(and a Stern Warning to All Morons)
Before I get to the apology, I find it necessary to attend to this first:
First Order of Business
Dear Yankees Lunkheads (you know who you are),
Ok, you moronic idiots, now you’ve done it! Reality check…You are not big fans. You are big fannies! That’s right, jackasses! Thanks to your stupidity, a prospective Yankee player may not care to come to The Big Apple because you wormy maggots had to act like the pathetic drunks that you obviously must be and yell obscenities, throw beer, and spit…yes.SPIT! (ewwww!)…on the lovely wife of one of baseball’s most gifted pitchers, Cliff Lee. Instead of sitting back in your seats like good little children to enjoy watching one of baseball’s living legends, YOU decided to take it upon YOURSELVES to embarrass the good citizens of New York, whose proper behavior you should have been emulating.
Let’s get one thing straight. It is NOT cool, NOR is it accepted behavior to act like obnoxious buffoons in public. What you do on your own time is your business and, probably, no one wants to know about it, judging by your recent display of stupidity. Don’t ever assume that the we Yankee fans back you up. We don’t. You deserve to be embarrassed for your heinous acts. Shame on you, you, you big bullies!
How would you like it if you traveled cross-country to watch your family member perform in front of a national audience, only to be greeted by pompous jerks who called you names and tossed stuff at you in front of millions of viewers and in front of your kids? I’ll bet you wouldn’t like it too much. Better yet, what if your sons and daughters acted out like that? How proud would you be? My guess is, about as proud as your own mothers and fathers are of you right now.
Even a young kid is wiser than you. You could learn a lot from this eloquent young man Grayson Chance:
As for Mrs. Kristen Lee, the woman responsible for keeping her talented husband on track and holding down the fort while he throws strike after strike, day after grueling day, and all of the Rangers’ families who endured the same cruel treatment…
Dear Mrs. Lee,
On behalf of all NY Yankees fans, please accept our most sincere apologies. You did not deserve to be a victim of such cruel taunting by a few rotten eggs. That is not the way we choose to treat our guests. That was most rude of them and we will not tolerate it. Those unrefined Cro-Magnon men do not represent us. They are despicable, rude pigs who deserve to be fed gruel vs. liquid yeast and roll in their own horrid words. The average Yankee fan has a deep respect for your other half and thoroughly enjoys watching the amazing gift Cliff Lee possesses -12-9, 3.18 ERA, 185 strikeouts in 2010.
Kindly find it in your heart to forgive us for our obnoxious behavior that night. We promise it will never happen again. We are extremely embarrassed by this incident and very sorry that a small handful of supposed fans treated you so poorly.
Please allow Brenda Lee to patch things up between us…
You and your family are welcome to come back to Yankee Stadium any time and we guarantee things will be a lot different. You deserve better and we would like the opportunity to make it up to you. Please do not be hardened by the thought of returning to the great city of New York. It has so many wonderful things to offer. We hope you will give us another chance.
With many arms extended, we remain truly yours with “Purple Skies,”
d8)%–< l >€27@p
“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Over the course of the last few weeks, I have spent a lot of time reflecting on the ghosts of Yankee Stadium. In recent history, it was always a given that the spirits of Yankees past lurked about “The House that Ruth Built.” From the Great Bambino himself to baseball legends such as Lou Gehrig and Thurman Munson, it is a logical conclusion that a lifetime of baseball moments made in “The Great Cathedral” would, at the very least, continue to reverberate through time and that, in the afterlife, a great communion of souls would team up together to haunt opponent after opponent when called upon.
Anyone who has been there will tell you the place had its own sort of energy unlike any other stadium, a sort of aura about it that left most first-time visitors awestruck. From Monument Park to the concession stands and back to the Bleachers, it took on a character all its own. Many modern-day players have made reference to “The Ghosts,” coming out during a game, including current Yankee Team Captain Derek Jeter.
