Monday, September 22, 2008

Goodbye Yankee Stadium

As you may have heard (assuming you read ESPN, SI, TSN, or just about any other sports-related magazine, website, or blog), old Yankee Stadium hosted its last game yesterday. The Yanks beat the Orioles 7-3 in an apparently emotional farewell. Everybody's doing their tributes to Yankee Stadium, and if I don't, I'll be kicked out of the baseball bloggers union. So here goes.

Some random (negative) thoughts about Yankee Stadium:

- The fact that there will be no post-season baseball this year in The Bronx is further proof that there are no "baseball gods." If there were, and if They were Yankee fans (why wouldn't They be, after all those championships?), then the last game at Yankee Stadium this year would have featured Mariano Rivera shutting down some hapless NL opponent in game four or game seven of the World Series. But alas, the Tampa Bay Rays ruined everything by actually being good this season. Sorry, Steinbrenner family.

- In fact, the last World Series game in Yankee Stadium history came in game six of the 2003 series, when Josh Beckett shut out the Yanks on five hits to clinch Florida's unexpected championship.

- The last playoff game in Yankee Stadium was an equally ignominious loss for New York in 2007 against the Cleveland Indians in the Division Series.

- The last important game against the archrival Red Sox in Yankee Stadium was game 7 of the 2004 ALCS, when New York completed the greatest collapse in American sports history by losing 10-3. (Of course, you remember that the New Yorkers became the first club to lose a series after leading 3 games to 0.)

Yes, yes, I'm focusing on the bad stuff. Sorry about that. My anti-Yankee sentiment is rising to the surface. For about the first 80 years of its history, pretty much only good stuff (for the Yankees) happened at the Stadium. All those championships, all the times they demolished Boston or the Dodgers or any other club that tried to knock the club off its throne. All the great players who patrolled its environs: Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle, Jackson, and so on.

It's sad to see such a vital piece of baseball history tossed aside. On the other hand, the place was old, and the march of progress requires replacing old with new.

Goodbye, old Yankee Stadium.

Hello, new Yankee Stadium.

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