Three Yankees take subway to Citi Field opener
Murphy, Ryan, Ackley board 7 train as method of transportation to game
NEW YORK -- Two charter buses left Yankee Stadium for Citi Field on Friday afternoon filled with players, coaches and staff, but at least two members of the starting lineup chose to ride the subway for the first game of the Subway Series against the Mets.
Catcher John Ryan Murphy, who hit sixth, and second baseman Brendan Ryan, who batted eighth, both swiped MetroCards bound for Flushing. Dustin Ackley also took the 7 train on Friday, and Andrew Miller plans to take it Saturday.
"I'd say 75 percent of the time, I take the train," Murphy said. "It just kind of gets my day going. I enjoy my walk to the subway and then I just jump on the subway. [Today], I got up and I went to breakfast because I got up early because I went to sleep early. I went to breakfast, went back to my house, got changed and then got ready to come here -- on the subway."
The Yankees have told their players they can either take the team bus, drive separately or take the subway, as long as they arrive at the stadium on time. Some carpool, as Chasen Shreve, Chris Capuano and Stephen Drew did, but the subway has become the preferred method of transport for Ryan -- who is still learning the quirks of New York's transit system.
"I just found out that the Express doesn't really happen or something after 10 in the morning, at least on the 7, so I took the local. Goodness. That took forever," Ryan said. "That's a lot of stops. But yeah, it was easy. Just took the 6 to the 7 and connected at Grand Central. Got off here, perfect."
Ryan, who has entertained the Yankees' clubhouse with stories from the subway -- including one when fans didn't realize he was sitting right next to them when they were talking about him -- said he likely wouldn't take the train if he was a more well-known player.
One time, he sat next to an animated woman who claimed to be Johnny Manziel's sister and listened to her talk about Manziel for several minutes. But not once did she recognize Ryan or connect the dots that he was also a professional athlete.
"If I was [Derek Jeter], nothing against anyone in particular, but is it safe? I don't know probably not," Ryan said. "But for most of us, no big deal. Miller's on the subway every day and a bunch of guys. Again, I just don't know if I was CC [Sabathia] or Jeet, if I would be doing it."
But for now, he, Murphy, Miller and maybe even Greg Bird have plans to continue taking the 7 train this weekend.
"Tomorrow's a day game, so maybe I'll get to hit the Express," Ryan said. "So that'll be good."
Then a reporter from across the room informed him that the weekend trains are also local.
"Oh ... oh well," he laughed. "That was short-lived excitement."