Friday, September 19, 2008

The Pride Of The Yankees?

Well, the Yankees sure picked a hell of a time to start winning—right when it couldn’t matter less. And, I assure you, it couldn’t matter less.

If you think that this point is obvious to anyone who isn’t Tim McCarver, you would be surprised. I have had several fellow Yankee fans comment to me in the last few days, “At this point, it’s just a matter of pride.” I would argue that, no, in fact, having been all but officially eliminated from the postseason race by mid-September, we’ve blown our chance at pride. When history remembers this season, it will not remember us for failing to make it to the postseason and then admirably restoring our dignity. It will simply remember that we did not live to see October in our final season in The House That Ruth Built. For the first time since 1993. I guess, in theory, one could argue that it’s a matter of avoiding total humiliation—that’s certainly within our reach. But it’s not what I would call a matter of pride.

Now, it may sound like, as Curt Schilling suggests, I am just bitter and mad and miserable. But let me assure you that my vitriol is just a mask for my pain. I look forward to October baseball. This year, particularly, it seemed significant, what with the closing of the Cathedral and all. I just assumed we’d be saying our goodbyes in October. In late October. It seems too unceremonious for us to just be playing our way through a vaguely autumn-like week in late September for “pride.” Especially given our run in that place.

To make matters worse, there has been so much scandal surrounding the new stadium—the accusations of fraud, and waste, and abuse of public funds. Then, of course, there was the recent announcement that premium season tickets are going to cost up to $2,500 per game—that’s roughly $200,000 per person per season. Outrageous, true. But, not surprisingly, there are takers. Well, there were last week anyway. This week, good luck selling your house for that much. Well, at the beginning of this week, anyway. Today, who knows? I’m confused about the fundamentals of the economy.

The point is that it’s disappointing that the new stadium is already tainted with that stench for which the Yanks are so famous—Eau de Evil Empire. I try to argue with the haters, but it’s an uphill battle. Stuff like this doesn’t help.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter all that much. I’m a Yankees fan because I love the boys in pinstripes—not because the Steinbrenner family speaks to me on a spiritual level. And when my boys are working their magic, it’s pretty easy to ignore the top brass and all their meshugas, as my people call it. But, alas, there has been little magic this year, so it’s more of a challenge. True, there have been injuries. But there have also been unaccounted for disappointments. A lack of cohesion. A seemingly blasé attitude. An inability to get players around the base. And let’s get real—injuries or not—there should have been enough bats in our lineup to have ensured a solid offense.

So, again, don’t mistake my tone for bitterness, madness, or misery. I’m just disheartened by the generally uninspiring nature of the season. With all of my fond memories from the Cathedral, I figured it was all but impossible that we’d go out without a fight.

But, you’re all depressed enough, so I’m going to leave you with a happier thought. Early this year, I asked my friend, the Thunderphobe, if he would rather take the championship in the last season at the old stadium or the first season in the new one. He responded, emphatically, and without hesitation, “First season at the new one. Without a doubt.” Here’s hoping he gets his wish.

If that didn’t cheer you up, affirm yourself with the reminder that, at the very least, you’re not Coco Crisp. Oh, Coco Crisp, it just never gets old. You suck Coco Crisp.

No comments: