LADY AT THE BAT: Old Timers Day At Yankee Stadium

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Old Timers Day At Yankee Stadium

Yesterday I made my first trip to Yankee Stadium in two years. Considering that I live only minutes away from the ballpark, I ought to be ashamed of myself. Nevertheless, I was full of excitement as I approached the Stadium with my friend Nancy, in time for the Old Timers Day festivities.

As we went up to our seats we caught a good view of the new Stadium construction going on accross the street. Everyone connected with the Yankees continues to say that construction is ahead of schedule. I really have no idea, but Nancy, who knows a thing or two about construction, is convinced that there's no way it will be completed in time for Opening Day 2009.

The best thing about Old Timers Day (and really, the only thing worth seeing) is the introductions of all the retired Yankee players. There are always guesses as to which player will receive the biggest ovation when he runs out onto the field. Most years it's Don Mattingly, but that's ususally put to the test when a player makes his first Old Timers Day appearance. That's what happened yesterday, when several retired Bombers came back to the Stadium for the first time, including Ken Griffey Sr, Homer Bush, Scott Brosius and Paul O'Neill. The biggest ovation by far was for O'Neill. At the end of his introduction Michael Kay reminded everyone of O'Neill's nickname: The Warrior. When I heard it, I couldn't help feeling a little wistful. If only some of that warrior attitude of O'Neill's was present among players on the 2007 Yankees, things just might be a little better in that clubhouse this season.

Another old timer who showed up and suited up yesterday was Bobby Murcer. While he wasn't known for having a warrior attitude as a player, he certainly has one now, as he is fighting, and seems to be winning, his battle with brain cancer. Great to see you, Bobby.

At the end of the day, when the Angels had beaten the Yankees 2-1 in 13 innings, I was wishing for Paul O'Neill's warrior attitude even more. The usually sure-handed Miguel Cairo made 3 of the Yankees' 5 errors yesterday. Miggy, who played First Base yesterday, made two of his errors on a single play in the top of the 13th inning allowing the Angels' go-ahead run to score. Now the talk will begin again: "The Yankees need to go out and get a first baseman." "Get Mark Teixeira!" Yadda, yadda, yadda.... People can talk all they want. The Yankees aren't going to listen. Whether it's because of Steinbrenner's health or something else, the Yankees are no longer a team that will shake things up to get things done. If they were, a big name on the field would have been fired, traded or sent down months ago.

The Lady

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