Yankees Close Stadium With Class

Nobody does it better than the New York Yankees. No one puts on a show like last night like the Yankees. No one closes out one of the greatest place in American history better than the Bronx Bombers. It was truly an amazing expierence to witness history last night.
Before the game we saw legend after legend come out. Each one with their own share of Yankee Stadium magic and they all stood there for the world to see. If you were in the Bronx last night, you will never forget what you saw. If you watched on tv, you will never forget what you saw. If you are a Yankees fan, how could you miss last night's events? It was surreal, it sent chills up and down your spine, it made you shed a tear or two in you eyes, it was the last call at Yankee Stadium.

The Yankees won the game 7-3 over the Baltimore Orioles. Andy Pettitte got the start in the last game ever...he also got the win and a curtain call for all he's accomplished at 161st and River. Mariano Rivera came in one last time to "Enter Sandman". Derek Jeter left the game with two outs in the 9th inning so the fans could address him properly and shower him with love and another curtain call. Then the game was over and the last game ever at Yankee Stadium was in the books. Cue up Frank Sinatra and "New York, New York" and the rest really was history. Jeter and the entire Yankee roster went out to the mound and saluted the fans. Jeter's speech was one that will be remembered forever. Then Jeter led his teammates around the field one last time a la 1996, when they did the same thing after winning the World Series.

Here's a transcript of Jeter's speech:
“Every member of this organization, past and present, has been calling this place home for 85 years, There’s a lot of tradition, a lot of history and a lot of memories. Now the great thing about memories is you’re able to pass it along from generation to generation.

“Although things are going to change next year. We’re going to move across the street. There are a few things that New York Yankees that never change. That’s pride, tradition and most of all we have the greatest fans in the world.

We want you to take the memories from this stadium, add them to the new memories that come at the new Yankee Stadium and continue to pass them along from generation to generation. So on behalf of the entire organization, we want to take this moment to salute you, the greatest fans in the world.”


Last night felt like those October nights in the 90's, it felt like the Yankees won it all one more time. The fans didn't want to leave, the players didn't either. You didn't want to shut off the tv because you thought you were going to miss something special, some more history being made. I made use of my DVR yesterday recording everything Yankees in sight and recording the game and postgame ceremonies both on ESPN and on YES.

I stood in front of my tv as everything started to hit me, this really was the last game in Yankee Stadium history. It's not like the season is over and we'll just resume everything in 7 months, this was the last night the Yankees were the Yankees I knew. As I saw the montages put together by ESPN and YES it got to me how much the Yankees have meant to me and how much the moments they show are apart of my life and so many other people out there. I remember where I was for every single moment shown 90's and on. I'll always remember where I was and how I felt the night Yankee Stadium closed it's doors. It's too bad these Yankees couldn't reach October this year but at least we knew for sure when the last game was going to be.

Last night was the House That Jeter Closed. All the talk about how Alex Rodriguez may be the greatest player ever and I certainly can side for that, but this will always be Jeter's team and last night showed you why. He always knows how to handle himself in big spots. How classy was it to salute the fans? Incredible moment and one I appreciated. Jeter is my favorite player so I always enjoy anything he does because he just adds an element of greatness.

I've been to many Yankee games over the years and have worked right across the street for the last 5 years and I can say there is no place like Yankee Stadium. It's not an overstatement, if you never been to the Stadium you wouldn't understand. The October nights in the 90's of starring at my tv waiting for another great Yankee moment is priceless. Every pitch, every hit, every homerun meant something and it meant something big. That's how the Yankees do business. Every night going to be bed knowing that your team is the best in the league and continues the tradition of being the best in sports history is something you can never forget. At least, that's how the recent Yankees dynasty felt. Now those days are gone and so is Yankee Stadium. It's time to start letting go and getting back to the reality the Yankees aren't good enough this year to play for a championship and there will be a new place next season for my favorite team. It's time to start let go but I will never forget the memories Yankee Stadium gave me.



