Another baseball-related post, so, y’know, I won’t be offended if the Europeans go off to Boing Boing or whatever. Yesterday, I took the Staten Island Ferry to, well, Staten Island. It still amazes me that it’s free considering the amount of tourists that take the ferry just for the heck of it. When you get off the ferry, there’s a ballpark just a home run away from the ferry terminal. And that’s where I was heading, to see the Staten Island Yankees, the so-called Baby Bombers, the New York Yankees’ Single-A affiliate. A chance to see future proper Yankees. Current big boy Yankees Chien-Ming Wang, Melky Cabrera, and Robinson Cano all played here for a while.
The stadium’s got a really long name, and includes the name of a bank, so I’ll not tell you what it is. But, once inside, you have a lovely view of Manhattan. Well, you would have a lovely view of Manhattan were it not for the batter’s eye (a dark, plain wall so that when the pitcher chucks the ball, the batter can see the ball easier) and a couple of dredger-type boats doing some stuff in the Upper New York Bay.
All went well for a while. I didn’t have to get my ID out once to get beer, I had a good seat for $14, and it was lovely lovely weather. AND Vincent Pastore, the guy who played Big Pussy in The Sopranos threw out the ceremonial first pitch. (By the way, searching Google for “Big Pussy” when trying to find out how to spell the actor’s surname properly doesn’t bring many results about Sopranos characters.)
Then things went downhill. Now, I love me some minor league baseball. Small stadiums, players all trying to impress to get into the big leagues, the feeling that you’re seeing the stars of tomorrow. The one thing that’s mildly annoying about minor league baseball is how much extraneous crap you have assaulting your senses. Mainly stuff that’s for the children. I fully appreciate that children need a little extra stimulation, and if that helps them get into baseball: fine.
But the Staten Island Yankees go way over the top. There are THREE mascots. All of them cows. There are two budding kids TV presenters who come out between EVERY half inning and start yelping about some crappy t-shirts or other prizes kids will get for whatever dumb spectacle they’ve got to partake in to get the prize. It feels very much like what it’d be like to watch a baseball game whilst sitting in the ball-pit at a McDonald’s play area. I realise I can be a bit curmudgeonly at times, but the real reason people are at this stadium is to see a baseball game. I don’t buy a hot dog for the ketchup and mustard, and I don’t go to a Staten Island Yankees game to see kids in a sack race. Seriously, and I’ll reiterate, I understand why this stuff goes on, but please: can you not show some respect to the people who are there to actually WATCH THE GAME!?
They also do the crappy things I don’t like that happen at big boy Yankee games: the singing of “God Bless America” during the seventh-inning stretch; “Cotton Eye fucking Joe,” and “YMCA.” And their announcer is a dick. Apart from all of the above, I had a good time. They didn’t really deserve to, but the Yankees won in the bottom of the 9th after trailing for seven-and-a-half innings. Let’s go Yankees.