"Now, what is this site about, how Joe Torre ruined pitchers' arms? Is that it?"
-Michael Kay, August 18, 2009

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Bones to pick: Monument Park

I took almost 200 pictures of YS III yesterday - some artsy, some for fact-finding purposes, some for memories, etc. Here are some bones to pick in regards to the newest version of Monument Park.

Believe it or not, I never went to Monument Park in the old Yankee Stadium, so this post obviously won't be about comparing the two (besides location). Because I had never been to Monument Park before and I got to the ballpark super early yesterday, I wanted to go. So we did. Some of this post it nit-picky and some of it contains real concerns of mine. There were also things I liked, but those thoughts will go in a separate post.

Leading up to Monument Park, there are these huge versions of the retired numbers hanging on the wall. Not bad looking, I guess.

That is, until they chose to put Babe Ruth's one adjacent to a door, resulting in some of it being cut off!  Put Ron Guidry's there, or something. He's Babe Ruth for crying out loud.

The line actually moved rather quickly and efficiently. When I first got there and a somewhat long line had already formed, I asked a security guard how long this should take becuase I didn't want to waste valuable exploring time.  He said, "Not long." I responded with, "Ya sure?" He then told me he'd let me know when the line snaked upstairs. We immediately got on line.

Regarding these numbers on the wall, as we later found out, they really can get in the way. People want to pose next to their favorite Yankees. As a result, this blocks traffic from both sides of the rather tight corridor. It's a nice idea, but maybe they should've thought it over. I can't tell you how many times the people posing got frustrated when cameras wouldn't work or when people were walking in front.

OK, now we're in Monument Park.  It offers nice views of center field (albeit through a screen). The retired numbers are broken up into two separate walls.  This will pose a problem when the Yankees need to retire more numbers.  Above is how much working space they have remaining. I wonder what they'll do when they have to retire Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Bernie Williams.

My main issue with the park is the location. It is tucked away behind the center field wall and underneath the Mohegan Sun Sports Bar. Mark Feinsand noted that the retired numbers are not visible from the lower two decks and the press box. I was able to see them from the Grandstand (400s) level, however. In this above shot, from directly behind the plate on Field level, all you can see is black and the netting protecting the retired numbers. If I'm spending $2,000 for those seats, I at least want to see those numbers!

For a stadium that was built to honor the past, it's amazing how they essentially hid away the retired numbers in center field.

All pictures taken by me.  Click to enlarge.


Andrew Vazzano said...

What about when they retire Joe Torre's number?

You Know Who This Is said...

I first went to Monument Park when I was 13. And even then I was cynical and didn't give a shit about it. Although I do think it's a little silly where they put Ruth's number circle. I'd suggest putting Elston Howard's there, but THEY would complain. Actually, Roger Maris'. His number shouldn't even be retired.

Other Andrew, if the Yankees retire Torre's number, I'll go to Monument Park with the sole purpose of spitting on it.

She-Fan said...

Thanks for the pix and views. The truth is when the Yankees take the field tomorrow in Baltimore, I'll forget all the stadium glitches and just hope they win.

ScooterFan said...

For the guy who would spit on Torre's retired number...did you actually read the book? The book is tame. Very few things in that book are offensive and a lot of it was media hype. I wanted Joe Torre gone after the 2006 season because Piniella was available. I love Lou. But I wanted to keep Joe for 2008 and beyond because I think Joe is a better manager of men than Girardi who is overrated and a media creation.

It's Still Me said...

I didn't read the book, but I believe it was mostly media over-hype. Anything "bombsell"-worthy came out in the media, and nothing there knocked me over. His comments about A-Rod and Cashman weren't a big deal. No, I'd spit on Torre's plaque because of what he did as a manager. I wanted him fired after 2003 and every year after, I grew more disgusted and convinced that he'd wind up leaving on his terms, which disgusted me more. When he chose to leave (that's another thing, he wasn't fired or let go), it was too many years too late to make me happy. I think he was an overrated manager and manager of men. He sucked at in-game X's & O's (well, as little of it as baseball has) and, for as much credit as he got for dealing with the players, he never had a rotten bunch. People talk as if Torre was managing the 2001 Trailblazers or the 2005-2007 Bengals. I would've loved to see him manage those men. For the most part, the core of the teams he managed were decent people, and any player who didn't fall in line and play nice with Uncle Joey was booted. He was blessed to have a great organization with a dedicated ownership that put great players on his rosters - and he went along for the ride. So fuck Torre's legacy.

Girardi pissed me off quite a bit last season with some of his dumb moves, but I do like that he's a progressive thinker and he got points for handling the bullpen well, despite having aardvark shit in the rotation most of the season. I'm willing to give him this season before I write him off.

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