Yankee Stadium 1923-2008
The House That Became A Home
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QUITE FRANKLY: I'll Always Remember Yankee Stadium

The day is finally here, September 21st, 2008. To most people, it's just another day but to Yankee fans,players, coaches and anyone ever associated with baseball, it's the end of an era. An era that can not possibly be replicated. There's no way to replace the memories and moments that this Yankee Stadium gave everyone since being opened in 1923. Now, tonight will be the last game ever played at Yankee Stadium. I can't believe it.

I, for now am against the idea of the new Yankee Stadium because one of the reasons why I love the Yankees is for the tradition that comes along with the franchise. That includes Yankee Stadium, the greatest place in the world. If you ever been to a Yankee game in October or been around the Stadium in the postseason you know how it is, nothing tops that feeling. Now, with the disappointing season the Yankees will not be going to the playoffs this year and there will be nothing to cheer about beyond tonight. While I'm sure many of you may have alot more memories of Yankee Stadium than I do, the recent Yankee dynasty gave me so many in so little time it's hard to remember them all. Here's a look at my top moments (in no particular order) Yankee Stadium moments.

- Red Sox Redemption: Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS
Yes, this is an anti-Yankee moment but it's still apart of Yankee Stadium history. I was working across the street that night and will never forget how quickly the Stadium emptied out from the disgust of Yankee fans who were witnessing the worse collapse in sports history. To see Red Sox fans celebrate that night all over 161st was disgusting and made me sick to my stomach. Nonetheless it was a memorable moment,

- Alex Rodriguez Magical Month of April 2007
On two seperate occasions last season Alex Rodriguez
answered the critics of not being able to hit in the clutch. April 7th he hit a walk off grand slam against the Balitmore Orioles to win the game. A week and a half later he hit another walk off homerun, this time a three-run homer against the Cleveland Indians. When he hit the homerun you couldn't believe what you were seeing, neither did the broadcasters, the players or A-Rod himself. We were witnessing something truly amazing happening and something you could never forget.

- October Delight:2001 World Series Games 4 and 5
In a time when New York needed a pick me up the Yankees gave everyone two of the most memorable nights in the history of baseball. With the Yankees down 2 games to 1, Tino Martinez came to the plate on October 31 2001 in Game 4. With two outs in the 9th inning and the Yankees trailing by 2 runs, Martinez with a runner on hit a home run to right center off Arizona Diamondbacks closer Byung-Hyun Kim. Derek Jeter followed a few innings later to win the game, the feat got Jeter the name of Mr. November. The very next night Scott Brosius hit a game tying two-run home run off of Kim with two outs in the 9th inning again. Announcers Joe Buck and Tim McCarver in shock at what they saw as deja vu hit Yankee Stadium. This was one of the most amazing feats considering they were done on back to back nights under the same exact circumstances.

- Aaron Bleeping Boone: Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS
This is probably the last real special and memorable moment in October for the House That Ruth Built. In a game that will forever be remembered for the second guessing of Grady Little and Pedro Martinez, Aaron Boone hit the first pitch he saw from Tim Wakefield into the left field seats to send the Yankees to the World Series. No one will ever forget this moment as it was one of the most unexpected occurrences in Yankee Stadium history.

- Postseason Baseball in July
July 1, 2004 was what I say was the best regular season game I ever saw. The Yanks and Red Sox played a true classic. Back and forth they went, the Yankees scored, the Red Sox answered. The Red Sox scored, the Yankees answered. A near triple play by A-Rod, Jeter diving into the stands to save the game in the 12th inning and coming up bloody, Manny Ramirez hit a monsterous homerun off of Tanyon Sturtze in the top of the 13th inning to put the Sox ahead, but in the bottom of the inning the Yanks were down to their last strike and started a rally. Ruben Sierra got a base hit up the middle, Miguel Cario delivered a clutch double that scored Sierra who never ran so fast in his life to tie the game and then John Flaherty got the game winning hit that bounced into the left field seats. Michael Kay called it the greatest game you'll ever see. I agree.

