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Yankee Stadium has been a Mausoleum

Oct 30, 2009, 10:55 AM EDT

It’s hard to truly gauge crowd noise from the TV broadcast. TBS, for example, is notorious for over-amplifying the crowd via some unique mic placement (they did it with the Braves for years and still do it now that they broadcast national games).  At the same time, the Indians broadcasts I watch most nights during the summer seem unnaturally quiet compared to the way I know that ballpark sounds in person.

But despite the vagaries of technology, it’s been pretty obvious how quiet Yankee Stadium was during the first two games of the Series (where is this guy?).  Buck and McCarver talked about it at length last night, and today FOX’s Ken Rosenthal gets the Phillies’ take on it:

Thank goodness the World Series is leaving New York so we can get a little atmosphere.

“Our ballpark is so loud and rowdy, I was really expecting some of that here,” Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins said. “It was very tame and civil.”

…From mystique and aura to tame and civil. What has the Bronx come to?

“Expensive tickets running loud people out,” Rollins said, referring to the high prices at the new Yankee Stadium . . .I asked the three Phillies outfielders in Game 1 — Ben Francisco, Shane Victorino and Jayson Werth — if they had heard any abuse from the fans.

“Crickets,” one of the outfielders said, and I don’t even know why I am granting him anonymity; it’s not like revealing his identity would put him in any danger.

I’ve certainly noticed the price-the-passionate-fans-out effect in other venues.  Ohio State basketball games used to be raucous before they moved into a big plush and expensive arena a decade ago.  Almost every new NFL stadium has rendered the previous roar of the home crowd a murmur.

But the Stadium has been loud at times this postseason, so I’m not willing to totally chalk it up to the richies taking over.  There may be some of that — especially considering that the ultra-richies probably buy tickets from the mere super richies for the World Series — but I think the dominating performance by Lee in Game 1 and the stronger than expected outing from Pedro last night had a lot more to do with it.  There has yet to be an instance in either game where Yankees fans had justification to go crazy so, not surprisingly, they haven’t gone crazy.

All of that said, I expect Philly to be positively insane tomorrow night. I mean, even if nothing exciting happens on the field, the roar of Philly fans yelling about how no one believes in them will be deafening enough on its own.

  1. Megan - Oct 30, 2009 at 5:21 PM

    It’s not the ticket prices. It’s that we’ve been watching great pitching from both teams esp. Lee in Game 1 which has set the tone for the first two games. I think Lee’s near shut out in Game 1 took some of the swagger out of the Yanks fans and they haven’t recuperated yet.

  2. Victoria - Oct 30, 2009 at 5:26 PM

    I completely agree about not standing on a two-strike count. I referred to it as a jinx, but yes, it’s definitely bush league as well. You’re the type of fan that qualifies as a real fan.
    I also agree with everyone who blames architecture for the quiet in the new Stadium — the one that’s beautiful, but was completely unnecessary. The old Stadium would shake from the sound and it was amazing. Wish they could figure out how to duplicate that in the new stadium.

  3. Joe - Oct 30, 2009 at 5:31 PM

    kevin, you got into it with two Yankee fans, because you’re contentious and arrogant. Witness your comment “stay home.” So, what you want to do is more important than other fans being able to see the game? You’re a schmuck.

  4. Andrew - Oct 30, 2009 at 5:35 PM

    Good to see A.Rod can’t be counted on. Sure, up to the World Series he was the hottest thing in the MLB, now he is halfway to the World Series record for strike outs.
    A.J., Rivera, and Jeter seem to be the only Yankees that have bothered to show up. With of course the one home run by slap me around and call me Texiera.
    Granted Howard hasn’t shown up either, short of a double but, still the Phillies have kept the Yankees to 4 runs in two games.
    Hamels better not pull the same B.S. he has been pulling the rest of the season. The Phillies need game three and I see no reason why Hamels should hand it to the Yankees.
    It is a surprising sight to see empty seats behind home plate, in the World Series. Hopefully it will not the same in Philly.
    Go Phills!

  5. Johnny - Oct 30, 2009 at 5:57 PM

    Are you seriously preaching the virtues of sitting down with 2 strikes? IT’S THE WORLD SERIES!! What the hell is going on in New York? As a Yankee fan, I was in DC last night watching the game and am sitting in Miami right now, and everyone I’ve talked to about the game is wondering why the hell the stadium was so dead last night. I try to make excuses but the fact is that much of the clientele that attends Yankee Games these days are the pink hat wearing types who go on message boards talking about how rude it is to stand up to cheer during the World Series. Its the same plague that is destroying the crowds at Fenway Park. Philly fans, it sounds like it hasn’t hit your town yet. Your crowds still have heart and swagger. I am envious.

