Not just the president, but also a client
Some folks have been backing up comments made by Rangers owner Chuck Greenberg last night. Here’s a sample:
John Harper NY Daily News:
Let’s face it, there is a segment of Yankee fans that seems to think being obnoxious is part of the job description.
I can tick off a list of dozens of people I either know personally or have heard from via e-mail that have had awful experiences taking in a game at the Stadium because of some fans who are vulgar as well as loud-mouthed, and usually well-lubricated.
And this is coming from mostly Yankee fans themselves, often who regretted taking their kids to the game and exposing them to such language and behavior. Some regretted it even more when they appealed to the loud-mouths to show some regard for the kids.
Mike Silva NYBD:
Look, you can’t generalize about all Yankees fans. Many of that I deal with on in the blogosphere are great, whether it’s the guys from The Yankee U, Nomaas, or over at River Avenue Blues. I enjoyed doing postgame shows with Neil Keefe of WFAN as well. These are just a few. I can name so many more.
This behavior isn’t regulated to Yankee Stadium (see Citizen’s Bank Park in Philadelphia), but I sense the winning has created a malaise over the fan base. The Stadium is almost a separation of two classes: The elite who are there to be seen, and the serfs who enjoy the booze more than balls and strikes. You almost feel the real fan is squeezed out more every year.
The other problem is the new generation. Yankees fans are spoiled, especially the kids who started watching them in the nineties. Can’t beat Texas? Just sign Cliff Lee. Brett Gardner not cutting it? Sign a supersized version in Carl Crawford. Nick Swisher can’t hit in the playoffs? Bring me Jayson Werth. Unfortunately this type of attitude is permeating more throughout the fan base. Isn’t this kid a perfect example of the modern Yankee fan?
Some will say this is jealousy and that couldn’t be further from the truth. They have every right to spend their money. The last fifteen years have created a brand that will stream endless revenue indefinitely. That power creates the reality that passion has turned into entitlement. Greenberg did nothing more than state the obvious. I think the fans in Texas have done a great job and deserve a winner for years to come. Hopefully Cliff Lee recognizes that and stays close to home.
It’s clear that the new Stadium will be an entirely different one than the place that no longer exists across the street. I feel for the old time fans because they just have to accept this isn’t your fathers Yankee fan. Even worse it might be too late to take your fan base back.
While both made an effort to say this stuff goes on elsewhere, they still distinguished this generation of Yankee fans and the crowd at the new stadium from that of the old versions. This simply isn’t true. I’m 41 years old, have been a season ticket holder for many years and playoff crowds have always been different than in the regular season (exception being 1996). The expensive seats are largely owned by small and large corporations and used for entertaining clients or as a perk for their employees. During the regular season, seats get handed away liberally to employees and their kids who are fans of the team. But playoff tickets are a hot commodity, so these wind up getting used by the higher ups and their best clients, many of whom only have a passing interest in the team. It’s always been this way, new facility or old. Some folks either aren’t at these games or just have selective memory. Also, the Yanks are in the playoffs every year. You can’t expect their fan base to get as excited as one who’s made it to the ALCS for the first time in decades or in their history. This doesn’t translate into “apathy”. The Yanks lead all of baseball in attendance and have for many years. Greenberg doesn’t want to be comparing tickets sales to make his case. Yankee fans spend their money and show up, whereas the supposedly ‘real’ fans of other cities do not. Was the stadium quiet this year during the ALCS? Absolutely. Did anyone notice the scores of some of those games? The Yanks got blown out in this series, their offense fell asleep and the pitching was lopsided in favor of the Rangers. So the crowd was largely taken out of it. I don’t know what they do in Texas, but in New York we don’t cheer at funerals.
Next, anyone who thinks the current Yankee stadium has a problem with violence and pines for the ‘good old days’ should watch this. Security is tight, it’s better than it ever was in the old building and there’s an attendant at every entrance to the seating areas. Police are everywhere and when fights occur, they get broken up within a minute or two. The fans are not only ejected, but charged criminally as well. If one of the participants is a season ticket holder, those seats can be revoked. It’s not as if there’s a lax attitude on the part of ownership that cultivates bad behavior, every step is taken to prevent it. But again, in a crowd of 50,000+ where alcohol is being served, stuff happens. There are obnoxious fans in just about every city that cares about Baseball, Chuck just happens to come from an area that is and always has been ruled by the Dallas Cowboys.
This entire episode could have been avoided with one simple word. “Some”. Had Greenberg or the folks who backed him up said “some Yankee fans” are violent, apathetic, rude, obnoxious and are child molesters with bad breath then I and most Yankee fans would have no issue with it. In any crowd of 50,000 people you’re sure to get some of the good and bad in any region. But in saying “Yankee fans” you include all of us, and that’s just wrong. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go kick my dog, beat my wife and physically attack a random stranger.