- Perfect Strangers
David Wells threw a perfect game on on May 17, 1998 being hungover against the Minnesota Twins. A year later on July 18, 1999 on "Yogi Berra Day" at the Stadium, David Cone pitched a perfect game against the Montréal Expos. What made it even more amazing, Don Larsen threw out the first pitch that day to Yogi Berra in memory of the perfect game Larsen threw in the 1956 World Series.




- Happy Days Are Here Again: 1996
After years of chasing the rest of the league and trying to restore the Yankee name, this Yankee team led by rookie Derek Jeter, set up man Mariano Rivera, superstar Bernie Williams and ace David Cone, the Yankees were the toast of baseball again. They brought pride back to the pinstripes as they won their 23rd World Series on October 16th 1996 when Mark Lemke's popup landed in Charlie Hayes' glove. The celebration with John Wettland's hand in the air signaling no. 1 and Paul O'Neill jumping on the mound of players and cartwheeling his way to the ground. As a 12-year old kid, I remember jumping so high I almost hit the ceiling and remember calling all my friends to share the glory of what I had saw. I never felt so prideful as I did that night. That night turned me into the huge Yankee fan that I am now.

Another 12 years later I am still the huge fan that jumped and screamed back in '96. With the Stadium closing down, it's a huge loss for me as well. I loved that place for so many reasons and tonight I will come to the reality that it's time to move on and start anew with the place across the street. It's going to beautiful there but it won't be the same. I hope Yankee Stadium can give me one more magical moment tonight before it closes the book on it's baseball history. It has to, it's Yankee Bleeping Stadium. If it doesn't I will still see it as the greatest place in the world, the way it's suppose to be seen by all.
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A-Rod Continues Homestand of Milestones


This has been a homestand of milestones for the Yankees. It might as well be as the team isn't really playing for anything else. First we saw Mariano Rivera pass Lee Smith for sole possession of 2nd place on the all-time saves list. Then we saw Derek Jeter become the all-time hits leader in Yankee Stadium history by passing Lou Gehrig. Now Alex Rodriguez has set his own milestone.

On Wednesday night Rodriguez hit his 35th HR of the season in the 8th inning, thus marking the 11th consecutive season in which he has accomplished the feat and 12th time he's done it overall (1996, 1998-2008). That ties him with Babe Ruth for the most such seasons all-time and passing Hall-of-Famers Hank Aaron and Mike Schmidt.

"I've set some really high standards for myself, and 11 years in a row -- that says a lot more than the numbers," Rodriguez said. "It says that you stayed healthy and you've been very fortunate, and also that you've played with some tremendous teammates."


Rodriguez is the only player in Major League history to record at least 35 HR's, 100 RBIs and 100 runs scored in 12 seasons. Wednesday night's HR was also the 208th of his Yankee career, tying him again with teammate Jason Giambi. He currently ranks 10th all-time on the Yankees career list.

"He's a big offensive player, year in and year out," manager Joe Girardi said. "He keeps himself in unbelievable shape and he's able to drive the ball out of the ballpark the other way. Not a lot of guys can do that. What he's done over his career is amazing, and he's still got a long way to go."


Is it more amazing what A-Rod's accomplished or that he hit the HR when the Yanks were ahead and it was in a no pressure situation? That will always be the debate until we get some key hits from no.13. Life is great as Alex Rodriguez right? Well nonetheless congratulations to Rodriguez who statistically is having a good year and continues to collect milestones and continues his climb up the all-time HR list.
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Jeter Sets All-Time Yankee Stadium Record


Congratulations to Derek Jeter who passed Lou Gehrig for the MOST hits in Yankee Stadium history with 1,270. I am a little partial to him as many Yankee fans are because of the success he brought to the team since his arrival.

A modern day legend passes one of the all-time greats.

"There's so much history at Yankee Stadium, and just to be a part of it is something special. I definitely appreciate everything the fans have done. They've been great my entire career. It makes you feel real good."