  6. Victoria - Oct 30, 2009 at 5:57 PM

    I bet you’re one of idiots who did the wave too. Please, please go away and stick with the Mets or something.

  7. Johnny - Oct 30, 2009 at 6:05 PM

    Not to pile on, but have you ever attended a big time college football game anywhere in America? Or been to ANY other country in the world and sat in the stands at a soccer game? Sitting at any point during at these events is not an option.
    I mean there is no softer crowd in baseball than Baltimore, and I remember going to the ALCS in 1996 when the Yanks played the O’s and the entire second deck stood for the whole game. 2 strikes, 1 strike, in between innings. It didn’t matter. So I’m really confused as to why the new Yankee Stadium is suddenly as soft as the crowd at the Shamu show at Sea World. Like it literally makes me sad.

  8. Victoria - Oct 30, 2009 at 6:09 PM

    I had to look up the whole “pink hat” thing, and believe me, I’m not. But it’s precisely those kind of front-runner jerks who think it makes them look like true fans to stand throughout the game. It doesn’t. I’ll give you a pass on the two-strike thing — it’s bush, but understandable. However, if, like me, you’ve been keeping scorecards at Yankee games since you were four, you really appreciate being able to see the play.

  9. Victoria - Oct 30, 2009 at 6:18 PM

    Can’t believe you’re comparing Major League Baseball to something as lame as college football, or any football for that matter. And soccer? Come on, they also riot and kill losing coaches. You said Baltimore fans were soft, and also that they stood — perhaps those are your proto-pink hatters. Fans like to actually WATCH games. The electricity is in the game itself, not the obnoxious actions of front-runner types who think they’re the game.

  10. Johnny - Oct 30, 2009 at 6:19 PM

    You are right about the 2 strike thing if you are talking about the regular season. But the playoffs and especially the World Series, are different. They always have been. So the costum of not standing during the World Series is new and, at least to me, totally depressing. I’ve been to NFL and MLB playoff games where the entire crowd stood for the whole game. It makes for a much better fan experience.
    Look, just keep an eye on the crowd in Philly tomorrow night. You’ll notice a major difference in passion and intensity. And this is coming from a Yankee fan. Wouldn’t you rather be a part of that kind of crowd?

  11. Johnny - Oct 30, 2009 at 6:22 PM

    “As lame as college football.” Ok you have never been to a college football game. I played college football and have been to games where crowds of 100k crazy people stand and scream the entire game. The first time you see it it’ll blow you away. Take my word for it.

  12. Joe - Oct 30, 2009 at 6:25 PM

    Yankee fans do the 2-strike-standing thing throughout the season. I know, I see about 10 to 15 games in the stadium every year. During all of the World Cup games including the final, I never saw the fans stand throughout an entire match or even during long spells. Even if what you wrote were true, soccer fans also kill fans of opposing teams and refs. Who wants Euro-trash, thuggery or third-world barbarity at baseball games?
    So, please, sit down and enjoy the game. Stand and cheer when it’s appropriate. The only ones standing are the ones who don’t know when it’s appropriate to stand; either that or they really gotta take a whiz.

  13. Joe - Oct 30, 2009 at 6:27 PM

    I played Division II baseball and nobody stood during an entire game. Maybe the student body section stands (TX A & M’s 13th man), but try taking an 81-year father to a game and see how much he enjoys standing throughout a game.

  14. Joe - Oct 30, 2009 at 6:32 PM

    Baseball ain’t football. It’s a pastime, not a semi-military operation such as football. (And, yes, I served 8 years, USMC & USMCR.) And soccer is an outlet valve for most countries’ nationalism that has been neutered by their political elites.

  15. frank sangenito - Oct 30, 2009 at 6:48 PM

    for those of u not aware this is a new stadium and a different stadium. the first time i stepped into the new yankee stadium i knew this place was not going to be as loud. the fans and seats are spread out a lot more than the old park. the upper deck is now miles off the field as opposed to the old upper deck almost coming out over the field. the geniuses who built this place blew it. dont get me wrong the new park is a palace and is definitely more fan friendly. BUT the place will never be like the old park when it comes to noise. fans are spread out more, the different levels now jut back away from the field as opposed to the old park where the different levels/decks jut towards the field. HENCE, the reason why the park is not allowed. in addition to the corporate white collar crowd that the world series brings. there are also less yankee fans in the house with MLB holding something like almost 15,000 seats. ridiculous.

