Mariano Rivera announced during the off-season that he would retire at the end of this season.
That left the New York Yankees plenty of time to arrange a special night to give away bobbleheads featuring the likeness of their legendary closer.
They chose to do it Tuesday, the first night of their final home stand of the season. That's fine, but they probably should planned to have the mementos delivered to the stadium sometime between opening day and the last week of the season. You know, just in case something unexpected happens.
Well, wouldn't you know it -- the special day arrives, the first 18,000 fans show up ready to receive their coveted sovenir, then wait in a long, crowded line to receive ... a voucher.
A Yankees spokesman said a train delivering the bobbleheads from Seattle had a mechanical problem Monday. Then the truck that was supposed to bring the bouncy figurines from the train to the stadium had “hydraulic issues,” which resulted in further delays.
During the third inning of the Yankees' 7-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, a public address announcer informed the crowd that the bobbleheads were available to be picked up. That's when the real "mayhem" started, one fan told WCBS radio.
“There’s a lot of mayhem, people cutting in line, aggravation,” he said. “It’s ridiculous. And we’re sitting here missing the majority of the game, which we bought our tickets to see. The way they handled this, someone’s head should roll over it.”
Another fan, Ken Latchney, told WCBS-TV he ended up missing four innings of the game.
“It was a mess,” Latchney said. “They made us wait a half-hour, 40 minutes to go in. Then you go in and they tell you [the bobbleheads are] not even here. Then when they are ready to get them, you have to go up to the fourth level and come down.”
This video captures the scene during the bobblehead pickup (warning, there's a little profanity).