Farewell To Yankee Stadium

The final days of the baseball season have arrived. ESPN's Howard Bryant looks ahead to the playoffs and the world series, and talks with Scott Simon about the last game at Yankee Stadium, scheduled for Sunday against the Baltimore Orioles.

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SCOTT SIMON, Host:

You're listening to Weekend Edition from NPR News.

Dah-da-da-da-te-da-da-da. Sorry, we didn't have the band immediately available.

The final days of September baseball season. We're in it. Let's face it. Dreams hang in the balance here, so we'll go right to our own Howard Bryant. Howard, thanks for being with us.

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HOWARD BRYANT: Scott, that music was unacceptable.

SIMON: Well, we'll do better next time, my friend. All right?

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

BRYANT: How are you?

SIMON: Fine, thank you. How are you?

BRYANT: Outstanding.

SIMON: National League East is very tight. Tampa Bay is a game and half ahead of Boston.

BRYANT: Yeah. You know, Scott, I say to people all the time, in Hollywood, when you want a cheap laugh, you always pick on the overweight kid or you hit a guy in the groin. The other thing that I say is, you cannot trust the Philadelphia Phillies.

You look at them and you think that, OK, here we go with the defending National League East Champs. They've got a lead. And because of that ballpark and because of their style of play, it's always going to be close, and with the Mets doing - the Mets go out and they start to fall apart but now they're in first place. It's a crazy, crazy time in the division and it's going to be, you know, the next week and a half is just going to be fantastic to watch.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

SIMON: Farewell to Yankee Stadium this weekend. And oh, my gosh, 80 years. And they, however, are going out with a whimper while Joe Torre's Dodgers are going to the playoffs.

BRYANT: Exactly. I thought it was very, very funny that Derek Jeter's playoff streak will end. He's never finished a season in his career without going to the playoffs, the same for Mariano Rivera and for Jorge Posada. But Joe Torre's playoff streak will most likely continue since the Diamondbacks can't seem to win a game.

I actually - I don't think the Dodgers are going to go far in the post season simply because they seemed very erratic offensively. But when you've got a guy like Manny Ramirez in your lineup, you never know. They could actually be a force.

I'm going to miss Yankee Stadium so much simply because of all the different times - I mean, the luckiest time for me as a journalist was being there during those crazy Red Sox-Yankees games. Aaron (unintelligible) and then the next year the Red Sox take him out and then also 2001 with all of that craziness. But it's amazing that the year that it happens, the year that it goes the Yankees aren't going to have any October.

SIMON: Speaking of which, of course I dare to dream of a subway series in Chicago between the White Sox and the Cubs, but it occurred to me this morning it's also possible for the Dodgers versus the Angels, not the Yankees and Mets.

BRYANT: No. I think the one that I'm looking forward to, you've got the best chance of White Sox-Cubs. I still...

SIMON: I look forward to that, too. We've got to go there when I want to end on that note.

BRYANT: Good luck.

SIMON: Howard Bryant. Thanks very much for being with us.

BRYANT: All right. Bye.

SIMON: This is NPR News.

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