Thursday, April 30, 2009

David Cone On Air "Jerking Off" Reference - Round Two

UPDATE: Awww crap. Just realized that Andrew over at No, You're A Towel had this up on Wednesday night. Sorry for not giving you the proper credit, Andrew.

We owe everything we have here at NSI to David Cone. On a rainy night last April, he said that Ian Kennedy "got jerked off" in the bullpen, we ripped the footage and posted it on the website, Rob Neyer ran with the story, and the rest is history. The video is gone from the original post, but here it is from last April:

We figured at the time that Cone would get a stern talking to by YES executives/producers, who would explain the difference between "jerking off" and "jerking around," and everyone would go along their merry way. That is why were were completely shocked when we heard that Cone had made the same mistake again last night. This time, it was another young Yankee starter, Joba Chamberlain and he was apparently jerkin' off:

Really David Cone? Again? Really? You're awesome. Read the full post, after the jump

Yankee Brass Looks To The Team Captain To Bail Them Out Of Their Overpriced, Slow-Selling Luxury Seats

Hopefully we won't be struck down for posting a link to NY Post's Page Six, but here we go. Apparently, Derek Jeter has purchased one of the overpriced luxury suites for his family to call home at the new Yankee Stadium:
Derek Jeter has so many friends and family who want to see him and his teammates play, the Yankee captain leased a luxury suite for the season in the new stadium. A team spokesman said the box was big enough for 12, but wouldn't say how much it cost. But he said that Jeter, one of the highest-paid players in the Major Leagues, paid full price for a suite of its size, which range in cost from $600,000-$850,000 -- and he didn't even get an employee discount.
Could Jeter be bailing the Yankees out of their ticket mess in hopes that the Yankees will pay him back when he becomes a free agent and demands far more money than he is worth?

We always enjoyed seeing Jeter's mom and dad sitting among the common folk in the box seats behind the Yankee dugout. There are no longer common folk in those seats, so it looks like the Jeter family decided to take advantage of the captain's wealth and get themselves some luxury accommodations. Can anyone blame them? Read the full post, after the jump Might Overstate The Number Of Tickets On The Secondary Market

Earlier this week, we went into detail about the volume of Yankee tickets on the secondary market. Interestingly enough, ticket brokerage insiders keep an eye on NSI and one such insider left a comment regarding He let us know that using's numbers to gauge how many tickets are on the secondary market might not be the best idea. Apparently's system for counting total inventory does not take duplicates into account:
It's not that brokers all work off the same pool of tickets. The reason for duplicates is that firms (like my company) post our inventory on multiple online outlets or exchanges (websites like stubhub), and when fansnap collects their data from those sites they do not have a way of removing the duplicate entries.
Even so, it is clear that there are significantly more Yankee tickets available on than for any other MLB team, so it can be assumed that more tickets for the Yankees were bought just to sell.

Our secondary ticket market expert further dispelled the myth that ticket brokers are slimy by letting us know that Yankee fans can currently take advantage of some great deals on Angels and Rays tickets. Tickets for these upcoming series' are going for significantly less than face value. It is starting to look like those fans shut out of Yankee season ticket plans might end up doing better creating their own plans on the secondary market.

UPDATE: FanSnap's response to this claim if you
Hi Ross,

We agree that brokers are great partners for tickets. In fact, we partner with top brokers from across the country. You're also right that there are significantly more Yankees tickets listed on FanSnap than any other MLB team. This is due, in part to the large new stadium. There are simply more seats to be had. The economic downturn has been especially pronounced in New York and the high demand for tickets means many season ticket holders are selling. Because so many people are selling, it is a great time for fans to get great seats at great values.

I did want to clarify the point about comparable tickets on FanSnap. Giving fans the ability to compare tickets is one of our most popular features. We spend a ton of brain power and engineering time on enabling comparing. This way the fan is in control of where they buy the tickets.

In your broker's example where he posts to multiple sites, we show fans that ticket and each place it's posted. This way the fan can buy direct from the broker or if the fan has a StubHub account and wants to buy that way, they can. FanSnap is about comprehensive choice for fans. We posted about comparable tickets here:

We love that you use FanSnap as a resource. If the future, if you need assistance with stats, please let me know.

Best regards,
Christian Anderson
Read the full post, after the jump

Previewing The Homestand Ahead: Lets Play Some Night Games Already!

For 2009, we thought we'd introduce a new series of posts, previewing the upcoming home stand. Instead of making the game on the the field the focus of these posts, we are going to focus on the things that affect the fans the most - ticket availability, weather, stadium news and notes and more. Hopefully this will be helpful to anyone heading out to any of the upcoming games. Since this will take up a lot of space on the page,

The Basics
  • Dates: April 30 - May 7
  • Games: 8
  • Teams: 3
  • Night Games: 6
  • Weekend Day Games: 2
  • Mid-week Day Games: 0
The Yankees return to the launching pad for their second home stand. The Yankees won four out of their first six home games in a rain-shortened set last week. Unfortunately, the losses they suffered were by the score of 22-4 and 10-2, so some fans have a bad taste in their mouth about the new stadium. Hopefully the Yankees can change that.

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim @ New York Yankees Yankee Stadium (Bronx, NY)

Thu, Apr 30 at 7:05PM 5,000+ tickets from $8

Fri, May 1 at 7:05PM 9,000+ tickets from $8

Sat, May 2 at 1:05PM 9,000+ tickets from $18

Sun, May 3 at 1:05PM 9,000+ tickets from $15

Boston Red Sox @ New York Yankees
Yankee Stadium (Bronx, NY)

Mon, May 4 at 7:05PM 14,000+ tickets from $25

Tue, May 5 at 7:05PM 17,000+ tickets from $24

Tampa Bay Rays @ New York Yankees
Yankee Stadium (Bronx, NY)

Wed, May 6 at 7:05PM 17,000+ tickets from $11

Thu, May 7 at 7:05PM 17,000+ tickets from $10

Face value tickets are available directly from the Yankee box office for the games against the Angels and against the Rays. Obviously, tickets for the Red Sox series are harder to come by and only the overpriced seats costing over $100 are available. Taking a look at the secondary market on StubHub and FanSnap, prices seem to be plummeting - even for the premium games.

We were able to use to pull up a pair of face value, $23 Grandstand tickets for the home stand opener against the Angels. The tickets were in the outfield and in the last row. It looks like the secondary market might be the best bet though. There are plenty of deals to be had for below face value if you circumvent the Yankee ticket office, as evidenced by the lowest available price indicated in the "at a glance" section above. As we mentioned last week, the fun, new seats in the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar, The Bleacher Cafe and The Audi Yankees club are available for most of these games (at the time of writing this). Of course, the Legends seats ("greatest seats in the world") are available as well.


As always, the official NSI weather forecasts are courtesy of our friend Steve from Steve is a firm believer in the "don't focus on more than 5 days at a time or you will go crazy" theory of weather forecasting, so here is what he has to say about the weather for the Angels series, along with a sneak peak at the Boston series. Unfortunately, it seems like the beautiful, Summer weather from earlier this week is gone, and we are once again in a rainy, Spring weather pattern. Ugh:
The Yankees are going to have their hands full with impacts from the weather conditions through this weekend's series and into the Boston series.

The best potential playing conditions will be for tonight's game where generally dry conditions can be expected. The will be a risk of a shower for a later innings of the game, but the majority of the precipitation should hold off until after the game. Winds will be from the southeast around 5 to 15 mph. Temperatures for game time will range from 53 to 56 degrees.

There will be a persistent threat for showers and thunderstorms on Friday evening. A few of the thunderstorms may reach severe levels with the most significant threat being strong wind gusts and frequent lightning. However, the showers and thunderstorms will be scattered in nature. Otherwise partly cloudy to overcast conditions can be expected with a veering wind from the southwest to west around 5 to 10 mph with higher gusts around and in thunderstorms. Temperatures will range from the 63 to 67 degrees for game time.

Showers and thunderstorms will again remain a threat on Saturday afternoon, however I don't expect wide spread rainfall. The position of the cold front will be key as locations north of the cold front can expect a break in the precipitation. Winds will be from the west around 5 to 15 mph. Temperatures will range from 62 to 67 degrees through game time.

On Sunday, another area of low pressure along the cold front will produce more widespread rainfall. There is a very high threat for a delay or postponement of the game. Winds will be from the north and northeast around 5 to 15 mph and then northwest around 5 to 10 mph as the low pressure system passes to the south. Temperatures will range from 55 to 59 degrees through game time.

A brief look at the Boston series does feature some drier weather, but not by much. A warm front will approach the region on Monday evening, but the majority of the rainfall is currently expected to hold off until after the game. Conditions ahead of the warm front will be cool with a raw easterly wind. Low clouds may be an issue here off the Long Island sound. As for Tuesday evening, the threat for strong to severe thunderstorms return, but the timing of the storms will be highly dependent on the timing of the cold front, which is still questionable in exact timing.

