Time for the Yankees to Spend Less and Get More

It’s hard to watch the Yankees sink to the bottom of the AL East. Plagued with injuries to aging stars and a big payroll, it’s hard to imagine the Yankees pulling out of this tailspin in 2013.

Since 1995, the Yankees have won the AL East 13 times, and the Wild Card 4 times. That’s 17 playoff appearances in 18 years. It hasn’t sucked being a Yankees fan over the last 2 decades.  [Read more…]

A-Roid

Alex Rodriguez

A-Roid

When the Yankees signed a 10 year/$275 million contract extension with A-Roid in 2007, I cringed. He was just coming off his third MVP award, and everybody knew the Yankees would have to write a big check to retain him.  [Read more…]

Gary Collins Rests in Peace at the Old Yankee Stadium

My Dad, Gary Collins, passed on his love for the Yankees to me from the time I was a little kid. Same with my brother.

That’s him looking like Eddie Munster as a kid.

Gary Collins as a kid

So, when he died on June 12, 2002, my brother and I decided to spread his ashes in places he loved.

One of those was the old Yankee Stadium.

We went on a Stadium tour with little baggies of his ashes stashed in strategic places. He was laid to rest in the home dugout, the warning track, Monument Park, all over the place.

This wasn’t so long after 9/11 and the subsequent anthrax scare, and we were sprinkling an unusual powder around the Stadium, so we were a little afraid that we’d get arrested, but we escaped without trouble.

For the many games we went to at the Stadium after that, it was a plus that we could have some drinks with our Dad and visit him as we cheered on the Yanks.

This made it all extra emotional to see the old Stadium coming down.

Old Yankee Stadium Being Torn Down

But it’s great to see kids playing there these days on that hallowed ground.

I gave our Yankees a mention in my eulogy to him

“Just a few days ago, I came to terms with the fact that I would never again have a mid-day chat with him about up and coming guys on the Yankees.

This past week, we would have been talking about how Nick Johnson is coming along, and how great it was that this kid Marcus Thames jacked out a homerun on his first-ever Major League pitch.”

Among the things we included with him to be cremated were an autographed baseball from David Wells (one of his favorite players around that time), a Yankees World Series 1998 baseball cap, and the 2002 Yankees media guide that I’d bought him that year for Father’s Day and was never able to give him.

We also got a Yankee related tribute for him with an ad in the outfield at Mickey Mantle Field in Commerce, OK.

In memory of John Gary Collins

You can see it out in right field below.

Grenade in the outfield

I look forward to my next visit to the Stadium, so I can peek over to where he still gets to be at the ballpark every day.

We Saw the Last Two Games of the Yankees at the Rangers

My fellow New York Baseball Fan, Jeremy, and I took a roadtrip last Wednesday morning from Austin to Arlington, TX to see the Yankees in their last two games at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington this season.

The first night (Wednesday, July 24) we got some seats up in the “all you can eat” section in upper right field.

All You Can Eat seats at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington

Good view and the ticket includes all you can eat hot dogs, nachos, sodas, peanuts, popcorn, and grilled chicken sandwiches. Nice deal for a game where we got caught up at Happy Hour and didn’t have time for dinner.

That game was a loss with absolutely dead bats – it didn’t help that the Rangers had just picked up Matt Garza and he pitched well. Still a fun night, despite the 3-1 loss.

After the game, we walked over to Cowboys Stadium to check out the semi-finals for the CONCACAF Gold Cup (soccer) with Mexico playing Panama.

The ticket office was closed, so we couldn’t get in, but we ended up stumbling up on Mariano Rivera, as he headed in to see his Panama team.

Very cool to see him, and we managed not to be knuckleheaded fans trying to chase him down for a picture (I sort of wish I did).

I was feeling good about the final game with Kuroda on the mound, though it certainly wasn’t a lock, since he was facing Derek Holland.

As we got in the stadium, we heard “Enter Sandman” playing and were thinking that was not cool that they were song-jacking Mariano. It turned out they were seeing him off with a nice ceremony for his last regular season game in Arlington.

Mariano Rivera is honored before his last regular season game in Arlington, TX

It was a cool thing, as they brought in John Wetteland and Joe Nathan, and presented Mariano with some cowboy boots emblazoned with the Yankees logo, as well as a black cowboy hat.

We had a great view in some VIP Infield Seats near the Yankees dugout. By the way – wow, you can get amazing seats for good prices at this stadium. These cost $120 each.

VIP infield seats for the Yankees

The game was a gem, though stressful with the lack of scoring (scoreless through the 5th).

Around the middle of the game, we ran up to get some lunch, which ended up being a Flintstone’s sized turkey leg. Delicious.

