NEW YORK — After going to old Yankee Stadium for four decades, Dusty Baker had a slight delay on his first trip to the new ballpark.
“It’s hard to get in this bad boy,” the Cincinnati Reds manager said Friday before his team opened an interleague series in the Bronx. “Some guy asked me today, ‘Could I help you?’ I was in the front, trying to get in. I said, ‘Yeah. I’m here for the game.’ He goes, ‘The gates aren’t open yet.’”
“I said, ‘OK, man. I’m the manager,’” Baker explained.
“The baseball team.”
“Yeah, what’s your name?”
That didn’t work.
“He didn’t know,” Baker said. “I didn’t wait long. Another guy came over. He recognized me. And this other guy apologized. He said, ‘I’m sorry, man. He didn’t know.’”
Baker took it in stride.
“No problem,” he told him.
Cincinnati became the first team to play at the Mets and the Yankees on consecutive days.
Earlier this week, a Reds player — who has not been identified — went to Yankee Stadium rather than Citi Field for the Reds’ game against the Mets. Baker said he could relate and told a story he thinks occurred in the late 1980s or early 1990s, when he was a coach.
“I was in a cab reading a newspaper, and I told the cabbie to take me to the stadium,” Baker said. “I wasn’t paying attention. He said, ‘Here we are.’”
Then Baker looked up.
“I said ‘I didn’t want to come to Yankee Stadium. I wanted to go to Shea Stadium,’” Baker explained. “He said, ‘Sir, you said The Stadium.’ I didn’t know that in New York The Stadium was Yankee Stadium. So a $20 cab ride turned out to like a $45 cab ride.”