Have a great weekend and be sure to bring a rain coat if you are going to these games!
Check back for more late-breaking updates from Steve when the weather dictates them.

Stadium News and Notes
  • A Return To The Scene Of Many Nightmares
Bobby Abreu will return to the Bronx, after a few quality seasons with the Bombers. Our feeling is that the fan reaction will be one of indifference, as Bobby steered clear of controversy during his time in Pinstripes. With the supposed jet stream out to right field, Bobby is probably having nightmares about getting reacquainted with his biggest fear - the wall in Yankee Stadium.
  • We Live In A World Where $1,250 For A Ticket Is A 50% Discount
The Yankees "slashed" prices of their most expensive (read: overpriced) seats this week. It likely won't have any effect on the average fan, so we're not sure why we are even including it in this piece.
  • Cheers & Jeers
Cheers: Nick Swisher. Even after struggling through most of the road trip, Swish headed home in style, bashing home runs from both sides of the plate int he series finale against the Tigers. Nick was already a fan favorite after the first home stand, and it isn't likely to change now - he'll receive some of the biggest cheers.

Jeers: Mark Teixeira. We're not predicting boos of A-Rod proportions, but things could get ugly if Tex continues his struggles. Smart fans would notice that he is just missing some balls, drawing walks, and coming through when it counts (his OBP is over .500 with RISP). However, as we have learned the past few years with the A-Rod booing, Yankee Stadium isn't always filled with smart fans.

Which Games We'll Be At

We can't guarantee we'll be in our seats the whole time, but we are in possession of tickets for Friday, Sunday, Monday and Thursday. Our seats are in section 428, Row 10. If you are a reader of the blog, come and say hello. Our pictures are floating around in the "about" section at the top of the page in case you want to stalk...

Special Shout-Out

Friend of the blog and security guard at the new Yankee Stadium, Chris is heading back to his post at "Shaq's Shower Curtain." He missed the first home stand after some serious finger surgery. He isn't quite back to playing ball yet, but he is well enough to resume his duties of keeping people from sneaking down to the expensive seats. Chris is one of the good guys in the security force and he really enjoys his job. Please join us in welcoming him back to the stadium.

Read the full post, after the jump

The NSI Minor League Report: The Other part of the Catching Triumvirate

Wednesday 4/29

In Charleston, left handed hitting catching prospect, Chase Weems seems to have found his hitting stroke. He went 2 for 3 with two doubles and threw out two of the six runners that attempted to steal. Chase did have a throwing error and two passed balls, but one of the passed balls was on an intentional walk, in which the pitcher inadvertently threw one down the middle and hit the umpire. Chase is 11 for his last 31.

Scranton continues to win, on a 7-0 shutout behind Alfredo Aceves. Shelley Duncan hit his lead leading 7th home run. Trenton lost 3-2, and the game ended on James Cooper being thrown out at home, after bowling over the opposing catcher, who held onto the ball. Tampa's vaunted offense was held to two hits.

Scranton def Lehigh Valley 7-0
John Rodriguez 1-4, HR, 3 RBI, K - .361
Shelley Duncan 1-3, HR (7), 2 RBI, BB, K - .370
Austin Jackson 1-3, R, RBI - .356
Eric Duncan 2-4, R - .313
Alfredo Aceves 8 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K - That's the Aceves that we saw last year
Steven Jackson 1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K

Trenton lost to Connecticut 3-2
Colin Cutis 0-4, 2 K - snapped a 13 game hitting streak
Marcos Vechionacci 2-4, 2 K
Kyle Anson 2-4, R - 2 for 2 in gunning down runners (6 for 6 on the year)
Kevin Smith 2-4, R
Zach McAllister 4 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 R, 4 BB, 5 K - didn't have it today
Josh Schmidt 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K

Tampa lost to Lakeland 5-0 (2 hits)
Jesus Montero 0-4, 2 K, E (1) - 4 out of 5 runners stole successfully
Austin Romine 1-4, K
Mitch Hilligos 1-2, 2 BB
Lance Pendelton 5 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K

Charleston lost to Ashville 12-10
Raymond Kruml 4-5, 2 R, 2 RBI
David Adams 2-5, 2 2B, 4 RBI
Abraham Almonte 0-5, 2 K - .238
Melky Mesa 2-5, 2 R, HR, RBI, K
Chase Weems 2-3, 3 R, 2 2B, 2 RBI, BB -Threw out 2 of 6 attempted SB's. 11 for last 31 (batting)
Walter Ibarra 2-4, R, RBI, K
Brett Marshall 4 IP, 6 H, 8 BB, 4 R, 2 BB, 1 K
Brandon Braboy 2.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
Read the full post, after the jump

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

False Alarm Gives Tigers Fans Reason To Head For The Exits Early

The video below captures a scary moment during the 8th inning of the Tigers vs. Yankees game tonight.

We've always wondered what would happen if...

...there was an emergency at a baseball game. Not falling prey to the stereotype, the fans of Detroit were surprisingly orderly and headed directly toward the nearest exits (and didn't take the elevators) as the announcement asked. With the score 8-1 in favor of the Yankees, it looks like the fans in Detroit weren't in a fighting mood.

In other news, Joe Girardi won his 100th game as Yankee manager tonight, and the YES network actually had a special graphic created for it. Apparently, becoming the 18th man (out of 34) to ever accomplish the feat is worth the graphic, a post-game interview, and a question during the managerial press conference. He isn't even in the 50th percentile of Yankee managers according to wins and they made that big of a deal out of it? Did they even do that when Joe Torre got his 1,000th win? Weird.

Note to the blogosphere, if you decide to use this embeddable video, please provide a link back to this post.
Read the full post, after the jump

Regarding "She-Fan" Jane Heller, And Access To Information From The Yankees

I just came across a post on River Ave. Blues reviewing Jane Heller's recently released book, Confessions Of A She-Fan.

This part of the post especially caught my attention:
That frustration stems from a Yankee organization intent on limiting access. She tries to go through Jason Zillo, the Yanks’ media gatekeeper, but Zillo, who fields more than his fair share of calls like Heller’s, wants credentialed writers only around the Yanks. She tries every which way to make an end-run around Zillo. She tries to go after Jean Afterman and Suzyn Waldman, connecting to them on that female level. Waldman is responsive; Afterman is not. She befriends John Sterling and runs through her Rolodex searching for ways in to no success. It is, then, no surprise that the Yanks didn’t want Heller’s publishers to advertise her book in the Yankee Magazine this year.
I should have done due diligence about the topic of this book much, much sooner. If so, I would have read it already! In my relatively short time running New Stadium Insider (and before that NYY Stadium Insider), I have noticed these Yankee policies regarding access to information. Basically, they don't provide it unless you are in their fraternity of credentialed writers, largely working for an antiquated and nearly defunct medium. After all, only speaking to those guys gives the team greater control and a better chance of churning out stories that are part of their PR machine.

This is a hobby, but occasionally I'd like to be professional about it and get some first-hand information. Why don't we review some of the things that I requested official information from the Yankees about:
  • I asked them for comment about the relocation fiasco. No response
  • I asked them for comment about the obstructed view fiasco in February. No response
  • I asked them for comment about the Linda Ruth Tosetti story. No response
  • I am currently asking them for comment regarding a story I am working on. No response
I have tried to contact the Yankee media relations office by phone and by email. I have tried to contact official Yankee spokespeople at the Rubenstein PR firm. My efforts were futile and my requests fell upon deaf ears.

While my blog is not one of the credentialed media sources of the Yankees, thousands of people who visit the stadium end up here when looking for information about Yankee Stadium. Wouldn't it be in the Yankees best interests if they created some sort of dialogue between the two parties? Wouldn't it provide me with the means to disperse accurate information instead of having to write one-sided stories? Wouldn't it prevent stories read by thousands of Yankee fans from being based on speculation and unnamed sources in the ticket office? There once was a time when fan-blogs were all about opinions and they were read by very few people. Times have changed and the media landscape has evolved. A large majority of people receive their information from blogs - mainstream media or not.

At the end of the day, I don't want access and I don't want credentials. I know my role. I am a fan of the Yankees and I write about the experience of being a fan of the Yankees. It just so happens that my outlet for doing so has become a source of information for upwards of 40,000 people monthly. Since what I write is apparently read by more people than my mother (who I have banned from commenting, for obvious reasons), I occasionally seek information. I want to be able to pass this information along to the readers of New Stadium Insider, so they can go along their merry way knowing that they are as informed as possible. Is that so much to ask?
Read the full post, after the jump

Why Does Everything Involving Yankee Pitching Always Come Back To The Joba To The Bullpen Debate?

We have already made our opinion on the Joba to the bullpen debate very clear. Until he proves that he can't stay healthy, he should remain in the rotation. However, whenever anything notable occurs with Yankee pitching, the Joba to the bullpen talk immediately commences.

