Rivera Bobblehead Fiasco: Fitting Final Act For These Yankees
While the Yankees aren’t entirely out of playoff contention at the moment, having lost three in a row—two of them against the Rays, putting their division rival in the Wildcard driver’s seat—their prospects are grim.
At this point it’s not really a matter of if the Yanks will be eliminated, but when.
[Update: The Yankees were officially eliminated from playoff contention by the time I finished writing this blog post]
Even if they managed to back in somehow, having lost 8 of 11 down the stretch, it’s hard to imagine this team would’ve entered the postseason believing they could actually win. And who could blame them after this season?
The slide for the Yankees actually began in the playoffs last season, when captain Derek Jeter went down with a broken ankle in Game 1 of the ALCS against the Tigers. He was injured attempting to make a diving catch in the 12th inning of a 6-4 loss—they went on to lose the series.
Then came Alex Rodriguez’s offseason hip surgery. Then came the BioGenesis debacle. Then Jeter’s failed attempts at a comeback. Then A-Rod’s suspension saga. Then Jeter called it quits on the season. Then Mariano Rivera and Andy Petitte called it quits forever.
It was a tough, if not overly eventful, season for the boys in pinstripes.
And speaking of Rivera’s retirement! Having spent every season of his career—which spanned nearly two decades—in New York, on Tuesday the Yankees were set to honor the 13x All-Star in that special way that only MLB honors its greats.
With a bobblehead.
Unfortunately the giveaway was, much like the season in general, an unmitigated—not to mention costly—disaster.
The first 18,000 fans in the stadium were supposed to receive a bobblehead. Which sounds like a reasonable plan, assuming the toys arrive first. Except for that they didn’t. And boy were fans mad about what shall forever be known as the “Mariano Rivera bobblehead fiasco.”
According to CBS New York, “the rush for bobbleheads turned into mayhem at Yankee Stadium,” when a shipment carrying the statuettes was delayed due to a “transportation problem.” Nothing like vague explanations to calm and angry crowd.
Now if this were the Mets, Fred Wilpon would’ve probably tried to get a refund on the bobbleheads and just have the jumbotron display “Sucks To Be You” through the duration of the game. Which is why it really pays to be a Yankees fan.
Eventually the toys arrived, but the damage had been done. Lines had been cut. People had been pushed around. And the sobbing of disappointed children had already ruined the day for everyone.
So the Yankees did the right thing and promised everyone in attendance free admission for a game in 2014—when, hopefully, they’ll have a reason other than a free toy to bring them out to the ballpark.