28 April 2006

The House That George Destroyed

Is there any point in pretending that America's Pastime is actual sport any longer? Or that the once venerable institution is worth protecting or honoring? Certainly, Yankees owner George Steinbrenner—surely one of the most execrable vulgarians in an industry pretty much stinking with execrable vulgarians—doesn't think so.

Why else would he be tearing down the most beautiful and storied baseball stadium in America, the so-called House That Ruth Built? Dumb old New York City—like every other dumb burg before it that found itself enslaved to the capricious demands of greedhead sports team owners—gave Georgie Porgie the go ahead to rip apart one of the city's most famous landmarks, and one of the Bronx's only reasons for living, so he could build a newer, brighter monument to capitalism, in which baseballs players will just happen to play a game or two from time to time. As historian Glenn Stout, author of Yankee Century, recently stated: "Today's ballpark is not a place to play baseball—that's completely secondary. It's just a delivery system for food, beverage and memorabilia, and a facility for business—luxury boxes and really expensive seats. The ballplayers are the equivalent of strippers on the stage to get people inside to pay extravagant cover charges and $20 for a light beer."

An ugly comparison, but sadly an accurate one. These corporate palaces deserve revolting names like 3M Stadium. There's no reason to call them anything prettier.
One most detail to make the deal just that much more repulsive: Georgie will be cutting down a few hundred mature trees to build his charmless new cash box. May the wood soon be used to line his chrome-plated coffin.

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