September 20, 2010
No, that's not a photo of Yankees great Mariano Rivera(notes) shopping for big-screen TVs at a Bronx-area Best Buy. He's paying respect to the new George Steinbrenner plaque (can you pick it out?) that was unveiled at Monument Park inside Yankee Stadium on Monday night.
Someday, the Sandman might even get his own monument that would be dwarfed by Steinbrenner's, like the one for Mickey Mantle sitting next to King George.
Even if we all agreed — and we don't — that Steinbrenner is the most important Yankee in history, is the point of Monument Park for Yankees greats to one-up each other in terms of obelisk size?
Just as it was at the old Stadium, Babe Ruth's shrine should be the same size as Lou Gehrig's, Joe DiMaggio's, Mantle's and the other 2-by-3-foot monuments.
Steinbrenner's monument is 5-by-7 and weighs 760 pounds.
Yankee Stadium itself already is a gigantic monument to Steinbrenner, who made the top sports franchise in the world exponentially bigger after becoming its principal owner in 1973. I liked Steinbrenner — a lot, actually. He made me laugh, he was good for the Yankees and he was often good (sometimes bad) for baseball at large.
Of course, the irony here is that it's also fitting The Boss would dominate the other monuments. I get the joke. But someone should have spoken up to stop the insanity of actually making Steinbrenner's memorial so damn big. Monument Park isn't supposed to be their family tomb.
The original monuments used to be in play, too. It would have been just like old times. Sort of.
* * *
Follow Dave on Twitter — @AnswerDave