Thank you Derek for what has been an amazing career, an underrated one, but the four championships you helped produce will remain with all of us forever. Here's to many more great moments.
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Jeter Makes History At The Stadium

Derek Jeter made some history yesterday as the Yankees won 8-4 over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Entering the weekend Jeter needed 9 hits to tie and 10 hits to pass Lou Gehrig for most hits all-time at Yankee Stadium. Jeter is now tied with Gehrig with 1,269. He got 3 hits in each game of Saturday's doubleheader and recorded another 3 hits yesterday. The record-tying hit was a homerun to the bleachers in right in the 5th inning. Once the Stadium scoreboard made the sellout crowd aware of Jeter's feat, he got a curtain call.


"It feels good," Jeter said after yesterday's 8-4 win over Tampa Bay. "I'd be lying to you if I said it didn't. I always say records are meant to be broken, but this one with the Stadium closing here in a week, at least I know I tied for it.

"It's pretty special. You think about the history of this organization. When you mention players' names, Lou Gehrig is right up there at the top. To be tied with him in anything is something I'll always remember."


Alex Rodriguez started the scoring off in the first with a grand slam, his 34th homerun of the year and 553rd all-time. Jason Giambi also contributed to the scoring with a two-run shot.

The negatives that came from yesterday's game saw Robinson Cano get benched by Joe Girardi for not hustling for a ball hit off of Giambi's glove in the 4th.

"I just wasn't happy with that, so I took him out," the manager said.


Carl Pavano, yesterday's starter left in the 6th inning with a stiff left hip, but still recorded the win. Pavano is 3-1 on the year.

To close things out, Mariano Rivera came in to get one out in the 9th inning to record his 35th save of the year and 478th of his career tying him with Lee Smith for 2nd all-time.

In a time when the Yankees need everyone to step up Jeter has answered the call. With his 9 hits this weekend he raises his batting average to .408 in his last 29 games, talk about clutch. With the season winding down and the Yankees seemingly headed for an early winter yesterday gave you alot to cheer for. In the future when you look back at these Yankees you'll always remember Derek Jeter, always consistent and always a winner.
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Who's To Blame? Part 2

As I've stated before there are many factors that led to this disappointing 2008 season. Offense, defense, pitching, manager, general manager. Today we focus on Joe Girardi.

"I take responsibility for it, that's the only way I know how to do it," Girardi said. "Obviously, my job is to get the most out of everyone."


Well it appears he didn't. Somewhere along the way I believe he lost his players. Melky Cabrera had a good April, then disappeared. Robinson Cano forgot that he was the second coming of Rod Carew in the first half, and even at times in the second half. Those are two players that played well under Joe Torre, oops, I shouldn't have mentioned that name. More on him later. Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy were absolute busts. Kennedy didn't seem botheres by his last performance in Anahiem where he was rocked again and thought he pitched well. That got him a first class ticket back to the minors. Even through the let downs, Girardi has done well with the hand he was dealt.

Andy Pettitte
, Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter, Mike Mussina and Brian Bruney were asked about Girardi's performance and praised him. Others on the team chose not to comment. Hmm. Not good. That right there shows you how the clubhouse seems divided. That was never the case under Mr Torre. Girardi's biggest mistakes might've been trying to mix and match the lineup too much. Also his always optimistic attitude has come off as a joke. He's told the media his players are fine and then those players magically get hurt within days, if not hours.


That guy in L.A. Joe Torre is sitting pretty at the top of the NL West while Girardi's Yanks sit in fourth place. Had Torre delivered a fourth place team in September he would surely be out the door by now, but since Girardi is handpicked by Brain Cashman and given the ok by the Steinbrenner family, his job is safe.....for now.

"Joe has done a good job, he had to deal with a lot," Cashman said of the Yankees losing Jorge Posada, Hideki Matsui and Chien-Ming Wang for extended stretches. "He never used excuses and has always looked to solve the problem. He has handled our pitchers very well, he and (pitching coach) Dave Eiland have done a good job."


I agree but I also think if Torre was here the Yankees wouldn't be in this position. It's a debate that will linger all winter long because the bottom line is this: Torre got the Yanks to the playoffs every year he was here. Girardi failed in his first try. Can't blame Girardi for it, but it does show how effortless Torre made the job seem. Now that the Dodgers look to be playing in October while the Yanks sit at home, Torre's laughable State Farm commerical about his new life in L.A. isn't so funny. He looks like a genius for walking away from the Yankees. What happens if the Dodgers win the World Series? How will that affect Girardi's job? Time will tell.

