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Spring Training

Posted: March 19th, 2012 | Filed under: The Bronx

Now that I’m caught up with baseball outings from 2011, we can finally get ready for the regular season. In 2011 we saw the Diamondbacks vs. Giants at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona, the Phillies vs. Braves, Phillies vs. Rangers and Phillies vs. Cubs at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, and the Yankees vs. Red Sox at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.

It occurs to me that we saw some pretty good teams in 2011 — I definitely didn’t expect the D-Backs to be that good when we saw them back in April. We saw four playoff teams play. In fact, I challenge anyone to have seen teams with a better combined record than we saw in 2011 (minimum five games? can we create a variable to take into account how many total games one saw?). Let’s tease this out:

Arizona Diamondbacks: 94-68
San Francisco Giants: 86-76
Philadelphia Phillies: 102-60
Atlanta Braves: 89–73
Texas Rangers: 96-66
Chicago Cubs: 71-91 (you can always depend on the Cubs to screw up at least one thing a season)
New York Yankees: 97-65
Boston Red Sox: 90-72

Total win-loss record: 725-571 for a .559 winning percentage.

Well, did any of you do any better?

Mom and Dad were in town while the Red Sox were playing the Yankees and they had never been to see the new stadium, so we went early. I had never seen Monument Park, and neither had they, so we got to see that. Much has been said about the giant Steinbrenner plaque in the center of everything. Here it is:

Monument Park, Yankee Stadium, The Bronx, June 7, 2011

George M. Steinbrenner III Plaque, Monument Park, Yankee Stadium, The Bronx, June 7, 2011

We also had time to visit the Yankees Museum with all the hardware:

World Series Ring, New York Yankees Museum, Yankee Stadium, The Bronx, June 7, 2011

The collection of signed baseballs from everyone who ever played for the organization is actually very cool. Here’s Cory Lidle, who crashed the plane he was flying into an Upper East Side building in 2006:

Signed Baseballs, New York Yankees Museum, Yankee Stadium, The Bronx, June 7, 2011

And I searched out Ian Kennedy’s ball:

Ian Kennedy Signed Baseball, New York Yankees Museum, Yankee Stadium, The Bronx, June 7, 2011

This was the first full season after Steinbrenner died, so there were a lot of tributes to him around the park (in addition to the oversized plaque in Monument Park:

Right Field Bleachers And George Steinbrenner Memorial From Section 214, Yankee Stadium, The Bronx, June 7, 2011

Remembering George M. Steinbrenner III Display, New York Yankees Museum, Yankee Stadium, The Bronx, June 7, 2011

Oh, and we had good seats, for once:

New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox (Section 214), Yankee Stadium, The Bronx, June 7, 2011

This was Jorge Posada’s last season, which we didn’t know at the time:

Frieze and Hit-Hit Jorge Sign, View From Section 214, New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox, Yankee Stadium, The Bronx, June 7, 2011

And “We Want Pie” is a shoutout to A.J. Burnett, if I’m not mistaken (yup, that’s it); that’s all behind us now as well:

Frieze and We Want Pie Sign, View From Section 214, New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox, Yankee Stadium, The Bronx, June 7, 2011

The Red Sox won, by the way; A-Rod struck out to end the game:

Alex Rodriguez At Bat, New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox (Section 214), Yankee Stadium, The Bronx, June 7, 2011