New York Yankees: George Steinbrenner Shrine Unveiled at the Stadium

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New York Yankees: George Steinbrenner Shrine Unveiled at the Stadium
Joe Torre's unexpected return to the Bronx was a bit surreal.

Let's start with a serious question today: Should Monument Park be renamed STEINBRENNER SHRINE (& Assorted Other Dead Guys)?

I'm not even joking. Babe Ruth has been dethroned as the biggest star in the cave tucked beneath Mohegan Sun's bar, and he's been replaced by a guy who a) never played a game, b) had a male F.U.P.A., and c) exclusively wore white turtlenecks.

This actually happened.

Steinbrenner's monument is a beast. It measures 7 feet across and 5 feet high across its bronze face. It weighs 760 pounds, or roughly one Hideki Irabu. The shrine positively towers over monuments to Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, and Miller Huggins, which are all 2 feet by 3 feet.

I suppose this can't be considered a surprise. The "George would have wanted it this way!" sentiment probably ran pretty deep within the organization and son Fredo Hank Steinbrenner likely demanded the dimensions as one final "Am I good enough for you now...DAD?!?" gesture.

Amazingly, this may not have even been the oddest subplot of the night.

Enter Joseph Paul Torre. With the Dodgers off Monday, management invited the former Yankees manager and Don Mattingly to the ceremony. And while it was great to see a beaming Donnie Baseball reveling in his newly-minted managerial glow, this didn't seem like the right circumstance to bring Torre back.

In case you've forgotten, things have been, well, awkward between Torre and the Yankees since his departure from the organization in 2007. After making the playoffs 12 straight years, the Yankees told Torre he would have to take a pay cut to stay on as manager, which prompted his exit and eventual tell-all book that basically read like a 512-page breakup note.

You could tell the fans wanted to give Torre the welcome he deserved, but the circumstances dictated a subdued response. And with Vegas listing a 283 percent probability rate of Torre managing the Mets next season, we'll probably have to wait at least a couple more years before New York's prodigal manager can properly come home.

It was an unusual night to say the least, all done in the big, loud, "Pomp and Circumstance" nature that the Yankees have perfected over the years. Oh, and they beat the Rays to increase their lead in the AL East. I've got a feeling that would've been ol' George's favorite part of the night.

Actually, it'd probably still be the massive shrine. It'd definitely be the massive shrine.

Dan Hanzus writes the Yankees blog River & Sunset and can be reached via e-mail at dhanzus@gmail.com. Follow Dan on Twitter @danhanzus.

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