Wang has to go on the DL? Joba to the bullpen. Bullpen struggles? Joba to the bullpen. Phil Hughes makes an impressive 2009 debut? Joba to the bullpen. Ugh.

Fellow blog author, Bobby (formerly Fake IPK), emailed this morning with the following question:
So other than me picking him up in fantasy, what's been the reaction to Hughes so far? Are people saying that it's going to push Joba into the 'pen?

Since this question is likely flying through multiple factions of cyberspace, here is our answer - Only a fool would think that Joba is going back to the pen based on one great Hughes start. The general reaction is tempered excitement. Hughes can obviously have a huge impact on the 2009 Yankees, especially given the wait and see approach with Chien Ming Wang's availability as a viable major leage starter.

That being said, if Hughes is dominant (2007 Joba in the bullpen type of dominant), Wang shows promise in rehab, Joba is only giving 5 IP per start and the bullpen continues to falter, I can see the Yankees being forced into the Joba to the bullpen move.

So, what are some alternatives to simply moving Joba back to the bullpen IF the Yankees are faced with the highly enviable situation of 6 viable major league pitchers and only 5 spots in the rotation? For one, they could go with an unlikely and unorthodox 6 man rotation, alternatively skipping Hughes and Joba to keep their innings down. This probably won't happen.

But what if the Yankees really thought outside of the box and decided to move Chien Ming Wang to the bullpen? With Wang's repetoire mainly featuring a heavy sinker, the Yankees may have the 2000's version of Ramiro Mendoza on their hands - a guy who can come into the game in the middle innings and get huge double plays and save the game (even if a stupid stat isn't dedicated to it).

There are obviously obstacles that need to be overcome before making a switch like this. For one, Wang is an icon in his homeland of Taiwan, and it would likely be seen as a slap in the face if he was converted into a middle reliever. Wang showed signs of this when he refused to admit problems with his mechanics following the 22-4 Yankee Stadium debacle. Next is that Wang does have an injury history (shoulder) dating back to the beginning of the new millenium and tinkering with his role on the team might not be the best choice. Finally, the guy has already won 19 games twice in his relatively short career as a starter and he is only 28 years old.

We're not arguing with the idea that Joba would be the best reliever out of the 6 Yankee starters - he has already proven his dominance in that arena. Our argument is that out of the 6, Wang would be the least valuable in the rotation going forward (outside of Pettite, who is obviously not a bullpen candidate). The easy solution would be to send Hughes back to the minors, but we are operating under the assumption that Hughes continues to be dominant (we know - it's only one start).

So, hopefully we have turned the Joba to the bullpen debate into a Chien Ming Wang to the bullpen debate. That might not be better, but at least it is something new. Do any of the tens of NSI readers have an opinion? We just realized after writing this post that River Avenue Blues discussed Phil Hughes to the bullpen. Let us know your thoughts, in the comments.
Read the full post, after the jump

The NSI Minor League Report: Jesus Montero Homerfest

Tuesday 4/28

Jesus Montero homered two times for Tampa in a 3-1 win. He's now batting .371, as a 19 year old in the Florida State League. His counterpart, the heir to the catching throne Austin Romine, threw out both runners that attempted to steal a base.

Scranton got shut out, as Eric Hacker made his debut in Scranton (replacing Phil Hughes in the rotation). Hacker made a solid debut, striking out 8, with no walks, but had one bad inning with 5 runs scoring.

Trenton won, behind a shutout by George Kontos. Charleston lost in the 9th inning, behind a double steal, which the catcher threw the ball into centerfield, and the centerfielder threw the ball away. Both runners scored. In an unrelated play, Carmen Angelini made his 14th error (in 17 games. He's on pace for 100+ errors.

Scranton losses to Lehigh Valley 6-0
Todd Linden 1-4, 2B, 2K
Shelley Duncan 2-4
Juan Miranda 1-4, K
Austin Jackson 2-3, K - .351
Eric Hacker 6 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 0 BB, 8 K - One bad inning

Trenton def CT. 2-0
Reegie Corona 2-3, 2 R, BB, SB
Colin Curtis 2-4 - .371
Jorge Vazquez 1-4, RBI, K
Marcos Vechionacci 2-3, RBI, BB, K, E (6)
Frankie Cervelli 1-4, K
George Kontos 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 K, 3 WP's
Michael Dunn 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K

Tampa def Lakeland 3-1
Austin Krum 1-3, RBI, 2 BB, 1 K
Jesus Montero 2-4, 2 HR (4), 2 RBI - .371
Brandon Laird 1-4, K
Austin Romine 0-3, R, BB - Threw out both runners attempting to steal
Jack Rye 2-4
Wilkins De La Rosa 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K
Jason Stevens 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K

Charleston losses to Ashville 7-6
Carmen Angelini 0-4, R, BB, K, E (14)
Ray Kruml 2-5, R, 2B, RBI, 2 K
David Adams 1-3, BB, K
Brian Baisley 2-5, 2B, HR (1), 4 RBI, K
Melky Mesa 2-4, 2 K
Dan Brewer 3-4
David Phelps 6.2 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K
Pat Vendette .2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 0 K - LP
Read the full post, after the jump

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tracking Phil Hughes' fastball velocity vs. Tigers via MLB Gameday

Since a lot of Yankee fans are pretty obsessed with Phil Hughes fastball velocity, we figured it would be worth keeping an eye on. I love the data available to the average fan using MLB Gameday. Here's what we are seeing for Hughes velocity on his fastballs:

6 fastballs @ 94 MPH
4 fastballs @ 93 MPH
3 fastballs @ 92 MPH or lower

3 fastballs @ 93 MPH
1 fastball @ 92 MPH
1 fastball @ 91 MPH
Gotta say, Hughes looks pretty good through two. 3 K's, 0 BB. He's throwing pretty hard, too.

3 fastballs @ 93 MPH
6 fastballs @ 92 MPH
2 fastballs @ 91 MPH

1 fastball @ 93 MPH
6 fastballs @ 91 MPH
1 fastball @ 89 MPH
There were a few pitches that gameday has read as his fastball thrown at 87-88, but to my eye, they were really Hughes' cutter, so I'm not listing those.

3 fastballs @ 93 MPH
2 fastballs @ 92 MPH
Just got a funny text from my buddy Brendan who blogs for Smoking With Hank: "Hughes is becoming a man tonight." Is he right?

3 fastballs @ 93 MPH
4 fastballs @ 92 MPH
4 fastballs @ 91 MPH
After the Yankees batted for a half hour, the Yankees took Hughes out. He threw 99 pitches and only gave up 2 hits in 6 innings. Pretty good 2009 debut, no?
Read the full post, after the jump

BREAKING: Yankees To Adjust Prices For Legends and Delta Seats - Good Luck Understanding The Details

Mike Francesa just read the press release from Hal Steinbrenner on WFAN. More details after the jump. Looks like the Yankees made this as confusing as possible. If you have seats in the Legends section or Delta section, we recommend reading this closely. As for us, we'll just report on this one and let those who it affects break it down. If anyone cares to break it down in a simpler way, feel free to do so in the comments. Kudos to the Yankees for biting the bullet and doing the right thing, but we have to assume this is one of the more embarrassing press releases that the Yankee media relations staff has ever had to write.

“A few weeks ago I indicated that in light of the economy we would review the pricing of a small number of our premium locations at Yankee Stadium; specifically, our Suite Seats. I mentioned a small number of locations because in excess of 3.4 million seats, including 37,000 full season equivalents as well as approximately 85% of all our premium locations have already been sold. Yet, there are a few hundred Suite Seats in our premium locations that have not been sold on a full season basis. As a result, and for many of our fans who have already purchased full season Suite Seats in such premium locations, the Yankees are announcing today a program that adjusts certain prices and benefits affecting such Suite Seats.”

For the 2009 regular season only, the following price adjustments and benefits are being adopted effective immediately for a few hundred Legends Suite and Delta Sky 360 Suite Licensees.

A. The full season Legends Suite and Ticket Licenses in the first row in Sections 15A, 15B, 24B and 25 will be reduced from $2,500 to $1,250 per regular season game. All fans who have purchased such full season Suite and Ticket Licenses will receive, at their choice, a refund or a credit.

B. The full season Legends Suite and Ticket Licenses in the first row in Sections 11, 12, 13, 27B, 28 and 29 will be reduced from $1,000 to $650 per regular season game. All fans who have purchased such full season Suite and Ticket Licenses will receive, at their choice, a refund or a credit.

C. All fans who purchased full season $2,500 Legends Suite and Ticket Licenses in the first row, in Sections 16 – 24A, will receive an equal number of complimentary Legends Suite Seats in the first row in Sections 16 – 24A for each of the remaining regular season games during the 2009 regular season.

D. All fans who purchased full season $1,250 Legends Suite and Ticket Licenses will receive an equal number of complimentary Legends Suite Seats in the $1,250 Legends Suite price category for 24 games during the 2009 regular season, as selected by the Yankees.

