Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Game 159: Next Time You See Me

It's hard to believe that tonight will be the last regular season home game for the Yankees. It seems like just yesterday when the Stadium was the New Stadium; an overpriced, empty, band box that didn't have the atmosphere or memories or the history of the place across the street and never would.

Some of those things are still true, but the Yanks have certainly come up with more than a typical season's worth of wins (57), late inning magic (15 walk offs) and special moments (Jeter passing Gehrig) there so far.

As linked earlier today, the homers have settled down. The Peter Max gallery is gone. The urinals in the upper deck still don't have dividers, but the prices of the most expensive Legends Seats have been cut in half and holders of the other seats in that area have been compensated with extra games. Those two things have eliminated most of the conspicuously empty seats behind the plate, which mattered far more to 99.99% of Yankees fans than the fact that the tickets were overpriced to begin with.

All of those things seemed like a big deal at the time, but now the New Stadium doesn't feel so new. I think that's what most of the hand-wringing surrounding the opening of the place back in April was really about. It was a house without the familiarity of a home. The place wasn't yet ours. It was never going to be anyone else's, but the team and the fans hadn't yet formed any common bonds by way of the Stadium.

Now we have them. We have Melky's walk-offs, Luis Castillo's drop, A-Rod's solo shot in the 15th inning of a 0-0 game against the fackin' Sawx, the back to back 8th inning homers against Daniel Bard two nights later, the fight against the Blue Jays, and the blown save by Farsnworth last night. We even have the 22-4 game against the Indians, and the one where Mariano some how gave up back to back home runs. The last two a pretty painful, but all those things make the Stadium incrementally more ours.

What Joba Chamberlain does tonight on his small leg of the Yankees' victory lap will be forgotten soon enough. The Bombers have won 71% of their home games so far this year which can be considered a success by any measure. But all the good juju accrued over the 81 regular season contests at the New Stadium will be put on the table October 7th, 9th and possibly 14th. If all goes well then, it will be doubled down. And with any luck, the stakes will be raised again.

So enjoy the relatively inconsequential nature of tonight's game. Because they next time the Yanks take in the vistas of their palace in the Bronx, things most certainly won't be the same.

Next time you see me things, won't be the same,
Next time you see me things, won't be the same,
If it hurts you my darling, you only got yourself to blame.

Well, it's true, true saying, all that shines is not gold.
Well, it's true, true saying, all that shines is not gold.
Like the good book says, you gotta reap just what you sow.

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