Farewell 2008, Hello 2009

Well, the final moments of 2008 are upon us, and New Year’s Eve seems like the perfect time to reflect on the last 365 days.

It’s been another eventful journey through the months with the Yankees, and though the club said goodbye to their old home in the Bronx a little sooner than anyone in the organization had hoped, there is a sense of excitement to see what the next season will bring in the new home.

A lot of people have asked me for my thoughts on the new Yankee Stadium, and here’s the best possible thing I can say about it. During the summer, I went to the construction site for an event and sat in one of the seats directly behind home plate. Keep in mind, this was a structure I had never set foot in before, a patch of land that I had never seen except from a distance.

But sitting there, in that empty ballpark, I thought to myself, “This is Yankee Stadium.” It feels like what Yankee Stadium is supposed to feel like, and means that they really did capture the essence of the old facility across 161st Street. I am really looking forward to exploring the place in just four short months.

And the former place did go out with a bang. I’ll always remember walking out of the All-Star Game close to 4 a.m., looking around at how quiet everything had become after a truly exhausting day. My game story was probably re-written about 15 times that night with the late lead changes and extra innings — heck, my first version had the National League winning, which tells you everything you need to know.

I think about the changes of a Spring Training camp run under Joe Girardi; about the trips to the West Coast, endless stories about injuries, Jason Giambi’s mustache, late nights at Fenway Park, Moose’s 20th, saying hello to new faces and goodbye to old ones. When you play 162, the wins and losses blur to the point that it’s the people you really care about. 

The final game, Sept. 21, was an experience I will never forget. If I close my eyes, I’m walking the warning track in the middle of the afternoon with the fans, standing by the 314 foot sign in right field and looking over at the new park. Mussina and Phil Coke hop out of the dugout to sign autographs and mingle, and grown men clamor for position to have their photos taken. Late that night, about 3 a.m., there were still people playing ball on the field, cops scooping dirt and firefighters toasting with beers — nobody wanted to say goodbye.

That day, like many others, I found myself wondering why Yankee Stadium couldn’t stand for another 20 years. But as in life, it becomes time to move on and experience something new. The future is right around the corner and it appears bright for the Yankees. Here’s to a happy, healthy 2009 for all of you — be safe and see you after midnight.

19 Comments

we are saying farewell to things old as we move on to things new from one stadium to another…
but the Yankee organization still has alot more aging older position players with no minor league answers…
which means they will have to spend spend spend on free agents…
so i wonder why the Yankees didn’t outbid the White Sox for the young and talented Dayan Viciedo…
it seems they didn’t even pursue him but he is project as a power hitter who can play both corner outfield spots as well as third.
he is only 19 and has some very good potential…
he came from the international league so no draft picks would need to be given up…
he would have served more as a high priced draft pick rather a free agent but it translate into a very cheap pick up considering how much top free agents cost…
on the other hand the White Sox are paying Viciedo only 2 milll a year over 4 years…and they are high on him like his Cuban countrymen Alexei Ramirez…another one of those cheap free agent aquisitions another lost opportunity…
the Yankees seem to have tunnel vision and they seem to miss talent in places they have access to put do not explore…
that is a major contributor to their high payroll…and the reason why they are always strapped with aging players they can’t move getting paid more than their worth…
and i know the Yanks have had more than enough money in the past but in these days and times they should really be thinking outside the box….
the yankees fanatic

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All this is going to do is make the Dodgers go to 3 years. I still think they are landing Manny. And while Manny has flaws, and I don’t want to see him a Yankee, I don’t want to see him 19 times a year either. So it feels good knowing he won’t come back to Boston, wherever he does go.

This whole will he, won’t he thing with Pettite is getting a bit unnerving. It would seem that the best baseball decision would be to pull the offer and spend the money on the bench or the bullpen, which was great last year but could use some extra insurance. Relievers are notoriously unpredictable, well except for Mo.

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Giants reports were raised by the DENVER POST (WOODY PAIGE), isn’t that Boras trying to drive the price up for the only suiter who has only offered 2 years?

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Sorry I was looking at the total runs not the ERA. Giese obviously got pulled early in both starts. If he had 2 games only 5 runs total through 7 innings each game, the ERA would be different.

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Happy New Year!
http://bronx-awesome.mlblogs.com/
King Yankees

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Julia,
My “haul” this Christmas includes a Yankee Stadium retrospect calendar, DVD, and T-shirt. Ca-ching, ca-ching!

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bigpapi72,
So, you’ve been to the dump! How long ago?

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BP,
Yikes. A 4.82 ERA is borderline on not getting another chance in my book, unless he was just mopping up in lopsided losses.

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It’s convenient for Manny to say he only wants to play in LA. It’s a nice little ploy Boras has made to get LA to love him back. MLBTR says the Giants are competing for his services, though.

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Manny: I only want to play for the Dodgers? He obviously asked Boras to contact them and no one else about his services.

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Based on Matt’s #s. Giese had 5 runs in 2 games in SF. Not terrible like Matt previously proclaimed.

No one has mentioned what happens now that Tex is signed if Posada can’t catch. Sui or other DH to the bench?

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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On the previous thread, we don’t need another bat. Sign Andy for the number 5 and be done. 40 days to Pitchers and Catchers.
Damon, Jeter, Tex, ARod, Matsui, Nady, Posada, Cano, Cabrera. Every one of the top 8 there have hit well over .300 in a season. Melky is capable. We dont need ONE MORE BAT.

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Does a Red Sox-Yankee game ever last less then 4 hours?

Well, the No Hitter that Dave Righetti threw against them in 1983 did! :) And the ALMOST No Hitter that Moose threw a couple seasons ago against them did! :)

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Bryan, and everybody at “Bombers Beat” …

Best Wishes for a Very Happy and Healthy New Year !!! … Jimmy [27NYY]

http://baseballtheyankeesandlife.mlblogs.com/

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Even though I’m a Red Sox fan I will miss all the memories good and bad. I went to my first baseball game at Yankee Stadium.

Bigpapi72, http://bostonsports.mlblogs.com/

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Happy New Year !

A couple of predictions for 2009 :

Joba Chamberlain wins AL Cy Young

Manny Ramirez, NL MVP.

Yankees: World Series Champions .

Alex Rodriguez, AL MVP.

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I was never at the Old Yankee Stadium, but I think it must have been like saying good-bye to an old friend. And late night games against the Red Sox? Does a Red Sox-Yankee game ever last less then 4 hours? I think not. I hope the New Yankee Stadium is everything that you hope it will be and Happy New Years! May the Yankees and the Red Sox have many more exciting games to come!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com

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