E. All fans who purchased full season $850 Legends Suite and Ticket Licenses will receive an equal number of complimentary Legends Suite Seats in the $850 Legends Suite price category for 8 games and in the $500 Legends Suite price category for 4 games during the 2009 regular season, as selected by the Yankees.

F. All fans who purchased full season $600 Legends Suite and Ticket Licenses will receive an equal number of complimentary Legends Suite Seats in the $500 Legends Suite price category for 10 games during the 2009 regular season, as selected by the Yankees.

G. All fans who purchased full season $500 Legends Suite and Ticket Licenses will receive an equal number of complimentary Legends Suite Seats in the $500 Legends Suite price category for 8 games during the 2009 regular season, as selected by the Yankees.

H. Future 2009 regular season sales of full season $1,250, $850, $600 and $500 Legends Suite and Ticket Licenses, will receive comparable (dependent upon the price of the Legends Suite and Ticket License) benefits during the 2009 regular season, subject to availability.

I. The Delta SKY 360 Suite and Ticket Licenses in the first row in Sections 218A – 222 will be reduced from $750 to $550 for each regular season game. All fans who have purchased such full season Suite and Ticket Licenses will receive, at their choice, a refund or a credit.

In addition, for 2009, so as to encourage fans to purchase full season ticket plans in the Field Level Sections 115 – 125, the Yankees are also adopting a program affecting a few hundred seats. And, for our fans who have already purchased, on a full season basis such Field Level seating priced at $325 Sections 115 – 125, the following program is being adopted effective immediately:

A. Going forward all fans when purchasing, on a full season basis, three (3) full regular season ticket plans priced at $325 per regular season game in Sections 115 – 125 will receive a fourth full regular season ticket at no additional cost.

B. All fans who have purchased full season plans priced at $325 per regular season game will receive complimentary regular season tickets within Sections 115 – 125 for remaining regular season games during the 2009 regular season as follows:

1. If you purchased two (2) or three (3) full season tickets you will receive two (2) tickets for every other regular season game, commencing with either the Thursday evening game on April 30, 2009 or the Friday evening game on May 1, 2009 and alternating for the remainder of the season.
2. If you purchased four (4) or five (5) full season tickets you will receive two (2) tickets for every regular season game during the balance of the 2009 regular season, commencing with the Thursday evening game on April 30, 2009.

3. If you purchased six (6) or seven (7) full season tickets you will receive three (3) tickets for every regular season game during the balance of the 2009 regular season, commencing with the Thursday evening game on April 30, 2009.

4. If you purchased eight (8) full season tickets you will receive four (4) tickets for every regular season game during the balance of the 2009 regular season, commencing with the Thursday evening game on April 30, 2009.

Read the full post, after the jump

Get Used To Large Announced Attendances With Sparsely Populated Seats At The New Yankee Stadium

We were recently introduced to the extremely useful It is essentially - but for event tickets instead of airline tickets. In other words, the search engine has access to inventory for tickets from multiple sources and aggregates them within a well-designed website (why don't we ever think of this stuff?!) In perusing the website for Yankee tickets, we realized that there is considerably more inventory on the secondary market for Yankee tickets than for any other baseball team. This may explain why Yankee Stadium looked so empty during the first homestand.

This shouldn't come as a surprise - it was months ago when we first pointed out that Yankee fans were justifying irrational ticket upgrades with ideas of putting excess on the secondary market. Finally, we have some proof of the Yankees success in scaring fans into purchasing tickets that they had no intention of using.

The Yankees officially state the maximum capacity of the new Yankee Stadium at 52,235, which includes "approximately" 2,000 standing room only tickets. However, the Yankees announced opening day's crowd of 48,271 as a sell out. Therefore, we will operate under the assumption that 48,271 is the maximum number of Yankee tickets that could ever be on the secondary market (standing room only will only be day of game sales, if they ever start selling them).

Referring back to, the number of tickets available for the remaining 75 Yankee games is ridiculous. Doing math based on the rounded numbers of tickets available according to the site (which does not include all ticket brokers, or Craigs List), an average of 16,900 Yankee tickets are available on the secondary market for each game. In other words, 35% of the per-game inventory sold by the Yankees is now back on the market, presumably with the intent of making a profit. Even worse, ticket inventory for "premium" games such as the Red Sox and the Mets come in at over 20,000 tickets available. According to nearly half of the tickets sold for the premium games were bought just to sell and and these totals don't even include outlets such as Craigs List. For some perspective, the Mets secondary market doesn't have one game with 10,000 tickets available - not even when the Yankees visit their cross-town rivals in Queens.

While large portions of the empty seats at the new Yankee Stadium can be attributed to the fact that the team still has plenty of good (and overpriced) seats available directly from their box office, there are other contributing factors. As evidenced above, the secondary market is completely flooded with tickets. It appears that people who purchased tickets in the "cheap" seats did so with the intent to sell many of the games in order to subsidize their ticket purchase. Premium games in these "cheap" seats are still going for above face value, so there is obvious secondary market demand for them. For such games, the unsuspecting ticket brokers (hardcore Yankee fans forced to upgrade to larger plans to keep their tickets) and regular ticket brokers (the people who take advantage of the free market) are taking profits, and the stadium is full.

However, when hardcore fans fail to attend the non-premium games and ticket brokers are unable to sell them, the result is a half-empty stadium for mid-week games against Oakland, as we saw last week. We were stuck at work last Wednesday and had to sell a pair of Grandstand tickets for $10. We were happy to get that, as some people were giving them away on Craigslist.

Aaron Elstein touched on the financial aspect of this in a recent Crain's NY article, but there is also a fan-friendliness angle to the new-fangled ticket sales model. By encouraging fans to sell tickets, the Yankees have made it harder on everyone. Typically, nobody feels bad for ticket scalpers. In this case, many of the "scalpers" are simply defacto ticket brokers, hawking their extra tickets so they can afford to attend the number of games they originally intended on going to.

Other Yankee fans, who can't commit to attending a game until the last minute, are left without an obvious venue to purchase affordable seats - even while outlets represented on FanSnap are flooded with tickets. Many of us are well-versed in the ways of Stubhub, but the majority of casual fans have never purchased tickets from an online broker and are leery about being ripped off. These people would rather go to or go to the Yankee box office to buy tickets for games that clearly aren't in high demand.

We don't have access to the numbers, but it can easily be assumed that walk-up ticket sales in the new Yankee Stadium have dramatically decreased. How couldn't they? All of the available tickets are on sale through websites like, and are deactivated a few hours before the event. Affordable tickets are wasting away in cyberspace, while they could be in the hands of the box office to sell on the day of the game. Until this is fixed, Yankee fans who are priced out of the new stadium will have to deal with the frustration of seeing empty seats while they watch at home on TV.
Read the full post, after the jump

The NSI Minor League Report: Minor League Sweep

Monday 4/27

The minor league system had a sweep (someone has to win). Ian Kennedy pitched a solid 4 2/3 innings and was removed for an undisclosed injury. Shelley Duncan, John Rodriguez and Juan Miranda all homered for Scranton. Trenton was off, while Tampa was aided by Jeramy Bleich's 6 shutout innings. Charleston also was aided by good pitching by Manny Bannuelos, who gave up 1 run in 4 innings, before being pulled due to a strict pitch count.

Scranton def Rochester 7-3
John Rodriguez 3-5, HR, RBI, K
Shelley Duncan 3-5, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, BB, K
Juan Miranda 1-5, HR, 2 RBI, 2 K
Austin Jackson 1-5, 2 R, 2B, SB (5)
Eric Duncan 0-4, BB, 4 K, E - Ouch
Luis Nunez 3-4, RBI
Ian Kennedy 4.2 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K - Undisclosed Injury
Zach Kroenke 2.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K
Anthony Clagget 2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

Trenton scheduled day off

Tampa def Lakeland 6-0
Austin Krum 3-4, 2 R, BB, K
Jesus Montero 2-4, 2B, RBI, K
Brandon Laird 0-4, RBI, K
Austin Romine (c) 1-3 - No stolen base attempts against, thrown out for arguing a call
Matt Cusick 2-4, R, 2 2B, RBI
Jeramy Bleich 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K
Adam Olbrychowski 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K

Charleston def Savannah 6-1
Carmen Angelini 0-3, R, E (13) - Let me take back the heir apparent tag
Austin Kruml 1-3, 2 R, RBI, 2 SB (6)
David Adams 2-3, R, 2B, 2 RBI, BB & K, 2 SB (3)
Abraham Almonte 0-4
Chase Weems 2-3, R, 3B, RBI
Manny Banuelos 4 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K - taken out due to a strict pitch count.
Read the full post, after the jump

Monday, April 27, 2009

The NSI Minor League Report: Post Sweep

Sunday 4/25

The minor league system took some hits, with all the shuffling to The Bronx. Trenton was hurt the most, with a reliever, Kanokoa Texeira having to make a start. Trenton lost 11-3. Scranton also lost behind journeymen, Jason Johnson. Jose Valdez made his relief appearance for Scranton and stepped in nicely, throwing 3 innings of hitless ball in Scranton's 2nd loss of the season. Tampa lost behind an imploding bullpen, while Charleston was the only winner in the system.

