My company organized a Yankees game trip, and I had to go cuz it’s Yankee Stadium (thus completing my collection of “real” baseball stadiums, counting Wrigley and Fenway as the others). Yankees against the Mariners, nothing too exciting.
The highlight for me was A-Rod completely self-destructing. I’m anti-A-Rod, partially because he sold out (admittedly, I wouldn’t turn down $25 million/year) and because he never comes up in the clutch. I’m somewhat influenced by the Sports Guy on this one, as in this column:
Two classic A-Rod moments from the last 48 hours: The crushing DP with the bases loaded on Sunday night at Shea, followed by the homer in the ninth with the Yanks down by eight runs at Fenway. He’s the best. Three separate readers e-mailed me to tell me they won money on the DP, including San Diego’s Brad Garey: “I made a $5 bet with my father, father-in-law, and brother-in-law that A-Rod would ground out in an inning-ending double play. They took the bet and, of course, I am now $15 richer.” Ladies and gentleman, your 2005 AL MVP!
A-Rod was already struggling on the evening, having committed three errors. Then he came up in the bottom of the seventh inning. They actually intentionally walked Jason Giambi to load the bases to get to A-Rod. One out, bases loaded, two-run lead. A chance to break the game wide open. If he makes any sort of decent contact, he at least scores a run. I turned to my co-worker, calling the double play. I was wrong – he struck out swinging instead. Absolutely pathetic. He got booed coming off the field, and didn’t even come out of the dugout again – he couldn’t take the heat so they sent out a defensive replacement (Nick Green?! Seriously? They replaced a $25 million player with a guy I’ve never heard of?).
The other highlight was that because A-Rod choked, the game remained close, so it was still a 2-run lead in the top of the ninth. And that meant it was time for Mariano Rivera. Watching him come running in from the bullpen with Enter Sandman blaring, as the stadium goes electric with energy; that was awesome. I had been looking forward to seeing one of the top relief pitchers ever pitch in person. He immediately gave up a double and a single to put runners at the corners. Then he got mad. His next pitch audibly POPped into the catcher’s mitt. A strikeout, a pop up, and a strikeout, and the game was over. Totally great to watch a master at work.
Oh, and I missed out on a foul ball by a couple feet – it actually hit my coworker and I couldn’t quite snag it before it ended up in the row in front of us. Closest I’ve ever come to getting a foul ball.
P.S. Sorry for the slow-responding web page yesterday – the feed provider for my del.icio.us links decided to switch locations, so I had to update that.