WHEN THE WALLS COME CRUMBLING DOWN: YANKEE STADIUM CLOSED
A 500-pound "chunk of steel" fell from the upper deck
of Yankee Stadium into the empty stands yesterday just hours
before a scheduled Angels-Yankees game, postponing the game
and "raising questions about the future of the 75-year-old
park," according to Sherman, Robbins, et al. of the N.Y.
POST. New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said that the
ballpark will be closed until Friday for inspections and
repairs. Officials "hope to reopen" the stadium for
Friday's series opener against the Tigers (N.Y. POST, 4/14).
WHAT NOW? The Yankees will play the Angels tomorrow at
1:00pm ET at Shea Stadium, with the Mets scheduled to host
the Cubs at 7:40pm ET. If Yankee Stadium is found "unsafe"
after a closer examination, Giuliani said the Yankees'
three-game series with the Tigers would also be played at
Shea, while the Mets are on the road (N.Y. DAILY NEWS,
4/14). Late last night, Yankees General Counsel Lonn Trost
said "there was a chance" that Wednesday's game could be
played at Yankee Stadium (NEWSDAY, 4/14). Yankees Owner
George Steinbrenner, reached by phone in Tampa, FL, last
night, said, "We'll overcome this one, but we've got to be
sure it doesn't happen again. If that means a new stadium,
we'll have to see." In N.Y., Murray Chass writes that the
incident could "prompt the Mayor to renew his offer of a
Manhattan address for the Yankees." More Chass: "If
Steinbrenner has been reluctant to bid adieu to the Bronx,
even though he has bad-mouthed it more times than any other
individual, now he has a reasonable excuse to ask out" (N.Y.
TIMES, 4/14). Giuliani said that the incident gives
Steinbrenner "a more dramatic argument that the Yankees need
a new stadium" ("CBS This Morning," 4/14). In N.Y., John
Harper: "This was a bargaining chip from heaven, a potential
tragedy to be pocketed and exploited" (DAILY NEWS, 4/14).