Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Previewing The Home Stand Ahead: The First Place Yankees Come Marching Home

The Basics
  • Dates: June 2 - June 8
  • Games: 7
  • Teams: 2
  • Night Games: 4
  • Weekend Day Games: 2
  • Mid-week Day Games: 1
Does it seem like forever since you went to a game at Yankee Stadium and saw the Yankees flag flying solo in first place? That's because it has been 32 months since the last time it happened. The date was October 1, 2006, and the Yankees were playing out the string against the Blue Jays with a double digit lead atop the AL East. The late Cory Lidle pitched in relief of the now obsolete Jaret Wright, as did Kyle Farnsworth. Good 'ol worthless gave up 2 runs in the ninth inning on a home run to Adam Lind, taking the loss. Bernie Williams made his final regular season appearance in the spot that is slowly becoming a pile of rubble and hit a double. The crowd chanted his name. Alex Rodriguez had the day off only a couple of weeks before Joe Torre would hit the panic button and bat him 8th in a playoff game. 54,886 fans saw a mostly AAA lineup lose a meaningless game in October, but at least the team was in first place.

Tonight, the Yankees return to their new home in the Bronx, fresh off of a 5-2 roadtrip and an 8-2 home stand prior to that. The Bombers are hot, and fans are ready to blow the frieze off the place, rooting for their first place heroes. Crowds are unlikely to reach the levels seen back in 2006 (smaller stadium), but the Yankees should be able to squeeze out some very respectable attendance numbers.

Texas Rangers @ New York Yankees Yankee Stadium (Bronx, NY)

Tue, Jun 2 at 7:05PM 4,000+ tickets from $8

Wed, Jun 3 at 7:05PM 8,000+ tickets from $8

Thu, Jun 4 at 1:05PM 10,000+ tickets from $7

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

Fri, Jun 5 at 7:05PM 9,000+ tickets from $20

Sat, Jun 6 at 1:05PM 9,000+ tickets from $20

Sun, Jun 7 at 1:05PM 9,000+ tickets from $10

Mon, Jun 8 at 7:05PM 13,000+ tickets from $10

A funny thing happened last home stand - the secondary ticket market bounced back. Some combination of A-Rod's return and the nearby Phillies coming to town caused a palpable buzz for the first time in the new Yankee Stadium. The increased buzz resulted in an increase in ticket prices. The extra innings, Memorial Day Sunday game was the second most attended game of the season as Phillies fans nearly over the Bronx. Some Grandstand seats (face value - $20) were going for over $100 on Stubhub. It may have been somewhat embarrassing for Yankees fans, but we're pretty sure the organization was happy filling the seats.

Speaking of filling the seats, the Yankees are at it again with their infamous "E-Savers," trying to unload the unsold Audi Yankees Club, Mohegan Sun Sports Bar, and Batter's Eye seats. As we pointed out at the end of the last home stand, the Yankees have begun to take our advice and are pricing the Batter's Eye Seats aggressively. During the non-weekend games of this home stand, you can sit atop the monstrosity also known as the Mohegan Sun Sports bar for only $50. As we have said before, this may still be overpriced, considering how far away from home plate you are sitting, but it sure beats the original face value of $125. We were able to get in touch with someone who was had purchased the batter's eye seats for assorted games, and was trying to sell them for a profit to make some of his season ticket investment back. He wasn't too pleased with the price cut and planned to contact the Yankees to see if he could get some money back (yeah right!), but he did say that "other games with the same seats, for the Mets and Red Sox, [he has] been able to sell a little over face. So it hasn't been a total waste."

Other current "E-Saver" offers feature Audi Yankees Club seats for $100 each (not as deep of a discount as the early season "E-Saver" price of $85 per ticket), and Mohegan Sun Sports Bar seats for $50 each. If you want to check out some of these unique seating options, it is doubtful that the prices will get any lower. Then again, if none of us buy the tickets, the Yankees will be forced to keep on slashing the prices. How low, will they go?


You may have noticed our guy Steve DiMartino of NYNJPAWeather.com sprinkling in some wind forecasts for the games last home stand. In fact, prior to Mark Teixeira's amazing, broken-bat, wind-driven home run to left field on May 24, Steve had predicted strong winds out to that area of the park. Keep in mind that left field has typically been somewhat of a dead zone for fly balls this season, due to the jet stream to right field. More and more Yankees fans are following Steve on Twitter, reading his website, and of course, reading his exclusive NSI home stand and game day weather forecasts. This week, he has some more commentary on the winds at the new Yankee Stadium, and of course some input on how the weather will affect this homestand:
Before discussing the forecast for the upcoming home stand, I wanted to touch on this whole issue with low level wind currents and the new Yankee Stadium. First, I want to dismiss this whole, warm, moist air leading to more home runs idea. Every summer I hear the same reasoning from various baseball announcers, but the physics doesn't fit. The best air mass to enhance the flight of a flying object is actually warm, dry air as the air has less molecules to cause friction. The worst air mass to hit in is obviously cool, moist air where the air mass has a high concentration of molecules including water vapor. In the case of warm, moist air masses, the additional high concentration of water vapor would not enhance distance, but would increase friction slightly. Even still, the influence of air mass in these terms is limited overall compared to other possible influences on flying objects. Besides, warm conditions have been experienced at Citifield and in Philadelphia with little increase if any in home runs.

