A sharp-eyed photographer snapped a photo that is now one of the most viewed images on Reddit.com and Mashable.
NEW YORK -- My day of baseball was already in its 24th inning when Jorge Posada stepped to the plate at Yankee Stadium in the bottom of the ninth on Thursday night. While attempting to watch the rare baseball tripleheader, I had seen the first 15 of the 18-inning twinbill between the Rockies and Mets in Queens before making the 9.7-mile cross-borough trip to the Bronx see the Yankees host the Orioles.
Before long, every major athlete of our time will have been undone by his telephone. Brett Favre and Tiger Woods are the two most prominent athletes accused of texts outside of marriage, both men imprisoned in a cell -- and by a cell -- of their own making.
Related galleries for the August 23, 2010 issue
Last fall I stood in line in a men's room at Giants Stadium while a kid no older than six approached a urinal at least two inches too high for him.
Bob Sheppard gave voice to a building. He transformed all that concrete and steel of Yankee Stadium into a trusted old friend because, well, that voice was reliable, it was unhurried and it was always there. Players came and went, seasons dawned and set, but the one constant for 56 years, as fathers brought their sons in the same way their fathers brought them, was that because of Bob Sheppard Yankee Stadium sounded eloquent, refined and, truth be told, even godly.
NEW YORK -- Reality hadn't yet sunk in for Hal Steinbrenner when he saw the old Yankee Stadium in the process of being demolished four weeks ago. The grandstand had come down, but the park's shell still stood, a convincing mirage that maybe its 85 years of history weren't going anywhere.
1. The narrative has changed for New York Game 2 starter A.J. Burnett. He now gets the ball for his first World Series start knowing that the Yankees don't want to head to Philadelphia down two games to none. It's not a must-win situation for the Yankees, but ... In best-of-seven World Series play, the visiting team has won the first two games 14 times. Those teams went on to win the series 11 of those 14 times.
NEW YORK -- When Chase Utley was playing whiffle ball games on Ashbrook Avenue in Long Beach, the best home-run hitter in the neighborhood was Sean Burroughs. In high school at Long Beach Poly, it was Milton Bradley. In college at UCLA, it was Eric Byrnes. With the Phillies, it's Ryan Howard. Utley was always regarded as the scrapper, never the slugger, noted more for his line drives than big blasts. Former coaches described him as skinny, scrawny, lanky and wiry. He grew to 6-foot-1, 190 pounds, but refused to think of himself as a deep threat, not with a swing as compact as a karate chop.
1. Why are the Phillies starting Pedro Martinez in Game 2 rather than Cole Hamels? Officially, they relied on two very good reasons, according to pitching coach Rich Dubee: They didn't want left-handers Cliff Lee and Hamels pitching back-to-back games, and they trust Martinez on the big stage, believing the hostility and energy of Yankee Stadium will bring out the best in him.
1. Let's be honest: The Angels didn't show well in New York. In three games at Yankee Stadium, Los Angeles went 0-3, committed seven errors, walked 17 batters and looked jittery. I am starting to believe that there really is something to my East Coast Baseball theory. West Coast teams went 1-6 this postseason in New York, Philadelphia and Boston. That makes West Coast teams 3-19 (.136) when they come to the Northeast for postseason baseball since 2003, and 10-38 (.208) in the wild-card era. The advantage may be that Northeast teams play in postseason-type environments all year long, where baseball means so much to the fan base that every 0-for-12 streak is a two-hour talk radio rant.
NEW YORK -- Old baseball men love to talk about the subtle difference between throwing and pitching. Throwers, you know, they throw. Pitchers, on the other hand, pitch. See the difference? There's throwing and there's pitching. Yes, you're right, it can be a thoroughly baffling thing to understand.
1. How is Mariano Rivera looking right about now? Not that we didn't already know that the Yankees closer is the best all-time at what he does, but the Division Series, in which closer after closer blew up in the ninth inning, showed why Rivera has been the team's ultimate weapon all these years.
1. Does it seem to you that ejections and arguments are way up this year? It might seem that way after a wild past week in which umpires Ed Rapuano (long-distance ejection) and Jerry Crawford (blown gasket) called attention to themselves last weekend, Kevin Youkilis overreacted on Tuesday and four guys got thrown out of games Wednesday afternoon alone. Well, the answer is ... yes, just a bit, thanks to a lot of beefs about plays on the bases.
