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April 13, 2012

I'm pretty sure that playing in Yankee Stadium is probably the greatest thing in the entire world.

Not that I've ever done it, obviously.

But when I think about what it must be like for these players to take the field before 50,000+ of the most rabid, aggressive, cutthroat fans in baseball, I get jealous.

The New York Yankees came home to us, as they do every year, and it's one of the only loves in your life that you'll never be able to shake. No matter what. Even after 2004, when the Yanks came back home, and had to watch the Red Sox get their rings right in front of us, no one was sitting in the stands pouting and giving the Yanks the silent treatment because of how much they broke our hearts.

We just were just so happy to see them again.

And so happy to start another season of feeling that expectancy every day. The uncertainty that we sometimes see as a certainty. 162 days punctuated by a W or an L. A whole season of constant maddening adrenaline.

Regardless of what happens in the game, that alone makes baseball fans the lucky ones.

And if you're Yankee fan? Even luckier. (Though I don't care what Anonymous says, I'd rather be GOOD than LUCKY.)

Today was good,

A shut out against the team most analysts have chosen as their favorite to win the AL penant. Every time I read those pre-season predictions, my eyes rolls so much that it's really no wonder I'm forever plagued with one eye ailment or another. Maybe I'm biased (maybe?) but every time I see someone pick any team other than the Yankees, I think it's like people who say they don't think Angelina Jolie is that pretty and Jennifer Aniston is wayyyy prettier.


Girls say that because they want it to be true. I think they actually did a study on this or something. Something about how Aniston is "chick hot" because she's not a total siren, just a really pretty one. Jolie is like extraterrestrial hot.

But as the Yankees demonstrated today, "willing" someone to be prettier by putting your stake in the ground in their corner, does not actually make them prettier. Claiming any and every team other than the Yankees is the REAL best team in the AL isn't a self-fulfiling prophecy kind of thing. That sucks for haters.

(Not that I'm not guilty of the same thing in other ways. Every time ESPN has one of those stupid national poll things like "Which quarterback is more equipped to lead his team to the Super Bowl?" I'm clicking on the Not-Tom-Brady answer like a manic Jeopardy contestant who's a commercial break away from complaining his buzzer is broken.)

So, yeah, Opening Day! WAHOO!

I got approximately 2,102 "What are you doing here?"'s and "Why aren't you at the game?"'s throughout the course of the day. As if I was going to say something like "Didn't feel like it. Nope, not for me. Crowds make me cough."

Yeah, it sucked being in meetings all day and having to "watch" the game on my cell--technology!--but you know what, the game is only part of what does it for me when it comes to opening day. I was pretty fired up just looking at all the tweets.

Which is a sentence I never thought I'd say. I've come a long way since my I-don't-get-twitter-isn't-it-just-facebook-without-all-the-stuff days. Not that long a way, really. But I've at least pulled chocks.

Another thing I'm probably gonna have to come around to liking (I get really proud of myself when my segues make sense, seriously), is Kuroda. It was just last week that I was grumbling about how he's a useless non-pitcher who is going to get taken for at least 4 or 5 runs every game and what a loser signing that was, etc etc.

I'm pretty much the worst baseball analyst ever. I said the same thing about Granderson and his crazzzzzy liability factor of hitting lefties, etc. It's a little upsetting to know I'm essentially the photo negative of the SI Cover Curse.

Wait, I DID say this though on Wednesday:

Yanks get a day off tomorrow, and then on Friday the 13th they bring it on back to the Boogie Down Bronx. Where sh*t's about to get so real that if this were a gun fight scene, people would be holding their guns sideways. Parallel to the ground-style.

Also, Arod will go deep that game. Because it's a day game and because he's 13. And because he's our clean up hitter and that's what clean up hitters do.

So..let's call it even and maybe by the end of the weekend I'll be in the black, yeah?

Game stuff:
  • Hi, Posada! Do you think Jorge was emotional or no? I think that was an outstanding choice of first pitch throwers. Loved the decision. Loved seeing Jorge in the highlights and thinking about everything that was running through his head, and loved imagining how Yankee Stadium really is home. I also loved seeing him on the pitchers mound. And I found his bizarro toss that looked like he was doing pop-up drills before a softball game, completely endearing.