I think Girardi did what he could this season and I don't hold him accountable. I wanted him as the manager so I have to accept the fate that came along with it. He showed me some fire this season and I liked it. The night he got thrown out and threw his hat to the ground and put on a Lou Pinella like tantrum I got all fired up. It was what I wanted to see, it's what many fans wanted to see. For that night it worked as the Yankees made a 9th inning comeback. Since then, we've got a toned down Girardi, that I don't like. Let the man do his job the way he sees fit. I think he's trying too much to be a media's manager. Let him scream, curse, shove. Whatever gets the job done. Maybe then, ALL of his players will respect him and then ALL of them will play with some pride. While I can't say poor Joe, I can certainly say shame on those players who gave up on him and the team. The lesson we learned here....Joe Torre is a sure genius!
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Who's To Blame? Who Goes? Who Stays? - Part 1


The end of September is nearing and so is the end of the Yankees season. it's a shame we didn't get more out of this team than we did. Currently, they stand 9.5 games out of the wild card and are in FOURTH place. My goodness! The Yankees are in fourth place in September. What the heck happened?

There isn't really one thing you can put to blame on this season. The bullpen was ineffective at times, so was the starting rotation, so was the offense, so was the defense. Injuries also plagued the Yanks this season. Ace Chien-Ming Wang, catcher Jorge Posada, Joba Chamberlain, Hideki Matsui, and Alex Rodriguez all missed significant time this season. Manager Joe Girardi did his best with the hand he was dealt this season but it ultimately wasn't enough as the Yanks season will end on September 28th in Fenway Park. How fitting.

The Yankees will move into the offseason with questions surrounding their GM, their first baseman, their centerfielder, their bullpen and starting rotation. Who goes, who stays? Let's take a quick look at who I think needs to go and who needs to stay.

Gone:
Jason Giambi: Still prvides some pop and average defense but age will get to him sooner than later.
Carl Pavano: Hasn't pitched bad since returning but it's time to get rid of a bad investment.
Melky Cabrera: He may still have an upside but I think his glory days in the Bronx are over. Excellent arm but you need to deal him to get at least a 5th starter or a reliever.
Ivan Rodriguez: Age is catching up with Pudge and hasn't brought anything to the table since his arrival at the trade deadline.
Ian Kennedy: Cant pitch in New York, 'nough said.
Hideki Matsui: Still a valuable and solid player but age is creeping up on him as well. It's time to deal him before his value plummets.

Keep:
Bobby Abreu: Still a solid ballplayer. Still hits .300 and drives in around 90 runs. Still a solid defender and a cannon for an arm. This is a no brainer.
Andy Pettitte: This one is 50-50. Depending on Andy and if he wants to return or retire, the Yanks have to bring him back, not for $16 million but something respectable as he can still be a #3 starter, at worst #4. Plus he's better than sending out Sidney Ponson, Darrell Rasner, or Ian Kennedy.
Mike Mussina: Here's your wild card. At 39 Moose is your Yankees 2008 MVP. Just as a reward for his work this year he deserves another shot with the team. #5 starter or more, he can prove to be a reliable guy in the rotation, a rotation that might need him more next season than they do right now.

That's just a quick peek at what the Yankees need to do this offseason. At season's end I will go further in-depth. But there is no reason to place blame on one part of the team. This was a teamwide letdown this season all across the board. So let's just address the needs of the team this winter and move forward into the new Stadium and get ready to reclaim the top of the AL East.
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QUITE FRANKLY: The End Has Come Too Soon

20 games to go, 7.5 games out of the wild card and the Yankees still think they have a shot at making the postseason. That shipped has sailed. The season ended the night Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedoria hit a grand slam to break open a "close" game. At the end of that grand slam Jonathan Papelbon stood with his arms opened as if he stood there in victory. Boy was he right. The Yankees haven't recovered from that onslaught.

