Yankee Stadium Uber Alles

If you love baseball and you aren’t a tool, chances are you hate the Yankees. If you are from New York or you are a front-runner, chances are you love the Yankees. In either case, you have a choice as to whether to cheer for them because America is all about choices. You can read this post or skip to the Friday Ferretblogging because you have a choice. You can thank God for this right or you can thank the framers of the Constitution because you have a choice. You can choose to choose, or you can choose to have someone else choose for you. With exceptions of laws made by the people for the common good (theoretically) of those who live here, you’ve got a hell of a lot of freedom to do what you’d like.

What you apparently don’t have the right to do is choose to take a leak during the 7th Inning Stretch at Yankee Stadium.

On Aug. 26, Brandon Campeau-Laurion was taking in the action when he decided to use the extended 7th Inning Stretch break for a pause for the cause. In attempting to make his way to the restroom, the Red Sox fan (OK, now we know why he was in trouble) found himself confronted by a police officer who wouldn’t let him move because it was time to play “God Bless America.” According to Clyde Haberman’s article:

“He sort of raised his hands in a ‘Stop’ fashion,” Mr. Campeau-Laurion recalled. “I said: ‘Look, I don’t care about “God Bless America.” I’m just trying to go to the bathroom.’ I tried to keep going, but no sooner than I did, he got a second officer over, and they just wrapped me up and dragged me out. They shoved me out the gates and told me to get out of their country if I didn’t like it.”

I’m sorry? “Their country?” Hell, even John Cougar Mellencamp knows “This is OURRRRR country” and since Yankee Stadium has yet to attain the “country within a country” status of the Vatican, I’m pretty sure this guy didn’t check his Constitutional rights at the door. In many cases, the security detail restricts movement during the playing of this vocal blend of God and country by chaining off the aisle. (See the photo with the NYT story)

According to a NYT article, Campeau-Laurion received about $10,000 plus legal fees from the Yankees, while the team admitted no wrongdoing. The details of the settlement, which were revealed this week, smacked of that old money phrase “the cost of doing business.” The whole affair came across as, “We did nothing wrong, but the settlement costs about what we paid Robinson Cano for one at bat last year, and he’s not even in our top ten salaries, so let’s just pay the guy and hope he goes away.”

We could write this off as just another case of a guy making $9.50 an hour acting on a power trip because he didn’t like the attitude of someone he figured he could push around. We also can’t underestimate the Red Sox/Yankees thing (the Sox were apparently kicking the Yankees’ ass at the time of the incident), but in doing so gives the Yankees a pass and we are no better than they are when they figured buying this guy off was the easiest thing to do.

I’m a fan of God and I love my country, but the reason why I love both is because I choose to. Those of you who choose a different faith or choose not to believe at all, that’s your right under the governmental structure of this fine country of ours. Those of you who question our country, that’s your right too. We are not, nor should we ever be a “my way or the highway” kind of country.

Unfortunately, over the previous eight years, we seemed to slide that way due to terrorism, escalating international tension and a president who wanted to “smoke ‘em out” all the time. Perhaps that’s why conservatives were going so bat-shit insane when Obama won: they figured he’d be as intolerant of them as they were of others.

Instead of subjecting people to “God Bless America,” let’s try something more inclusive like “This Land is Your Land,” whichWoody Guthrie wrote in response to that complacent and arrogant tune.

Then again, if it weren’t for being complacent and arrogant, what would the Yankees do with themselves?

9 thoughts on “Yankee Stadium Uber Alles

  1. ef baseball. the last strike killed any love used to have have. but isn’t the 7th inning stretch FOR those who need to pee?

  2. Wow, a new reason to despise the Yankees. The 7th inning stretch is the baseball equivalent of the drum solo at a Dead show: the perfect time for a pee break.

  3. And I thought all the swearing in of soldiers as part of opening ceremonies at the Arena Bowl a few years back was bad…

  4. What gets me about this story is that God Bless America isn’t the national anthem, it isn’t anything but a really crappy 1940s pop song.
    What’s next, throwing someone out because he went to buy a hot dog during “Mairzy Doats and Doaty Doats”??

  5. I admit some splitting on this : I used to live in a southeastern coastal town where the hoity-toity didn’t see anything wrong with walking in and out in the middle of a symphony concert (and oddly enough, it always seemed to be the older folk who should have known better).
    But a baseball game. The music blaring over loudspeakers at ridiculous levels. Basically an attempt to make everyone participate in their religious / patriotic festival.
    I’ll second your call for “This Land is Your Land” if they will sing the verses. Specifically the song decrying parts of America being locked off for some (something about the sign saying “Keep Out” on one side but not the other…)

  6. My two favourite teams in baseball are the Toronto Blue Jays and whoever’s playing the Yankees, but I’m a furriner. FWIW, everyone here gets up during the seventh-inning stretch and goes to the bathroom, the concession stands, et cetera. We only do the silly patriotic fervour stuff at hockey games hereabouts.

  7. Even America the Beautiful would be an improvement. This whole God-Bless-America mania is making me grumpy.
    I’m fond of the Mojo Nixon version of This Land is Your Land. It has all the good verses, plus some extra ones.

  8. This God Bless America crap makes me want to puke, and do disrespectful things to the twit standing in front of me. Perhaps I could combine the two…

  9. God Bless America is repulsive enough, but if we’re going to be replacing crappy songs with better ones at our sporting events, how ’bout we get rid of the crappy lyrics and unsingable tune of the equally hideousStar Spangled Banner and replace it withAmerica the Beautiful?
    The Angels playGod Bless America during the seventh innning stretch on Sundays “to honor our soldiers fighting oversees” and it pisses me off because we only get one verse ofTake Me Out To The Ballgame. I would sit down and fold my arms during GBA until I almost got set upon by 3 *very* angry Orange County dudes who didn’t like my “commie bullshit” at the ballpark. Now I just get up and go pee.

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