Rob Iracane

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  • Yankee Stadium on opening day 2013 (Getty Images)

    Have a baseball road trip coming up? Well, in a bid to help you with your upcoming journeys, Big League Stew has solicited the help of the locals. Over the next month or so, we'll be hitting up our usual guest blogger crew to feature 10 tips for enjoying each of the 30 ballparks like the locals do. Have a suggestion in addition to the ones listed here? Make sure to list it in the comments below.

    Up next is our old pal Rob Iracane of Walkoff Walk (RIP) fame. As a Yankees season ticketholder, he has the best advice on how to navigate a summer trip to the Bronx.

    They paved paradise and put up an airport terminal. Sure, Old Yankee Stadium was crumbling and cramped, but it was also the best place in North America to watch a World Series game. So it’s a shame that Yankees ownership demolished the cathedral of sports and put up a shiny new, cavernous building with all the antiseptic and hollow feel of Newark Airport, Terminal C. All metal, concrete, and videoboards without much charm or character.

    Still, it’s a great place to watch a baseball game (as long as you’re not a pampered hedge funder sitting in the luxury boxes behind home plate, only to disappear for innings at a time to enjoy the comforts of the private lounge. Yuck.) because, well, there’s not much else you’ll want to do besides watch the baseball game.

    So follow these ever-so-helpful suggestions if you want the best experience with your first trip to the House that Jeter Built:

    1. Go ahead, drive. Getting to Yankee Stadium by public transit is really quite simple provided you are coming from the right place. Visiting Manhattan? Great! Take the subway. Coming from upstate New York or Connecticut? Perfect! The Metro North will drop you off a block away. Traveling from anywhere else, though, you might as well drive because you willl have no trouble finding a parking spot. When the new Stadium was built, the team and the city vastly overestimated the number of spots needed and overbuilt the garages. Sadly, the parking fee is a walloping $35 in the garages close to the Stadium but if you park away a little bit, you’ll only pay $25. For a family of four, I’ll call that a bargain.

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  • Concession Speech: 2012 New York Yankees

    With the regular season over, teams are facing an offseason filled with golf rounds and hot-stove strategy.

    But we're not going to let them get off that easy. No sir. No way. In an attempt to bring some closure between franchise and follower, we're giving a blogger from each team the opportunity to give a concession speech for this year's squad. Up next is our old pal Rob Iracane. He wrote the 10 best things about being a Yankees fan earlier this year.

    Welcome, my fellow Yankees fans, but please stop pointing your fingers at Alex Rodriguez! Our historic ALCS sweep at the hands of the detestable Detroit Tigers happened because we are merely victims of circumstance and once again find ourselves on the wrong side of luck!

    Time was, finishing first in the league guaranteed a nifty flag to hoist above our great Stadium and a free pass into the World Series. Those days are long gone thanks to Commissioner-for-life Bud Selig and his "let's give those flyover franchises an opportunity to win it all each year instead of the Yankees" policy. We can hoist a division title year after year after year, but the artifice of the ALDS and ALCS presents a sometimes unsolvable riddle for even the best of best teams. How much money do these Yankees need to spend to buy an automatic World Series berth anyway?

    But I come here not to bury Selig but rather to single out our Yankees but also to concede a hard-fought series to the vanquishing heroes from the Midwest. The 2012 New York Yankees campaign was a joyride in a cherry red Mercedes convertible with a beautiful blonde, and it was only until we were coasting down the final hill before we realized we had no brakes. Do we wipe out a season of greatness merely because the final four games were an unprecedented disaster? No! Do we call out the offenders who led us into the toilet anyway? Yes!

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  • The 10 best things about being a Yankees fan


    The request we're sending to bloggers of all 30 teams this spring is a simple one: What are the 10 best things about being a fan of your favorite team? What features of the franchise have you excited for opening day and what keeps you coming back year after year?

    Over the next few weeks, we'll give each of the 30 teams a day in the spotlight, showcasing the icons and traditions that make each big-league hamlet special. Up next is our own Rob Iracane, our resident in-house Yankees fan and co-founder of the late, great Walkoff Walk.

    1. Old-Timers' Day. Other franchises have attempted to stage an exhibition game for aged, former players, but only the New York Yankees have the star power and history to do it every single year since 1947. Rounding up 50 or so Hall of Famers, All-Stars, and World Champs for one day each summer to tip their caps to a sellout crowd, glad-hand former teammates, and play a few innings under the sun in the Bronx is one of the great traditions in baseball.

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  • Parking at a Yankees game could soon cost $55

    Fans of the New York Yankees may soon have to pay as much as $55 to park at Yankee Stadium thanks to the poor planning by New York City, the Yankees and a private firm that is running low on cash.

    Again, that's $55 to leave a car somewhere for the three or four hours it takes to watch a baseball game. And it's because the Bronx Parking Development Company LLC — a private firm that owns and operates parking lots and garages surrounding the new stadium — is unable to repay the  hundreds of millions of dollars that it owes on bonds.

    Not surprisingly, the mess may be passed onto the fans who live across the Hudson River in New Jersey and the others who either can't or won't take cheaper public transportation alternatives to watch a Yankees game in the Bronx.

