Friday, June 6, 2014
PEOPLE HAVE TO STOP OVERTHINKING MONUMENT PARK
This year the Yankees announced that they would be putting plaques into Monument Park to honor Yankees who have done their duty while in pinstripes. They chose, Goose Gossage, Paul O'Neill and Tino Martinez. I didn't blink. In fact, I was happy to see that they were doing it. O'Neill and Tino both contributed alot during the Yankees run in the late 90's and Goose did his thing better than any closer before that.
After all, it wasn't like they were retiring numbers, they were simply honoring them. I embraced it. Many Yankee fans did too.
I remember at the time, some, including Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk was all over Yankee brass as if to suggest they made a stupid mistake. I responded (not that he cared), with my own piece titled BE PROUD OF OUR YANKEES. DON'T MOCK THEM. In it, I wrote that after the announcement...
" It was then followed by every half-clever writer making jokes about who else should be honored by the Yankees. Names like Bobby Meacham, Hideki Irabu, Mariano Duncan and I'm sure the name Andy Stankiewicz was mentioned. It was in a silly, mocking tone, read HERE and my question is why? What does it matter what the Yankees do and who they honor? Plus, why shouldn't they honor Tino, or Paulie or Goose or Torre? It's their franchise and the guys they chose were pretty great Yankees. Why a non-Yankee fan like Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk has it all figured out is beyond me. Craig, don't worry about it... "
Not that I changed him mind (because I didn't), but yesterday Craig wrote this: "I scoffed a little bit at that when the news came out, but after the weighing-in by some Tino fans and a month or so worth of reflection, I’m feeling cooler about it. Indeed, if this is truly a move by the franchise to come down off its “Only The Titans Are Worthy” stance toward its history, I’m all for it."
Nice. But now Sweeny Murti thinks more should be done, writing: "We could add dozens more names if we wanted to, and maybe we will. But I’d like to start with two — Willie Randolph and Graig Nettles."
He goes on to make his great argument for why they belong, and I don't disagree, but the point is, isn't there other things to worry about? The Yankees history and it's players are fruitful.
The Yankees have had great players over the years. The best part of these great players is, when the time comes each year, the Yankees will sit down and decide who gets honored. When they do that, and a name pops up you love, you will once again, pay money to go see them get honored. The Yankees are a machine. This idea was strategic... don't over think it. The best part is, these players come back to the stadium, they get a proper honoring and then if they are worthy, they also get a plaque. It's the new Yankees. Sure, the retired numbers are running out, but that's not what this is about. This is about giving the nod to other great Yankees... just not great enough to have their number retired. It's an acknowledgment. It's a "Thank you"... and I love the idea.
And yes, for all you wondering, they'll be in the same park as Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig and the retired numbers of Don Mattingly and Yogi Berra will be there too. But it's an "atta boy"... it's a "Thank you for doing a good job in pinstripes". We don't need lists. We don't need to debate who should go in next and why they are better than someone else. Over time, all the greats will eventually be acknowledged.
The best part is, this type of honoring can go on forever. Why are we rushing it Sweeny? Why do you care so much Craig? Enjoy life. There are a ton of great things going on outside. Then, when the Yankees send out their press release... we will all hear who comes next. Maybe it WILL be Randolph, or Posada, Williams or Nettles. All apply, but it's not up to us... it's up the the Yankees organization, and trust me... they won't blow this.
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