In a previous blog entry, I asked Yankees fans to summon the ghosts of Yankee Stadium to help our boys to victory during the playoffs. I expected a flurry of unexplained Yankee miracles of the kind we fans have grown accustomed to…no, we expect…but that didn’t happen. No miracles, no amazing moments. Just mediocre plays that made for a disappointing end to what was a stellar season, otherwise. It was an anticlimactic unfurling of injuries and missed opportunities. A major let down that left Yankees fans disgusted and in utter disbelief to find that their focus had somehow shifted to raking leaves and Halloween costumes.
So, I found myself asking the following irreverent question:
What if there just aren’t any ghosts at the new Yankee Stadium?
If one follows the theory that spirits who still walk the earth are stuck in some kind of time warp or a timeless eternity set in the past – their past – and that they may not even be aware that they have passed on, one would have to address the obvious possibility that they might not even realize there is a new stadium or even that the old one is defunct.
What if returning to the old Yankee Stadium was their Heaven and, with all good intentions, we have now taken that away? Is it possible that the spirits are so upset and offended that the Babe’s home – their home- has become another victim of the wrecking ball that they flat out refuse to move to the new stadium, choosing instead to relive their choices of baseball moments on the hallowed ground where they forged so much history?
Ask many old-time Yankee fans and they will voice their discontent over the closing of the old stadium – the first three-tiered sports arena ever built – and, in essence, the end of an era. To many, all the modern ammenities in the world cannot make up for a historic structure opened in 1923 that we once knew and loved, and the opportunity to see a ball game for only a few bucks on a hot summer night!
So, what if the ghosts decided to stay put on the old stomping grounds?
What if they, too, chose not to move on?
Embedded in those old concrete walls were:
• the voice of 1927 Manager Miller Huggins addressing his World Championship lineup before the games
• Lou Gehrig’s infamous retirement speech that made the world aware of a disease call ALS
• the crack of the bat by Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio
• the sound of Catfish Hunter’s pitches smacking the catcher’s mitt during Game 6 of the 1978 World Series
• the furious stomps of fans in the upper deck when Reggie Jackson became “Mr. October”
• multiple generations of passionate “boo”s mixed with cheers of “Let’s go Yankees!”
• the wolf-like howls of the crowd when the calendar page flipped from October 31st to November 1st to crown Derek Jeter as “Mr. November”
• cheers of “Hip! Hip! Jorge!” in the stairwells as fans exited after games
• “The Voice of God” a.k.a. Bob Sheppard announcing the players while organists Toby Wright and Eddie Layton filled the air with music from a 50,000-watt Hammond organ.
“Baseball has been erased, rebuilt and erased again.” – Field of Dreams
Perhaps, as Doc saved the little girl in that classic baseball movie, the old spirits of River Drive will come to the rescue when we convey our sincere thanks and appreciation for the memories. When we tell them we’ve built this new field for them, too.
“Build it and they will come.”
“The House that George Built” may not be quite the same as the old Yankee Stadium, but in time, it, too will be filled with its own history, it own timeless memories. It is still young. It’s time for a new generation of devoted fans to make their imprint on the walls, to fill it with a new brand of passion, derived from tradition, that can come only from a pure love of baseball.
Together, we can create that perfect moment in time. Together, we can feel the magic of baseball. Then, when someone asks, “Is this Heaven?” you can answer, “Yes, it’s Yankee Stadium!”
d8)%–< l >€27@p
Don’t change that dial! More coming in the next installment of NYY Logo Girl!
One needs to listen to only a few hours of sports radio or peruse through several cyber-stacks of Twitter feeds to realize how much anger, frustration and hate is spewed out into society. Squashed between clever quips are hateful comments laced with ego, avarice and spite. No one knows this better than a Yankees fan.
Despite the geographical divide, the ‘International Spit Fest” makes it’s way onto my feet via the Internet. Simply because I choose to root for my home team, I am accosted in public places by total strangers for wearing my Yankees Championship shirt.
Things would be different if I had my jacket zipped closed and was accompanied by a cute, furry dog. People would fight for a lick on the face and a free handful of ALPO-laced drool. Instead, men who would normally hit on me prefer to hit me. I remind them nicely that my team has won 27 World Series Championships, but that only causes them to seize up with anger.