    While the Bronx Parking Development company is not affiliated with the Yankees or New York, its failure is directly linked to the deal brokered by the team and the city back in 2005. Mayor Michael Bloomberg agreed to issue $237 million in tax-exempt bonds that allowed a 9,000-space system of garages and parking lots to sprawl around the new stadium, replacing both public park land and abandoned lots abutting the Harlem River.

    Juan Gonzalez reports in the New York Daily News why the parking prices might skyrocket soon:

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  • Jorge Posada poses with three of the five World Series trophies he won as a member of the Yankees. (AP)

    Jorge Posada formally announced his retirement from baseball at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday morning, ending a 17-season career that was spent solely with the Bronx Bombers. Posada walks away from the sport with a fine résumé that includes 1,574 games behind the plate, 11 postseason home runs and five World Series rings (a haul that includes the 1996 season, when he failed to make the postseason roster).

    The press conference was packed with close teammates such as Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera, friends such as Thurman Munson's widow Diana, and well-wishers including a number of longtime season ticketholders who shared their memories of Posada during an extended career retrospective. Posada was teary-eyed when he honored his parents in his native Spanish he spoke growing up in Puerto Rico, and thanked the Steinbrenner family, saying, "I could never wear another uniform; I will always be a Yankee."

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  • Home for the holidays: No jail for Barry Bonds

    Barry Bonds (AP)

    Home run king Barry Bonds has been pitched around again. The former San Francisco Giants star was sentenced to two years' probation and a month of home confinement in San Francisco district court on Friday, a delayed result of his conviction back in April on one count of obstruction of justice.

    Prosecutors in the case had asked Judge Susan Illston to hand down a stiff 15-month prison sentence, a far weightier punishment than cyclist Tammy Thomas and track coach Trevor Graham had received when sentenced for the same crime by the same judge. But Bonds' probation officer recommended a lighter deal: two years' probation, 250 hours of community service, and a mere month of home confinement and location monitoring.

    In the end, Judge Illston chose the lesser sentence, which included a measly $4,000 fine. She chose to go easy on the home run champ for four reasons: He didn't try to silence witnesses, his recent charity work showed character, he had no prior arrest record, and to keep in line with the previous sentences handed down to Thomas and Graham.

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  • Ryan Braun muscles his way to first MVP


    Speak softly, carry a big bat, and sell T-shirts with tigers on them: Those words are Ryan Braun's secret to success that earned him the 2011 National League MVP award.

    In a close vote that saw him earn 20 of 32 first-place votes, Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun won his first MVP award thanks to some eye-catching power numbers. He led the NL in slugging percentage (.597) and extra-base hits (77) while being named to both the All-Star game and the roster of NL Silver Sluggers. Oh, and he helped the Brew Crew win their first NL Central Division title with a franchise-high 96 wins, all while fielding random marriage proposals from obsessed fans.

    Sorry, ladies! He's married to baseball! {YSP:MORE}

    Braun becomes the first Brewers player to snag an MVP award since way back in 1989, when the team was still in the American League and Robin Yount won it wearing this snazzy home uniform. The last time a Milwaukee player won the MVP honors while playing the corner outfield? That would

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  • The real reason Tony La Russa had communication problems


  • He’s hip: A-Rod finds fountain of youth in hot spring


    Just two years after a torn labrum in his hip threatened to sideline Alex Rodriguez for more than half of the 2009 season, the New York Yankees slugger has recovered enough of his powerful potency to turn heads with towering home runs and gaudy statistics — albeit in spring training.

    In an 8-1 win over the Phillies on Sunday, Rodriguez was slotted at DH and hit his fourth home run in his last five games. And yet, despite collecting a hit in every single game he's started this spring and tallying a whopping 1.475 OPS, those 13 games and mere 40 plate appearances represent the smallest of sample sizes.

    But with his hip nearly 100 percent recovered, Rodriguez can get back to the two things he loves the most: Being fed popcorn by hand and hitting home runs. Zach Berman of the Newark Star-Ledger reports: {YSP:MORE}

    "What it is, is the best I can do, and people can care less about excuses," Rodriguez said. "They want to see results, and so do we."

    arod_roundingThe improvements are evident. He's better

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  • The season of Derek Jeter’s 3,000th hit is upon us


    That unsung New York Yankees shortstop whose name, if I recall correctly, is Derek Jeter has flown under the radar long enough. As the lunchpail-carrying, work-a-day guy who has toiled in virtual anonymity during his unheralded 15-year career approaches his 3,000th hit, we baseball fans may finally get to know a little bit about this man in pinstripes. It's about time: 2011, dare I say, will be the Year of Derek Jeter!

    OK, maybe because Jeter plays in such a high-profile city for such a high-profile team with so many high-profile girlfriends, every year is the Year of Derek Jeter. But for all his many, many honors that will one day be etched onto a nifty plaque in Cooperstown, none perhaps can match becoming the first New York Yankees player to ever notch 3,000 career hits. {YSP:MORE}

    If there's one thing baseball fans love even more than delicious beer, it's a tidy milestone with a bunch of zeroes at the end. There is something comforting about round numbers; the more goose eggs we

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