Friday, June 5, 2009

Game 55: Let It Rain

Now that the game has been officially postponed I think we can say "let it rain". Get it out of your system, Weather Gods, cause once this system passes it's shaping up to be a pretty nice weekened

Have a good night, folks. Wet your whistle but stay dry.

And up next, we got the Likwidest,
It's so drunk, it's ridiculous,
When Tash get on the mic,
I swing my shit like Jack Nicklaus

Or if you prefer...

Let it rain (let it rain), 
Let it rain (let it rain), 
Let your love rain down on me.

Could Pettitte Win 300?

David Pinto ponders the question
The more I think about it, the more I’m convinced Andy Pettitte could easily win 300 games. He’s eighty wins away right now at age 37. He talks about retiring, but his competitive spirit (and large paychecks) keep bringing him back.

He’s a left-hander who induces ground balls. The way balls are flying out of Yankee Stadium to rightfield, the probability exists that Andy’s combination of physical attribute and pitching skill will prove very valuable to the Yankees (although he’s allowed seven of his eight home runs in the Bronx this season).

Finally, Pettitte has the potential to remake himself into a slower pitcher, to become Jamie Moyer. Moyer didn’t start winning game in earnest until he was 33. He totaled 59 wins at that point and now has 250. Andy might get some coaching from Mike Mussina in this regard. That will allow Andy to be effective as age takes it’s toll.
I don't think the fact that Pettitte seems to toy around with retirement just about as much as anyone this side of Brett Favre can be glossed over. He's a family man and it's often said that being away from them for so long takes a toll on him. I get the feeling that Pettitte is thisclose to hanging up the cleats at the end of every season, but Pinto is right... he does keep coming back. 

Logistically, let's see how this would work: Pettitte is on pace for 15 wins this year which is reasonable considering he had 14 and 15 in his past two, respectively. That would leave him at 230 and 38 years old after this year. Even if he continued to win 15 games a year, it would still take him nearly 5 years to get to 300. Does anyone think Pettitte is going to keep trucking 'til he's 43? He has admitted to being injured for the second half of last year and his back acting up as we speak.  

Lastly, Jamie Moyer is the exception to the rule, a total outlier who shouldn't be used as a comparable to anyone. How many pitchers in the majors are older than 43 right now? Two: The Big Unit (45), Moyer (46). Kenny Rogers (another lefty) turned 43 last year and seems like a better comparable for Pettitte than either of the other two (B-R doesn't think any of the three are in Pettitte's top 10). The Gambler won 61 games from 2004-2008 (ages 38-43) playing in Texas and Detroit but his effectiveness steadily eroded towards the end.  

I suppose anything is possible, and it's fun to imagine someone on the Yankees becoming a 300 game winner (I'm not counting Clemens since he only won a relatively small portion in pinstripes - 83). But if I had to bet, I'd put my money on Joba Chamberlain before Andy Pettitte. 

I Am Legend

Well, I was for a few hours yesterday afternoon, anyway. 

For the second half of my whirlwind birthday tour, a good friend who works for a major financial institution, invited me to accompany her to yesterday's Yankees game and sit in her company's Legends seats. I don't care where my tickets are when I go to a game, since I always end up standing in the same spot. There is no chance I would actually purchase one of these seats for myself, but since this outing was on Global Financial Conglomerate, Inc., I was more than willing to see what the "Legends Experience (R) (C) (TM)" was all about. 

Matt already did a fine job summing up what happened on the field, so I'm just going to try to paint a picture of the lavishness and excess that I partook in yesterday. 

The Legends Suites have their own (somewhat understated) entrance to the Stadium just past Gate 4, if you are walking from Babe Ruth Plaza. I was late, but not to worry because the Legends entrance has a little Will Call podium right there, and all I had to do was show my ID to get my ticket. There were probably 10 Yankee employees in this entry way, at least four of whom were just standing there smiling, ready to wait on ticket holders hand and foot. I tried to think of some ridiculous request I could make to test the limits of what they were willing to do, but couldn't come up with anything. I instead walked over and was affixed with a green Yankees wristband, or as it should be called, a gluttony bracelet.