At any rate, after studying Yankee Stadium, I have found that there is potential for Yankee Stadium to produce a significantly higher amount of homeruns than in the old stadium, if not pitched to correctly. There has been plenty of studies on the structure of the new Yankee stadium. The fact is that the lower setting of the upper deck combined with the position of the score board and large TV screen in center field produces a unique environment for fly balls along the left and right field lines. However, that same environment forces wind currents over center field to sink and at times blow in towards home plate. The convergent winds at home plate rise and then are forced along the right and left field lines to produce a strong micro level jet stream, thus your additional home runs. So in short, if I was pitcher at this stadium I'd make sure that the batter can not pull a ball to the left or right, but instead focus on getting fly balls hit to center field, where in most cases the ball will limited in distance due to the sinking air over center field. The orientation of the stadium calls for southwesterly winds supporting the best conditions for winds blowing out and northeast winds for balls blowing in.

Now, that we've covered that, lets discuss the forecast for this home stand!

The first half of this home stand is not going to be the most pleasant. For tonight, a threat of showers and thunderstorms will be present through the first 3 or 4 innings of the game. However, drier conditions can be expected through the end of the game. A slight delay is possible. Winds will veer from the southwest to west around 5 to 10 mph.. Game time temperatures will range from 68 to 72 degrees.

A more wide spread threat of showers and thunderstorms can be expected on Wednesday night as another cold front slides through the Bronx. These thunderstorms will be strong to possibly severe through the evening hours. Conditions do not look favorable for baseball and a lengthy delay or postponement is possible. Winds will back from the southwest to northeast around 5 to 15 mph. Temperatures through the game will range from 60 to 64 degrees.

On Thursday, rain showers will linger through the day with generally cool and raw conditions expected.. Winds will be from the northeast around 5 to 15 mph. Temperatures will range from 60 to 65 degrees through the game.

The good news is the second half of the home stand is looking very pleasant as high pressure will be in control for much of the time when the games will be played. Expect a return to warmer weather with temperatures averaging in the 70's. Winds will be light and variable through this period with limited impact on the game.
It is probably easier said than done getting batters to hit the ball to center field, and has likely been a strategy for pitchers at Yankee Stadium since the 1920's. That being said, we'd like to sincerely thank Steve for the time and effort he puts into his Yankee Stadium weather forecasts, especially considering he is a Mets fan!

Stadium News and Notes
  • Have you seen our old dugout?
As always, WCBS 880 and Tom Kaminski are on top of the deconstruction process of the old Yankee Stadium, with depressing overhead photos. Today, they have this gem, of the dugout seemingly in the middle of nowhere. It is like watching a body decay. Can't they just bury the thing already and put us all out of our misery? It is sad to see.
  • All Aboard!
During the last home stand, the MTA and the Yankees announced the long-awaited opening of a Metro North train stop specifically for Yankee Stadium. MTA.info has information about the stop. RiverAveBlues.com provided some great coverage about the Metro North Station opening. From what we hear, the trains are on-time and efficient, and are a real joy for out of towners who no longer are forced to drive to the stadium and pay outrageous rates for parking. Good for the MTA, getting this station open on time, and on budget.
  • Cheers and Jeers
Cheers: The Yankees
Jeers: Their opponents

Now is not the time to pick favorites, Yankees fans. The team is on a role, with the pitching and hitting firing on all cylinders. Heck, even Nick Swisher seems to have found his stroke again. We hate to go all "Freddy Sez" on you guys, but this team needs our support! Lets rock the stadium this home stand and help the Yankees pile up a dominant home record.

Which Games We'll Be At

We have tickets for Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Nick will be heading out to Wednesday's game with our mother, but we'll be at Friday and Sunday's game. We tend to wander around and try to find the best standing room only spots (more on that later this home stand), but when we are in our seats, we're in section 428, row 10. We have already met a couple of our Yankees/Twitter friends, and hope to meet some more NSI readers in the future.

Special Shout-Out

Speaking of Twitter, this week's special shout out goes to all of our Yankee fan followers on Twitter. Dealing with hundreds of in-game, emotional "tweets" from us deserves a pat on the back. Thanks for all of the debates about John Flaherty's horrible announcing and Robinson Cano's struggles with RISP, especially with the bases loaded. We also tend to hop on Twitter at times when we are at the stadium, so if meeting us is something that will inexplicably make your day, be sure to surf over to Twitter.com and follow us.
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