Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Lonn Trost Doesn't Get It

[What I am writing here can probably be addressed to more than just Trost, but since he's the one with the quote, he gets to bear the brunt of it.]

"If you purchased a suite, do you want people in your suite. If you purchased a house, do you want people in your house?”

That, ladies and gentlemen, was Lonn Trost's reply when asked about letting us regular fans down to the field level during batting practice.

I am actually having trouble putting my outrage into words.

Yes, I realize there are some out there who can spend $1500 or whatever on a baseball ticket I'm not one of them. Neither, I imagine, are most of my friends.

Here's the thing: Why would we pay $100 or more to see a regular season game for a team that's not been out of third place since 2007, when it's no longer the last year of the Old Stadium, when many of us are struggling just to find jobs, when, at the same time, we can get down to Staten Island or Trenton or Scranton to see the prospects for something that costs less than our tuition?

Trost and co want to reach out to the fans. I get that. It's a laudable idea.

The problem is, they're reaching out to the fans that represent everything people hate about the Yankees and alienating the gross majority of other fans in the process.

Now, I don't doubt that some who can afford the really expensive seats are genuine, die-hard fans. I know plenty, including myself, who've scored the really good tickets just by virtue of knowing the right person at the right time.

Still, it doesn't change the fact that for the majority of fans, the caste system so firmly in place seems to decree that only those with $100,000 K + salaries are worth the time and effort.

Trost, and others, should take a good look at the Yankee fanbase.

Look at the portion of fans that are high school, college students or those still in their twenties--not usually those with the most disposable income. Yet, it's among this group you find some of the most hardcore fans. I don't want to sound to self-centered, but it's really us that Trost and co should be targeting.

After all, we're the ones that have yet to settle down and start families (for the most part); we're the ones that will one day decide whether or not it's worth it to put down the deposit for season tickets, and, as far as I know, this isn't football--there's no fifty-year waiting list here.

Field level seats may never be affordable to the general public, but the ability to go and watch batting practice up close should be.

The vast majority of fans are good people who don't go and get drunk and become a nuisance.

There was never a problem when I watched BP at Fenway, even when fully decked out in NY Yankees clothing.

I don't understand why it's so hard for the Yankees to put together a good PR department.

Without the fans, the team means nothing. This includes ALL fans, regardless of income or socio-economic class.

Because, when it matters, the 20 year old nanny from Harlem is as much a New Yorker as the 40 year old hedge fund manager from Connecticut wishes he was one.

Because the Yankees are the Bronx Bombers, not the Wall Street Bombers or the Park Avenue Baseball Team.

Because baseball exists as an escape from reality, and not an exaggeration of it.

Because Joba's fist pump doesn't give a crap about who sees it, but only that it's seen.

This is what they don't get.