NEW YORK -- An uneventful flight, crazy cab ride and sweltering subway jaunt later, we've made it to Yankee Stadium for the start of All-Star week. Today I'm watching the Futures Game, featuring just-traded-to-Cleveland stud prospect Matt LaPorta. He's played mostly outfield in the Milwaukee chain and thus far at Double-A Akron but he's starting at first base today for the United States team. Some scouts tell me he projects better there than in the outfield (bad news down the line for Ryan Garko).
His name has been all over the papers for a week but LaPorta apparently didn't make a dent to the folks at the Yankee Stadium mic. During player introductions, the scoreboard said "Matthew" and he was introduced as "Mateo" Say what? The camera was on LaPorta and even he shook his head and laughed.
A note on the new Yankee Stadium: It's far advanced from when I saw it in January while here for a Sabres game. It's downright huge and the one thing I didn't notice until today is that it's right up against the subway line (left, click for bigger image). You see the current ballpark from across two lines and a platform. Not so with the new one. I'm thinking that come next year the noise and vibration will be quite a bit more from the trains than it is now.