So I made it out to Anaheim last Sunday to see the Angels play the Rangers.
I have to say, it was a bit weird to set foot in the place where so many Yanks playoff chances have gone to die. I remember being in shock back in the fall of 2002 when, after four consecutive World Series appearances, the Yanks went down in weak fashion to the Angels in four games. More recently the Yanks pushed the Angels to a five-game, winner-take-all in Anaheim back in 2005 but lost nonetheless. Neither team has not gone deeper into the playoffs since.
So with my Yankees hat firmly on my head, I went into Angels stadium preparing for some serious abuse. So what was it like to visit the home of the team with the best record vs. NYY since 2000? Honestly, not that bad. The stadium was clean and had a lot of open space. It was very fan-friendly. Did I get any crap for wearing a NYY hat? No, not at all. In fact I talked to a lot of fans there who felt no hate towards the Yanks. Maybe that’s because the Angels have owned the Yanks this decade. In this game the Rangers and Vincente Padilla held off the halos and won handily.
As I see more and more of these newer or renovated ballparks, I can’t help but notice how many distractions there are in the stadium from the actual ballgame. There are these huge playgrounds for kids, videogame stations, baseball-oriented carnival games and concessions stands as far as the eye can see. At one gaming station, I played Major League Baseball 2K8 for xbox 360, and it transported me for two whole innings. It makes you wonder if MLB has given in to the fact that the game itself isn’t all that entertaining (or lucrative) and that to bring fans in and keep them there, a stadium should have an almost carnival-like atmosphere where, no doubt, you will spend more money on food and tee-ball than in sitting in the seat for which you paid to see the actual game.
So has MLB conceded that baseball is truly ”boring” and that fans would rather just hang out at the ballpark than watch the game going on inside? Nobody will ever admit it, but looking at these new ballparks, it’s a real possibility. I will say this: at the old Yankee Stadium, it’s all about the game. There’s not much space in there for anything else.
April 10, 2008 No Comments