The Yankees vacuumed any drama out of the AL East race with their four-game sweep of Boston last weekend, a testament to how well they constructed a relentless lineup full of switch hitters and left-handed hitters, not to mention the kind of power pitching they have lacked in recent years. They are a nightmare matchup for opposing managers. The last breath of the Red Sox ended when manager Terry Francona gave a 2-1 lead in the eighth Sunday to rookie right-hander Daniel Bard.
NEW YORK -- Derek Jeter stood at his locker late Sunday night and from the look on his face, the tone of his voice, and the subdued nature of the home clubhouse at Yankee Stadium, it would have been hard to imagine that this was the residence of the team that had just completed a devastating four-game sweep of their archrivals and nearest pursuers that left them with the best record in baseball and the biggest divisional lead in the game.
ST. LOUIS -- Monday night's home run derby is being billed as the Albert Pujols Show, but even Pujols himself knows that no matter what he does, no matter how many home runs he hits and how many lights he knocks out on the Big Mac sign, this year's derby is destined to be quickly forgotten like every other derby. Except, of course, one, or more specifically, one man's one round.
We hold these truths to be self-evident. The Florida Marlins Toronto Blue Jays are this year's Tampa Bay Rays. David Wright is a bum. Yankee Stadium is the new Coors Field.
George Steinbrenner, the most famous owner of the free agency era, was at the new Yankee Stadium on Opening Day. When he was introduced, his daughter Jenny, sitting next to him, gently raised his right arm so that he could wave to the crowd. His roar may be gone, but the old lion was able to see his palace open. I watched Steinbrenner choking back emotion on the scoreboard TV from the concourse behind home plate. Next to me, a Yankee fan in a Paul O'Neill jersey had a homemade sign hanging from a string around his neck. It read: "The House that LOOT Built."
We are now 230-odd years into the American experiment and one thing is clear -- like the Roman Empire before us, we love our games!
NEW YORK -- Yankees owners Jacob Ruppert and Tillinghast L'Hommedie Huston wanted unprecedented grandeur, and so in 1923, with audacity to crib from the Roman Coliseum, they built the first triple-decker stadium America ever had seen. Yankee Stadium succeeded, architecturally and aesthetically, as a groundbreaking achievement.
Glory to those $2,625-per-game seats at the new Yankee Stadium! Huzzahs to the spiffy bathrooms and Shake Shack in the food court at Citi Field, new home of the New York Mets! (In the old days at the predecessor ballpark, Shea Stadium, overbeered patrons in overcrowded men's rooms just used the sink.) Both Taj Mahals, opening next week, are the toast of the major leagues and what the fiscal overlords of the game hope you'll be noticing.
In 1923, when Babe Ruth first stepped onto the field and surveyed the new ballpark that would come to be synonymous with his name, he is said to have taken in the vast sweep of baseball's first triple-deck stadium and gasped, "Some ball yard."
The last grand moment of the baseball cathedral that was Yankee Stadium belonged to the public redemption of a crack addict, a formerly pitiable lost soul named Josh Hamilton, who found family, God, health and success, in that order, when after eight shots at rehabilitation he finally stopped trying to score his next blow.
It was just before one o'clock in the morning on Sept. 22, but the scoreboard clock was frozen at 12:21. The last game at Yankee Stadium was over, Sinatra had finally stopped singing New York, New York, and organist Ed Alstrom was playing Goodnight, Sweetheart. The home team had won 7-3 in a game that meant nothing in the standings but everything in a deeper, gut-felt way. The Yankees would not be going to the postseason for the first time since 1993, yet they had drawn 4.3 million fans, including another capacity-plus 54,640 on this night. And now, as the last of them drifted out of the ballpark, it felt like closing night for a hit Broadway show.
Thousands of fans passed through the turnstiles of Yankee Stadium for the last time Sunday to watch the Bronx Bombers beat the Baltimore Orioles.
Derek Jeter missed the entire one-hour pregame ceremony in which the Yankees said their ceremonial goodbyes to Yankee Stadium. The captain, afterall, was busy getting himself ready to play a baseball game. He took treatment in the trainers' room for his badly bruised hand, took extra batting practice in the indoor batting cage and stretched on the floor of the Yankee clubhouse. By the latter stage of the ceremony, Jeter looked up from his stretching and discovered that he and Bernie Williams, his former teammate, were the only ones left in the room. Williams, the graceful former centerfielder, was still in the clubhouse because he would be the last Yankee introduced, the headliner on a program that included Whitey Ford, Yogi Berra and Reggie Jackson.
