In the wake of their first World Series title in a faith-shaking nine years, the Yankees announced plans to construct a succession of new ballparks which will allow them to play in a new stadium every year.
"It's clear to everyone," said team owner Hank Steinbrenner, "that all we needed to do to get off the schneid was move to a new park. It worked in 1923, and it worked again this year. Even Chris Berman made the connection. So the solution is simple."
Club officials unveiled plans to tear down the original Yankee Stadium next week, bulldoze the site, and begin construction on a new Stadium which will be ready for use in 2010. Meanwhile, sufficient room will be cleared in the same neighborhood for a third ballpark site, with a fresh facility on that site erected by the 2011 season. As that construction continues, the current Yankee Stadium will give way to wrecking crews so the new park there can open in 2012.
"It's going to take a lot of work to have the first one done by next April," said Steinbrenner. "However, once we get the hang of it, we expect to churn one out on each site every three years like clockwork."
The same design will be used for all the facilities, though some amenities will be sacrificed for the sake of the continuous turnover. For instance, most of the outfield seating between the foul poles will be on benches, not chairs. "Partial view, partial seat" will be the operative principle, but as Steinbrenner noted, "Once we can guarantee that every year's team will win the title, people will flock there no matter how uncomfortable it is."
Financing for the multiple venues will come from a variety of sources, but primarily from Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Despite winning election to his third term as major, gazillionaire Bloomberg was considerably sobered by his narrow margin of victory. "Thank God I had Mariano Rivera come on board the last couple of days to secure those final votes," said Bloomberg. "However, it's clear that my plummeting support from voters means that my political legacy will be totally down the drain by the next election. Therefore I'm turning to the Bronx for a more lasting legacy."
Bloomberg will put up $1 billion per year for the first three new ballparks, with financing for further construction coming from a complex formula whose details are being negotiated. "The essence of it," said Bloomberg, "is that the Yankees will pay me back a certain amount, perhaps $4-5 million, for each game they lose. I'll also get a certain percentage of ticket sales, and then of course there's the protection money. In addition, the city will levy a $5 surcharge per ticket for all fans traveling to Citifield to see those losers play. If that's how they want to waste their money, we may as well get a piece of it."
One special feature of the new Yankee Stadiums will be a private box for former mayor Rudy Giuliani to be located midway between the on-deck circle and home plate. "I'll have a better view of the opposing pitchers," said Giuliani, "and can tell the next Yankee hitter what to expect. Plus, my throat gets too sore from having to yell at the umpires all the way from the dugout."
In a related development, Steinbrenner revealed that he has filed papers to formally adopt Pedro Martinez and will pay his new son $1 million a year to pitch batting practice.