of "Exciting New Offers to See the Yankees" or (my personal favorite) "A Once in a Lifetime Opportunity", the sub-title of each is exactly the same: "we were arrogant a**holes who priced our tickets in the stratosphere and then wondered why the fans who occupy the 10,000 seats directly around the home plate area were all dressing as empty seats for every home game, so please forgive us and buy tickets at a deep discount". Trust me, you may have to turn your ticket upside down - and perhaps even hold it under black light or some such thing - but that fine print is there. You simply have to dig down deep to find it.

Rob and I had an incredible view of the action last night. We sat in the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar, which is located in the batter's eye in dead center field. If you have seen a game this year on TV, or have seen video of the new ballpark, there is an area of darkened, tempered glass located directly above Monument Park and directly beneath the behemoth known as the "Jumbotron" in center field. It is behind that tempered glass that the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar is located.

As noted, the view was spectacular. There are no blind spots on the field from there as you can see from foul pole to foul pole. And it provides the fan the sensation of watching the game in 3-D. Alex Rodriguez's home run, which landed up against the back wall of Monument Park appeared - for just a moment or two - to look as if it was going to land directly between Rob and me in our 2nd row/center of the row seats (which would have fine unless it caused me to spill my $8.50 12 oz. cup of Yuengling Lager - and before you laugh at that consider that the idiots sitting in the row below/in front of us spent the evening drinking $9.00 Coors Lights). The view of home plate was like nothing I had ever experienced watching a game live. You really had a direct view of the action - including balls and strikes - second to none.

Yet, I am happy that my son is scheduled to make a return trip this evening with some of his college buddies to see the finale of the series against Seattle because tonight he thinks he shall be sitting in the bleachers. Ah, the bleachers from which you can not only see the game but also hear it. Alas, in the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar, not only is the glass tempered but the room is soundproof. When A-Rod launched his "A-Bomb" in the bottom of the sixth inning last night, all of the noise we heard was from our fellow MSSB denizens. The Yankees would be well-advised to either crank up the volume on the YES broadcast, which is shown on every monitor in the MSSB or (God forgive me for suggesting this) turn up the volume of their radio team so that you inside of the MSSB can hear what is happening outside of it. I never thought in all of my life I would long for the sound of Suzyn Waldman's voice or Sterling explaining his blown call by telling me, "We don't have a monitor" but by game's end last night, I found myself doing just that. Baseball is a game to be enjoyed not just visually but as an auditory phenomenon as well. The experience of watching the game live but from behind the tempered glass of the MSSB is one of sensory deprivation.

Regardless of the absence of any stadium noise inside our little soundproof booth, it was simply a great evening. There are any number of less enjoyable ways to spend a Wednesday evening than at Yankee Stadium with your son taking in a ball game. This will likely be the only time this season he and I are there together and given his billet 'neath Cheyenne's lights for the next two summers after this one, I know not when we shall go again. So crowd noise or no crowd noise, I savored every minute of it.

Besides, when I replay the evening in my mind, I can add as much noise as I want to the audio track. Ah, to live in the age of digital technology.

-AK

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