Turkey leg at the Rangers game

It was a relief when the Yankees tacked on a couple runs, and fans of the Yankees and Rangers were crossing their fingers for a save from Mariano. And we got it! The last one that will happen in the regular season for Rivera in Arlington.

Mariano Rivera's final save in Arlington, TX

What a fantastic way to end the series, and a fun 48 hours of baseball and beers.

Time to start scouting out some tickets for the final series of the season in Houston. That would be cool to see Mariano’s last save ever (in the regular season – hoping for more in the playoffs).

Yankees vs. Rangers Game 4

After a couple of tough losses, it was nice to see the Yankees split the series with the Rangers. The Yankee’s pitchers seem to be getting the job done, but the bats are still sleeping.

Injuries have plagued the Yanks since the ALCS last year. Run production has been sub par with Jeter, Tex, and A-Rod out of the line up. In any other division, the Yanks might be able to skate by, but in the the always-competitive AL East it’s only good enough for 4th place.

When I looked at the pitching match up this morning, I knew the Yankees had a good chance to win. Baseball is all about pitching match ups, and Holland’s record against the Yankees is horrible. We only scored two runs, but it was enough to get the job done.

As we entered the bottom of the 8th, the anticipation for Mo to close it out started building. Even Texas fans gave up, and wanted to see Mo close it out. When Mo came out at the bottom of the 9th, everyone in the stadium stood up and cheered him on. At that point, Ranger’s fans knew it was over. Mo has only lost 60 games in his professional career, and 61 wasn’t going to happen today.

Mariano Rivera

Mo 42

Watching Mo and the Yanks win today made up for yesterday’s loss. We had a chance to catch Mo outside the stadium last night. We could have pushed for a picture or autograph, but out of respect, we didn’t press it, opting to take a few long distance shots with our iPhones.

Heading to Arlington to See a Couple Yankees Games

We’re heading north to Arlington, TX from Austin this morning to see the final two games of the four game series between the Yankees and Rangers.

Rangers Ballpark in Arlington

I haven’t seen the Yankees play since last August in the Bronx, so I am excited to get back to a game.

I’m most looking forward to seeing some nice swings from Cano, a healthy Jeter, and a close or two from Rivera.

Robinson Cano playing the Texas Rangers

Derek Jeter playing the Texas Rangers

Mariano Rivera shutting down the Texas Rangers

Stay tuned for a roadtrip recap.

God Bless America by Ronan Tynan at New York Yankees Opening Day 2009

The first Opening Day at the new Yankee Stadium got off to a really nice start with Irish Tenor Ronan Tynan singing God Bless America.

National Anthem at Yankee Stadium on Opening Day 2009

I loved hearing him sing at the games, but the Yankees stopped inviting him later in the 2009 season, due to an anti-Semitic remark.

Tynan ended up moving to Boston and he went on to sing for the Red Sox.

I hope to hear him sing again at a ball game.

Video: God Bless America at New York Yankees Opening Day 2009

Opening Day at Yankee Stadium 2009

I had the privilege of going to both the final game at old Yankee Stadium, as well as opening day at the new Yankee Stadium in 2009.

Shawn Collins at the first opening day at the new Yankee Stadium

While there is really no way to match the history of the old Stadium, I do like that the new (well now it’s 4 years old) Stadium is next door.

I’ve already had some really special moments in the new spot, which I will cover in future posts.

In the meantime, I can’t wait to make it back there.

Video: Opening Day at Yankee Stadium 2009

My First Trip to Old Yankee Stadium

old-yankee-stadium

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia User Kjetil_r

It was fun reading Shawn’s post about his first Yankees “home” game. It inspired me to write my own. One of the downsides of growing up in Utah is that there’s no professional baseball. The closest major league stadium is in Denver – 500 miles away. Before the Rockies became a team in 1993, the closest baseball stadium for me was in Los Angeles. [Read more…]

My First Yankees Game

I think I was 4 years old when I went to my first New York Yankees game.

Ron Blomberg and me at my first Yankees game

It was either 1974 or 1975, because it was one of the seasons when they were playing their home games at Shea Stadium, while they renovated Yankee Stadium.

I don’t remember much from that game, but I am so glad that I have a Polaroid of me with Ron Blomberg, Major League Baseball’s first designated hitter.

I misplaced the photo for a while and found it in a box in the 90’s. I figured it would be neat to try and get it autographed by Blomberg, so I tracked down his address and mailed a copy.

A week later I got back the signed picture in the mail. Thanks Ron!

Who knows if they won or lost that day? It doesn’t really matter.

It was my first ballgame with my Dad, and the first of so many magical times I enjoyed a Yankees game.

But did it have to be in Queens?

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