It's a good thing that Steiner Collectables sold off most of the original Yankee Stadium dirt, because the old stuff couldn't handle such wear and tear. Of course, the new improved Yankee dirt will shrug off the extra games with no problems. In fact, it should provide a defensive advantage for the Yankees, in that our fielders will be used to grounders that flare up into your nose, or sliding wet clods of grass the size of sea turtles.
The happiest man in NYC should be A-Rod, who won't have to man the hot corner - a veritable shooting gallery for bad hop bullets. Good luck, Chase Headley! Remember how classy everything in NY seemed, compared to San Diego? Buy some body armor. You're about to get a surprise.
Yesterday, a few veteran Yankees - guys who could not be benched or disappeared to Scranton - spoke out about the upcoming soccer season. Mark Teixeira bluntly told the Wall Street Journal:
“It’s terrible for a field. Grass, dirt, everything gets messed up.”
Brett Gardner tried to sound upbeat. He said soccer is not as horrible as boxing matches or rock shows. (Hey, Yankees, how about a "Monster Truck Mud Weekend!") But Brett added a minor caveat:
“Problem is the root system. After you put new grass down, there’s no root system, so essentially you’re running full speed on top of AstroTurf that’s sitting on top of cement,” Gardner said. “And that grass will give way, and you blow something out—knee, ankle."
Oh, pooh. Is he now suggesting that Yankee fans should fear injuries? Succotash! Our Iron Man oufield - Ellsbury, Gardner and Beltran - never "blows something out?" Besides, we have ex-Met Chris Young - he of the .206 Club - to fill in. Why should anyone worry? Injuries? Get real.
Well, here's someone who certainly won't worry: Hal Steinbrenner! He's part owner of the soccer team. In fact, by playing games in his stadium, Hal is cashing in on a big investment, because the Yankees and Manchester City paid $100 million to get a Major League Soccer franchise. This deal makes perfect sense to Hal... and he, alone.
(Good grief, it's a shame New York banned hydrofracting, because that could be another cash cow for the family. Hal could put a well in the left field corner, paint it like a foul pole, and nobody would be the wiser!)
NYCFC will play two seasons in Yankee Stadium, or at least until the bigwigs buy enough politicians to gouge the taxpayers into building a soccer stadium. Fortunately, the last few soccer games probably won't bother the Yankees: They're scheduled for mid-October.
Finally, for the record: I am not one of these old-fart baseball fans who instinctively hates soccer. On the contrary, I love it, and NYC needs a team. But if anybody thinks 17 home games won't chew up the Yankee Stadium grass, then they must be smoking it. In one instance, the grounds crew will have just two days to bring the field back into baseball shape. Can you imagine what it will look like if the soccer game is played on a rainy day?
The Yankees are supposed to be the flagship sports franchise of New York City.
Their owner is failing this team, this city, this media and this fan base.
Regime change, people.
I don't know how it can happen, but it's our only true hope.