Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Watching Yankee Stadium's last stand on Sunday night made me feel...strange. It was a little like hooking up with a strange girl after she's had a few too many drinks. She's wild, aggressive and unexpectedly starts into a filthy talk routine. Not standard-issue filth, she brings the racist smack. She keeps tossing around hateful utterances, calling you a dirty [redacted], telling you she always knew you were just another [redacted]. It's hard not to get caught up in the moment, lose your head in the filth and shout [redacted!] at the ceiling without an ounce of guilt. But you aren't as drunk as she, so your conscious pulls you aside to say "this ain't right." Now your so preoccupied with your moral dilemma that you haven't notice she [redacted] your [redacted, let's just move on.]
The point is this: I enjoyed some of the ceremony. Pointless, overblown, hyperbolic and excessively sentimental all at once; more mythology was heaped upon the legend and myth so carefully built over 85 years. But the ovation for Bernie Williams and the fans barking DER-ECK JEE-TUR like a borough full of seals every time he wandered into their field of vision, it all came from a honest place. I bet most people in attendance had an amazing time. How could they not?
The shrinking core of recent Yankee glory, the core that supplied that entitled fan base the reason for their entitlement, the core that gave them an opportunity to cheer. More fans are going to be priced out in New York, but the "traditions" will remain. There will still be unspeakable acts of violence and the seventh inning performance of "Love it or Leave it" at the New Stadium, but it won't be quite the same. But I can't deny my own jealousy, that those fans had a chance to thank the players that have provided so many of their memories. Lucky for them they'll all have the opportunity to pay for those memories, as Yankee Stadium memorabilia is going to flood the market like the kidneys of recently executed Chinese dissidents.
Mariano Rivera came in just because it was the scripted thing to do, but his appearance in the game was the highlight. Jesse and I had spent time Sunday afternoon at Rogers Centre discussing how secretly easy it is to enjoy Rivera's work. He's been really good for a long time, even if his role is overrated. You have to give it up for a guy that's thrown one pitch for 14 years. We also laughed at his connection to Enter Sandman. What are the chances Mo's heard "his song" all the way through? Do you think he could hum the guitar solo? The Yankees are in Toronto for the next three games, so I am free to hate them once again. The battle for third! I can barely wait.