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A Big Win, and a Bigger Monument

Unlike the three games last week in St. Petersburg, last night's Yankees-Rays contest wasn't decided by a single run. Instead, the Yankees again had Matt Garza's number, and an ugly top of the sixth — the inning in which Ivan Nova hit his proverbial wall — was followed by a four-run half-inning that included Curtis Granderson's second home run of the game. The Yankees won the game 8-6 and extended their lead to a game and a half in the A.L. East.

Now: about that monument. Design-wise, George Steinbrenner's monument is different from the freestanding ones dedicated to Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, and the like. In fact, it's closer in design to what we had in mind when it was announced last month. This makes sense: Steinbrenner's impact as an owner, however big, falls into a different category than those of the franchise's legendary players. (One gets the sense that if the Yankees knew in 1932 what Monument Park would become, manager Miller Huggins would have gotten something less grand.)

There's a key difference between Steinbrenner's monument and one dedicated to, say, former owner Jacob Ruppert: Steinbrenner's monument is enormous. At seven feet by five feet, it weighs 760 pounds — that doesn't include the monument's base, with the interlocking N-Y logo and Steinbrenner's signature — and dwarfs the hall of famers and icons and popes out in Monument Park. Does it signal to future Yankee Stadium visitors that the most important figure in the franchise's history is not a player, but an owner? Perhaps. But considering how Steinbrenner went about his business, it's kind of fitting, isn't it?

Photo: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images