New York Yankees
Home field:Yankee Stadium, The Bronx (tickets)
Who they are: The Bronx Bombers; winners of 27 World Series and wearers of classic pinstriped uniforms; the team of Joltin’ Joe, The Mick, The Babe and many more evocatively nicknamed all-time greats.
What’s going on: The days of the Yankees flexing their financial muscle on the free-agent market have been in retrograde the past two off-seasons. The Bronx Bombers, an American League wild card last year, signed no new players of note—but did trade for gas-throwing reliever Aroldis Chapman and switch-hitting outfielder Aaron Hicks. Chapman, who will begin the season with a 30-day suspension, joins a dynamic bullpen out of which he, Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller should regularly bamboozle hitters in the late innings. The team’s starting pitching is murkier: Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda are as good as they come when not injured; Luis Severino looks ready to break out but is just 22 and has barely 60 major league innings to his name; and onetime ace CC Sabathia is fighting to regain his form. Designated hitter Alex Rodriguez had a season of redemption in 2015. He’s now 40, but the Yankees will rely on him, along with soon-to-be-36-year-old first baseman Mark Teixeira and 32-year-old catcher Brian McCann, to power the offense. A bounceback season from Jacoby Ellsbury, who like fellow outfielder Brett Gardner is known for his power-speed combo, would put a lot of furrowed Yankee brows at ease. The team has the talent to compete and has blended a decent amount of youth in with its, er, experience. A return to the playoffs might be a stretch; on the other hand, as the late Yogi Berra used to say, “In baseball, you don’t know nothing.”
Why you should go: Well, for one thing, they're the New York Yankees. For another, you might catch history being made: A-Rod looks to become the fourth baseball player to reach 700 home runs (he’s got 13 to go). If he hits the mark on Alex Rodriguez Replica Bat Day, May 14, so much the better. Plus, it’s always fun sitting close—but not too close—to the Bleacher Creatures.
How to get there: Take the B, D or 4 train up to 161st St–Yankee Stadium; the stop is right in front of the ballpark. Alternatively, Metro-North drops you off a 10-minute walk away.
What to eat: The favorites are fairly clear-cut: Parm, for chicken or meatball subs, and Lobel’s, for carved steak sandwiches. But don’t overlook the nacho helmet. Besides making a great band name, it makes for a substantial, if pricey ($20), snack turned memento.