Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Fucking Yankees

Okay, okay, relax, I’ll play nice. I have come to praise Yankee Stadium, not to bury it. Yesterday was the last All-Star game at Yankee Stadium, this October will be the last baseball game there. Ever. It’s getting torn down and replaced by a glitzy modern replica, currently being built across the street. Were I the Commissioner of Baseball I'd ban the destruction of the stadium as "not in the best interests of baseball," a clause they've used in the past to block trades and the selling of entire teams. Alas, I'm in charge of nothing but my own children. And even that's pretty tenuous.


Most of the readers of this blog know that the Yankees rank pretty high on the “Things I Detest” meter, just below the Bush administration, just above Bratz dolls (not currently on my childrens' cultural radar but which, I promise you now, they will never own). Luckily, my hatred of things Yankee does not extend to their stadium. I’ve been there maybe 10 times, and every time I walked through the entrance and saw the startlingly green grass field before me, the famous facade beyond it, and that short right-field porch where so many historic home run balls have been dumped, I’ve gotten a small and palpable thrill. It’s a jewel of a stadium, worthy of its legends, passed down from Ruth to DiMaggio to Mantle to Mattingly to Jeter. There are more fistfights in the stands than any other stadium I’ve been to. I’ve had my cap (a Killebrew era Twins cap, no less) grabbed off my head by a drunken Yankees fan and thrown into the parking lot. No matter. Even the wildly rowdy Stan’s Sports Bar across the street is the perfect bar in the perfect place. Just don’t wear a Mets jersey in there.

I was at Yankee Stadium about a week after Mickey Mantle died. In an uncharacteristically classy move, between innings, when they usually play Utz chips jingles and classic rock at ear-splitting volume, the noise suddenly faded, and a big number “7” (Mantle’s number) was put on the Jumbotron. No fanfare, no music, no announcer. Just the “7.” In the space of less than a minute the stadium hushed to near silence. I won’t say there wasn’t a dry eye in the house, because I don’t know that to be true. But mine certainly weren’t.



You may be asking yourself "But Shea Stadium is being torn down this year too. Where his beloved Mets play? Why isn't he whining about that?"

Well, you almost certainly weren't asking yourself that, but I'm a sucker for the cheap rhetorical device. And the answer is: Shea Stadium is a horrible concrete monstrosity in a bad location. Like watching baseball in a missile silo. Or a WWII bunker. When they tear down Shea, I will dance happily atop the rubble.

They've won 9 in a row, by the way. Let's go Mets!

Oh, and one last bit of baseball: with the acquisition of pitcher Rich Hardin, I officially pick the Cubs to get to the World Series this year. Not win it, mind you, but get there.

You heard it here first!

3 comments:

meno said...

But what if one of your kids gets a Bratz as a present?

That's how Barbie finagled herself into our house. Sneaky bitch.

Noel P. Mariano said...

Having been to Shea stadium, I agree. Aesthetically, it's just unappealing. Then again, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (ugh. I still hate that they changed the name) have a stadium that's all glitz but no substance as well.

Yankee Stadium has a history, much like the Dodgers have at Chavez Ravine and I feel that it is the legacy that the place holds which allows a lot of the fans to just enjoy going to ballgames. The stadiums are the same just like how their dad's remembered it. There's something comforting in the familiarity of legacy.

Clowncar said...

Very funny, Meno. You made me LOL, as the kids say these days.

You're right, Noel, the Yankees have history and legacy and memory behind them. The Mets have...Mr. Met. Sigh.

And hey, thanks for the link to the Venn diagram of fields of science. Very cool. Didja catch the one based on the text of Alice In Wonderland? Very cool as well.