Day 2: The 2012 MLB Road Trip

by karlhenk

New York — Wednesday I commented on the uncomfortable nature of sleeping in the back of a Chevrolet Cruze.

Turns out falling asleep on a New York subway at 1:30 a.m. and missing your stop is on par with — and probably tops — sleeping in the back of a compact car.

The public transit experience, however, still falls short of another awkward moment: visiting Yankee Stadium.

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I know, I know, it’s not the Yankee Stadium, but a near replica, but still, the atmosphere and ballpark ambience disappointed during a Wednesday afternoon interleague matchup with the Atlanta Braves.

Yes, Yankee Stadium is a standout piece of architecture. But it paled in comparison to Fenway Park a night prior, and, dare I say it, even Comerica Park and its homey feel.

In fact, I was more impressed with Citi Field Wednesday evening, despite a disappointing crowd.

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There’s more ballpark impressions to come, but for now, here are Day 2’s top moments:

New York: Here’s New York in a nutshell. Taking the subway, it took about an hour to get from Yankee Stadium to Citi Field. That’s 10 miles in one hour (and for those math deficient, a 10-miles-per-hour average). The $2.50-cent-per-slice greasy New York pizza, however, made up for the three combined hours (mostly standing) on the subway.

The heat: It was 100-plus degrees at Yankee Stadium and 94 degrees at first pitch for the nightcap at Citi Field, marking two of the hottest games in New York history.

The homers: There were 10 of them Wednesday, including nine in the Yankees/Braves contest. It was also the first time in modern Yankees history that two pitchers (Phil Hughes and Tommy Hanson) each gave up four or more home runs in one game.

The subway: Did I mention the heat? And the late-night ride from Times Square in a car without air conditioning? Followed by a 10-minute-too-long nap that ended a few miles from the George Washington Bridge? Followed by not one, but two separate $40 cab rides back to New Jersey? If there was a college course on public transportation, I would have definitely failed.

The Detroit Lions: A Queens, New York-born Seattle Seahawks fan (yes, I know, he could have picked the Giants or Jets, but instead chose the Seahawks) made conversation on the subway trip to Citi Field and raved about Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and the Lions’ chances of making the postseason this year. Turns out the rest of the nation may be higher on the Lions’ chances than actual Detroit football fans. (In addition, a shout out goes to fellow Detroit News reporter Eric Lacy, who had his one-on-one with Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham referenced on the same subway ride.)

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