Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Moose is Loose and the Win Sinks In (Postgame Notes 19 September 08)

So I'm watching the Yankees tonight, watching Mike Mussina leave the mound and getting his ovation, possibly the last Yankee Stadium ovation he will ever receive, almost certainly the last at this Stadium, anyway.

And it hits me.

It hits me that this is it.

That after Sunday, watching a Yankee game will never be the same.

This has not been the best season for the Yankees. It's not been the worst, not by a long shot, but it also hasn't been anything close to what many of us were hoping for after the way we finished last year.

The mediocrity, however, has been exaggerated because of what this season means in the history, the lore, the psyche that goes into being a Yankee or being a Yankee fan.

So it's perhaps a bit of a surprise that it's taken this long for it to sink in--it did a little at the All Star game--but not, at least for me, like it did tonight.

I have to believe the ghosts were there tonight.

It wasn't an exceptionally dramatic game, but there were moments that were...well, they gave me goosebumps.

Like when the oldest living ball-player, at 102, Emilio Navarro, threw the first pitch, and if that wasn't chilling enough, if you catch the video, just as he's doing it, there's a squirrel--perhaps Scooter, perhaps not--running across the mound.

Like when Mike Mussina came out of the ballgame to a huge ovation, tipping his cap and entering the dugout with a giant smile, wearing, if just briefly, his heart on his sleeve. Oh, and the quest for 20 is still alive.

Like when Humberto Sanchez and Francesco Cervelli made their major league debuts and I realized, that might be the last time anyone makes their major league, Yankee debuts, at the Stadium. Juan Miranda, too. The three of them might be the very last to get those chills--hey, kid, you're in the game--at Yankee Stadium. There are three games left, but I'm not sure there's anyone left that the Yankees have called up that haven't already debuted.

This game probably won't be one we remember three years from now, unless our name is Humberto Sanchez, Juan Miranda or Francesco Cervelli (and maybe Mike Mussina), but it may have gotten to me much more than the game on Sunday will.

Because it's not when nostalgia is shoved down your throat, but when it comes naturally and almost by accident, amidst the chatter of the crowd and the jokes from the announcing crew about the answer to the night's trivia question, that you realize how much it means.


  1. Nice post, Rebecca. I agree that the Mussina moment was a special one, and perhaps more so because it was sudden, unhyped, and unanticipated. Still, I think Mo coming out of the bullpen on Sunday night is going to be a pretty heavy moment. There will be tears.

  2. Hi Rebecca

    It's so true what you said about nostalgia not being shoved down your throat, but happening naturally.

    It's why I haven't been all that upset about the count-down lever. You can't manufacture feelings. And as you said, I think it's just hitting most people, including me, right now, that "this is it." And these last games at the Stadium will do the building's and the team's history proud.

    I'm glad they didn't drag out the goodbye over 81 home games. Just the last homestand. Much, much better.

  3. Doreen - I'm with you. I wasn't feeling that much over the course of the season - after all it seemed so far away. But now as this last weekend of the Stadium approaches I find myself waxing nostalgic and remembering not only baseball events but the times that I was at the Stadium. I expect Sunday night to be really emotional.