A Rodriguez hit. Seriously. That’s what drew the evening’s loudest ovation. A single up the middle, just his third hit in 23 postseason at-bats. That’s the new standard. That’s what the most feared and hallowed place in baseball has come to. Yankee Stadium: Where they roar for a single.
Don’t think this went unnoticed, either. It wasn’t just the ushers instructed to fill in empty seats so the crowd looked better on TV. The players can tell, too.
“This is a very easy place to play now,” Tigers outfielder Quintin Berry said. “Coming from Oakland, the fans there were so rowdy. It was easier to come here.”
Oakland Coliseum, where tarps cover the upper deck, more electric than Yankee Stadium.
Every other playoff stadium filled to capacity, and Yankee Stadium with entire sections empty, thousands of unsold tickets, even ones as cheap as $15 through resellers.
No matter how the Yankees spin this – team president Randy Levine had the hubris to blame StubHub – the swiss-cheese crowd is a stunning indictment on their failures to transition the atmosphere of the old stadium to the new one. The cratering secondary ticket market bears out the criticism that face-value ticket prices are excessively high – that the Yankees priced out the average fan in search of corporate blood money.
This is their comeuppance: a bloated team, another playoff flameout at hand with Justin Verlander primed to carve them up Tuesday in Game 3 and a fan base so disenchanted it spent far more time booing its own than its opposition.