Tuesday, August 10

Yankee Stadium, on second thought

I don't know why I would be in a gracious mood after we stumbled out of the weekend no better off than we were against the Yanks, one game better against the Rays (against whom, according to my calculations, Vicino would have, were he to throw against them in five games, a 47.5% chance of completing a no-hitter), and with the Twins nipping at our second-place-in-the-Wild-Card heels, but I am.

And so, I just wanted to issue a quick apology to Yankee Stadium. ITM dumped on it a little bit last year, but I will admit that upon the weekend's reexamination, it's a pretty decent place. They've managed to get a strange mix of big city elegance - the overwhelming whiteness of the old style bunting grates on the uppermost rim, the amazing lighting - and urban claustrophobia. Despite the roominess of most seats and the general cleanliness, the angles of the park give the impression that you and everyone else are hanging directly over the field, so that when the action starts revving up, there's a real cage-match mentality in the stands.

And, frankly, I don't miss sitting in the bleachers in the old Stadium where if you got a beer dumped on you, it didn't matter, since you already reeked of beer and who knows what else soon as you stepped into the place.

So, in short, I will always, always prefer Fenway, "a lyric little bandbox of a ballpark," as Updike put it. It makes you feel the way you should when baseball is being played. But, if I'm going to watch a live game in an over-sanitized, overpriced airport terminal of a ballpark filled with "New Yorkers" just off the train from Jersey, I don't mind it being in the new Yankee Stadium.

Sorry, that's as gracious as I can be. Oh and it's nice that they still have Jeter come to bat to the Bob Shepherd announcement. There, I'm all out of grace for the day.

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