Monday, September 22, 2008

The Stadium's Dark, but the Story's Not Over

The stadium went dark last night, and I don’t believe it.

I don’t want to believe the story is over, and I’m not saying this is in the same nostalgic where-did-all-the years go vein as every other sports writer you’ll read today.

As anyone with even a passing familiarity with the New York Yankees will admit, if pressed, the story of Yankee Stadium can only be properly concluded one way: with a dramatic, one-for-the-ages O’Henry of an ending.

And it is still possible.

You’ll be tempted, should you choose to proceed, to chortle dismissively at the at the ember of hope that the virtually-retired stadium is on the cusp of going out in a blaze of unprecedented glory

But for perhaps just this one, last day, I have the power of mathematics on my side. Yes, I know that there’s a full seven game disparity between the Bronx Bombers and our nameless Northern Nemesis. I know that only seven regular season games remain in the 2008 season. I’m aware that for the darkened stadium to burst into post season life there is absolutely no margin for New York error, or Boston success.

But I also know that the Sox are facing a Cleveland team I’ve learned not to underestimate. Should the Indians pull off an epic Fenway sweep, the season could come down to a battle for post-season life between New York and Boston during the season’s final three games.

From there, who is to say that Yankee Stadium won’t play host to Game seven of a Fall Classic destined for the sports record books?

Far fetched? You bet. Chances are that by the time you read this, the whole point could be moot and Boston will be celebrating in their clubhouse. But what’s baseball about, anyway, if it isn’t long shots, larger-than-life dreams, and dramatic twists of fate?

So I choose to savor the dream of a final World Series in the House that Ruth built, knowing that by definition, dreams are fleeting and subject to sudden disruption from harsh sounds such as cracking bats in Boston.

But for today? The dream lives—

Play Ball.

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