Wednesday, October 5, 2016
Posted by el duque at 7:39 AM
Well, that was a long, long time ago and apparently in a galaxy far, far away. Because last night, the epicenter was Toronto, and every fan was Bill Murray, and - well - Yankee Stadium might as well be holding grain. WTF happened to us?
The Yankees have not enjoyed a full-moon, bat-shit crazy delirium since the new stadium - and it's new price structure - were imposed on working fans. I wonder if the great Yankee crowds, which were always greater than the teams themselves, will ever return - at least in this lifetime. They had the wildest, most drooling, most loyal fans in the world, and they replaced them with golfers. The Yankees exchanged success on the field for success in the bottom line. Did money also kill the spirit of the fans?
That's why mooning Big Papi seemed such a perfect project. It was exactly the kind of stupid activity that Bill Murray would sign on for. Parts of the media understood this. The Yankees didn't. They were always a corporate entity, at times maybe even a tax write-off, but we couldn't fully appreciate how crazy George Steinbrenner was, until he's been gone. After seven years, we've never seen an outburst of joy - or of anything, for that matter - from Hal. He's a corporate entity. He's a cardboard cutout. He's Lonn Trost.
I have never met the guy, so maybe I'm wrong. Maybe he's an absolute delight, putting a twinkle into children's eyes with his magic tricks. But I'm betting Hal will never punch out an elevator or call anybody a fat toad. He's already let Boston outbid us on key players, and - frankly - replace us as the AL's dominant franchise. When big names hit the auction block, he's happy to finish second in the bidding. And if a player expresses the desire to play for the Yankees - a temptation George could never resist - (and yes, George deserves to go into the Hall) - Hal hides under the bed.
So last night, Toronto was the center of the universe. (No new form of music, but they are banning pit bulls.) It should have been the Bronx. Damn. Those days are gone. I'm wondering if they'll return in our lifetimes.