Scranton lost to Rochester 7-3
Todd Linden 2-4, R. 2 2B, RBI
Shelley Duncan 0-4, K
Juan Miranda 1-2, RBI, BB
Austin Jackson 0-4, 3 K - threw a runner out at home
Eric Duncan 0-3, BB
Jason Johnson 5 IP, 6 H, 7 R. 6 ER, 5 BB, 1 K
Jose Valdez 3 IP, 0's, 3 K

Trenton lost to New Britain 11-3
Reegie Corona 0-4, BB & K
Eduardo Nunez 1-5, RBI
Colin Curtis 1-3, R, 2B, RBI
Frankie Cervelli 0-3, 2 K
Kevin Smith 2-3, R, BB
James Cooper 2-4, R, 2B
Kankoa Texeira 2 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 4 K
Noel Castillo 2.1 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
Kevin Whelan 1.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

Tampa lost to Clearwater 6-4
Jesus Montero (c) 1-5, 2 K - 3 for 3 in stolen bases attempts against
Austin Romien 3-5, R, RBI, K
Damon Sublett 1-4, R, 2B, K
Delin Betances 6.1 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K - decent bounce back game
Jon Heyer 1.2 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 0 K - LP

Charleston def Savannah 8-3
Carmen Angelini 1-5, R, K- E (12) in 15 games
David Adams 2-4, R, RBI - Can he play short?
Abraham Almonte 0-3, R, BB & K
Taylor Grote 2-3, 2 R, 2B, RBI, BB
Garrison Lassiter 2-4, 3B, 2 RBI
DJ Mitchell 6 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 6 K Read the full post, after the jump

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The NSI Minor League Report: Scranton wins on a field goal

Saturday 4/25

Scranton tied the game with two runs in the 8th and 9th innings. The team scored the go ahead runs in the 10th, 11th, and 12th innings, only to have their bullpen give the game back. In the 13th, Scranton put the game away with 3 runs, which the bullpen was able to protect (sounds like th Yanks/Red Sox Game). The team is 14-1 and is 5 games in front of the pack. Shelley Duncan had 6 RBI's.

Trenton and Tampa lost. Trenton had 5 hits, while Tampa managed only 2. Charleston won, but Andrew Brackman seems to alternate between being sharp and not being able to get the ball over the plate. Yesterday's game was not one of Brackman's better games, as he struggled to throw strikes, and didn't make it through 5 innings.

The 3 call ups to The Bronx set in motion, massive changes throughout all levels of minor leagues for the Yanks. Trenton and Tampa were probably weakened the most, as they got lesser players and scrubs from Extended Spring Training to replace the call ups.

Scranton def Rochester 17-14 (13 innings)
John Rodriguez 5-7, 4 R, 2 2B, 2 RBI, BB
Todd Linden 2-4, 2 R, RBI, 3 BB
Shelley Duncan 3-7, 2 R, 2B, HR, 6 RBI, BB
Juan Miranda 2-8, R, HR, 2 RBI, 3 K
Austin Jackson 2-7, R, 2B, RBI, BB, 3 K
Eric Duncan 4-7, 3 R, 2 2B, 2 RBI, BB, 2 K
Kei Igawa 4 IP, 9 H, 8 R, 6 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 4 HR's - 8 HR's in 16 IP
JB Cox 2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 0 BB & K
Zach Kroenke 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K
Brett Tomko 2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K
Anthony Clagett 2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K

Trenton lost to New Britian 5-1
Eduardo Nunez 2-4, R, 2B
Colin Curtis 3-4, 2 2B
Ryan Pope 6 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4 K

Tampa lost to Clearwater 8-0 (had 2 hits)
Brandon Laird 1-3, BB, K
Jesus Montero (c) 0-4, K - 1 for 2 in throwing out runners attempting to steal
Austin Romine 1-3
Ryan Zink 4 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 K

Charleston Def Savannah 7-5
Carmen Angelini 1-5, R, K - 11th Error in 14 games
Brian Baisley 2-3, 2B, 3 RBI
Abraham Almonte 0-4, K
Mitch Albeita 1-2, 2 R, 3B, 2 BB, K
Garrison Lassiter 2-3, 2 RBI
Andrew Brackman 4.2 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 3 BB & K's
Pat Vendette 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K's - SV (5)
Read the full post, after the jump

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Yankees vs. Red Sox May Be A Rivalry, But We Want To Make Friends With A Boston Blogger

Believe it or not, we have never been to Fenway Park. It isn't because we have anything against the old place, or because we dislike the city of Boston. For whatever reason, when we have been in Boston, baseball has been on hiatus. That all changes in 2009. We are going to make sure that we not only see a baseball game at Fenway Park, but we see the greatest rivalry in sports - Yankees vs. Red Sox.

What we have is an interesting proposal for any Red Sox blogger out there. We will provide you with a pair of tickets for Yankees vs. Red Sox on Saturday August 8 (4:10 PM) at the New Yankee Stadium, and in return we are looking for a pair of tickets for Redsox vs. Yankees on Saturday August 22 (4:10 PM) at Fenway Park.

We will also link to your blog in the days leading up to our trip, and your blog will be prominently mentioned in our postmortem game review post. For a Red Sox blogger with season tickets, and a relatively new blog, this can be a great opportunity to get your blog on the map!

Our season tickets at Yankee Stadium are in section 428, Row 10. Currently, the lowest price on Stubhub for tickets in this section for August 8 is $86 per seat. Obviously, prices for even the cheapest pair at Fenway on August 22 are more expensive - to the tune of $130 per ticket! Therefore, this proposal would probably be best for an up and coming Red Sox blog that wants the residual traffic and valuable back-linking that would result from this swap.

If anyone is interested, but needs some more information first, please contact us via the "contact us" page at the top of the blog. We'll be happy to delve into more details about the traffic that our blog can generate, and how this trade proposal can be beneficial for both blogs. We promise that if we do make the trade, we won't get into a fight in your seats and get your season tickets revoked. Then again, isn't fighting encouraged in Boston? We kid, we kid. Read the full post, after the jump

The NSI Minor League Report: April 24th

Scranton, Trenton and Tampa all won behind solid pitching efforts by Alfredo Aceves, Ivan Nova and Lance Pendelton respectively. Austin Jackson had a triple and two RBI's and has gotten a hit in every game that he's gotten an at bat. Ajax is hitting .405, but hasn't regained his stroke since sitting for 4 games.

Jesus Montero went 3 for 4 in Tampa, and has his batting average up to .396. Brandon Laird finally got his first home run of the year, hitting a 3 run blast. In Charleston, Brett Marshall got rocked, giving up 10 hits and 6 earned runs in 5 innings.

Scranton def Rochester 6-2
Todd Linden 3-5, R, RBI, K
Shelley Duncan 2-5, R, RBI
Juan Miranda 1-4, 2 R, RBI, BB, K
Austin Jackson 1-4, R, RBI, 3B, 2 RBI - .405
Alfredo Aceves 6.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K - That's the pitcher we saw last year
Anthony Clagett 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, BB, 0 K

Trenton def New Britian 6-3
Colin Curtis 1-4, R, K
James Cooper 1-2, 2 R
Jorge Vazquez 1-4, K
Frankie Cervelli 1-3, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, BB
Chris Malec 2-2, 2B, RBI, BB
Ivan Nova 7 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K
Kevin Whelan 1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 0 K - Two 4 pitch walks
Jose Valdez 1 IP, 0's, 1 K - SV (4)

Tampa def Clearwater 6-1
Eric Freyer 1-3, 2 R, BB,
Jesus Montero 3-4, R - .396
Brandon Laird 1-4, HR (1), 3 RBI
Austin Romine (C) 2-4, RBI - 1/2 with runners attempting to steal
Lance Pendelton 7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
Jon Heyer 1 IP, 0's

Charleston lost to Augusta 8-4
Dan Brewer 2-5, 2B, K
David Adams 2-5, R, RBI
Mitch Albeita 1-3, RBI, 2 BB, K
Garrison Lassiter 1-4, 2 RBI
Brett Marshall 5 IP, 10 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 0 BB, 2 K Read the full post, after the jump

Friday, April 24, 2009

Help Wanted: Media Trainer and Publicist For Yankee Executive With Oral Diarrhea

This is an awkward moment in NSI history - two authors of the blog penning a similar post at the same time. Here is another take on today's Randy Levine media meltdown:

On the day that the Red Sox and Yankees renewed their famous rivalry, Yankee President Randy Levine had another franchise an entire league in his cross-hairs. Proving yet again that he is completely out of touch with the general public, Levine thought that completely ripping Major League Soccer and their commissioner would be the best way to respond to criticism about empty seats at the new Yankee Stadium. As quoted by the AP, Levine lashed out:

"Don Garber discussing Yankee attendance must be a joke," Levine said Friday. "We draw more people in a year than his entire league does in a year. If he ever gets Major League Soccer into the same time zone as the Yankees, we might take him seriously.