Microphone in hand, Derek Jeter addressed the 54,610 fans who came to say so long to Yankee Stadium, his words booming around the old ballpark
NEW YORK -- For the 54,000-plus fans who filled Yankee Stadium one last time on Sunday night, they could be forgiven if they thought it was October. It sure felt that way. Indeed, so much about Sunday night had the familiar feel of Yankee Stadium celebrations past. The incessant flashbulbs firing like blinking lighters at a Springsteen concert, practically begging for just one more encore. The full-throated sing-along to Ronan Tynan's rendition of God Bless America. The rhythmic clapping and chanting for their heroes. The massive police presence, accompanied by charging horses, the moment the final out was recorded. The mob scene on the mound by the players, followed by the victory lap to thank those same fans.
I'll never forget my first day in The House that Ruth Built: April 9, 1962, the day before opening day. I made the team that spring as a non-roster player, having pitched in the Texas League (AA) the year before. And I had just turned 23.
What is the biggest reason for the Mets continued slide? How would you fix their bullpen? Should they be trying radical solutions, like making Pedro the closer? -- Ray Sarola, New York, N.Y.
Next year the Yankees will play in a ballpark with less history than Nationals Ballpark, that generic mistake in Washington. The new Yankee Stadium will be a stupendous colossus of a revenue generator, which has replaced charm or architectural achievement (why can't we build a Bird's Nest?) as the official measurement of the modern ballpark, with no corners cut. There even will be a female umpires dressing room. But you will not be able to say the Babe, the Mick, Joe D. or even Frank Tepedino played there. Starting Sunday, when the lights go out at Yankee Stadium, the cord will be cut, the lineage interrupted. The ballpark history doesn't cross the street with the Yankees.
There are only 21 more regular season games left at Yankee Stadium and each is being treated like standing room only for a smash Broadway show -- it's the hottest ticket in town. That late summer game against Tampa Bay? It's going to cost you. Seats for the regular season finale are already going for more than a thousand bucks a pop.
NEW YORK -- I am up to my knees in New York. There's Bald Vinny over there, and the Queen a couple of bodies over. Bad Mouth Larry is around here somewhere, or so I heard. Midget Mike, too. I spotted MTA Joe over there for a second.
There was a T-shirt in New York in the early '80s that said, "Welcome to New York, Now Go the ---- Home." It is only with a small degree of exaggeration that you can apply the same sentiment to the experience of watching a game at Yankee Stadium. It is not for the faint of heart or for the aesthetic-minded.
NEW YORK -- By the time baseball's annual All-Star extravaganza blew its way past Tuesday evening and into Wednesday, the "Who" of the matter quickly gave way to the "If." As the managers reached into the recesses of their bullpens and exhausted their exhausted benches, as big plays were made and big opportunities continually squandered, the question on everybody's mind at Yankee Stadium no longer was whether the American League would win again. It was if anyone would.
NEW YORK -- Major League Baseball's ever-popular Home Run Derby comes to the House That Ruth Built tonight, to the same place where the Babe brought the longball into national prominence and Roger Maris broke Ruth's single-season record, and where perhaps the greatest power hitter of all-time currently toils at third base.
The All-Star Game comes to Yankee Stadium for the final time this season. Please take a few moments to answer some questions on the state of the All-Star Game and Home Run Derby.
Every so often, events and a product converge with almost mystical perfection. Latest case in point: Just in time for spring training, Eternal Image of Farmington Hills, Mich., will introduce its line of officially licensed Major League caskets. Carrying a suggested price tag of $4,499, they follow the company's popular line of urns bearing team logos and colors.
Many moons ago, while scrawling a hidebound tract for children about the life of David Robinson, I came upon a tale I've never forgotten: Robinson marveling at how, after he'd signed his first contract with the San Antonio Spurs in 1989, everyone wanted to give him free meals and merchandise even though he could more than afford to pay.
While television has nearly driven out the type of serious cheating that can be spotted on camera and reviewed by the league, we continue to see innovation in the historically fertile areas such as groundskeeping, while the same technology that deters cheaters is often turned to the purpose of sign stealing.
New York City loves it some baseball. So people in the Big Apple should be blowing off work a little early this week, hopping on the "D" train and riding it all the way to hardball heaven in ... Coney Island?
The national pastime is officially back. Baseball took on new life last October, when the no-name Florida Marlins won the World Series on ground no less hallowed than Yankee Stadium, and the Chica...
First, the hard sell: This item has family drama. It has baseball. It has forgery. It has a fistfight. It casually mentions what happened when Joe DiMaggio met Mikhail Gorbachev. (No, they didn't s...