Marchman: The Yankees are entertaining as usual; this is a transition year for them and I'm mainly surprised that they seem to be sticking with the idea of developing the young talent while trying to squeeze a last run out of the older players, rather than visibly panicking. I do have the sense that Hank Steinbrenner could become a really serious problem for them, just because you never want an owner expressing opinions on which players should be in the rotation or the lineup, especially when those opinions are different from those of people with actual professional qualifications, but for right now he's a harmless diversion. The Yankees may not be good, but there's never any sense of abject hopelessness about them, and that puts them up on the Mets.
...Bizball: We're about to see the end of two very different stadiums in New York in Yankee Stadium and Shea Stadium. As they get ready to dance off into the sunset, what are your thoughts on the two?
Marchman: I'm utterly appalled by both of them. Yankee Stadium is on the merits one of the worst places in the country to watch a ballgame, and there's really little that's more hilarious in baseball than the pretense that this giant concrete bowl is some magnificent cathedral and monument to the glories of the game. It just drips with pompousness and fake old-timiness, and I won't miss it at all. Shea Stadium has immense sentimental value to me, but while I consider the giant neon ballplayer on the side, the apple in the hat, the swamp gas rising from the field and so on to be really charming, in essence it's the physical representation of the whole failed idea of Queens as the locus of the future and as such is somewhat depressing. Mainly I think it's too bad that the new Yankees park is displacing public parks, that the Mets park is displacing the really vibrant chop shop district at Willets Point, and that both seem to be simultaneously titanic monuments to a really bombastic idea of New York and utterly divorced from the life of the city. At least one of them should have been built in Brooklyn.