Just wanted to note a couple of pieces from Alex Belth that got lost in the All-Star week shuffle. First is his SI.com article about the good, the bad and the ugly of Yankee Stadium II:
The list of complaints is sizable: the ridiculous ticket prices, the lousy concessions (how can pretzels not be warmed-up by the third inning?), the appalling conditions of the bathrooms, the cramped alleyways and the obnoxious, well-heeled, suburban kids yelling “Farm-ing-Dale” into their cell phones. It brings to mind the joke about the two old ladies at a Catskills Resort that Woody Allen told in Annie Hall:
“Boy, the food at this place is really terrible,” says one.
“Yeah, I know, and such small portions.”
That’s also how I feel about Yankee Stadium, a tourist attraction that is a throwback to the rough old days of New York, when the city didn’t care about you. (Why care when you were going to show up and fork over your dough anyway?) In spite of the obstacles — Yankee Stadium can be a hard, unforgiving place — the sheer massiveness of the park is breathtaking. It is a glowing field stuck in the middle of a concrete jungle.
“Yankee Stadium is something else, a law unto itself,” wrote critic Wilfred Sheed. “It has earned the right to look any way it pleases and I wouldn’t change a seat of it.”
Also from Alex is a note regarding writer Bob Klapisch’s recent misfortune. Whether standing up to Bobby Bonilia’s threat to be shown the Bronx or nursing a semi-pro pitching career into his 40s, Klapisch long ago showed his willingness to put himself in the line of fire — let’s see Peter Gammons do that — but this time he wasn’t so lucky. Pitching in for the Morris Mariners, Klapisch was hit in the right eye by a comebacker that took a bad hop and hit him in the eye, resulting in a partially detached retina, a damaged cornea and multiple orbital fractures. Suck city, man.
Klapish’s days on the mound are done, and doctors think it will take three to six months for him to regain partial sight in that eye, but he’s resolute about one thing: “My baseball career is over, so my goal is to play catch in the backyard with my kids. I am determined to make that happen.”
I can totally relate to that. I underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in my right (throwing) shoulder four and a half years ago, and have suffered a few strains since then to remind me that my damaged wing will never be whole again. Still, I take great pleasure in being able to partake in a simple game of catch, and though I don’t have any kids yet, I’m totally committed to being able to do so with my future children, just as my dad and my grandfather did with me. Hell, I’ll learn to go lefty if that’s what it takes. So I know exactly where Klapisch is coming from there, and if you own a mitt, chances are you do too. Here’s wishing Klapisch the best in his recovery.