So to sum up thus far: [waterfront park] is great, the staff is gracious and it is well worth the trip. Oh, and clips from "Tommy Boy" and "Caddyshack" are shown between innings. May not be a selling point for all of you, but I was appreciative.
Now that I've laid all of that out, I would like to have a word with the team:
Now boys, I love baseball. I've never really trusted anyone who does not love baseball. You know the ones. Their only response to anything baseball related is, "It's so boring," or, "It's too slow." These are the people who are unable to sit still and see the perfect balance of simplicity and complexity. They lack the patience needed to wait for that amazing moment of chaos where your whole world is turned upside down with the crack of a bat.
Part of my love for baseball comes from the fact that it is a game of hope. Like life, you never know when a game will end, and an assumed outcome can be overturned in a moment. The ninth inning does not mean the end; it means another chance to win the game.
And there's justice in it like no other sport: Whether you win or lose, you can never say you weren't given a chance to make it right. The clock didn't run out on you.
Earl Weaver said it better:
"You can't sit on a lead and run a few plays into the line and just kill the clock. You've got to throw the ball over the goddamn plate and give the other man his chance."
That said -- Holy hamburger rolls Batman, 14 innings and almost five hours on a working Tuesday afternoon, without beer, is way too long! No one has that much patience! And you lost! It was a thunderous loss! You were up in the ninth and you lost 10-7! You should have ended it in the ninth and saved me from sunstroke and sunburned knees (and do I have to explain how embarrassing it is to have cherry red circles on your knees?). (See Slideshow)
Now readers, you're probably asking, "Why? Why, Teresa? Why did you stay the entire 14 innings?"
Here's the thing: I was promised a chance to meet the players, and had visions a la Carrie Bradshaw using her press pass to get into the Yankee locker room.
Boys. I'm not going to lie -- I stayed for the boys. What I forgot is just that. They're boys.
I followed my fellow pressmen into the locker room post loss only to find a group of angry, silent boys eating chicken fingers, who forbid the lone female reporter from taking pictures of angry, silent boys eating chicken fingers.
I got sunburned knees from sitting in the stands for almost five hours, only to meet grumpy boys. Alas, it was clear: I am no Carrie Bradshaw, and they are definitely not the New York Yankees. Sheffield would have given me a smile and a pose, at the very least, I'm sure of it.
And now some words of wisdom from Joe DiMaggio to the crabby players who shooed me away with their mouths full of greasy meat:
"A ball player's got to be kept hungry to become a big-leaguer. That's why no boy from any rich family ever made the big leagues."
Joltin' Joe would know. So put the chicken fingers down, boys; stay hungry and humble; smile for the camera ... and maybe then you'll make it to the Show. [teresa masterson]
Labels: baby bombers
First, let me say that the most shocking thing I saw yesterday was not Ryan Zimmerman hitting that home run, but Chien-Ming Wang throwing his glove in anger afterward. I'm not quite sure the best way to explain how unlikely it is to see Wang, you know, do anything at all really, but here's my best attempt: You know how sometimes people have dogs who do nothing except sleep? Like, the dog will wake up in the morning, go outside, find a sunbeam and lie down in it for like 10 hours? And nothing you can do will make it wake up until there's no sun? Not even throwing a ball or poking it with a stick or laying big hunks of raw meat down a few feet away?
Okay, now imagine that one day, you're walking by and the dog suddenly leaps up, immediately begins foaming at the mouth and attacks you like you'd just casually mentioned that his collar made him look fat. Aside from being concerned about your gaping wounds, you'd probably think to yourself, "Man, that's weird - that dog never does anything" and that's sort of how everyone reacted when Wang got heated - in other words, it's unusual.
Because of that, the feeling in the clubhouse afterward was a little different. The players weren't demoralized - it was more like they felt sorry they couldn't do more for Wang, as though they'd let him down.
Say what you want about how important Randy Johnson and Mike Mussina are to the Yankees - and they're very important - but Wang figures to be here for a long time and I don't think anyone would be surprised if he's their No. 1 at some point soon. He put in a heroic effort yesterday and his teammates recognized that. "He didn't deserve a fate like that," Johnny Damon said and he was right. [sam borden]
"I saw what [howard] did," Mo said. "I respect that. But I do what I do. What, you think I would pitch around him?"
Then Rivera laughed. "See you tomorrow," he said. [lohud]
In a crushing blow to the Melky Cabrera Society, the Melkman has been sat down to contemplate his 6-for-43 slump.
Could Lakewood's future be in Double-A?
In a recent article about BlueClaws and Thunder co-owner Joe Finley -- one of the nicest guys in baseball -- there is a small mention toward the bottom of what would be a big rumor.
Rumors, of course, are simply speculation, with no need for any shred of truth attached. Sometimes, there is some truth to what's being said, but many times, there's absolutely none.
I don't know into which category this one falls, but from the end of the article linked above:
He said he hasn't even heard rumors that the Yankees' Class AA team could be in Lakewood and the Phillies would switch to Trenton.
"It is in the lease with Trenton that they would have to have a Double A team," said Finley, although he agreed that Trenton does have more of a Philly bias and Lakewood fans tend to root for New York.
"I don't have any surveys to prove that," he said. "It's just an instinct."
[nj.com baseball blog]
Hideki Matsui was walking through the downstairs press room just as Cabrera went full throttle after Travis Hafner's curling fly ball. "Oh, no," Matsui cried, stopping in his tracks to watch a replay. But Cabrera bounced off the wall, ball in glove, and Matsui wiped his forehead in exaggerated relief.
There are so few moments like this in baseball now.
There are so few moments when a 21-year-old kid, to whom the minimum salary seems like more than he could ever spend, can electrify 55,141 fans and leave the been-there, done-that millionaires in awe.
But Melky Cabrera made such a moment in the eighth inning Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium. He ran to the deepest part of the park, leaped above the wall and caught Manny Ramirez's drive to save the Yankees' 2-1 victory over the Red Sox. For that moment, the world's most famous baseball stadium was Cabrera's place - as much as any vacant lot in the Dominican, where he was making catches not long ago. [hartford courant]
After reaching on a fielder's choice in the first, Cabrera took off for second when a pitch from Beckett to Giambi bounced a few feet away. Catcher Jason Varitek quickly picked the ball up and fired to second but his throw was awry, bouncing into short right field. Since no one was covering third base - against Giambi, the Red Sox shift their infielders to the right side - Cabrera took off for third. Then, when he realized that Varitek had belatedly run up the line toward third, Cabrera scampered past the catcher on his way home.
In other words, Cabrera scored from first on a wild pitch (Varitek was charged with a two-base error) and his exuberance drew a standing ovation from the crowd, starved for such youthful vigor in recent years. [daily news]