"Hey Don, worry about Beckham, not the Yankees. Even he wants out of your league."

While we can't argue the veracity of Levine's statement, we can easily question his choice of targets. Don Garber, the commissioner of a failing league, was simply lamenting the empty seat issue, saying "It's incomprehensible that you watch a game, and there will be front-row seats empty." Don Garber might be the commissioner of a sports league, but his sentiments very well could have been those of any Yankee fan - from superfan Freddy "Sez" to any one of the writers here on NSI.

The problem is, Randy Levine, Lonn Trost, and most of the other high level executives representing the New York Yankees are completely out of touch with the average Yankee fan. We're one bad interview away from Levine or Trost taking a page out of former Motorola CEO Ed Zander's book and saying "I love my job, I hate my customers [fans]."

It seems that evert time Levine is quoted, he is vehemently refuting someone else's critical statement . Levine is on the defensive at all times, and he is making the New York Yankees look bad. He even responded to a crazy idea that we shared with Richard Sandomir of the NY Times, suggesting that the Yankees tear down the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar.

The time has come for the Yankees to reel Randy Levine in by hiring a media trainer to work with him around the clock. Until he learns the proper way to conduct an interview, the Steinbrenners should ban him from speaking to the press. After the training is over, the Yankee should hire a publicist for Levine who will stay by his side at all times that there is even a remote chance of him speaking to the press.

The New York Yankees are the most famous franchise in sports and are worth $1.5 billion. When will their upper level executives stop making asinine quotes to the media as if they are cocky ivy league graduates running a startup? Read the full post, after the jump

Randy Levine Attacks MLS Commish, Makes Yanks Look Silly

Yankee President Randy Levine responded harshly to comments made by Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber. Major League Soccer's commish said on Thursday, "It's incomprehensible that you watch a game, and there will be front-row seats empty," in reference to the expensive seats that remain empty at Yankee Stadium.

"We draw more people in a year than his entire league does in a year. If he ever gets Major League Soccer into the same time zone as the Yankees, we might take him seriously," Levine responded on Friday

I suppose he may mean that the MLS needs to enter the Eastern Time Zone. That way they can be in the same time zone as the Yankees. Not really sure what Levine was trying to do there.

What Levine says is ultimately true though, the Yankees do in fact outdraw the entire MLS in attendance. But Is it really necessary for the president of the New York Yankees to get into a war of words with the commissioner of the MLS? After all, the Yankees outdraw the entire MLS. Levine himself said that.

For an organization that prides itself on class and success, the Yankees seem to have forgotten the "class" part of that formula. Something feels completely wrong about Levine taking shots at America's professional soccer league, one in desperate need of support in this country. Soccer remains the most popular sport in the world, and completely unpopular in the US, as indicated by horrendous attendance.

While some may say that Garber and the MLS deserve Randy Levine's scorn, Levine simply continues the trend of blind unaccountability from the "world's strongest sports brand," as Garber referred to the Yanks as on Friday. The problem here is that Randy Levine and Lonn Trost represent precisely what makes the Yankees unlikable, as they embody the complete disconnect between the Yankees and its loyal fans. Deny it if you want, but Randy Levine firing barbs at the MLS makes the Yankees look very silly. Read the full post, after the jump

A Plea To Save Part Of The Old (Renovated) Yankee Stadium

This is something that all NSI readers should check out. The website "Yankee Stadium Memorial At Heritage Park," has been created to help convince the Yankee organization to keep a part of the old, renovated Yankee Stadium as a memorial. We were under the impression this was already in the plans, but apparently it isn't, since a website has been dedicated to the cause.

All they are asking for is part of the frieze and the old Gate 2 to stay. Can anyone think of any reason this is not a great idea? The renderings look great, and it will make "Heritage Field" even more special. More about their plans, and more photos courtesy of the Yankee Stadium Memorial At Heritage Park website if you
In addition to being a dramatic entranceway to the new Heritage Park, the Gate's fortuitous position on 161st Street, directly across from the new Stadium, would serve as a dramatic physical and visual transition from the old Stadium to the new.

The Gate could be lighted from both the front and from "inside" creating a stunning nighttime effect.

Additionally, some of the existing Frieze could be incorporated, as shown, to create an even
more dramatic effect.

Read the full post, after the jump

Is There A Dedication Plaque At The New Yankee Stadium?

Back in 1998, when Eric Okurowski started his long-standing baseball website,, people were still hanging out in chat rooms on AOL and connecting to the internet via 56k modem. Anyone maintaining an interweb portal for that long is hardcore, so we were honored when he emailed us yesterday. Eric, a Met fan, has already been to Yankee Stadium twice and enjoyed his trips thoroughly. However, as a stadium connoisseur, he has been bothered by the fact that he couldn't find a "dedication plaque" at the new stadium, and wanted to know if we had any luck in doing so. For those of you unaware ignorant to the dedication plaque tradition (like us), you can take a look at some photos from Citi Field and from Camden Yards.

Eric was quick to point out that the old Yankee Stadium did not have a dedication plaque, so it is entirely possible that one does not exist for the new Yankee Stadium. It seems like a nice touch, but we won't be surprised if the Yankees left it out. It seems like many of the small details that make a ballpark seem finished and more welcoming were never added at the new Yankee Stadium, evidenced by the industrial and gray feel.

Since we are stumped, we will leave this one up to the readers. Has anyone seen a dedication plaque at the New Yankee Stadium? Does Yankee tradition precede the tradition of a dedication plaque? Was the George Steinbrenner statue built in place of a dedication plaque? Does this matter to anyone other than the person who runs an awesome baseball stadium website? Let us know in the comments! Read the full post, after the jump

Plenty Of Good Seats Available For Upcoming Premium Yankee Games - And We're Not Only Talking About The Legends Seats

When it was announced that there were going to be seats on top of the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar, reminiscent of the "Green Monster Seats" at Fenway Park, we were all ears. When word came of a climate controlled sports bar in center field, featuring unique views from the batters eye, we were pestering Yankee ticket reps for information every day. When we found out about seats down the left field line offering unlimited food along with the price of admission, the fat guy in us reared its ugly head and we wanted in. Last week, the Yankees finally released tickets for the Bleacher Cafe, Mohegan Sun Sports Bar and The Audi Yankees Club - the public has responded with disinterest. The Yankees have misread the market yet again and just like with the "greatest seats in the world," inventory is stagnant.

A few quick searches of reveal availability in all of these exciting seats for nearly every premium game. The first game against the Red Sox on May 4? $90 plus Ticketmaster's exorbitant fees and you will be watching the game from the first row of the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar. A Saturday, May 23 game against the nearby Philadelphia Phillies? $130 per ticket plus ridiculous fees and your family of four will be a chowing down on unlimited food and watching a ball game from the first row of the Audi Club. The June 13 Saturday tilt against the cross-town rival Mets? $125 will have you baking in the sun on the top of the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar in Row 2 of the Bleacher Cafe seats. We can do this all day - the point is that there are plenty of seats available for the best games, and not only in the thousand dollar seats...
Some of this can be attributed to poor dissemination of information by the Yankees. For example, today we had someone comment on the blog and ask:
Is this ALL I need to walk into Yankee Stadium, sit down inside the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar" for the entire duration of the game and watch? Or do I need an additional ticket for a "regular" seat somewhere in the stadium? Do I get to spend the entire game inside the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar, or do I get a limited amount of time?
The Yankees have information about the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar on, but when perusing, it is a real leap of faith to spend $90 plus fees for a ticket in what is termed as a "sports bar."

A few days ago, the anonymous author of the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar review on River Ave. Blues contacted us regarding the sports bar. He mentioned that a friend of his was curious about the secondary market for the interesting seats in the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar and the Bleacher Cafe. Apparently, she is willing to pay $45 for seats in the Mohegan Sun Sports bar - tickets with a face value of $90. There is obviously a gap in what these seats cost, and what they are deemed to be worth by Yankee fans. Obviously, a secondary market cannot develop unless the tickets are sold by the organization first.

As usual, we come prepared with a solution for the Yankees' problems. The organization does not have any season ticket holders to answer to when considering ticket prices for the Audi Yankees Club, the Bleacher Cafe, or the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar. While this means they are unable to scare people into buying more games than they want, it also allows the Yankees to be flexible with the ticket prices. There has been much speculation lately, regarding the Yankees lowering ticket prices. There is no better place to start than with these fascinating seating options. People will certainly be interested - but only on their terms. That is why were are endorsing ticket auctions, run by the Yankees, deciding what these seats cost. Why leave the seats empty, especially seats from unique perspectives that Yankee fans have not yet experienced?

