While I was driving around the beautiful western side of the Puget Sound this morning, I started thinking about New Yankee Stadium. There is almost no disagreement that it is an abhorrent eyesore upon the city of New York and the collective consciousness of Yankee fans, not to mention a totem through which Yankee Management can ham handedly display their contempt for the working class. But fallow, plasticy, expensive, tax-payer-bought-and-paid playgrounds for the rich and famous are nothing new, and nothing about Yankee Stadium itself, as a structure, is overly offensive. It's just.........bad. It's very bad.
I tried to think of other attempts by mankind to replace or recreate beloved pieces of architecture. They exist, obviously. All of Las Vegas, for one. China has copied basically every American landmark, including Mount Rushmore! But there is a comicality, a winking-at-the-audience bent to these things that tells you "We know. We know this is garbage." So I really was struggling to figure out what a good comparison would be for New Yankee Stadium, and then it hit me.
New Yankee Stadium is The Phantom Menace.
Both were sequels to beloved-but-aging classics. Both cost a preposterous amount of money to make. Both are stuck firmly in the uncanny valley due to poor use/too much use of B-Grade special effects. Both managed to assemble an eye-popping amount of recognizable talent only to do almost nothing of any consequence with it. Both were immediately and perpetually savaged by critics and fans alike, and have cast a pall over the legacy of an otherwise international brand.
New Yankee Stadium, from its moat, to its "beer", to its artificial details, field dimensions, and so much more, has done more damage to the Yankee mystique than the 80's ever could. It's not going anywhere, either. The team's fans do not want to go there, Jon Oliver is making a national joke out of it and the team's ticket policies as a whole, and it's just going to sit there, in perpetuity, until it's at least 30 or so years old and they tear it down. Like Star Wars fans and the Phantom Menace, it's now just a part of Yankeedom that all Yankee fans have to learn to deal with.
It's really all quite grand.
|SEATTLE MARINERS||NEW YORK YANKEES|
|Norichika Aoki - LF||Jacoby Ellsbury - CF|
|Seth Smith - DH||Brett Gardner - LF|
|Robinson Cano - 2B||Mark Teixeira - 1B|
|Nelson Cruz - RF||Brian McCann - C|
|Kyle Seager - 3B||Carlos Beltran - RF|
|Adam Lind - 1B||Dustin Ackley - "DH"|
|Chris Iannetta - C||Starlin Castro - 2B|
|Leonys Martin - CF||Didi Gregorius - SS|
|Ketel Marte - SS||Chase Headley - 3B|
|Nate Karns - RHP||Luis Severino - RHP|