Well, if this isn’t a sign of the times, we don’t know what is: a longtime Yankees mascot/fan, Freddy “Freddy Sez” Schuman, who has carried homemade totems and made a cheerful nuisance of himself at hundreds of Yankee games, used to gain admittance to the old Yankee Stadium on his celebrity alone, but has had difficulty gaining entrance to the new facility and has relied on the kindness of other fans to attend this season’s games. “The Yankees say I am a part of the stadium,” Shulman says to the Post. “What part am I, the toilet bowl?”
Freddy’s freeze-out figures in a long rant at It Is About the Money, Stupid primarily about the high price of Yankees tickets and the subsequent sparsity of bums in seats. IIATM,S reports that “the Stadium’s inane ‘seating gestapo’… will not let the kids down close to the field during batting practice to get autographs unless they have one of those pricey seats.” And Fack Youk says the urinals in the pricey Field Level have dividers, but the urinals in the cheaper sections do not. “Could there be a better symbol of how much the Yankees have bent over backwards to cater to the wealthiest customers and how they could care less about the core fans?” he asks.
As in other areas of our civic life, the Yankees’ management now dispenses fewer privileges to the little people. This occasionally causes public friction, which can be handled with small PR gestures. The Yankees indicate that they have heard the cry of Freddie, who can be accommodated cheaply and easily, thus buying the corporation some good will. But the complainers from cheap-seaters are out of luck; they are relatively faceless, and their modest contribution to the bottom line is probably seen as expendable; so long as luxury box and $500-and-up attendees have paid their bills, who cares if they even show up to watch balls fly out of the newly homer-friendly Stadium? The corporation has heritage and cable contracts. Get lost.