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Saturday, May 26, 2007

In Enemy Territory

To put it mildly, I dislike the New York Yankees. Maybe it's because they have an arrogant owner with such deep pockets that he can buy a championship (although they haven't actually won one since 2000). Maybe it's because I'm jealous of the fact that they've won 26 championships while my Philadelphia Phillies have won exactly one. Or maybe it's that I'm from Philadelphia and we hate all New York teams!

Nevertheless, I found myself at, of all places, Yankee Stadium today with my parents, my uncle, and my cousin (photo courtesy of Cousin Benny, by the way). With the stadium set to be torn down in a couple of years, I wanted to make my pilgrimage to the mecca of baseball -- home to legends like Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, and Mantle. Getting there was a nightmare, with traffic on the George Washington Bridge so insane that it took an hour just to get across. Fortunately, New York's finest were very helpful in finding us a place to park my van. Still, we didn't get to our seats until the third inning.

Once I was settled in, though, I was glad that I had made the trek to the Bronx. To realize that I was at the same place where all of those great players and teams once competed, the place where all of those championships were won, was quite amazing. Despite the fact that the Yankees are actually in last place (not that I'm upset about that), the stadium was packed and the fans were loud. I sat there, imagining how much louder it must be there during the playoffs, how intimidating it must be for the opposition. No wonder there have been so many miraculous comebacks for the hometown team.

I had fun at the game, but I just couldn't bring myself to actually cheer for the Yankees. They're the enemy; you can't root for the enemy -- even in their own ballpark! Go Phillies!!!

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