The Futility Infielder

A Baseball Journal by Jay Jaffe I'm a baseball fan living in New York City. In between long tirades about the New York Yankees and the national pastime in general, I'm a graphic designer.

Friday, March 13, 2009


Ticket to Ride [update]

In the end, after no shortage of drama, we got our Yankees tickets:

Just moments before I embarked for the Baseball Prospectus 2009 Baltimore whistle stop earlier this week, I got a call from my friend Nick, the "commissioner" of our aggrieved group of Yankees partial-plan ticket holders. Two weeks after turning down the team's generous offer to accept $85 dollar obstructed view seats behind the right field foul pole instead of $25 grandstand seats, a representative from the Yankees ticket office had phoned Nick to apologize for the way the ticket renewals had been handled, offering us a closer approximation to our initial request. Instead of a 20-game set of $25 grandstand seats between first and third base, we were offered $20 seats just beyond first, in section 413, three rows from the back of the stadium. No word on whether complimentary oxygen tanks would be provided.

As tempting as it might have been to tell the Yankees where to stick that offer given the way we and so many other fans had been treated, in the end, we accepted the deal. The desire to preserve the continuity of our 11-season tradition of making the occasional trip to the ballpark in each other's company outweighed our distaste for the new world order in the Bronx. Still, this is no happy ending. In spite of this belatedly semi-favorable outcome, this episode still represents one more data point in a long line of them detailing the demise of the Yankee brand, at least from the nosebleed seats where I sit.

As it is, we're only spending about one-quarter of the dollars did on last year's 26-game Flex Plan Tier Box seats—a steep decline in our outlay which makes it clear we've voted with our wallets. We've lost our automatic access to playoff tickets, but particularly since 2004, the last time the Yanks made it to the ALCS, that's scarcely amounted to more than a winter-long interest-free loan for tickets to games that never happened.

I'm extremely hopeful that other aggrieved customers have received similar remedies and apologies. Even if this is a case of the squeaky wheel getting the grease -- which I highly doubt given the lack of resourcefulness in the Yankee ticket office, given that my name's not the one on the account -- not everybody's got the platform to speak up as I did and send a little ripple of dissent through the Yankees' world. The Yanks owe every single customer better treatment than the type we received, and they're not easily forgiven under the circumstances.

So while my friends and I will be making our regularly scheduled trips up to the Bronx after all, I'm still livid at the way all of this went down. But I'm also relieved that I'll have the opportunity to shoot the breeze over beers and hot dogs at with my good friends a few times this season as we watch the Yankees. A summer without baseball and bonding at the ballpark would be a bleak thing indeed, so fuck the Yankees for hindering our pursuit of that possibility for even a moment. Seriously.

UPDATE: Great to see that the Yankees' instincts regarding ticket sales just continue to get better. Via New Stadium Insider comes the word about the team's brilliant pre-sale strategy:
Prior to the public on-sale, all Yankees Premium, Full-Season and 41-Game Ticket Licensees will be able to purchase individual-game tickets, online only, via a pre-on-sale on Thursday, March 19. On the following day, Friday, March 20, all other Partial Plan Licensees (of 20-, 15-, 12- and 11-Game Plans) will be permitted to purchase individual-game tickets online only as well. For complete information, including ticket limits, please visit
Backing up a bit... if you simply want to attempt to think about possibly trying to take a chance on buying single-game tickets, you have to register for a random drawing and be one of the lucky souls who wins a golden ticket pulled out of Randy Levine's buttcrack or something, and even then you're still third in line behind the season-ticket and 41-game holders, and then the partial-plan holders, each of whom gets a separate day to pick over the non-plan seats and put them up for sale on Stub Hub because after all, they've already gotten their seats. Swell.

According to Trost's latest appearance on WFAN, there's no truth to the rumor that once you register, a representative from the Yankees will come to your house and spray you with a fire hose for as long as you attempt to log into your Ticketmaster account and participate in the pre-sale. But would it surprise anyone if that were true?

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What's reprehensible is that the Yankees even HAVE obstructed view seating at a brand-new park. Cantilever design has been available since the 60's (viz. Dodger Stadium); there's no excuse.
Most of us are part of the problem. We are the patrons who continue to pay these ridiculous prices. The fact that a 8-year-old with a bed time of 9pm can't watch a baseball playoff game is going to have a negative effect on the game. A generation of fans are not falling in love with the game. Great blog. I've posted a link to your blog on my blog. Feel free to return the favor.

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