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Category Archives: Yankee History

New York Yankees History

The Big Bat Still Stands

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Its great to see that the big bat from old Yankee Stadium is still standing.  But, it’s starting to look like crap.  It’s time for the Yankee brass to put somebody on a lift with some duct tape as the hand grips are starting to fall off.

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Babe Ruth for Values.com

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I don’t know anything about values.com and I have no idea how Babe Ruth would have felt about this ad, but using dead people in advertisements rubs me the wrong way.  The man is dead – I say let him rest.  Sure, this isn’t a John Wayne styled promotion by any stretch of the imagination, but if it was me, I wouldn’t go there.

Richie Sexson was a Yankee

Remember Richie Sexson?  Remember when he played for the Yankees?  He probably doesn’t, either.  But look – I have proof!

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Old Yankee Stadium's video screen. YS2 was a gem! The screen, however, sucked.

Yep, in 2008, Richie Sexson appeared in 22 games and made 35 plate appearances for the Yankees.  Ah, the 2008 Yankees…  actually, that team had one of the worst pitching rotations I can recall any Yankee team having in recent memory.  Anyway, Sexson came up with 7 hits/1 homer during his stint with the Yankees.  Weird situation, right?  Who’s idea was it to trade for Sexson in the middle of the year.  “That’ll solve our problems!  Once Sexson gets here, we’re going to kick ASS!”  The best thing you can say about Sexson is that it was really fun to say “Sexson.”  I can just imagine Bob Shepard announcing it.  Awesome.

Break It Down takes on Yankee Stadium

The National Geographic Channel’s Break it Down goes to work on ripping down the old Yankee Stadium – stuff doesn’t blow up, but it’s pretty epic…  except when they clean out the toilets…  toilets are less epic then tons of concrete and steel hurtling toward the ground.  The episode debuts on Thursday, April 28 at 10PM.

Carlos Delgado Protests The Iraq War In 2004

Remember way back in 2004, when Carlos Delgado was protesting the United States invasion of Iraq?

Here’s a quick refresher:

Fervently anti-war, Carlos Delgado quietly carried out his personal protest this season, refusing to stand when God Bless America was played at ballparks across the majors.

Most fans never saw him disappearing up the dugout tunnel or staying in the dugout. And even teammates who disagreed with the Toronto slugger’s political stance accepted his right to call the United States’ invasion of Iraq “the stupidest war ever.”

I went to a Yankees vs. Blue Jays game back at the old stadium that year, and people who fell on both sides of the debate were in attendance:

 

Carlos Delgado For President
Some folks agreed with him: Carlos Delgado For President

 

carlos delgado is an american disgrace
Other folks did not agree with him: Carlos Delgado Is An American Disgrace

 

Yep, that’s how we used to do it at the old Stadium (YS2) – we’d break out the signs to express our stances on visiting player’s political views.  Hells yeah, we would!  As for me, I agreed with Delgado – invading Iraq was dumb, but this isn’t really the spot where I drop that kind of truth bomb (word up), so I’ll say this:  playing God Bless America during every single game is dumb.  First off, it’s not an especially good song, particularly when you compare it to The Star Spangled Banner, which is an excellent song, and is, after all, our national anthem.  Not only does the playing of God Bless America bring the game to a grinding halt, but we heard the Star Spangled Banner before the game started – how many pro America songs do we need to hear during one baseball game?  It’s a sporting event – its not a concert, and its certainly not some kind of weird pro America pep rally.

It’s just a ball game – don’t try to make it something it’s not.  Just play ball!

Yankees Days at the Polo Grounds

polo grounds yankee stadium

That's the Polo Grounds in the background and Yankee Stadium in the foreground.

The New York Times ran an interesting article in today’s paper about the Polo Grounds and its history.  They had a quote from one New York Giants fan (that’s old school baseball, not Football Giants) who said, “[The Polo Grounds didn't have] as much obstruction, although there were poles. And everything was a little cheaper.”  Ha, so I guess the Yankees have been over-charging for concessions since the beginning!

It’s interesting to note that both the Yankees and the New York Football Giants both played at the Polo Grounds – and both moved to Yankee stadium.  Babe Ruth played three seasons at the Polo Grounds… my understanding was that he helped the Yankees outdraw the Giants, which was pretty much the catalyst that got the Yankees kicked out of the Polo Grounds and led them to build their own stadium, complete with a short porch to right for that hot dog eating, beer guzzling, womanizing animal we all worship.

