The New York Yankees’ Treatment of Fans Last Night Was an Absolute Disgrace
The New York Yankees, and Major League Baseball, should be embarrassed today. This has nothing to do with the normal criticisms of baseball: pace of play and lack of relatability to younger audiences being chief among them.
No, this has to do with the actions between the hours of 7PM and 10PM yesterday, within the confines of Yankee Stadium in The Bronx, New York. There wasn't a single pitch thrown during those hours, and that's where my problem begins.
New York Yankees, MLB Deserve Blame for Handling of Rain Delay
Roughly an hour before first pitch of Monday's Game 5 of the ALDS, in which the Yankees and Guardians would battle for the final spot in the Championship Series, we found out that the game would not be starting on-time.
First pitch was originally scheduled for 7:07PM, and upon the announcement of the rain delay, we were left without an answer as to when the game would begin. The various reporters and broadcasters claimed that the teams, and the league, were reconvening every hour to discuss the situation.
But, as one hour became two, and two became three, no answers were given.
All the while, however, fans were kept in suspense, and encouraged to continue visiting the concession stands on the concourse of Yankee Stadium. The team brought in money on food and beer hand-over-fist over the three-hour delay period, and seemed to be in no rush to usher fans out of the stadium.
Look, I understand that there was a lot of motivation to get this game played. Whoever wins the pivotal Game 5 has to travel to Houston, to play in the ALCS against the Astros. The series begins on Wednesday, no matter what happens in the days prior.
So, if the game were to ultimately be postponed to Tuesday, which it was, the winning team would have to begin their next series roughly 24 hours after finishing their previous one. That's a huge inconvenience on whichever team wins, making it all the more meaningful to have the game played on Monday.
That all being said, the forecast did not seem to improve enough to play at ANY point of the night. With that knowledge in mind, why keep the fans waiting for three hours before finally announcing that the game was postponed?
Think about these people:
- Those that travelled from out of town, or out of state.
- Those that have families and younger kids.
- Those that have to work in the morning the next day.
Those three bullet points describe the vast majority of fans who travelled to Yankee Stadium last night. Yes, it's in the fine print of a baseball ticket that you may have to sit around and wait for a while during a rain delay, and yes, no one was holding these fans hostage.
They could've left if they wanted to, but why would they?
You're in the building to see a PLAYOFF GAME for your favorite team. If your team loses, you may bear witness to the final game of Aaron Judge's career as a New York Yankee. Or, you may see your team triumph, coming back from down 2-1 in the series, and living to fight another day against their rivals in Houston.
The New York Yankees, and Major League Baseball, knew that fans were feeling this way, and used this to make a profit off of them. That's a disgrace, and an embarrassment, and I would be upset with my team if I were a fan of the New York Yankees.
This game should've been called by the time the clock struck 9PM, if not by 8:30PM, allowing people the extra hour of travel time in the inclement weather. Instead, they were left in suspense, and ultimately, with major disappointment.
Simply put, this situation was handled very poorly, and I believe the teams and the league knew that, and did it anyway.