Klap’s gushing — you can read it here, if you dare -- would be vintage Klapisch if he had only worked in a handful of cheap shots directed at the Mets. You know he had some pent-up outrage over the Willie dismissal to insert, but probably would have needed to trim some of the Yankee adoration and just couldn’t bring himself to do it.
Klapisch seems to think that Yankee closer/cyborg Mariano Rivera should be allowed to start the game. I’ll let him say it, because I couldn’t make this stuff up.
"No, the real way to commemorate Yankee Stadium in what could be its final marquee event is to let Rivera start the game: Allow him to bask in the thunderous standing ovation, and let him know what it feels like to have a million flashbulbs go off in his face upon delivery of that first cut fastball.
"But Rivera would only throw one inning; that would be the stipulation. One inning, and he gets to stand on the mound and let the ovation cover him like a soft rain. It would be a reminder of better times in the Bronx, back when the Yankees really did rule the world. And, technically speaking, it wouldn't be an entirely foreign assignment for Rivera. He did begin his career with the Yankees as a starting pitcher."
Wow. And I think Klapisch showed restraint. Given his druthers, I bet Klapisch would make wholesale changes to this year’s All-Star Game.
It’s dangerous to try to get in the head of a Yankee-hack. But it’s safe to imagine that this might be Klapisch’s top 10 changes:
1) Why not simply invite the entire Yankee team, and have them play the American League All-Stars? Who cares about the National League anyway? Everybody knows the AL is better.
2) Derek Jeter should be allowed to keep taking swings until he finally gets a hit. Nobody is paying $10,000 a ticket to see St. Derek hit into a 6-4-3 double play.
Note the intanginbles.
3) Any ball hit within 15 feet of either side of Jeter shall be declared an out. Jeter won’t be able to hear the "ovation cover him like a soft rain" if fans are whispering "Derek has the range of a bloated roadkill raccoon."
4) The rest of the Yankee batters get four strikes before they are called out. Well, six in Jason Giambi’s case, just to be fair.
Joba getting another dose of "Yankee Magic" applied by a True Yankee.
5) The opposing team only gets two strikes. No need to make Joba work harder than necessary for an exhibition game.
6) No opposing batters will be allowed to take an extra base on any ball hit to Johnny Damon. No need to remind the crowd that weak-armed Damon couldn’t reach second base without the ball taking four bounces and rolling 20 feet.
7) All opposing players must wear No. 26 in tribute to the 26 world championships the Yankees have won. Did you know they’ve won 26 world championships? That’s right, 26. This will be mentioned over the loud speakers between each half-inning, which is only slightly more frequently than normal. I repeat, 26 world championships. But don't mention that they’ve lost the last two World Series in which they’ve appeared -- both times to expansion teams.
8) The opposing team is not allowed to field a first baseman, as a tribute to Lou Gehrig. No non-Yankee is worthy to stand on the same dirt as Lou Gehrig.
9) The basepaths are to be rearranged so that opposing players must run through Monument Park and pay homage to every plaque and monument between second and third base. That also gives Bobby Abreu time to pick up the ball, miss the cut off man and have the infielders scramble to recover it in time to tag the runner sometime before he gets to the Elston Howard plaque.
10) If somehow the Yankees are losing, they will be allowed to hit from a tee for the final three innings. If the Yankees were to lose the final marquee game in their stadium’s 33-year history, it would be an abomination!
That’s right, I said 33 years. There’s virtually nothing left form the original stadium after the 1974-75 renovation, a fact all these Yankee-hacks conveniently leave out when they go on and on about the sacred ground.
Meanwhile, I hope Rivera does get to close, and I hope David Wright is elected as the "final man" and Wright does to Rivera what he did in that glorious Subway Series game. Now that would be a fitting tribute to Yankee Stadium.