Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Game 27: In The Evening

With the Rays in town, I felt like a Ray Charles tune was the way to go. It's a bluesy number, which is also fitting because the Yankees have lost three straight. 

They are 3-8 within their division and tonight seems like as good of a time as any to start pushing that record in the right direction. Girardi will hand the ball to A.J. Burnett at 7:07, the fifth time in six starts this has happened following a loss. Four times it resulted in a Yankee victory. One of those times was on April 14th, when Burnett carried a no-hitter into the 7th inning against the Rays. 

Sitting at 12-16, the Rays actually make the 13-13 record the Bombers have accumulated look pretty good. Since they play in Tampa and have no fans, however, no one seems to be pushing the panic button on them yet. This is New York, so not only is the team under a magnifying glass, it's a sunny day and the media is trying to angle it juuuuust right.

If you want to read doom and gloom about the Yanks, you're probably in the wrong place. There's enough of that out there and there's really no use getting all bent out of shape over something that's supposed to be fun. We can only offer you level-headed analysis, immature photoshops, drinking advice and a look on the bright side


I went to school for marketing, but it never ceases to amaze and amuse me how far they have attempted to stretch the Yankee brand at the New Stadium. It's a trash can. Do you really need to have your logo on it? After last night I'm glad they did however, because it neatly sums up the on field product. 

Heading up to the game last night, albeit a little late, I had high hopes. Mathematically, when you flip a coin and it lands on heads four times in a row, the probability of the 5th flip is still 50:50. However, as you are observing the coin tumble in mid-air, you get the feeling that tails is due to show. I had that same feeling last night heading up to the Stadium. They can't lose the first five games against the fackin' Sawx, can they?

They could, in fact. 

As he so often does, Alex Belth captured the feeling permiating these recent Yankees vs. Sox match-ups perfectly.  
These days when the Yankees play the Red Sox it feels like they are losing even when the score is tied, feels like they are trailing before the game has begun. A 6-0 lead in Boston a few weeks back was a mirage. The two teams have played five games and Boston has won all five. It’s not as if the Yankees have been getting blown out; they have been competitive, they have shown some fight, but it’s hard to ignore the basic fact that the Yankees are now the team chasing the Red Sox.
I don't think anyone is ready to accept that notion, but it's becoming harder and harder not to. To halve the season series, the Yanks would need to win 9 of their next 13 against the Sox. 

By the time we got off the subway, the Yanks were already down 4-0. The bright side is that, from our perspective, Joba was unhittable! He stuck out 12 of a possible 17 batters in 5 2/3 innings, sending the annoying P.C. Richard's whistle-jingle throughout the Stadium over and over again. (Sidenote: Is there a K counter in the new joint? I couldn't find it. Hope there is, because it provides important context. I didn't know how many K's Joba had until I got home.)

As you could probably tell from the iPhone posts last night, we didn't watch the game from Sec 429, where our $9 tickets from StubHub were located. Instead, we stood behind Section 122 in what was basically Row 31 (there are 30 actual rows). Unless you are there with kids or are physically unable to stand for the whole game, there is no good reason not to do this. It's easy to shimmy up to the railing, giving you the same view as people who paid hundreds of dollars for their seats. I don't think it takes away from the experience at all. The crowd noise reverberates around the concrete concourses making it louder than it would be elsewhere and the close quarters allow you to chat with other fans.

Johnny Damon's three run knock in the third brought the Yanks within one, but that was as close as they would get. The most exciting play of the game from our vantage point what when Melky Cabrera got busted by inches trying to stretch a double into a triple in the fourth. All the third base coaches in the Field Level concourse were yelling for him to go for third, so we couldn't really fault him for getting thrown out. 

The only significant rally the Yanks put together was in the 6th when Nick Swisher walked and a bad bounce resulting in a ground rule double kept Melky from tying the game. There was still only one out, but Beckett struck out Ramiro Pena swinging then got Jose Molina to ground out to diffuse the threat. 

Fairly late in the game, we were pretty starving and decided to check out the garlic fries. I've never been to a West Coast ballpark (never been to California, actually) so I can't compare and contrast, but I thought they were quite excellent. The garnishment reminded me of a typical escargot-style garlic butter with parsely and thyme. It was a pleasant surprise and I would recommend them to anyone not looking to make out with someone in the near future. 

Aside from the Joba strikeouts and the galic fries, the game was as unsatisfying as I was drunk, which is to say, "pretyt fukcing unnastisyfign". Which brings me to this...

::::Very Important Public Service Announcement::::

Attention drinkers on-the-go! Margaritas and paper cups do not mix. 

You might think that since a paper cup is capable of holding scalding hot liquid, such as coffee or tea, that it could also contain a delicious tequlia beverage. You would be wrong.

You can see the discoloration along the seam. I don't know if it was the Master of Mixes or the Montezuma, but the concoction ate right though the adhesive of the cups from Lenny's and sprung a leak of epic proportions. And this all happened within maybe five minutes. I was forced to pound the rest of it, lest I allow it to leak on the sidewalk in front of the Dakota