Bidding should start at the following prices:

Bleacher Cafe

A view from the Bleacher Cafe seats, courtesy of the 3-D seat selector on

Face Value: $125
Recommended Auction Starting Price: $35
Even pricing these seats at three times the face value of the bleacher seats just next door seems a bit absurd. That being said, the seats have backs, unlike the bleachers, and they are closer to the field of play than any of the upper deck seats, so $35 seems to be a good compromise. For mid-week day games, the Yankees may not even receive bids. For premium games, perhaps the Yankees will eventually come closer to reaching their original face value. Let the fans decide.

Mohegan Sun Sports Bar

A view from the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar seats, courtesy of the 3-D seat selector on

Face Value: $90
Recommended Auction Starting Price: $55

We'll admit that the climate control offered by the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar has the potential to be highly sought this summer. That being said, the Yankees are trying to charge $90 plus fees for the privilege to watch a game from a sports bar, through a tinted glass window. The scoreboard is nowhere in sight, and crowd noise is non-existent leaving fans completely disconnected from the game they are paying a lot of money to attend in person. Start the bidding at $55 and let the market play out.

The Audi Yankees Club

A view from the Audi Yankees Club seats, courtesy of the 3-D seat selector on

Face Value: $140 ($75 for ticket, $65 for food)
Recommended Auction Starting Price: $120 ($70 for ticket, $50 for food)

All you can eat food has a price, and we think $50 is a fair one. As for the cost of the actual seat, we recognize that it isn't too far out of line with the pricing in the rest of the stadium, since seats directly below are $60. When considering the climate control, the Yankees actual kept pricing in line with seats that have actually sold out for most games. The food seems a bit pricey, and for auction purposes, we would recommend lowering the cost of it. Remember, these seats are not selling at their inflated prices, so cuts need to be made somewhere.

It will be a shame if the Yankees are stubborn and keep current prices for these seats in place. The Yankees, always in denial, will likely attribute slow sales in these seats to lack of information and recent on-sale dates. They need to come to grips and fast. The first games ever in the new Yankee Stadium against the Red Sox are fast approaching, and seats remain unsold. As die-hard Yankee fans with jobs that provide a bit of discretionary income, we still can't justify paying what the Yankees are asking - even for premium games, and even though we are curious about the seats. If that isn't a problem that needs to be addressed, what is?
Read the full post, after the jump

The NSI Minor League Report: Jorge Vazquez Who?

Thursday 4/23

Jorge Vazquez made his debut in Trenton and supplied all of the offense, driving home all 4 runs with a homer and single. Vazquez is a right handed masher that was a late International FA signing out of Mexico. Keep an eye on him. Zach McAllister got back on track, throwing 7 innings of 2 hit ball, with no walks.

Tampa shutout its' opponent, behind Wilkins de la Rosa's first start from the DL. DLR gave up 1 hit in 4 innings (he's still building up arm strength). Jesus Montero provided the run support, driving in 3.

Charleston lost 8-7. Most of the offense was supplied by their 4th and 5th outfielders, who can't get enough playing time, Dan Brewer (4 for 5) and Matt Lyon (3 for 4)

Scranton Scheduled day off

Trenton def New Britian 4-1
Eduardo Nunez, Marcos Veccionachi & Colin Curtis 1-3
Jorge Vazquez 2-4, R, HR, 4 RBI, 2 K - He's a DH & first basemen
Zach McAllister 7 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K
Michael Dunn 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K - SV

Tampa def Brevard County 6-0
Eric Fryer 2-4, 2 R, 2B, RBI, BB
Jesus Montero 2-4, R, 3 RBI, K
Brandon Laird 1-2, RBI, 2 BB
Austin Romine (C) 1-3, RBI - 3 attempted SB's, 1 was thrown out
Wilkins De la Rosa 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K
Jason Stevens 4 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K

Charleston lost to Augusta 8-7
Carmen Angelini 1-5, R, 2B, K, 2 E's (10)
Dan Brewer 4-5, 3 R, HR, 3 RBI
David Adams 0-4, BB & K
Brian Baisley 2-4, R, 2B, RBI, BB, 2 K
Matt Lyon 3-4, 2 2B, K
David Phelps 4 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K
Read the full post, after the jump

Thursday, April 23, 2009

George Steinbrenner Biography - Book Review Pt. 1

George was never a dynasty builder, because he was incapable of leaving well enough alone. He was a compulsive meddler who had to be in complete control over every aspect of the organization, and his most detrimental flaw was that he always thought that because he had once been a coach, he knew more about the sport than his coaches."
--Peter Golenbock, from the new George Steinbrenner biography, (You might be surprised to learn that the above quote is actually referring to a then 30-year-old George Steinbrenner's time as owner of the Cleveland Pipers, a professional

The folks over Wiley Publishing were kind enough to send over a copy of George: The Poor Little Rich Boy Who Built The Yankee Empire for NSI to check out. Wiley has also been cool about allowing us to publish a few excerpts from the book on our site, which we'll do in the next couple of weeks in a multi-part series. In the first hundred pages, it'll become painfully obvious to readers that taking the reigns of the Yankees wasn't really a matter of choice for Big Stein; it was more like a matter of time.

The first couple of chapters drag a bit: remembering old Yankee Stadium and ushering in the age of The House That George Built. It also covers George's childhood with his very strict father, his adolescent years, and his transition from annoying spoiled rich kid to annoyingly-successful-but-still-spoiled richer adult. If you stick it out, you'll be rewarded with some expository writing that sketches an enigmatic egomaniac in the making. In the anecdote below, Golenbock describes an all too familiar-sounding George, who ran his teams in his own distinct way:
"The Pipers [the basketball team Steinbrenner owned from 1960-62] had a slim lead over the Pittsburgh Rens, led by Connie 'The Hawk' Hawkins, and Steinbrenner saw that the Rens had to play three games against Hawaii right at the end ... The Hawk was averaging forty-two points a game, except when he played against [Pipers' Center Dick Brott], who held the star to seventeen points a game. George ... traded Brott to Hawaii so he could help them beat Pittsburgh and give the Pipers the ... championship. Remarkably, it turned out just that way."
Stories like the ones George includes don't happen by accident. No stranger to sports biographies, Golenbock answers a lot of the questions that Yankee fans and Yankee detractors have had since he took over the team in 1973: What the hell is wrong with this guy? How did he get this way? Was he always like this? This last passage epitomizes the relationship between George and his father, Henry, in the days when George was working for his dad as described by family friend Patsy Stecher:
"The father ... took him into a room, gave him holy hell, and fired George. The next morning Geroge was going to get up real early and clean out his office so he could have one-upmanship on his father ... there was a knock at the door [at George and his wife Joan's house], and it was his father, who was carrying all the contents of his office desk. He dumped it all on their living room floor and left. His father beat him to it."
The book is in stores now. Love him or hate him, it's a good read at under 350 pages. You know how the story ends, but it might be cool to find out how it wound up there.
Read the full post, after the jump

The NSI Minor League Report: The Day of The Melky's

Wednesday 4/22

Scranton got back on the winning side, behind a stellar game from Phil Hughes, who went 7.2 innings, and gave up one run, one walk and seven strikeouts. His curve was on, and he got 4 of his strikeouts on the improved hook. Phil's changeup is still a work in progress.

Trenton and Tampa lost. Frankie Cervelli seems to have gotten though his early season slump, as he had his second consecutive multi hit game. Staying with the catching prospects, the opposition continues to steal at will off of Jesus Montero. Four runners successfully stole a base in 6 attempts.

The Charleston Sea Dogs routed their opponent, 13-2, behind solid pitching from Manny Bannuelos and a two home night from Melky Mesa.

Scranton def Buffalo 6-1
Doug Bernier 3-5, R, 2 2B, K
John Rodriguez 1-3, R, 2 BB
Todd Linden 2-5, R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, K
Shelley Duncan 0-3, BB
Juan Miranda 0-4
Austin Jackson 1-4, R, K, SB (4)
Angel Berroa 2-4, R, RBI, K
Phil Hughes 7.2 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K - 3-0, 1.86 ERA
Mark Melancon 1.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K - 0.00 ERA

Trenton losses to Binghamton 4-2
Reegie Corona 2-4, RBI, K
Colin Curtis 1-4
Frankie Cervelli 2-3, R, 2B, BB
George Kontos 5 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 7 K
Kenekoa Texeira 2 IP, 1 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 0 K - I couldn't avoid spelling his name all season

Tampa losses to Brevard County 5-4
Austin Krum 1-4, RBI, K
Jesus Montero (C) 0-3, 2 BB - 4 out 6 attempted stolen bases were successful
Damon Sublett 1-3, R, 2B, BB, K - 2 errors
Austin Romine 2-4, 2 R, 2B, K
Wady Ruffino 1-3, 2B, 2 RBI
Jeramy Bleich 5 IP,4 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
Jon Hovis 2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K

Charleston def Augusta 13-2
Carmen Angelini 2-6, R, RBI, 2 K, E (8th)
David Adams 0-4, R, BB, 2 K
Brian Baisley 3-4, 2 R, 2 2B, 4 RBI, BB, K
Abraham Almonte 1-3, R, RBI, K
Melky Mesa 3-5, 3 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI, K
Manny Bannuelos 5.1 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
Read the full post, after the jump

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Melkman is BACK
Recycled photoshop courtesy of Kaybli, of course

Two home runs, including the game-winner.