All the facts and statistics in the world cannot do anything to stem the tide of bashes. Like a seasoned prize fighter, I block their jabs, but refrain from finishing them off with my left hook. Like Muhammad Ali vs. George Foreman, I prefer to play a little “rope-a-dope” and leave my opponent responsible for his own undoing. With confidence, I turn away and put my faith in “My Boys in Blue,” who rarely let me down, only to see a rash of pompous below-the-belt punches thrown by my fellow NY fans in defense. I wonder, “Where does it end?”
Ignorance breeds contempt. Jealousy merely breeds more jealously. With the understanding that baseball is an extremely competitive sport that examines every player, every play and every decision under a microscope for a new stat, it’s no wonder so much venom flies.
I can’t help to be reminded of post-9/11, when kinder words graced New York’s doorstep. When strangers from across the country and around the world sent caring words of encouragement to these parts. It was a simpler time when IDs were not requested to move about society, people still wore their shoes to board an airplane, Lady Gaga was an innocent, drooling baby in diapers, and “bird-flipping” was not considered a sport.
It is apparent the support net has dropped out. I pause and wonder what happened. Perhaps, I should look at it in a positive lite – as a sign of the times and a testament to the fact that life does go on and, eventually, returns to a semi-normal state, for what it’s worth.
The Yankees didn’t win the World Series in 2001. In a scenario similar to this season, Andy Pettitte was suffering from an elbow injury and there were questions regarding the roster. Regardless, they had some of the most amazing moments in baseball history, despite uncertain times. My favorite was Jeter’s tumbling catch into the third base seats (which I was lucky to witness in person), followed by the birth of “Mr. November.”
Also, that was the year I was blessed to be in the presence of Yankees legend Yogi Berra one dismal, rainy September night while working at a fundraiser in northern New Jersey. Sadly, I had been called to fill a gap – more like a gaping wound – as a last-minute replacement for staff members who had just lost their lives on 9/11 while working at Windows on the World. I felt very uncomfortable playing second string and hoped the night would go by quickly.
Time dragged on. I found myself pretending to be happy to be there. I couldn’t let anyone in on my true state of mind. My job was to cheer up the guests, to allow them to live in a fantasy world for several hours before having to return to a grim reality.
Finally, the event came to a close. I was about to pack it in for the night when I looked across the room and noticed a celebrity impersonator, a common sight at special events. With bleary eyes, I gazed through the thinning crowd at this short, old guy in sheer amazement as to how good he was. He had to be a seasoned pro because he really had his character nailed. I found myself staring at him. Suddenly, he turned around to face me. He was no actor. For Pete’s sake, it was the legend himself, the King of Quips, the Master of all Yogi-isms, Mr. Yogi Berra!
Rubbing my eyes, I approached him in utter disbelief. I spoke to him and he actually spoke back. I sat down at his table as one of my co-workers jammed a cell phone in his face for a
quick “Hello” to his son. Then, he signed a baseball for me. We talked for what seemed like an eternity, in slo-mo fantasy dream time. He was so cool.
Had I died and gone to Heaven?? With just a few words and the stroke of a pen, all the world’s problems magically vanished, even if only for a few minutes. It made my night, my week, month, year, and now, my blog. A simple act of selflessness humanity was all it took. I can only imagine how many other people who met the legendary Yankees catcher felt the same after that night.
So, here’s your first assignment…
The Beatles were dead-on when they performed “All You Need is Love” at that other NY team’s Shea Stadium. Those simple four letters L-O-V-E are very powerful when put together. They have the ability to overcome all negativity.
So, Yankees fans, with that in mind, I dare you to be different. Let’s all try a little experiment to keep our beloved Yankees on track. Be Seinfield’s George Costanza and do the opposite! That’s right. Instead of focusing on the negative, like how disgusted you are with Joe Gerardi’s end-of-season roster decisions, or a certain pitcher’s rotten ERA, let it go. Get a fresh start and a new perspective of the game, and of life, and focus on the positive.
