Monday, December 16, 2013

The Yankee Stadium Experience: Touring the Stadium

PART SEVEN: Touring Yankee Stadium

During the season before games and on off-days, the New York Yankees operate official tours of Yankee Stadium that include a visit to some of the venues that have already been discussed here on TGP: The Yankee Stadium Experience.  The "Classic Tour" as shown on the big league team's official website includes the following:

- The Yankees Museum
- Monument Park
- The Dugout
- The Clubhouse
- The Batting Cage Area
You get to visit the Clubhouse!

In the offseason, the dugout, clubhouse, and batting cages are substituted with the Press Box and the Mastercard Batter's Eye Cafe.

The amazing part about this is 1) you don't have to purchase a ticket to a game in order to visit, 2) you have access to the dugout and clubhouse (which is pretty damn cool), and 3) it only costs $20 if purchased online.

Here are some of the specifics you will need to know in order to plan your Yankees tour:

Tickets for the tour can be purchased daily at any Yankees Clubhouse Shop in New York City, at the Yankee Stadium Ticket Window between 9 am and 5 pm, or online at  Tours occur daily all-year round between Monday and Saturday between approximately 12 pm to 1:40 pm although additional tours may be added throughout the day between 9 am and 5 pm if there is a demand.  The typical "classic tour" lasts approximately 45 minutes.  If you are planning on a tour for more than a few of you, make sure to call ahead of time as each tour has a maximum of 35 people and are on a first-come first-serve basis.  The tours start at Gate 6.

You can also call the Tours Department at (646) 977-TOUR.
Step Right Up and Get Yah Tickets He-yah!

Group tours can also be scheduled (during the same time period at purchased through the same means) if you purchased between 15 and 35 tickets.  The cost is reduced to $18 for adults and $16 for children under 14 and Senior Citizens.  Children under 4 are admitted for free.

If you are really wanting to live it up, you can make it a Birthday Bash Tour by celebrating your birthday with a tour and an exclusive party at the Hard Rock Cafe at the Stadium...but it will cost ya!  The Adult Menu is between $45-$55 while the Kids' Menu (10 and under) is $40.

If you have some extra time during a visit to the Stadium, it may be worth the $20 to take a tour during the season, especially if the players are in never know who you might see!

Yankees Have Discussed Papelbon With Phillies?

Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe discussed the possibility of bringing Jonathan Papelbon to the Yankees to replace Mariano Rivera this season. Excuse me while I throw up in my mouth a little bit. No way do I want any part of Papelbon unless he gets thrown into a Cliff Lee or Cole Hamels deal, which is not being discussed right now FYI to our knowledge. Here is the quote from Nick himself on the Boston Glove:

Jonathan Papelbon, RP, Phillies — Papelbon is being shopped pretty hard and the team many scouts believe could use him most is the Yankees. “He fits pretty well there. There’s two years left on the deal. Not sure the Yankees are completely sold on Dave Robertson being their closer. He’s best suited as a setup man, but Papelbon would get hyped up in New York, replacing Mariano [Rivera]. I think it would be a positive thing and a good fit and I would think it’s been explored already.”

Baseball Prospectus Rates Top 10 Yankees Prospects

It's that time of the year again where all the top prospect lists start coming out and today we all can read Baseball Prospectus' for free on their site without a subscription. Gary Sanchez tops the list, surprise surprise, followed by a bit of a shocker in Jose Ramirez. Here is the list:

1. Gary Sanchez
2. Jose Ramirez
3. JR Murphy
4. Slade Heathcott
5. Tyler Austin
6. Mason Williams
7. Greg Bird
8. Eric Jagielo
9. Ian Clarkin
10. Aaron Judge

Also BP, like Baseball America, lists their top prospects list under the age of 25 and the list looks similar to the list above except that Michael Pineda is second and everyone else falls behind a slot. Cool list if you have a subscription, which I do not, so go check that out. 

MLB & NPB Officially Announce New Posting System

Major League Baseball and Nippon Professional Baseball have officially announced a new posting system for Japanese players after ratifying the new deal today. This is good for three seasons and eliminates the bidding process. The Japanese team simply named it price, a max of $20 million, and any team willing to meet the posting fee can negotiate with the player. Only the team that signs the player has to pay the posting fee so I don't see a scenario where we shouldn't at least kick the tires.

Masahiro Tanaka watch officially begins now... Tanaka will be posted we just do not know when. Stay tuned.

In Case You Missed It: Jacoby Ellsbury

In case you missed the Yankees introducing Jacoby Ellsbury at Yankee Stadium here it is again. You can find the rest of the videos on but here is the major one. Enjoy!

