That's right, Sox fans, ITM is covering the last game at Yankees Stadium, live from New York. And not just because of the lucky two-birds-in-one-stone scenario Sox fans are pulling for tonight. ITM, for all the vitriol it spits at the Yankees from time to time, can give respect where respect is due. It was a great Stadium, engrained on the national consciousness in an undeniable way. Personally, I doubt that there's any Sox fan who can say he didn't see some movie when he was a kid where his NY contemporaries were playing stickball under clothesline rainbows and the Italian guys leaning on the fire escapes in their shirt sleeves and wished, just a little, that he'd grown up in 1950's New York. But maybe that's just me...On with the show.
First, let me just note right up front that based on many conversations this week, there was an overwhelming wish from Yankees fans that the last game had been against the Sox. They'd have liked even more if the game mattered, but that's another story. I guess at least this way, the Stadium's center stage.
Now for some of the stranger things about the Yankees pre-game ceremony:
The ceremony was certainly lacking in some ways. Two big ones come to mind: Joe Torre and Roger Clemens. The latter is understandable, but the former strikes me as just classless. Of course, I'll be willing to retract that if, and I wouldn't be surprised to learn it, Torre requested to be left out because he's with another active team. Kevin Millar would have had no qualms.
They had actors portraying the great-Yankee deceased. That was truly weird and indescribably lame. There's plenty good about the last night at Yankee Stadium, so I shouldn't dwell, but really, this was stupid.
Also absent, Steinbrenner. Is this a Castro thing or something?
On to the game...
Pettitte reaches a big milestone. Congrats to him. Boy it feels good to be big about all this. To not feel obliged to mention that some of those Ks were HGH'd.
If no more balls leave the park, Jose Molina is going to have the last ever homerun in Yankee Stadium. Seriously. Damon would have been one thing, but Molina? Unacceptable. Great. Depends on whether you're watching this as a tragedy or a comedy. (Note that there's been a couple reports saying Damon is trying to acquire the Stadium's foul poles, for what purpose, I don't know).
Every time Derek Jeter gets up, you can just feel the entire city willing him to hit a home run. People really, really want him to be the last one. And they want it a walk off. Too much to ask? Going into the 7th, Molina is 3 for 3. Jeter is 0 for 4. He'll get one more shot, at least. (Ed. note - an 0-for. Too bad, really, but still, he's got more than anybody there, so I guess it doesn't much matter.)
Rivera's coming in for the 9th. This was a foregone conclusion, apparently, but still nice to see. He and Jeter are definitely the fan favorites tonight. (On a side note, who thinks Chamberlin's gonna be starting next year? Can Rivera hold up? I'll admit last year I thought he was washed up, and he certainly proved me wrong.) Rivera gets a clean 9th. Appropriate enough.
That's a wrap for the night. Goodbye to the Stadium, and I'm sure there'll be more Yankees thoughts forecoming at some point. But hopefully after another day we can just treat them as a fond memory and focus on the upcoming fall. Ah, sweet fall. Even sweeter when only Boston gets to enjoy it. Yankee Stadium goes out with a whimper.