Reflecting on 2008 has been pretty tough because it has literally been a blur and from the way 2009 is shaping up it will not be very different. Planning for MLB Opener in Japan between the World Champion Red Sox and the Oakland A’s The First ever MLB exhibition series in Beijing between the Padres and Dodgers took up most of the first few months. We also had another Olympic qualifier to operate in Taiwan during the month of march. That took a lot of time an effort.
From May to August, it was pretty much the Beijing Olympics with the exception of about 25 Site visits throughout Europe ( Italy, Sweden, Russia, Holland, Germany, Spain, France and Czech Republic) in preparation of the 2009 World Cup. And a few more site surveys for the 2009 World baseball Classic in PR and Mex. We actually squeaked in a couple field training days in Panama and Dominican Republic.
State side we had some great projects rolling with Opening day partners and Minor League baseball. A few site reviews of the New Shea stadium and Yankee stadium. That’s kind of brushing the surface but again it’s still a blur.
My main reason for reflecting is to thank all of our current and past staff at STS from Marti to Chad to Jeff, Zackx2, Brandon, Kevin, Alan, Steve, Erik, Darrell, Budge, Joe. Without this group we would not have been successful with any of these projects because it took a true team effort.
Maybe Ruth actually built this house..but probably had some help from a few other Yankee Staff. Nice Touch NY.
Traveling has its fun times and enjoyable moments. From Tokyo to Singapore everyone has a story. Some of the best stories always come out of New York. I was in “the city” (as it’s called with fervor) and after arriving at the Double Tree Hotel on Broadway I ventured out for dinner and found Langdon’s Restaurant. An Irish pub with the chicken pot pie, Cabbage and corn beef and Guinness stouts etc… It was packed. After sitting down, the place became packed. Right after I arrived, a couple in their mid fifties came in and sat next to me. The lady asked the bartender if he could make a “Long Island Ice tea” . The bartender looked at her like…where do you think you are! Absolutely he stated and within 30 seconds she tested the drink and muttered ” That’ll work in her deep southern drawl. The bartender was 100% Irish and the folks were 100% southern Mississippi. Basically they spoke foreign languages to each other. The patron would ask the B-tender a question and he could not understand a single word the Mississippi native spoke. Not one! For example the man asked for a cola. It sounded like cowala. The young Irish lad was struggling with the lingo. Another patron sitting next to them asked where they were from and he stated Mississippi and she was amused in a zoo type demeanor if you know what I mean. Before leaving I had to greet them, which I did, in my own southern Virginia drawl…they were ecstatic to hear a familiar voice. You would’ve thought I was kin. There next comment to me was…you guys lost the war too. We struck up a brief but meaningful chat. It just so happens that Bill Jones owns his Law office in old Mississippi and is also Chairman of the Mississippi Board of Education! Good southern folks in a big northern city. You never know….America is awesome.
CitiField is really taking shape. We had a lwalkthrough today that included a review of the locker rooms and overall facility. Bill Deacon the Mets head groundskeeper is pretty happy with the field construction which was completed by a Lantec. Sod was down and green. This field will have a few extra bells and whistles that Shea didn’t have that will keep it greener and healthier during the season. A full heating system under the field allows for keeping the grass warm in the winter…in the summer it can blow air through the field to keep it cool to reduce disease. Dan Almond ( the FOP designer) was also at the site today reviewing the final details of field construction and planning as well as meeting with the contractor. The weather today was great so it was nice seeing the field not covered with a turf blanket. MAde you want to pick up a glove and play catch. Next stop the new Yankees stadium. Two new parks open in 2009 and they are going to set the mark for stadium construction.