Perhaps Melky can offer this team something other than his great arm? Read the full post, after the jump

The NSI Minor League Report: Scranton's First Loss

Tuesday 4/21

Scranton had their first loss. They led 3-2 in the 8th, but a strikeout/passed ball put a runner on, combined with another throwing error combined with torrential rains, saw 4 unearned runs come across the plate against David Robertson. Austin Jackson was back in the lineup after missing 5 games.

Trenton and Tampa lost, with Dellin Betances taking a step back in his control. He walked 4 batters in 3.2 innings, while giving up 5 runs. DJ Mitchell continues to star in Charleston, giving up his first earned run and walk in 3 starts. He now has 1 walk against 22 strikeouts.

Scranton Losses to Buffalo 7-3
Todd Linden 1-2, R, RBI, 2 BB, K
Shelley Duncan 3-5, R, 2B
Juan Miranda 0-3, BB, K
Austin Jackson 1-4, RBI, K
Eric Duncan 0-3, BB, K
Ian Kennedy 6 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K
David Robertson 1.2 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K

Trenton Losses to Binghamton 8-5 (Rain shortened - 6 innings)
Colin Curtis 1-3, 2B, K - .350
Edwar Gonzalez 1-3, 2 R, RBI - .371
Frankie Cervelli 2-3, HR, 2 RBI - .129
Chris Malec 2-3, 2B, R, RBI
Eric Hacker 4 IP, 5 H, 8 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 2 K

Tampa Losses to Brevard City 10-2
Austin Krum 2-4, 2B, BB
Jesus Montero (C) 1-4, R - .381, 3 for 3 in stolen bases against
Brandon Laird 2-4, 2B, 2 RBI, K
Austin Romine 0-4
Dellin Betances 3.2 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 4 BB, 5 K - Previous 2 games, 3 BB's in 11 innings

Charleston def Savanah 5-4
Carmen Angelini 0-3, RBI, BB
David Adams 1-5, 2B, R, K
Brian Baisley 2-4, R
Abraham Almonte 2-4, 2 R, 2B, K
Melky Mesa 1-2, 2 R, BB, K
Chase Weems 2-4, RBI, K
DJ Mitchell 6 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K - 1 BB in 22 IP, .78 WHIP
Pat Venedette 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K - SV
Read the full post, after the jump

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Taking Away The Baseball - The Ugly Side Of High Ticket Prices And Exclusionary Stadium Design

Souvenirs can take on many meanings when referring to "a small and relatively inexpensive article given, kept, or purchased as a reminder of a place visited," even when the place visited is a Major League Baseball stadium. For some, it can be a ticket stub, for others, a foam finger from the team store. But for many people it is about 5 ounces and 9 inches of cushioned cork, covered by stitched rawhide leather, and topped with the signature of Allan H. "Bud" Selig. An official Major League Baseball - $12.99 in price, but worth a lifetime of memories.

All the discussion lately is about baseballs flying out of the park and into the stands at Yankee Stadium. Too bad for the average fan, these balls are flying into seats that cost hundreds of dollars. When home runs sailed into the seats at the old Yankee Stadium, the fans sitting in those seats paid as little as $12, and only as much as $70 for that once in a lifetime opportunity. If one's dream was to catch a home run at a baseball game, that dream was within affordable grasp. Today, the balls are rocketing out of the new Yankee Stadium in right-center field, but most of them are flying into seats with a game day face value of $150.

Home runs in the "2nd deck" (the 200's section) in left or right field at the new Yankee Stadium have a game day face value of $60. The only "cheap" seats within realistic home run territory are the $12 seats in the far right field section of the bleachers.

Going to a baseball game with the expectation of catching a home run has always been a recipe for shattered dreams. At most ballparks (not in New York City), however, there is an affordable choice of seats that will provide the opportunity to walk away with a foul ball or at the very least, a ball from batting practice. Unfortunately, the pricing and design of the new Yankee Stadium prevent those chances. Even the mainstream media has caught on - the prices for the best seats at Yankee Stadium are absurd. The closer you get to home plate, the more expensive the seats become. The new hot bed for foul balls is in the vicinity of section 215. Those seats cost $95 on game day, as compared to the $70 that the old hotbed in the Tier Box MVP seats used to cost at the old Yankee Stadium.

At the old Yankee Stadium, the close proximity of the Upper Deck allowed for the chance of a ball making it up to the "cheap" $25 seats in the Tier Reserved. Upon evaluating the new Yankee Stadium, we have come to the conclusion that a foul ball will never even reach the upper deck - not even the Terrace Level. In the few games that we have been to (including exhibitions), a ball nary sniffed the vicinity of the upper deck. The balls are now sailing into the seats on the main level. Once again, money talks.

An unpublicized, but popular method of catching a foul ball at the old Yankee Stadium was to circle the walkways on the field level. Security guards didn't let people stand around and block the narrow walkways, but as long as there was movement, there was nothing they could do to prevent it. This hypothetical person, pining for a foul ball used to have a chance. That is no longer the case. You'll never catch us complaining about the wide, open air concourses that provide optimal views of the field, but those concourses are completely under the structure of the stadium. They leave no chance for a foul ball to ever enter the public walking areas.

The last resort for the souvenir aficionado was always batting practice. Those arriving early enough to see batting practice from the field level raised their chances of going home with a Major League baseball exponentially. As long as you were a ticketed fan in the old Yankee Stadium, you could go anywhere before the game started outside of the areas closest to the dugouts.

As kids, we took advantage of this policy. We went to games on a regular basis and sometimes would leave with multiple balls from batting practice. There were days in the late 90's and early 00's when we used to give Major League baseballs away to little kids because so many had flown our way. It was a fun exercise in tracking major league fly balls and building camaraderie with fellow Yankee fans.

The new Yankee Stadium has taken away the easiest way for the average fan to go home with a lifetime memory, bundled in a 9 oz. package. Without tickets for seats that cost a minimum of $95, fans are not allowed anywhere near the actual field of play. Lets forget baseballs for a moment - there isn't even a way for a young baseball fan to have any memorable contact with the players that they idolize. In 1998, we attended the World Series and had our ticket stubs signed by the already-iconic Derek Jeter. Meeting our idol before a World Series game is a memory that will never fade. It has now become an opportunity that will only be afforded to spoiled, rich children.

Even through our early adult years, catching a baseball at a Major League Baseball game has stuck out as the aspect of attending that particular sport in person that set it apart from other sports. Nobody has ever gone to a football game with the idea of going home with a game-used pigskin. One would have to be crazy to go to a basketball game possessing thoughts of leaving the arena with a LeBron James game-used basketball. After a tragedy in a hockey arena some years ago, even the NHL has significantly lowered the odds of ever walking away from attending that live sport with a game-used souvenir. There is now a net around the seats closest to play.

With baseball, the possibility exists for a Miguel Cairo foul ball to land right in your seat, while you scramble into the walkway, spastically misjudging the trajectory of the ball. Or the Jim Leyritz ball off the plate that strangely bounces into the box seats and into your outstretched hand.

The Major League Baseball itself only carries a value of $12.99, and costs even less when using the discount at Modell's Sporting Goods that the Yankees and Modell's team up to offer annually. At the new Yankee Stadium, the opportunity of walking away with a ball of the game-used variety only exists for the privileged few, and many of the seats capable of producing these lifelong memories are left unsold. Probably not what George Steinbrenner had in mind when he announced during the groundbreaking ceremony that this stadium would be "for the fans."
Read the full post, after the jump

NSI Minor League Report: Only The Rain Can Slow Down Scranton

Monday 4/20

The rain finally slowed down Scranton's 11 game win streak. Austin Jackson was in the lineup. Ian Kennedy was supposed to pitch, followed by Phil Hughes on Tuesday. They will both slide back a day. Trenton was also rained out, while Tampa had a scheduled day off.

Charleston was the only team in action. They lost, but the good news is that Andrew Brackman had his first game where didn't walk anyone (and only hit one batter). He also struck out 8 in 6 innings.

Charleston lost to Savannah 3-1
Carmen Angelini 0-3, K
Brian Baisley 3-4, R, 2B, K
Abraham Almonte 1-4, RBI
Taylor Grote 2-4
Garrison Lassiter 1-4, 2 K
Andrew Brackman 6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 8 K
Casey Erickson 2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 ER, 3 K Read the full post, after the jump
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