  16. Victoria - Oct 30, 2009 at 6:48 PM

    The experience is not the fans standing, it’s the game itself. You are praising something that has nothing to do with anything so much as mob mentality. Obviously, you love being part of a crazed crowd, that doesn’t mean you’re a fan or in any way knowledgeable about the sport itself.

  17. Jack Kay, PA - Oct 30, 2009 at 6:52 PM

    Loud venues or not, this is certainly shaping up to be a world class series. Pitching dominated the first two games, and the next few will “let the dogs out”!
    I am a Phillies fan, yet, thoroughly appreciate and respect the Yankee line-up. Is this a series of hearts versus the pocket book? I don’t know, but even so, this will be on heck of a ride.
    Hope this series goes 7 games. No matter who wins the bunch of bananas, both teams win the respect of their leagues. Go Phils and Good luck, Yanks!
    From Philly: Hats off to our NYC brethren.

  18. Victoria - Oct 30, 2009 at 6:58 PM

    Classy comment. We’re going to destroy you, but hats off to you as well.

  19. josh - Oct 30, 2009 at 7:39 PM

    “we”, Victoria? I must have missed it. Which position do you play?

  20. Dan - Oct 30, 2009 at 7:54 PM

    This is what happens to fans after they’ve won. Everyone in that stadium has seen the Yankees win once, twice, some 4 or even 20 times!
    Also, the Pheeleys are coming off a series at Dodger stadium where despite having games 1 and 2 at 5PM and 1PM respectively(total bs I might add) I can assure you the stadium was mayhem and the crowd was raucus.

  21. Michael - Oct 30, 2009 at 8:28 PM

    If you wanted some great crowd noise last night, you should have tuned in to the Sounders-Dynamo MLS playoff game on ESPN. Soccer chants > random crowd noise.

  22. Joe T - Oct 30, 2009 at 8:55 PM

    You would think the yankees could buy some fans to cheer the team on or just spend some money on a huge surround sound system to pipe in some cheering. Kinda like the laughter you hear on those sitcoms. Don’t go cheap Yanks! It’s not your style.

  23. steve - Oct 30, 2009 at 9:41 PM

    Game 1 was all pitching, especially Lee who kept the Yankees off base. Inning after inning, until a harmless run in the 9th. What do you expect from fans when they’re going down 1-2-3 every inning? It’s typical fan reaction: boredom. Nothing to cheer about, unless the organist makes an appearance or two…then silence once again. Fans also can smell that this just might not be their day to see their team rally. Lee was simply overpowering. Game 2, well that wasn’t much of a hitting affair either..low scoring, not many hits. C’mon, what’s to discuss here? Fans will fall asleep or simply sit n eat when there’s no action. What else is there for them to do? Go to any stadium, any sport and see what happens when the home team is getting shut out or losing by a big score! When it’s time you’ve seen enough, it’s time to leave. Time to pack it in!

  24. steve - Oct 30, 2009 at 9:51 PM

    Oh, one more add-on here:
    We were seeing a home game this summer in Milwaukee. A beautiful new stadium. Seating approx 45,000 give or take a few. This night, a near sell out crowd, maybe upper 30,000. Didn’t stick around to hear final attendance, but regardless, the score a close 2-2 game against the Pirates turned into a route of 10-2 before the Brewers scored a few late inning runs, long after we departed in the top of the 8th. The crowd had little to cheer about. Most just sat and watched in disbelief what was happening to their turned sour baseball team. A season of promise was already unraveling right before their eyes. A large crowd, little fan noise. Where the seats are, as like in any new stadium today makes little difference. They’re all not as close as the old stadiums were, seat wise. When fans sit and say nothing, don’t expect seat locations to make up for the difference!

  25. Joe - Oct 31, 2009 at 5:32 AM

    I was at game 2 so didn’t hear fox commentary but stadium seemed quite loud to me and very behind aj and mo’s performance. Our section was almost always up with two strikes (particularly with two outs). And the philly ofs must not have been listening when 1000 bleacher creatures were serenading them with “horse’s a$$” and “Jayson is a friend of mine” throughout the game… I could hear that clearly from the main box. Game 6 of alcs was louder but not by much. And the old stadium could get ridiculously loud but can’t really compare Ws crowds yet — Ny fans are loud when there is reason to be, not because they are getting a free towel or thunderstix!!

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