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Confirm or deny: the new stadium is a reckless cash grab and a poorly designed bandbox which cheapens the meaning of home runs and underscores the fundamental historical myopia of the entire franchise?
You've sort of bundled numerous accusations here, so I can't simply confirm or deny the question as a whole. But, taking it piece by piece: Reckless cash grab? Well, it wasn't done out of charity to fans or in an attempt to create jobs in the Bronx, so I think that's probably fair. Poorly designed bandbox? I think, structurally, the building is much more welcoming and fan-friendly than the building across the street, but it has some MAJOR flaws, which have been discussed at length, primarily the dismissive treatment and burial of Monument Park, the confusing and information-obscuring scoreboard, and the dimensions, which allow for lots and lots of home runs. In one way or another, all these things have to be changed for the better, but until the old Stadium is demolished, it's still not clear how the new Stadium will play. Will the wind currents change? Will that change the way the ball flies? If not (or if it creates a situation where MORE home runs are being hit), I think the organization has to aggressively address the matter. (Although, as someone who owns Alex Rodriguez in two fantasy leagues, I'm not pushing them to make those fixes just yet.) As for the historical perspective, I think that's horribly overblown: The mid-70s renovations to the old Yankee Stadium effectively leveled The House That Ruth Built. This wasn't Wrigley Field here. If the team had left the Bronx — and remember, George Steinbrenner frequently threatened to relocate the team to New Jersey ‘ I'd definitely agree, but as it stands, it's still the same subway stop, the field of play still looks awfully similar, and they're STILL the Bronx Bombers.
: Is it fair to say that any wine addled, boxcar hobo could do Brian Cashman's job just as easily, and with far greater acuity?
Frankly, I'm starting to wonder if you're not a bit biased. I can only hope I'm wrong. As for Cashman, I think he's made some bold and outstanding decisions (e.g., his choice to refrain from trading top prospects for Johan Santana because he saw a greater value in CC Sabathia, though he had no assurance that Sabathia would, a year later, sign with the Yankees) and some head-scratchers (e.g., he seems to assemble the bench as an afterthought — there is no justification for a team with this payroll to be carrying Cody Ransom on the 25-man roster). But I also think the job of a Major League general manager is generally misunderstood, and as a Yankee fan, I'd much rather have Brian Cashman at the helm than pretty much any wine-addled boxcar hobo… or Omar Minaya.