Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Rant #233: Ringing In My Head

The Yankees opened the 2010 baseball season several days ago in Boston against the hated Red Sox, but they finally made it back to Yankee Stadium (not the real stadium, but a good facsimile) yesterday, and played the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, or whatever they call themselves these days.

The day was also one to remember, not necessarily for the score--the Yankees won 7-5--but because the Yankees hoisted their championship banner and the team also received their championship rings.

Just as a quirk in the schedule, Hideki Matsui, who was the World Series MVP last year but who signed with the Angels a few weeks after the World Series, was there with his new team, but his old team didn't forget him.

He received his ring from his old mates, and was allowed to go over to them and accept high-fives and such.

The Yankees actually played a trick on him, giving him a phony ring initially, but giving him the real ring aftewards.

Other dignitaries were in attendance, including owner George Steinbrenner, who has battled illness during the past few years, and Gene Monahan, the Yankees' trainer for the past nearly 50 years, who is going through his own battle now, against throat cancer. And Yankee stalwarts Whitey Ford and Yogi Berra were also there, giving authenticity to the whole affair.

It was a great day all around.

I know people love to hate the Yankees and what they stand for across the land, but let's be honest about it, they are baseball, American sports, and yes, American greed all wrapped up in one package.

The problems I had securing tickets to a game for myself and my family a few weeks back exemplifies what many people think the Yankees stand for, and I can't disagree with them.

Nonetheless, they are the most famous professional team probably in the world, and I have been a fan since I was a kid.

I love 'em, what can I say.

But they always have targets on their backs, because of what they represent and where they are from. It's easy to hate the Yankees, because so many people love to hate them.

Heck, there was even a great Broadway show and movie, "Damn Yankees," about this hatred people have for the team from the Bronx.

They are highly paid, and last year, they went to the zenith of the sporting world. They don't do it every year, even though people think they do. They have only done it 27 times in their history ... not a lot, but more than any other professional sports organization in North America, if not the world.

It's more pleasing than rooting for the Knicks, a horrible team run by a horrible organization. Whenever I get on my high horse about the Yankees, I have to look at the Knicks, who are to basketball what an enema is to constipation.

I root for teams on both ends of the spectrum, but I bleed pinstripe blue.

I really do.

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