The Yankees are saying goodbye to the Big Ballpark in The Bronx in style, with a massive pre-game ceremony. So… a liveblog. Over/under on how many times I tear up: 10. Take the over
7pm: I’ll be honest. I didn’t think I would care that much. It’s not like my favorite team is leaving town, they’re only moving across the street. And the new Yankee Stadium is going to be amazing.
Then I read Tyler Kepner in this morning’s Times.Â This paragraph sums up exactly how I feel.
The Yankeesâ€™ new home will have better sightlines and a bigger clubhouse, high-tech scoreboards and high-end restaurants. Every new ballpark has those. We do not know what will distinguish it, how it can possibly retain the grandeur worthy of the name Yankee Stadium. For the new place to truly feel like the home of the lordly New York Yankees, it will have to find a way.
7:05pm: First choice of the night: ESPN or YES?Â I’m gonna stick with YES for now, though ESPN did an amazing job all day.Â You would think 7 hours of pre-game for a meaningless regular season game would be overkill. It’s not.Â Is there such a thing as underkill?
7:06pm: I picked correctly. ESPN2 coverage is being pre-empted by the WNBA.Â
7:08pm: I’ve been to Yankee Stadium at least a hundred times in my life. I’ve never been to monument park. I never wanted to wait on the line. That was probably a mistake.
7:10pm: Bob Shepard,on tape, delivers a message to Yankee Fans. And I start welling up, just a bit. If that’s any indication, I am incredibly happy to be watching this alone.
7:11pm: So, let’s talk about this crying thing. When I was a kid, I used to watch old-timers games with my dad and he would invariably tear up. My mom would make fun of him, and so, I did too. All day, I’ve been hearing people talk about how the Stadium is an allegory for fathers and sons. So, in a way, the fact that I’m getting emotional while I watch this is kind of fitting. I’m sure my father is too.
7:16pm: People who look like theÂ old players coming out onto the field? Kinda gay.
7:18pm: Do you think fake Joe DiMaggio insisted on being introduced last? And did he want to be called “The Greatest Living Baseball Player impersonator?”
7:20pm: Oh I get it. They’re introducing the old players by position.. and introducing the positions to coincide with tonight’s lineup. Leftfield first, then shortstop, because Damon will leadoff and Jeter will bat second. That’s pretty cool.Â
7:27pm: Stick Michael does not make me emotional.Â Â I’m pretty sure Brosius will.
7:30pm: Yup. The crowd cheers for Brosius, and I’m starting to lose it.
7:32pm: Jesse Barfield does not warrant mention among the great Yankee rightfielders. He sticks out like a sore thumb on a list that includes Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson, and Paul O’Neill.
7:35pm: Crowd is chanting Paul O’Neill’s name, and once again, it seems I have something in both of my eyes.
7:36pm: Unless my theory is wrong, the Yankees are throwing out a very odd batting order tonight. Arod 3, Abreu 4, Cano 5.
7:38pm: The children of dead players dressed like thjeir dads is also not doing it for me.
7:39pm: Did you know Bobby Richardson once ran for Congress? In 1976, he ran as a Republican in South Carolina and lost.Â Don’t say you didn’t learn anything from reading this.
7:40pm: Willie Randolph gets a standing O. Yeah, screw you Mets. (Remember how bad he was as a third base coach? Seriously, thank god the Mets hired him)
7:42pm: Moose Scowron looks exactly like you would think an old man named Moose should look like.
7:44pm. Shit. I forgot that I had rewound on my DVR earlier, so I just flipped over to ESPN and then back to YES and the tv caught up with itself, and I missed Tino. I trust we all clapped for him. Here’s my Tino story. I was at Clemen’s 300th win. He also got his 4000th strikeout that night. It was Edgar Renteria and happened right before Tino came up to bat for the first time at the Stadium since leaving the Yanks. Anyway, Clemens gets a standing ovation for the strikeout, and the applause that Tino so rightfully deserves gets completely drowned out. It pissed me off. Especially when we found out what a piece of shit Clemens turned out to be.
7:47pm: Elston Howard’s daughter joins Yogi at the plate. YES shows Cano and Melky. They are definitely discussing the fact that she’s kind of hot.
7:48pm: Thurman Munson’s son looks like the comic Brian Posehn.
7:51pm: Considering the stories about him with Mickey Mantle and Billy Martin back in the day, it’s amazing how good Whitey Ford still looks.
7:53pm: It seems they’re leaving centerfieldÂ for last. That means Bernie Williams will get a massive ovation. It also means I will be a blubbering fool. Again.
7:56pm: Ok,Â I love David Wells. How could you not? But this has been bothering me for years. That beard makes his face look like a 1970′s vagina.
7:59pm: Mantle’s son looks older than Whitey Ford. I was at the first game after Mantle died. I consider it the first funeral I ever went to. 50,000 people sitting in stunned silence. Eerie.
8:03pm: Bernie’s back for the first time since retiring. Yeah, it got me. Bobby Murcer’s daughter jumped and gave him a hug, and I’m a mess.
8:05pm: Wow, Shepard introduces tonight’s starting lineup. Pretty Cool. My theory about introducing positions in the batting order is completely wrong. I apologize. That would have something though.
8:10pm: The best part of this is that it’s only included players and players families, no stupid celebrities. There is no need for Rudy Giuliani or Billy Crystal to show up and talk down to other Yankee fans about what it means to love this team.Â Also, I read Giuliani’s memories in the Post this morning. There is no way he was at Don Larsen’s perfect game and Reggie’s 3 homerun game. That guy’s a fucking liar. He really makes me sick.
8:15pm: Posada gets some love, as does Babe Ruth’s daughter. Overall, a nice ceremony. Emotional, but not overly so. Before it started, i set the over/under for times I cried at 10 and advised you to bet the over. That was bad advice. I believe I got choked up 5 times during this one hour ceremony.
Now, let’s hope Pettitte doesn’t give up a 5 spot in the 1st inning to ruin it.