The Cleveland Indians’ Ray Chapman was killed at the Polo Grounds by a pitch thrown by the Yankees’ Carl Mays in 1920… a dubious moment in the Polo Grounds history – not to mention the Yankees and Indians.  Still, when you mention the Yankees and the Polo Grounds, you can’t leave something like that out.  I guess it’s also impossible to leave out The Shot Heard Around The World, but lets leave that to the fans of the teams involved, shall we?

It’s one of my great regrets that I’m not old enough to have visited The Polo Grounds.  It’s dimensions, tenants and it’s history are something that the sporting world will never forget – and will never see again.

Do you think the George M. Steinbrenner monument is too big?

When you talk about the Yankees, you can’t do so without mentioning George Steinbrenner.  Love him or hate him, his effect on the Yankees and Major League Baseball is undeniable.  After Mr.  Steinbrenner passed away, the Yankees modified this space above the right field bleachers, which formerly showed a list of all championship seasons, with a photo of Mr. Steinbrenner:

George M Steinbrenner III

That seemed like a fine idea to me; and I imagined that although large, it was probably only temporary and in 2011, the signage will more than likely revert to it’s original state.

Then I heard they were going to give Mr. Steinbrenner a monument, and I thought, “Great.  He deserves one.”  Then I actually saw the monument.

George M Steinbrenner III

I wrote it this morning, and I’ll write it again.  It’s friggin HUGE.  It dwarfs all the other monuments by a lot and I noticed in this evening’ s New York Times,  I’m not the only one who thinks so.  Just FYI:  it measures 7 feet across and 5 feet high across its bronze face (so these measurements don’t include the base) and weighs 760 pounds.  Look how it dwarfs David Wells!  Boomer is 6 ft 3 in, by the way.

It’s not that big of a deal, and I don’t think the Yankees need to do anything about it, but do you think it’s too big or the right size?  Take the poll and holler back.

Roger Clemens bores me

roger clemensAs a Yankee fan, can you think of a subject that interests you less than Roger Clemens?  Nothing springs to mind.  During his stint from 1999 to 2003, he did a lot of good things on the mound for the Yankees (and at least one bad one) and after he fake retired…  I didn’t think much about him after that.  Then during his World Series with appearance with the Astros, I actively routed against him.  When I think back on the whole Roger Clemens experience, it ended (for me) the way it began:  I didn’t want him.  I didn’t care if he was coming from the Blue Jays; he was a Red Sox.  Sock.  Whatever.  For like 12 seasons.  I was wrong about that, because the Yankees won 2 world series with Clemens and went to two others, but I still didn’t want him back in ’99, and I never warmed up to him.  But it was fun to watch him pitch when he was on his game:  Clemens would get ahead in the count and then out would come the splitter, and it felt like it was strike three every time.  He had good numbers in 2003, but if he wanted to go out on top with his body still relatively in tact, that was his business.  When the Yankees needed a starter in 2007, Clemens answered the call and managed to go 6-6 in 99 IP to a 4.18 ERA – not exactly an ace, but more than serviceable.  Maybe not for the obscene amount of money he made, but whatever.

I don’t care about steroids, and I certainly don’t care about Clemens being indited for lying to Congress.  If he did lie to Congress, he’s nuts.  I’d assume someone advised him that there was no proof and if he was indited, he’d get off, so, as Dave Chappelle recommends, stick with your lie.

But I just don’t care.  Does anybody?  I think we’re all pretty burned out on the steroid issue and that dog and pony show Congressional Hearings was an embarrassment to the United States of America, because any governing body that takes time out of their day to work on something like that in the times we live in…  I still can’t believe that really happened.  Think about that.  Roger Clemens testified before Congress.  How bizarre is that?

If Clemens is found guilty, super – they can lock him up and throw away the key for all I care.  If he’s found innocent, great – he should write a book.  Maybe call it, “No, seriously, I never did steroids,” or “I’d like to tell you,” or “That’s a B12 shot, right?”  I know that reporters, like me, have a job to do and a boss to answer to, but please find something else to write about.  You’re boring me to death.

Ralph Houk’s passing

If you’re not familiar with former Yankee backup catcher, manager, general manager, then manager again Ralph Houk, take a couple of minutes and read his wikipedia page. Mr. Houk had a pretty amazing life that should be celebrated by Yankee fans, baseball fans and well, pretty much anybody that doesn’t care for the Axis Powers. Yeah, Mr. Houk didn’t play that. He was 90 when he passed – amazing considering he had to deal with Nazis, Casey Stengel, Mr. Steinbrenner at the hieght of his craziness, the Boston Red Sox fans and Boston media… amazing.

My condolences to his family, friends, and indeed to the world – we’ve lost a great man.

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