I walked though a foyer framed by blue glass with little interlocking NYs, which is probably the defining design feature of the Legends club. It opened up into one of the two restaurants, this one with 10 serving stations in the middle, and tables all around the outside. Lauren recommended that we get to-go plates so we could take our food to our seats. I worked my way around, hitting up the most carnivorous options, so as to ensure I got my money's worth (or rather, her company's money's worth). She went with the grilled prawns and lobster ravioli and our two other friends sampled even more deliciousness. I caught Johnny Damon's first inning homer on one of the many giant flat screens as I was waiting for my suckling pig to be carved. 

Plates fairly heaped with fine food, we worked our way to our seats, which were in Section 27b. You have to first go through the 
downstairs restaurant, which has a ridiculous amount of free stuff for the taking. It's kind of disgusting, actually. There was a little station with the mini-helmets that you could fill up with candy. Have fun trying to control your kids here!

Next to that, they had free coffee, and one of those huge rolling hot dog grills. Just walk up and take how ever many you want. Around the corner, just before you stepped outside, they had a table, loaded with Twizzlers, Cracker Jacks, M&Ms, peanuts... just help yourself (fat ass). A guy walked up to this station while we were standing there and goes "I don't know what to say about this...". I offered "Only in America?"

Our seats were past the photographers up the third base line, a few rows from the field. As we sat down, attendants brought over trays that locked into your cup holders and had indentations specifically made for the to-go plates along with spots for two drinks. 

I couldn't help but dread that a foul ball would come rocketing down the line when I was cutting into my lamb chop or taking a bite of my BBQ chicken sandwich and be left completely defenseless. Luckily, Gary Sheffield plays across town now. 

The seats were awesome, don't get my wrong, but the really unbelievable thing about the whole Legends package is that there is a menu and you can just keep ordering from it constantly. The only thing that costs money is the alcohol. You should be able to click on the image and make it large enough to read. They had simple stuff that you would expect at a baseball game, but it also went well above and beyond that.

We just kept ordering, without worrying if it would be eaten. Lobster rolls, zucchini and potato chips with Gorgonzola cheese, crab and shrimp salad, truffle fries, nachos, ice cream sandwiches, cheesecake on a stick. Yeah, cheesecake on a fucking stick. It was like a Ben & Jerry's Peace Pop, except impossibly, even less healthy. We ordered a few $9 Coronas but I was mostly just drunk off of the food. 

Oh yeah, so I don't know if I mentioned it, but there was actually a baseball game occurring during all of this face-stuffing.

A-Rod was the closest player to us and the two ladies in our group quickly noticed that, as Del Griffith from Planes, Trains and Automobiles might say, "Larry Bird doesn't do as much ball-handling in one night as [A-Rod does] in [a half inning]!"

It was a pretty sweet game, with the 5 run fifth inning and all. Teixeria's three run double rolled right in front of us. Amazingly, again with me in attendance, Melky Cabrera was the hero of the game. Just to refresh, after Melky's first walk off of the year, I wrote this post. Since then, I have been in the house for his other two walk offs and yesterday's home run. I'm not sure what that means, karmically speaking, but I'm enjoying it. 

It was an incredible experience, certainly different than any other sporting event I've ever been to. The odd part is that the more you take advantage of what the seats have to offer, the less you pay attention to the game. We were constantly talking to the servers, ordering, accepting, eating, paying for the beers, and trying to find a place for all the empty containers that kept piling up...

It first and foremost is a luxury experience and secondarily a sporting experience. It's so above and beyond what someone would actually need or probably even want from a baseball game, it's ridiculous. It would make sense if it was a more scaled down offering, only available to the $2500 $1250 ticket holders. That would have helped them sell the more expensive tickets and created a greater air of exclusivity around them. However, they have already crossed the Rubicon on this one. The facilities are huge and designed to cater to the entire Legends section. 

If I could offer one piece of advice to someone lucky enough to stumble into tickets like I did (thanks, Lauren!), it would be... Bring your appetite! (and a bag to hoard all of the free stuff you can grab).