FORT WORTH, TEJAS – Well, the replay of the 1950 Fall Cassic – the last time the Phillies and Yankees met for the World Championship – is over. Aside from decent baseball and beefy lineups, both teams showed off their shiny new ballparks. Nice. Good times. But hold the phone, everyone. This will come at a cost. If you think it was expensive this year, consider that the Yanks just won. And since the Bronx Bombers set the pace for all others, get ready for the $$$ Blitz. Tickets, brews and food cost the equivalent of your first-born male child during the 2009 season and both organizations stuck the needle in deeper for post-season play. The result of this plundering of the fan base? Simple, they are just prepping us for more of the same, which will continue to force the most fervent fans to the nose bleed seats, other than the odd exception – like Cookie – that have access to the privileged castes and their spoils.
I guess living behind the modern day equivalent of moats, with their houses cordoned off by gates and electronic surveillance, has taken the edge off these Grand Poohbahs of Capitalism, since the enthusiasm from the lower box sections seemed somewhat muted. Course, they could have just been freezing their rich little hineys offâ€¦ Yet, the fans in the upper decks continued to bellow out in support of their team.
Itâ€™s not so long ago that your average schmo could afford a good seat; my dad was a firefighter and weâ€™d go to a couple of games every season for the pertinent sport; Mets, Yanks or Sox in baseball, Patsies, Giants and Jets in football, Rangers and Bruins in hockey (dad was never much of a hoops fan, so no Celts or Knicks). We always got good seats; 1st or 3rd base line for a baseball game, whatever stadium we were at. Stocked up on dogs, brews for the adults, sodas for the kids, bought a souvenir program (and kept score, so we could fill him in, just in case he missed something on his way back from the bathroom), and generally had a good time. All on a firemanâ€™s pay. Just workin’ stiffs having a good time.
Iâ€™m sorry to be an old curmudgeon, but at least in the case of the Yankees, the old house was better. Here’s why:
Where would you rather be?
Down in Philadelphia the new park is, on the other hand, a marked improvement over its predecessor The Vet – other than the sky-high pricing. Of course, both housed the famous Philadelphia sports fans renowned throughout the civilized world as tasteful, knowledgeable, and always ready to help out his/her fellow man… or reporter:
The Vet replaced the venerated Shibe Park, site of the aforementioned ’50 Series. It epitomized the essence of the ’60â€™s and ’70â€™s multi-purpose stadiums, a.k.a.â€baseball in the roundâ€. Designed at Joseph Stalin’s School of Architecture and dropped on our cities like giant turds from space, the multi-purpose stadiums [a pitcher’s dream] had all the charm of the Ossining Correctional Center.
But even the new houses have obvious problems. They still canâ€™t design the bathrooms so we donâ€™t have to wait. They charge too much for everything, stop selling beer way too early, have you lose two innings at the must-have Shake Shacks and have stupid-ass skyboxes for the fat cats to preen and strut over the little people. Iâ€™m thinking that firemen like my dad arenâ€™t taking their kids to the game and getting boxes along the baselines anymore, which is just another reason, along with late start times, that the game is fading amongst the youth. The bottom line, is the bottom line; too much money for the average guy and too little interest in Joe Average Fan. And all this effects our families, especially dads.
Well, I guess there’s always Nascar.
Rex O’Rourke and his impeccable picks, tomorrow.