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Sunday, September 21, 2008

The end of spring and Yankee Stadium

September 21 signifies the Fall Equinox, the return to equality of night and day and this year, the end of Yankee Stadium. A huge festivity ensued.

The Yankees win this one pretty easily, 7-3. The season, nonetheless, feels tarnished by their performance. 3rd place in their division is anything to smile about, in the light of Yankee history, fan expectations and their over-the-top salaries. Though they are not mathematically eliminated from the playoffs yet, few believe the postseason is anything but a pipe dream at this point. So lets do some smoking !!

In lieu of an actual playoff run, the Yankees have a farewell jamboree for the fans, hosted on the day of the last regular season home game. In all honesty it was hard to see the Yankees losing this one. Even the bottom dwelling Orioles look like they were letting them have this one (I can image the umpires got some "guidelines" from MLB's front office, as well). Lets be honest, the last time the Yankees had a kaniphshin, Major League Baseball created the wild card teams for post season.

Members of old Yankee teams showed up at their various positions : Yogi at home, Reggie Jackson, Whitey Ford, Dave Winfield, Willie Randolph sliding into second and nearly pulling a hammy, Paul O' Neil and the return of Bernie Williams (some others as well). Even Babe Ruth's ninety-year-old daughter, Julia Ruth Stevens, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Sadly, for me, Mr. Yankee himself was absent.

The reason I am a Yankee fan is Don Mattingly. I know he's a bench coach for the Dodgers, but for almost a decade and half the struggling 80's Yankees had no bigger star than "Donnie Baseball". The inclusion of two of his teammates and his absence marred the event, for me.

Yes this event is historic. Why were people crying though? Were they Yankees disbanding as a team? Were they moving to another city? The answer is no. They are LITERALLY moving a block away, to a new stadium. If you have been to Yankee stadium, you realize just how "old" the stadium looked and felt. It was time for a new stadium. It is hard for me to imagine crying over a building or picking up the dirt or grass that Babe Ruth "may" have stood on. That would be like me crying of the section of sidewalk that was being demolished and repaved because someone famous may have walked on or stood on that exact same spot. I can understand the history, but not understand the emotion. What the Yankees have achieved cannot be dismissed by the demolition of the building where they played the games. It is embedded in history and our memories and cannot be taken away from us. They will travel with the team to the new stadium, where more amazing things are going to continue.


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