Instead of engaging in endless banter about how much better the Yanks are than everyone else (we already know that’s a fact), from now on, try to concentrate on the positive by sending out good vibes, not only to Gerardi, who obviously isn’t trying to lose (Geeze, he’s been wearing #28 all season!), but to all of our cherished and maybe not so cherished members of the pinstriped NY clan who have hit the emerald green nearly every day since early Spring to bring us, their LOYAL fans, another Championship.
Think about your favorite Yankees player and send positive energy his way. Meditate over your least favorite player who may have screwed up royally and try to feel his pain. He is the one who needs our support the most. Imagine him pitching that perfect game of every pitcher’s dreams, making the perfect catch or clobbering the ball over the stadium facade. (Think Aaron Boone moment.) Try it just once. Take a deep breath, close your eyes and envision that perfect moment in time – your ultimate fantasy baseball. Take it in, Play it over and over again in your head like you would your favorite baseball movie. Savor it like the perfect dessert. Hear “Theeee Yankees Win!” Don’t you feel better now?
Remember that vision and hold it close to your heart. Feel your heart beat as it pumps your Yankee Blue blood through every fiber of your being. That is where you’ll hold the World Series Trophy. Use your Jedi mind powers to send that beautiful, shiny trophy to your team, OUR team, both present and past. Deliver it to the ghosts of Yankee Stadium as their wake-up call. Tell them, “It’s time!” Time for #28. Be your own magician. You are a powerful being. Experience the MAGIC of baseball!
d8)%–< l >€27@p
Like Santa’s elves preparing for Christmas Eve, a small group of artists are hard at work preparing for the next match-up at Yankee Stadium, or as I like to call it, “Church.” They risk getting splatters of Holy Paint on their jeans, sneakers and shirts for the love of the game (and paycheck).
As if channeling the spirit of Michelangelo painting the Sistine Chapel (for just a few hours without craning his neck) they massage the grass with every stroke of paint; gently (or maybe not) caressing each beautiful, green blade with their rollers and paint brushes in red, white, blue and gold – an “A” here, an “L” there. Plans in one hand, artist’s tools in the other, they check and double-check their work, ensuring that each and every blade receives their sacred blessing. The result is a beautiful masterpiece to be seen by millions of baseball fans the world over.
Only the chosen few get to display this MLB symbol of success and endurance. So, whether you’re a NY Yankee, “Pope Jeter,” or a Yankees fan, take a respite from your busy day to savor the moment and to honor the sacrifices made by a few of baseball’s dedicated “soldiers” who help us swell with pride. We hope they’ll be back in New York soon for their next assignment!
Now, please excuse me. Divinely inspired, NYY Logo Girl has a little work of her own to do.
d8)%–< l >€27@p
Now, more than ever, the world needs a superhero. Someone to lift up the tired, huddled masses when they are down, to stamp out evil, to assure them that everything’s going to be alright; someone to restore balance to the universe and keep the world spinning on its axis in the right direction; someone to restore faith to the fans, the players, the game; to remind each and every individual of the MAGIC of baseball.
Sounds like a job for NYY Logo Girl!
As American as apple pie, united we stand, united we root for our home team. Together, we experience that magical feeling we know as baseball. We celebrate victory and spit at defeat. In early Spring, we chomp at the bit for a glimpse of that emerald green turf. In summer, we chomp massive amounts of bubble gum in order to trade players’ cards, with hopes of acquiring the next Yankees legend.
Come September, we chew our knuckles to the bones in suspense and wonder if we’ll ever witness another “Mr. November.” Winter months bring dreams of fantasy camp as we don our flannel Yankees PJs, Yankee Blue fuzzy slippers and tuck ourselves in beneath our cozy Yankees blankets, cuddled together with our favorite Yankees fan. 😉
We are one big family. We span the globe. We span the universe. We transfer our Passion for baseball to everything we do, and we spread our love for the game to everyone we meet. No matter where we go, we are united by one single thread that connects us together – the knowledge that WE ARE YANKEES FANS!
More to come…
Please stay tuned for the next episode when NYY Logo Girl reveals more about her mission!
d8)%–< l >€27-@p
Hint: ( fr / bk )