Well I finally made it to Yankee Stadium last night. Took New Jersey Transit up from Princeton Junction to Penn Station and then the "D" Train to Fordham Rd., got off at 181st St. and walked about 10 blocks to Mario’s on Arthur Ave. Met up with Gradysmanlady and a couple of his buddies – ate a little pasta and drank a little vino. All a perfect prelude to a perfect night. GML's a pretty good dude, and for some unknown reason the baseball god’s elected to put us right behind one another waaaaay up in the upper deck. Unfortunately my buddy from Philly was having a hard time – cuz of his knees – making it all the way up to the Himalayan reaches of the stadium so we caged a coupla seats near some NYC secretarial types and their Manhattan real estate agent goomba – he spent most of the game trying to impress the young things with how much he knew about Manhattan real estate – whatta maroon. Later JulioBernarzard showed up after the sixth and we watched most of the remainder of the game together.
Anyway suffice it to say that watching Delucci hit that three run pinch- hit shot offa Chamberlain in the eighth was awful sweet. You could feel the air go outta the stadium as it cleared the fences. We were sitting with about half a dozen or so other Tribe fans from Connecticut. We were all screaming and yelling and high-fiving one another amidst a throng of Yankee partisans – all of which gave us their best version of the ol’ stink-eye. But so what? The Tribe had just taken the lead over the vaunted Yankees offa the unhittable Mr. Chamberlain. What could possibly be better – other than listening to about 2 or 300 other Tribe fans screaming their joy at the Yankee’s misfortune? Like the noted fourteenth century B.C. philosopher Conan the Barbarian usta say, "Good is crushing your enemies, seeing them driven before you and listening to the lamentations of their women". Truer words were never spoken.
- Fausto is having trouble locating the plate – duh. And it’s not just that batters are laying off the low stuff. He has stretches were he can’t locate the plate side-to-side or up and down. But then he throws that heater up there at 96 and all seems right. I think he just needs a little work on the side with the pitching coach.
- Marte’s a player. There I said it. His defense is excellent. That tag he made in the bottom of the fifth – on Abreu, I think – was an old school veteran play. He stood stone still acting like nothing was happening until, at the last instant he caught the ball and tagged out the runner. Very impressive. He also looked like he had an idea at the plate. The boy at least looks like a hitter, which is more than I can say for most of the line-up.
- Hafner looks ab – so – lute – lee lost at the plate. It looks like he’s guessing on every pitch. I don’t know if his stance is too wide, or if he’s over-striding or what, but until he starts to recognize pitches he’s gonna struggle.
- Jamie Carroll on the other hand looks like he knows what he's doing with a bat. He takes good swings at good pitches and plays a pretty decent second base – not a good as Asdrubal – but pretty decent. Which is why I think that Cabrera is gonna end up in Buffalo soon. There’s no need to keep him up in the majors and having him struggle when there’s a good replacement available.
- Garko, Peralta and Shoppach all look a little confused at the plate. And yes I know Peralta hit that homer. But still they look tentative. These guys will come around but it’s gonna take some work.
- Gotta love Raffie L – wicked delivery makes his stuff look harder than it is. Same with Jensen Lewis – if he had a more conventional delivery he’d be getting killed. As it is the hitters are having a tough time finding his stuff.
- Alert the media! Yankee fans are a bunch of douche nozzles. I must admit we were treated politely by almost all of the NY fans but in the end their baseball knowledge, for the most part is limited to, "well we’ve won 26 WS, so this year’s team is gonna be great too". I had one older fan tell me that the Tribe hasn’t had a good pitcher since Sam McDowell. Evidently last year’s Cy Young results haven’t been announced yet in Gotham.
I always have big fun at the ballpark – always. But last night was special. Got to meet some of my LGT colleagues, watch the current Yankee HoF designate blow-up and listen to Yankee fans kvetch and flop around – perfect. And, oh yeah, LeStunod choked big time with the game on the line. Two for eighteen indeed!
Well, that might be my last visit to old Yankee Stadium – unless of course those dipwads some how buy a seat at this year’s play-offs. In which case I’ll be back to watch the Tribe pound them into sawdust and break a few balls.