As a Yankee fan I am ashamed of this team. Such promise and so talented, injuries or no injuries, they still had the pieces to make this thing interesting down to the last day but I feel like most of the team has given up. A-Rod can't hit the clutch again, Cano makes dumb mistakes a player of his caliber shouldn't be making, Jeter isn't himself this year, Pettitte seems to be down to his last few breaths, Melky Cabrera should be playing in some Independent League, Giambi is all or nothing, Veras is no modern day Jeff Nelson, Ramirez is no modern day Ramiro Mendoza. I've had enough of Girardi and his positive outlooks. That's not what he was brought here for. He was brought here to institute passion into the players who essentially need a good kick in their rear. Cano cost the Yankees a game last week by being nonchalant and when asked about it you compare him to being as smooth as Roberto Alomar?! Are you serious? I guess he was talking about the Roberto Alomar that couldn't buy a hit in his last days as a Met. That kind of stuff gets me pi***d.

Then you get quotes like:
"We're not out of it yet, All we can do is go out there and play hard." - Johnny Damon

"I look at this team and I look at our lineup and I feel like this team should win....I feel like this team should beat up on people. That's how I feel." - Andy Pettitte

“How many games do we have left?” Told there were 22, Rodriguez’s eyes grew wide and he muttered an expletive. “You have to do what you can do,” he said. “We have to take it one game at a time and look up after 15 games and see where we stand. Crazier things have happened.” - Alex Rodriguez

I mean why is there a sense of urgency now and why wasn't there any in August? I have to question the leadership of this team. They're in crisis mode now and need to win now at any costs. The Rockies did it last year, so did the Phillies. So you can't tell me the almighty New York Yankees can't make miracles happen. It just seems unlikely. What a shame. The Yankees will go home on September 28th once the final out is made in Fenway Park. Money can't buy you happiness or a championship these days. Not only that but now it doesn't even buy you a pass to the postseason. That's pathetic. 20 games to go, 10 more at the Stadium, why bother playing themnd ? Oh yea, it's the last year of Yankee Stadium, apparently the memo never got to the Yanks. Instead of playing for a championship to close out the most historic stadium of all time, they're closing it out against the Batimore Orioles on ESPN, oh joy, what excitement, I can't wait!
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A-Rod's HR A-Ok After Review

Last night saw Alex Rodriguez make history. Batting in the top of the 9th, Alex hit a ball down the left field line and over the foul poul. Question here, was it fair or foul? Since the ball went over the poul in left, there was no clear answer.


Rodriguez rounded the bases as if it were fair. The third base umpire also called it fair. No so fast, Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon came out to argue, thus cuasing the umpires to institute Instant Replay. This was the first instance in which Instant Replay was used in Major League Baseball history. Two minutes later, the ball was called fair and the play was a homerun and Alex had his 31st homerun of the season and 549th of his career, putting him alone 12th on the all-time list.

Crew chief Charlie Reliford had this to say about the play:
“A fair ball is fair when it leaves the playing field. That’s why the foul poles are there to help us. We had it going right over the pole, all four of us had it going right over the pole on the field. Our views of the replays confirmed that. It was not inconclusive, it was conclusive that Brian’s call was correct. Everything went exactly like they trained us it would go.”


A-Rod's homerun capped an 8-4 Yankees victory, their 3rd in a row and 4th in a row over the Rays. To go along with the homerun, Rodriguez went 3 for 5 with 4 RBI.

What makes A-Rod such a special player is not only is he talented and one of the game's best, but he seems to always in the middle of controversy, so last night's events were nothing new for him.
"There are probably 800 players in the big leagues, the odds of me being in controversy are probably 2 to 1," he said. It's funny; somehow I find myself in those situations all the time."


The Yanks are playing consistent over the few days and you have to take that as a positive. While the mountain to climb to get to October is still a big one, the Yanks are doing what they can to get there. Let's hope for a sweep today and move the momentum on to Seattle this weekend, a team they are 6-0 against on the season. This is a September tougher than any other and the Bombers realize their next mistake may cost them their season, so the focus needs to remain. Taking the first two games of the series against the team with the best record in baseball is a start.
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