From the mind of Tom Beland

Creator of True Story Swear to God

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Yankee Stadium came to and end today.

The game itself was a great one, the Yankees winning 7-3 and the emotions were high all night. You could feel the energy in the air as the fans gave it their all as they bid their stadium adieu.

I'm just not sure why.

Because I'm not sure the stadium itself would cheer this day. I wondered if Yankee Stadium was happy with the outpouring of love its fans... or if it had that feeling that Old Yeller had when he saw little Travis holding his shotgun as he took Yeller out to the back yard. And I get the feeling that Yankee Stadium felt the latter. I mean, how would YOU handle it? What if you were Yankee Stadium today?

Yeah, you've heard for decades how you're one of the "crowned jewels" in sports. You'd think that if they call you one of those, you were good to be around forever. A historical landmark, for hell's sake. Your biggest moments in sports history happened right where you are.

But then you get the news. Maybe it's just a rumor at first... some of the other buildings begin talking shit about how the city was going to be losing one of it's jewels. Who... you? Hah. Laughable at best. And if it's ANYONE... it's that old Empire State guy who'll probably go. I mean... the last great thing that happened there was that fucking big ape movie. Right?

But then the rumors get a bit more focused. You hear the public tennis courts crying with the community baseball field. And when you make eye contact, they give you this look that suggests you should brace yourself. And the wind gets a slight bit chillier.

The next day you wake up and... that public park is gone. Everything. The trees, the track, the tennis courts... all of them. All torn up and reduced to dirt. And none of those people were there. It was just... empty. Gone.

And you remember the look the tennis court gave you and you freak-out just a bit. You check yourself out, mentally. You're still in solid shape. Yeah. And you have all those moments and memories that created such a bond between you and the city. I mean... c'mon.. those people-thingies go absolutely ape-shit gah-gah over you for crying out loud. They say that Ruth-guy built you... and you know how they all feel about RUTH!!

Yeah, it's gotta be that Empire guy.

You wake up again and there's a buzz in the air. Usually you don't hear those people thingies talking out there. But for some reason, you're hearing your name over and over. There's a tension in the air. You get that feeling that maybe you should make a call and just see how everything is and see if anything is brought up and....

There's a knock on your door.

You look down and it's those owner-people. All dressed up in suits and looking official. Whoahhh... look at all the media vans pull up!! Wow!! Look at the reporter people run into me!! That kinda tickles!! HAH!!

And then you listen in.

And your elevator drops to the ground floor in a thump.

No. Fucking. Way.

It's not the Empire State guy. It's not even that weird-ass Carnegie Deli fucker near the theaters.

No. It's you.

What the fuck..?? Are they shitting you?? You're absolutely posifuckingtively speechless as they all exit you. Total silence as you hear the cars drive off into the void. Even if you could speak, there's simple no question in the history of asking that could specifically depict your utter loss. Not even CHEMO is an option. And the governor ain't gonna be calling.

And it's not for the fans, those people that you see day or night, sunny or raining, championship runs and the times you were never even in the mix... naw. It wasn't for the those people who believe in keeping history there when you can't improve on it. No. It wasn't for that seat that's been in the family for generations. And that's what's so insulting. The reason those owners are leaving you was for the disastrous of reasons. One that you can't defend in a million years.

It was because they wanted someone younger.

Someone hotter. Someone that doesn't have all that milage you have. Jesus, would it have killed you to polish those plaques once in a while?? We have sponsors out there!! Trim that infield some time and maybe they'd care about you more.

When the air finally returns to your body, you almost laugh, because the reality is so damned impossible. There's no FUCKING way it's you. I mean... you could've SWORN they loved you. That person who was dying... it felt like he meant it... and all the baseball... the football... those events where two guys beat the shit out of each other... they went NUTS over those moments. That's what you were designed for and you gave it back to them a hundred times over. You did your job... and you SEEM to be great at it... but now..?

There she is. The new girl.

Sighh... yeah, she'd young. She's got that virginal look to her. Untouched. You remember being like that. It's so easy to be loved because you're new. They'll go crazy over her... not matter what they see when they get there. She'll have that "new-girl" smell to her and they love that. But then things will change. Those people... there'll be fewer of them around when she doesn't perform. One, two losing seasons and she'll become... normal. And don't forget, she's only got baseball. A one-trick pony.

And then the night comes when they officially end it all... and THIS is how they say goodbye??? The ORIOLES? Are they fucking JOKING HERE?? NO BOSTON?? REALLY??? Wow... okay... whatever. You'd just think that they'd have some respect when they made this schedule. That's all. Wow.


No, it's NOT fucking okay. They new FOREVER that this day was going to come. And they could've shown you some real love and let you go out the way it should be done. But not like this. This is... a bit... embarrassing. You should tell them how cheap you feel. But I guess you won't. You'll go out classy and forgive them the way you always do. And at least your friends... the ones you're CLOSE to... at least they won't have to watch you go out this way.

What the fuck? Is that Paul..? Why did they have to ask him to... noooo. Is that Bernie..? Paul AND Bernie?? They didn't think this would be awkward? Why don't they just invite LARSEN for crying out... OHMYGODIT'SDONLARSEN. And YOGI. TELL me they did NOT invite Don fucking Larsen and Yogi goddamn Berra tonight's game. Is that Chambliss? Jackson..?? And the family members..?

You look at Babe's daughter and quietly mumble that you don't KNOW why they're doing this. You don't know who you pissed off or who you disappointed... you don't know. No one's asked why. RUDI... the 911 guy... HE knows what you are... he's wearing your hat!! Surely HE'LL do something to save you!

But he doesn't. And in a fleeting moment, the game is over... and you can hear them play Sinatra one final time and then the lights go out. It's officially over. I guess everyone goes sooner or later.

You just never thought you'd go out like this. For something called "luxury boxes," whatever the hell those are. You wonder if they'll miss you, or move on. They moved on after the World Trade twins were murdered. And you're not the World Trade twins. You're just a stadium. And you know how they feel about stadiums.

I bet it'd be cold that night.


Brian said...

Nice job, Tom.

ed said...

Jeez... Way to make me actually care a little bit about Yankee Stadium.

Not cool Tom. Not cool.

peanuts and
cracker jack

Peter said...

You still type good. You still type reeeeeeeal good.

It is pretty disgusting how stadiums like this are putting the game out of reach of it's fans. We go 2 or 3 times a year and it's several hundred dollars a night. And then you'd think the premium price you're paying would mean they'd take it easy on you with the food prices. But no. Anyway they can screw you they do. I think they are running a test. "Hmmm, would they pay 8 dollars for a beer? Turns out they will! Hmmm, will they pay 10 dollars for a beer..." And so on.

We're going to more minor league games this year. They're fun.

Anonymous said...

"And then the night comes when they officially end it all... and THIS is how they say goodbye??? The ORIOLES? Are they fucking JOKING HERE?? NO BOSTON?? REALLY??? Wow... okay... whatever. You'd just think that they'd have some respect when they made this schedule. That's all. Wow."

I thought of this too. But then I thought maybe MLB knew that the Sox would love nothing more than to come in to the last day of that stadiums long history and BEAT the Yanks and they would be good enough to do it. I think they wanted the Yankees to win that game. I think they put the O's there because they thought "what team with SOME history will come in and quietly lie down as the Yankees win the last game in the stadium.

Jim Yeske

David Arroyo said...

A beautiful Eulogy to a beautiful place. It's so sad, Camden Yards goes up in Baltimore and less than ten years later. Over a Fourth of baseballs parks are replaced. including ones with such history.