The Farm System & The Forgotten Yankees Draftees

It really grinds my gears when people talk about how terrible the Yankees farm system is and has been for the last 30 or so years. This could not be farther from the truth, the difference between us and say the St. Louis Cardinals is that we trade our talent away. Usually, unfortunately, we trade that talent away far too soon only to see them dominate elsewhere for years. Most recently we have seen Jose Quintana pitch quite well for the Chicago White Sox and Jose Veras establish himself as a dominant middle reliever for the Houston Astros while both spent time in the Yankees system. The Yankees lack of talent evaluation has gone way back, some of you may remember the name Doug Drabek that won a Cy Young for the Pittsburgh Pirates that started out in the Yankees system as well only to be traded away. Here is a list of some guys you may or may not have known were members of the Yankees farm system at one point and time.

Brad Ausmus, the current manager for the Detroit Tigers, was a member of the Yankees farm system before being selected out of the expansion draft by the Colorado Rockies.

Carl Everett, the guy who ended Mike Mussina's perfect game in Boston with a two out and two strike single to left field, was also a member of the New York Yankees. He was plucked away from the Yankees in the same draft as Ausmus when the Marlins took Everett.

Three time World Series Champion Mike Lowell was a member of the New York Yankees in 1998 before winning a title in 2003 with the Florida Marlins and 2007 with the Boston Red Sox. Lowell was a September call up in 1998 and obviously was left off the postseason roster before being traded to Florida that winter.

Mr. 493 home runs in his career Fred McGriff was a member of the Yankees farm system and was traded to Toronto in 1982. Could you imagine that swing in Yankee Stadium? If you can't go Youtube the 1996 World Series Game 1 home run he hit off the right field foul poll that is probably still ringing.

The Yankees drafted Otis Nixon third overall in the 1979 draft and spent a whole 13 games in Yankees pinstripes. Nixon batted .271 in his career with 620 steals in 17 seasons but most of those were with the Atlanta Braves and the Cleveland Indians, not the Yankees.

Deion Sanders. Need I say more?

There Is Always Michael Young

I feel like I have already done this post before, oh yeah that is probably because I did, when I said the Yankees should target Stephen Drew to play third base now that Omar Infante was signed with the Kansas City Royals. Why not Michael Young? Young is right handed and can play third base, second base, shortstop, and would not be a total loss at first base defensively. The Yankees need right handed power, a second basemen, a third basemen, someone to give Mark Teixeira a day to a day and a half off a week, and the versatility that Michael Young brings to the team.

This is Young's age 37 season and will only see his 38th birthday in uniform if the Yankees went to the World Series as his birthday is late in October so he doesn't exactly make the Yankees any younger. Baseball Reference has him listed as a shortstop, second basemen, and third basemen but like I said I could see him doing well at first base if we needed him there a day a week or so and what the Yankees need right now is his versatility. Young garnered MVP votes, an 8th place finish, just three seasons ago in 2011 and hit a combined .279 in 2013 with eight home runs. While Young has not hit 20 home runs since the 2010 season he may be a better option then all the other options out there, including Mark Reynolds.

My main concern with signing Young is the fact that he made $16 million last season so you are always concerned on how much he would want for next season. Also you have to wonder if Young wants to sign a one year deal and do this whole free agency thing all over again after all the stability he had in Texas for 11+ seasons. Does Young want to get paid and does Michael want to sign the last contract of his career? The problem with this idealistic thinking is nobody but Michael Young knows but if it's close, sign him and worry about next season next season.

This Day In New York Yankees History 12/16

On this day in 1953 the Yankees and the Philadelphia A's completed an 11 player trade where the Yankees traded then top prospect Vic Power. Vic was a powerful first basemen who has hoped to be the first black player to play for the Yankees enjoyed three great seasons in the minor leagues including a .331 batting average and 109 RBI's the season before for the Newark Bears. The Bears were the equivalent of the AAA Scranton Wilkes Barre RailRiders today.

On this day in 1983 the Yankees hired Yogi Berra for the second time to manage the team replacing Billy Martin. Martin was coming off of a season where he posted a 91-71 record which was good enough for third place, which is not good enough for George Steinbrenner. This tenure as manager would end in 1985 after 16 games and multiple assurances from Steinbrenner that he would not be fired. Yogi would not come back to Yankee Stadium for nearly 15 seasons after this.

On this day in 1996 the Yankees lost the 1996 World Series MVP John Wetteland to free agency to the Texas Rangers. Wetteland signed a four year deal worth $23 million to close games for the Rangers. Wetteland was only 29 years old when the Yankees let him walk to let Mariano Rivera close games.

On this day in 2002 the Yankees lost their relief pitcher Mike Stanton to a three year deal worth $9 million including a no trade contract with the New York Mets. The Yankees offered Stanton a two year deal worth $4.6 million on December 7, but Stanton was only allowed 15 minutes to consider the deal after a season where Mike went 7-1 with a 3.00 ERA and six saves.

On this day in 2009 the Yankees World Series MVP Hideki Matsui signed a one year deal worth $6.5 million with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Yankees were not interested in bringing back their DH due to his knee concerns.