Mariano Rivera slates new Yankee Stadium

Former great Mariano Rivera says the Old Yankee Stadium was a much better place to play than the new version.

Some people, am I right? Despite having a nearby street named after him, former Yankee and all-time great closer, Mariano Rivera, has been bad-mouthing his most recent accommodation, instead singing the praises of the old stadium.

The release of Rivera’s book, "The Closer", has been making the news today largely on the basis of the fact Rivera said flat-out that he would choose to play alongside Boston’s gritty second baseman Dustin Pedroia over his old teammate Robinson Cano.

That’s great fodder for the press at large, but perhaps more interesting are Rivera’s comments on the new Yankee stadium over the old ‘house that Ruth built’.

The Yankee front office can’t be happy with Rivera’s comments, despite the fact the future Hall Of Fame Legend is only verbalizing what we all know. The new Yankee stadium, with its $2,500 front row seats and emphasis on amenities and luxury, is like watching a game in your living room with butlers serving you food and drink. The old Yankee stadium was (speaking from experience) quite literally a dangerous place to go for, for example, Red Sox fans, which was a good thing for the home team. The atmosphere was always intense.

The new digs? Not so much.

In his new book about his life story, Rivera points to the fact there has been a drastic decrease in the decibel levels at Yankee games since the move to the plush new surroundings.

Rivera said; "It doesn't hold noise, or home-team fervor, anywhere near the way the old place did. The old Stadium was our 10th man -- a loud and frenzied cauldron of pinstriped passion, with a lot of lifers in the stands. Maybe I'm wrong, but it's hard to see that the new place can ever quite duplicate that."

The cost of installing $2,500 seats behind home plate? A major loss in atmosphere. We can all see it, but Mariano was brave enough to come out and say it. The boys in the Yankee front office might not like it, but, it’s true.