by Ed Diz/Dr Diz

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.

poohbah-flintstones2.jpgI 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 off… Yet, the fans in the upper decks continued to bellow out in support of their team.

It’s not so long ago that your average schmo could afford a good seat; my dad was a firefighter and we’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 fireman’s pay. Just workin’ stiffs having a good time.

I’m sorry to be an old curmudgeon, but at least in the case of the Yankees, the old house was better. Here’s why:

  • HISTORY: You can move monument park, but Mantle’s towering home run, DiMaggio’s outfield play, Gehrig’s most fortunate man in the world speech, and countless other moments, all occurred in the house that Ruth Built, not across the street.
  • NO CRIPPLES: Back in the 20’s, they told you to stay home or have a friend carry you if you were crippled. Tough attitude, eh? But the result were stadiums built on a much steeper pitch, resulting in excellent sight lines and moving the fan closer to the action. Now, we have to sit back in tiered, low-angle decks just to appease a couple of people in wheelchairs. Geeze…
  • TROUGH URINALS: At the old stadium, you never had to wait to pee because you had a big old trough urinal which you could always elbow into. Now, with separate urinals, there are lines. Long ones. When you’re trying to watch a ballgame and keep score. It’s the revenge of the feminists, who have always been jealous of a manly man’s ability to zip it, flip it and be done with it.
  • CHEAPIE HOME RUNS: The new stadium gives em’ up like a drunk cheerleader after the victory party bon fire. ‘Nuff said.
  • NO BEER AFTER 7th INNING: Who thought of this? Mothers Against Drunk Driving? It’s bad enough that mother’s are still nagging at you to change your habits well into adulthood, now they have to BAND together and form a group to collectively kvetch and moan and dictate that you can’t drink any beer after the 7th inning? What’s next, a group dedicated to making sure you wear clean underwear, just in case you get in a car accident? Personally, I’m in DAMM, Drunks Against Mad Mothers, and wish they would leave us alone, and let us drink beer. Right up until the end of the game. Like it used to be at the old stadium.
  • STUPIDLY HIGH PRICES: Everything from beer to hot dogs to parking has to be sky high so the captains of industry that buy box seats en mass and then don’t use them (since they are all friggin’ workaholics) can have the amenities there candy asses have grown used to. Bleech. Bring back the old days, and grab me a beer and a dog and some Cracker Jacks.
  • babe-at-yankee-stadium2.jpg
    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 ’60’s and ’70’s multi-purpose stadiums, a.k.a.”baseball in the round”. 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 can’t design the bathrooms so we don’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. I’m thinking that firemen like my dad aren’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.

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    About Dr. Diz 50 Articles
    Doc Diz resides in Fort Worth, Texas for the past 15 years. When not playing old boys rugby or skiing, he is known for sampling Maker's Mark for its medicinal qualities. A native of Connecticut, the Doc has managed to move around enough to have lived in all four US time zones, which has allowed him to get a little perspective from west of the Hudson where guns, drilling for oil and gas and Big Gulp soda pops are still legal.