Monday, September 22, 2008

Damn Yankees

The Yankees played their last game in Yankee stadium last night. As most of you probably know...I hate the Yankees...always have always will. But, I also really respect the Yankees. The Babe, Joltin' Joe, the Pinstripes, Jeter...it's hard not to respect them. However, in a time when baseball needs to rely on its history and tradition more than ever...the damn Yanks have committed a sin. Last night, as I watched Yogi Berra talk about his love for Yankee Stadium and Reggie Jackson talk about the stadium as though he were losing a close friend...I realized that I was losing a good friend too...Baseball itself.

Growing up I loved baseball...I still do, but not as much...here is why. Baseball is all about tradition, it's about wooden bats, hot dogs, squeeze plays, double headers, uncomfortable uniforms, dirt, etc. Baseball is America's game. Your grandpa played it and has memories about certain players just as you do...but in the past decade Baseball lost a lot. Baseball has taken a back seat to the NFL and NBA...and there are many things to blame.

For instance, a lot of fields don't have real grass anymore...some don't even have real dirt. How do you react to that bad hop off the infield grass? How do you dig in at the plate? It's all phony now. We all know about the steroids scandals and how baseball has been juiced up for the last ten years or so...and from day one I have said the same thing that I'll tell you right now. Baseball can't go back and catch every player who ever took steroids...so don't even try. Move on. Go back to the basics. Fall back on tradition. Play up the fact that Wrigley Field, Fenway Park and Yankee Stadium are such historic sites! Encourage teams to steal more bases, lay down more bunts and play harder. Then we can forget about steroids and just move on to the future of baseball while continuing the great traditions of the past.

Well, as they've done before, the Yanks crushed my dreams last night. I understand all good things must come to an end...and maybe Yankee Stadium is a bit of a disaster and it needs to be replaced for safety reasons if nothing else. However, I soon found out that the new Yankee Stadium, which costs 1.3 BILLION dollars and is literally across the street from the old one, will also include a martini bar, steak house and art gallery. WTF? This is baseball...the most pure sport around. It's about hot dogs, peanuts and cracker jacks, it's about teaching your kids to score a double play, it's about cheering on your team no matter how many years they let you down...and now the Yanks, America's team, have turned Baseball's greatest landmark into an F'ing circus. When commenting on the new stadium, an official for the Yanks had this to say, "We tried to reflect a five-star hotel and put a ball field in the middle."

Who Wants That???

The people who know baseball, and who represent all that is good about the game...don't want that stuff...they want a bleacher seat, a program, a beer, and a chance to root their team to a win. That's all. But no, the Yanks failed us again. Instead of building a stadium that would remind us of the glory days of baseball...they are basically building a Yankee Stadium on steroids...which is why baseball will never be the same to me.

Damn Yankees.

Song of the Day: Frank Sinatra - Theme From New York, New York
Beer of the Day: Brooklyn Brewery - Brooklyn Brown Ale

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