All right, so believe it or not, I was at Game 1 of the ALCS on Friday night. I can hardly believe it myself.
My pseudo-aunt and -uncle, Madonna and Brian (yes, I have a pseudo-aunt named Madonna–bet you don’t believe that, either), splurged for tickets and invited me and my mother to join them. I met Mom in Penn Station after work, and we met Madonna and Brian at the Stadium. My eyes almost fell out of my head when Brian handed me my ticket: field level, section 129. Oh, believe it. We were sitting in between third base and the left field foul pole about twenty rows back; which means I was closer to Alex Rodriguez than I have ever been before! I asked Brian how far he thought the distance was between us (literally, not metaphorically); in professional lawyer-speak, he answered, “About five car lengths.”
The worst part is I have no photographic evidence. I left my camera at home.
Being at field level, we had waitress service! Always accommodating, the Yankee chefs had whipped up some specialty hot beverages for fans, given that it was about 40 degrees in the Bronx that night. I ordered some 32 ounce hot chocolate that was spiked with amaretto and at least two other kinds of booze, and it was delicious! My mother insisted that I finish every last drop, so she could wipe down the cup and take it home. I told her not to be ridiculous. “But look at it!” she pleaded, twisting the glass in her grip, revealing its holographic features. I rolled my eyes then, but since I don’t have any photos to prove my attendance, I guess I should be grateful now.
A light rain fell through the first inning, but after that the skies were clear. The crowd was wired, particularly the guy in front of my mother who was determined to make us his best friends. “What is it about the ballpark that makes people want to talk to you the whole time?” my mother asked, sounding more like my father. Our pal was harmless, so we returned his high-fives after each great play.
The game itself was great, as all Yankee wins are. C.C. pitched eight innings, Swisher had a great defensive game, and the top of their order was connecting with the ball. Last night’s marathon game, which I watched from the comfort of my apartment, was one for the YES Network archives. Yet as they head into Games 3 and 4 in Los Angeles, I’m struck by the fact that the Yanks haven’t won these past two games because they’ve been drastically outplaying the Angels; they’ve won them on errors made by the Angels. Game 1 saw Erick Aybar allowing a textbook pop fly to drop to the ground in front of him (a mistake from which they never recovered), and Game 2 saw Maicer Izturis throwing wide to second base, allowing the winning Yankee run to score in the thirteenth. The Yankees can’t keep banking on the Angels making mistakes, especially not when they’re making plenty of their own. A.J. Burnett confirmed my earlier suspicions with his Game 2 start. He spent over twenty minutes on the mound in the fifth inning and gave up two runs in the process. To finish this in two more games, the Yanks are going to have to really rest up and focus.
And as for Alex…well, way back when I suggested that the focus of his season should be redemption through achievement. Given his clutch performance so far in the play-offs, I’d say it would appear that I may have a celebrity admirer of The Honestly Blog…