HIGHLANDER STADIUM, A NICE PLACE TO VISIT BUT I WOULDN’T WANT TO CALL IT HOME

As I mentioned yesterday, I took a trip to the South Bronx to watch the Highlanders-Indians game which was my first visit to the new Highlander Stadium, so I’d figure I’d give you  some of my observations of the ball park.

It’s big, very big much bigger than Citi Field and because of that you are much further away from the field than at Citi.

As soon as you head down the stairs of the 4 train you know you’re at HIGHLANDER STADIUM because the Highlander brand just suffocates you. Maybe suffocates is too strong or maybe as a Mets fan I wish Citi Field was as Mets-centric as Highlander Stadium. Hell, even the hot dog stand is named Highlander hot dogs. Every single inch of the place is decorated in Highlander colors and there is no mention of the old Baltimore Orioles , who became the Highlanders and then the Yankees. No its’ Yankees, Yankees and more Yankees.

They sell t-shirts for just about every member of the team and of course all the retired stars. I was very, very tempted to buy a MARTIN 1 t-shirt as I always admired Bill Martin and his style of managing. His off the field way left a lot to be desired for sure but as a manager Martin was as good if not better than anyone who ever ran a baseball team.

For me to get to Highlander Stadium is a breeze. I took the 10:30 AM ferry out of Staten Island, then walked up to Bowling Green to get the 4 train and I was in front of the ball park by 11:45. It takes me that long to get from my house to the Gowanus /BQE merge going to Citi Field.

There are no ushers at Highlander Stadium. There are security people and the Highlanders post a number you can text to report a problem in your section. I sat in Section 420B yesterday and while everything was fine there was this one young lady who kept getting up looking for friends of hers and blocked the view of some fans. One of the blocked fans must have texted the number given as a security guard with ear piece came to the section and went right to the row where this gal was and asked if everything was ok here. Pretty impressive.

The Stadium itself (it’s not a ballpark it’s a STADIUM) has no charm. As you walk in the concourse level is just like entering a high end shopping mall. There are many, many workers who hold up signs “How May I Help You” and whatever you’re looking for at the Stadium they can tell you where it is. Unfortunately that doesn’t happen at Citi Field.     

The food choices were ok I guess, there wasn’t a concession that I said I have to have that. The garlic fires looked enticing but the smell of the garlic was so overpowering I passed. There was a Boar’s Head deli which I guess is very good but I can have a Boar’s Head deli sandwich any time I want. Johnny Rocket’s? There’s one in the SI Mall. Brother Jimmy’s BBQ? I have that before NY Rangers games. Hard Rock Café? If there was ever an organization that was the antithesis of Rock n Roll it’s the Highlanders   So I settled for my favorite sausage and peppers hero.

As for the fans, I guess because it was a Sunday there were a lot of families mostly from NJ, Rockland and Orange County and beyond. Listening to some of the conversations, many were of the casual fan variety but the fan of the day had to be the woman in back of me decked out in here Rivera jersey, cap who cheered and cheered for Jeter and A-Rod who upon seeing a man walking down from the upper rows of the section with a Highlander jersey with the number 5 on it asked her the guy who was with her, “Who’s number 5” to make it worse the guy who was with her didn’t know. My son who was with me just stared ahead watching the action, shaking his head back and forth. That was the best part of the day.

Citi Field has a lot of warts, most of them brought on by ownership but the atmosphere at Citi is much better and more of a festive block party, hanging out in the back yard BALLPARK whereas Highlander STADIUM is a massive high rise apartment building  where no one knows your name and they like it that way.

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IN THE END, AMERCIA WINS, WE ALWAYS WIN!

What a day eh? I guess we will add to our “where were you” list our whereabouts when you heard that Osama Bin Laden was killed by U.S. Special Ops. I found out while checking out Twitter while watching Mets-Phillies and fighting off sleep.

The news of that filthy fucking savage Bin Laden was dead  was a like a jolt of adrenalin.  As much as I was enjoying the superb  pitching of Chris Young,  the three man ESPN booth was killing me, plus after a weekend of putting furniture together, managing a baseball game (a 13-3 opening day win for my Babe Ruth team) and a 5AM wakeup call looming, I was ready to hit the sack. My wife and kids had already went to bed early as my daughter and wife volunteered  to work the Staten Island end of the 5 Boro Bike Tour with her Girl Scout troop and my son competed in a rifle sharp shooting contest upstate and left camp at 6:30 AM with my nephew in order to make out baseball game at 10:30AM, poor kid felt asleep on the couch and he’s to damn big now for me to carry him upstairs so I had to wake him up to go to bed. That sucks.

So with everyone but me and the cats off to sleep, I settle in to watch the rest of Mets-Phillies along with checking out Twitter. As I reading my timeline I keep seeing that President Obama will address the nation at 10:30 PM. WOW! This cannot be good, everything about it a Sunday, late at night, asking for clearance from the networks? First thing I thought was word of an impending attack on the U.S. and we need to get prepared. Then I thought that Gaddafi was dead. Good for the miserable scum bag. As my timeline was updating by the second, I realized this is much, much bigger. I switched on CNN and Wolff Blitzer knew what was going on but couldn’t say. Well, fuck you Wolff. I switch to MSNBC and some D-list anchor is on there and he is ready to report this unbelievable piece of news, when a director tells him in his ear piece not to. Mother fuckers! As I’m cursing out the news media I’m checking Twitter and the word on the social media street is OSAMA BIN LADEN was killed by American Special Ops. HOLLY FUCKING SHIT!!!!!! I switch down the dial to all places FOX News and lo and behold Geraldo Rivera is jumping out of his seat relaying the news that Bin Laden is dead, he then high fives a retired General who is in studio with him. At this point I run upstairs to wake up my wife to give her the news, she gets out of bed to join me in watching the President tell the world the American finally got its man.

I am so happy and proud the American Special Ops did this prick in and from reading how they did it solidifies the fact to the whole world that there is no dedicated and braver solider like the men and women of the American Military. That’s why this country with all the faults and bullshit we endure everyday can sleep at night knowing that the U.S. Armed Services is protecting us.  There are still a bunch of scumbag wanna-be tough guys in the Middle East that think they can take down America and win those 72 virgins they’ve been brain washed into believing are waiting for them, the only thing waiting for those mindless douchebags is a bullet to the head with USA engraved on it.

Meanwhile the Mets beat the Phuck Phaces in 14 innings as Chris Young outpitched Cliff Lee and Frankie Rodriguez, Pedro Beato, and Taylor Bucholz pitched 6.1 shutout innings and Ronnie Paulino, RONNIE PAULINO!!!! Went 5 for 7 in his Mets debut as the Mets salvage a win in Philly.

I’m happy the Mets won , but there are not the news of the day and I don’t think they mind it at all.

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