Yankee Stadium gets even cooler
By Jim Caple
Page 2 columnist

News item: The Yankees banned T-shirts with crude anti-Boston sayings at Yankee Stadium last weekend.

Few thought it possible but "The House That Love Built" just got better.

Yankee Stadium
On second thought, maybe Disneyland isn't the "Happiest Place on Earth."
No, we don't mean that ridiculous, error-filled story about the Yankees supposedly banning offensive T-shirts from Yankee Stadium. Like so many anti-Yankees stories, that was just more propaganda planted by the infamous Midwest media conglomerates who dominate the world information industry.

Everyone knows no Yankees fan would have to be told not to wear an obscene T-shirt. Yankees fans only wear officially licensed T-shirts depicting Yankees greats, U.S. presidents and Nobel laureates, and the accompanying slogans are always inspirational quotes from the likes of Abraham Lincoln, Maya Angelou and Mickey Rivers.

True, an occasional unruly out-of-town fan (usually from Boston) rooting for the opponent might wear a garment of questionable taste or speak foul language inside Yankee Stadium. But the Yankees do not simply evict them out onto the streets where they might disturb the many couples enjoying a quiet, romantic evening dining al fresco at the quaint bistros lining the streets outside the ballpark in the Bronx. Instead, their offensive behavior is reported immediately to the Operation TIPS agents who are conveniently located at all Yankee team stores within the stadium.

This fan policy, of course, is well known to the millions upon millions of subscribers to the YES Network, and so we do not need to belabor the issue. Not when the real news is far more exciting, even for Yankees fans accustomed to glorious, breathtaking developments on an almost daily basis.

George Steinbrenner
Father George will do just about anything to make the fan experience more enjoyable.
Naturally, the man behind this exciting news is the universally loved and admired owner of the Yankees, George Steinbrenner. Despite his many charitable works -- he recently added the worldwide removal of landmines and the reduction of greenhouse gasses to his exhausting list of philanthropic causes -- he continues to work tirelessly to guarantee that the legions of Yankees fans are rewarded with the best team in all sports history. How he was able to secretly purchase the Dominican Republic for the pennant drive is a mystery to opposing general managers, but that's the sort of thing you can accomplish when you only sleep three hours a night.

While Steinbrenner (or Father George, as devoted employees refer to him), has always taken great pride in the Yankees' long line of great players, he has always been troubled by the inevitable physical decline of these fine athletes. Inevitable, that is, until now. For by working with the good people at Alcor and Birdseye, Steinbrenner is now able to make the Yankees immortals truly immortal.

That's right. Rather than wait for death to claim these few, these happy few, these band of brothers, he's frozen the Yankees.

Walking through Monument Valley has always been one of the most emotional journeys in sports (as with the Vietnam Memorial, fans often are reduced to tears as they pass the tributes to these fallen heroes) and now it becomes an even more emotional experience. For in addition to the cold metal busts and plaques memorializing former players, fans can now see the actual Yankees lovingly preserved for all eternity. Yogi Berra, Paul O'Neill, Whitey Ford, Don Mattingly -- they're all there, in all their glory. Well, there is a slight problem with Joe Pepitone, but that will be worked out just as soon as the team returns from its next road trip.

How, you might ask, could Steinbrenner afford such bold innovation while financially handicapped by baseball's draconian revenue-sharing policies that require him to fully subsidize the rest of the league? Simple. As long as he can add joy to just one more fan's day, he doesn't care how much money he loses in the process.

Yogi Berra
Yogi Berra can't wait to get the "cool treatment" reserved for all Yankee legends.
Naturally, the Red Sox, driven by their tiresome and futile "We Hate New York" obsession, will accuse the Yankees of stealing this idea from the Ted Williams family. Nothing could be further from the truth. Steinbrenner's team of Columbia University research scientists has been working to perfect cryonics for decades. Phil Rizzuto took part in many experiments, as could be detected during many of his radio broadcasts. The courageous Don Zimmer also consented to having his head frozen several times.

The Yankees finally achieved success with Joe DiMaggio immediately after his passing, but due to a series of litigation with his attorney, Morris Engelberg, the Yankee Clipper's body is regrettably unavailable for public display.

As amazing as all this sounds, it gets even better. When rosters expand Sept. 1, the Yankees will thaw select players and add them to the active roster.

Just wait until the Red Sox see Bucky Dent.

Jim Caple is a senior writer for ESPN.com. He can be reached at cuffscaple@hotmail.com.





KUMBAYA

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Jim Caple Archive

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