Friday, September 19, 2008

The Lament of a Yankees Fan

Hello Friends,

I am gearing up to post my Japan Blog. As yakyu (the Japanese word for baseball) season is upon us and has become such an important part of the Japanese cultural fabric (And why not? It's the greatest game in the world!),I was inspired to post an e-mail from my friend Jimmy. For those of you who don't know Jimmy, I met Jimmy through two close friends who ended up attending Muhlenburg College in Allentown, PA during the late 80's. My two friends had one thing in common - me. Once they firgured that out - and the fact that the two of them are huge trouble makers - they became fast friends... and to put it in the most cliched way possible - the rest is history. Through John and Brian I was introduced to a cast of characters, including Jimmy, that I have had the pleasure to keep in touch with the rest of my adult years. Jimmy and I don't always see eye to eye with politics or our choice of religion (you guys know what I think about that), but two things unite us in a deeply strong bond: food...and yakyu! (Yeah, I know, baseball.)

As many of you know, they are sacking Yankee Stadium. I, like Jimmy, will also miss it terribly. I'll miss the crummy subway ride, the stinky bathrooms, the original curses an epithets uttered by Yankees fans in a way that only someone who's been raised in the tri-boroughs can ejaculate and I will miss the energy of the House that Ruth built. I hope that whatever gets developed on that space once the stadium get sacked, will have to endure the hauntings of The Babe and Lou Gehrig and all the great Yankees who have passed. May they have a field of dreams interrupting their conference calls, their board meetings and their moments in the can throughout eternity! And with that statement now... below... and Jimmy's lament. Enjoy! Add your comments! Play ball! - T


Who cares about the election….it’s business as usual anyhow. The real issue is that there are only five more games to be played in the history of Yankee Stadium. I will be in front of my TV on Sunday night crying my eyes out. This was the ballpark I grew up with and in.

I would love to spend a day with Lon Trost, who is the CFO of the Yankees. I want to see all the numbers & dollars that are going into this new place because I don’t think it’s needed. The Red Sox play in a park that was built in 1912. So do the Cubs. And they’re doing just fine financially. Yankee Stadium seats 56,000. Fenway Park holds 37,000.

Why is history going to be torn asunder and disposed? Why? How much is enough? You are drawing 4,000,000 fans per year, and you have done so for the past 6 years in a row. You own your own tv station and it’s the most lucrative team-owned network in pro sports. Your organization is the only sports organization to be worth more than one billion dollars. Your merchandise is sold all over the world, and unlike the NFL, each team keeps whatever their logo sells. The NFL takes all the merchandise sales and divides them up equally. There are 32 teams so you get 1/32 of the pot. But not baseball.

Practically every game for the past few years has been sold out. No team can even come close. You are also getting a hefty paycheck from the parking and the percentage of concessions. The Yankees don’t get all $6 for a hot dog but I’ll bet they get half.

Yes it’s cramped and doesn’t have restaurants, etc. But this is Yankee Stadium. It’s supposed to be about the baseball. If you want fine dining, go to Morton’s.

The House That Ruth Built is coming to an end all in the name of corporate luxury boxes, which is what the Yankees have been bitching about for 15 years. Yankee Stadium, renovated between 1973-1975, is still a 1920’s design. Room for skyboxes wasn’t figured in back then.

I’ll take my cramped hallways and the smell of stale beer. I also take the memories of all the games I attended and all the greats I have seen.

To tear this place down is sacrilegious and to me, compares to tearing down the Vatican.