  • "I always try to have the same approach no matter where I pitch or when I pitch," Kuroda said through a translator. "I was able to pitch with confidence." Does he know what he's saying? I think he doesn't, because his sound bites are very all over the place. But I'd like to believe--solely because it would amuse the hell out of me--that his translator is just a rogue devilish sort, who's pulling a Mouth. (PAUSE.)

  • So Kuroda (who I always want to call Kiruku who's this insanely terrifying Japanimation villain that in the movie Unico which I saw about 9,023,013 times during my youth) pitches into the 9th, shuts 'em down, gives up only 5 hits. Girardi yanked him after he gave up a single to Abreu.

Which may invoke the "oh cmon Joe! Let him finish the game! You got a 5 run lead!" But when you think about it, it's a little like how Strange once said "the day I miss a cup on a full rack is the day I stop playing beer pong." And the inning you give up a hit to Bobby Whatever-I'm-Getting-I-Deserve-A-Lot-More Abreu, is the inning you're ready to call it a day.

  • Poo hole is missing St Louis right now. He was a deity there, of course, and now he's just the hired gun who's firing blanks. Two weeks into the season, which is about 12 days past the industry standard for how long to wait before we have a big enough sample size to lambaste/lionize ballplayers.

I never had a problem with Poo hole. My sister does but I think it's because she gets annoyed that his swing is always ousting Arod's as the best in the game. I've actually kind of always liked him because I think he overcame more hardships than all the Josh Hamiltons in the world, because HE grew up named Albert. Albert Poo Hole. He's a Garbage Pail Kid, and he's a juggernaut all-star. Doesn't get more impressive than that.

HOWEVAH, I don't like APH any more:

"No disrespecting the history of this organization, the Yankees, but I take it like every other park. ... At the end, it's just a game."

Oh, is that so? Psh, you're no better than celebrities who have to remind everyone they're famous, so they do a special breed of name dropping where they use the little known nickname. "Did you and Winona Ryder stay friends after you finished filming?" "Oh, yeah, Noni and I catch up over coffee every week."

At the end, Poo hole, it's not just a game. It's baseball. Show some f'n respect.

"He threw a pretty good game. He kept the ball down and made his pitch when he needs to.." --APH on Kuroda. A pretty good game. Poo hole is used to real greatness, where pitchers managed to put teams in negative integers.

Pooper: 1 single today, Batting .222 this season. Striking out, grounding into double plays. He's playing like he's got Memo Paris stuck on his ass like a barnacle.

  • More 13s outside of Arod: Santana's 13th start against the Yankees. Total number of hits in the game. 5s also came into play. Outside of the 5-0 score: Yankees scored in innings 1,3, and 5. Game last 153 minutes. #13's ding put him 5th on the all-time list.

  • Grandy had a "Yankee Stadium" homerun which is such a communist thing to say. A homerun is a homerun. Poo hole and co. were playing in the same park, but I didn't see any of their balls tucking in beyond the RF porch.
  • Swish's double in the first cleared the bases (except for 2B because he was standing on it after the shot), and as for the rest of the team, it was a good smattering of hits, except for the notable lack thereof from Tex and Cano. AHHH!!! TROUBLE IN RIVER CITY!

  • The announcers get a day off from my wildly unfair ribbing, since 100% of my game info is coming from what I could follow on a 3 square in phone screen.

(It's on battery saveing mode, so it darkens after like .3 seconds, which meant I spent the better part of the day poking my phone aggressively. Sometimes less agressive and more confused than anything, since I'm perenially bewildered by touch screen phones. Sort of looked like this guy.)

My sister, the #1 Arod fan in the galaxy, told me a little more about his historic homerun. "It was awesome, knocked it out so quick on the first pitch the announcers didn't even have time to process it."

It was great, indeed.

Here's to keeping it up, NYY. And welcome home. It officially feels like baseball season now.

We're lucky.

"No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow." -Lin Yutang.


  1. Rob Anderson said...
    I, too, am a rabid Yankee fan who somehow missed the opportunity to watch the opening day brouhaha. It makes the highlights that much sweeter. Welcome back to a new season of baseball.
    Cousin Katie said...
    Pretty awesome blogging for someone who "watched" the game via tweets. I gotta say though, from someone sitting in nosebleed seats where I was practically eye to eye with the blimp operator, it was an OUTSTANDING time!!

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