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God Bless America, but not the Yankees

Posted by Michael Vega, Globe Staff  August 28, 2008 03:26 PM

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NEW YORK --- With the Sox making their final visit to Yankee Stadium, everyone it seems has been waxing nostalgic. Don't even get colleague Dan Shaughnessy started. From the moment he arrived the House That Ruth Built, he's been on a final countdown of everything -- and, we mean, everything -- retracing his final steps up to the press box, to the final singing of the national anthem.

It's not really the FINAL anything. Not with 13 regular-season games before Yankee Stadium goes dark. But it is our last time here. So there is a solemn -- if not, funereal -- sense of finality hovering over this game.

Hence, the nostalgia.

There was one thing that you couldn't help but get nostalgic about and that was the seventh-inning stretch at Yankee Stadium, where the crowd joins in unision and sings ``God Bless America.'' On our first two nights here, the crowd was led by a recording of Kate Smith. But yesterday, on a resplendent late summer afternoon, it was only fitting that the Yankees trotted out none other than tenor Ronan Tynan to do the honors.

Let us just say, he batted it out of the park.

As we stood for the final strains, I turned to Shaugnessy and reminded him, `Hey, it's the last `God Bless America.' ''

He nodded and laughed.

That'll be one for the memoirs.

As will Jason Giambi's colossal 2-run clout to deep center off reliever Hideki Okajima, who took over for starter Jon Lester (6.2 innings, 5 hits, 1 run, 8 strikeouts, 2 hit batters). Pinch-hitting for Jose Molina, Giambi came up in the bottom of the seventh and tied it, 2-2, when he blasted Okajima's 0-1 offering to drive in Cody Ransom (single to left).

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