Sunday, April 15, 2012

Yankees Opening Day 2012

April 13, 2012 

I have to start this post with a quasi-related, but not-really-related statement. When Lisa and I go to the Yankees game on May 19th, I need to take her to Billy’s Bar. I’m pretty sure that I’ve discovered a guido dumping ground. Dark spiked haired, olive-skinned fist pumpers galore. It’s like a buffet of all of Lisa’s favorite things. It was a little scary. I am running the risk of losing her forever if I bring her here. She may get sucked into the black hole of tanned skin, Italian-themed tattoos, gold chains, and open-collared shirts and then I’ll be stuck walking over to Yankees Stadium and watching The Boys take on the Reds by myself. Anyone willing to travel into the Bronx with us on the very real chance that I may have an extra ticket? Let me know.

Back to the whole purpose of this post. Baseball. Opening Day. All good stuff. Mamadukes bought our tickets for Opening Day as my birthday gift, but the actual purchase was done by me. As in, “go onto StubHub and find tickets. I’ll give you the money.” I picked two tickets that felt like a happy medium in terms of cost and location, but I didn’t really have any idea as to where they were being that they were in a section I’d never sat in before. We drove into the game and parked at a nearby mall. “Event Parking” cost us $30, but for some reason, it felt less like a raping than paying $35 at the other lot. Getting to Yankees Stadium from this mall, however, proved to be a bit of a challenge for us. Initially, we followed these two guys wearing Jeter and Mantle jerseys toward the entrance we had just driven through, but then we realized that they were going to have to hop a wall in order to get to the sidewalk and that just seemed to be more trouble than it was worth. We decided to find another way. This would be a mistake. I don’t know what we were thinking. We should’ve just stuck to following Jeter and Mantle. They’d always been reliable in the past. Why did we think they were going to let us down this time? We ended up walking a sidewalk that ran somewhat parallel to the Major Deagan Expressway. That is some hot stuff right there. Eventually we did manage to reach the stadium and this random, off-the-beaten-path route actually had us approach the stadium from a direction we’d never taken before, offering me the opportunity to take this photo of the entire stadium in all its sexiness.
The walkway leading up to the stadium past the little league baseball field is paved with sporadic markers indicating historical moments in franchise history, like this:
And this:
We tried finding a marker celebrating Don Mattingly’s retirement, but apparently, nothing of importance happened for the Yankees between 1987 and 1996, which I found a little strange.

As usual, I needed to be fed immediately upon walking through the doors of Yankees Stadium. I need to eat regularly or else I become a whiny, unaccommodating toddler. We headed up to our section and bought a hot Italian sausage for me (Seriously. This is not a metaphor for a really attractive male of the Italian persuasion. It was called a hot Italian sausage and it cost $8.50.) and a hot dog for Mamadukes. Laden with our glorious, deliciously fragrant meat products, we went in search of this mysterious section 314W. It’s the “W” that kept throwing me off when I searched the stadium’s seating chart online. The chart clearly showed me section 314, but what was the deal with this “W?” Well, ladies and gentlemen, we found out that it apparently stands for “wheelchair.”  Yes. That’s correct. This Yankees fan half of the TBB duo is a giant a-hole who unknowingly purchased tickets to the handicapped section. As if I can’t look any more insensitive than I already do. The seats were padded folding chairs, which were pretty cool, but man, did we feel a touch guilty about occupying these seats. The guilt didn’t last long because my stomach got the better of me. I pretty much inhaled my sausage in three bites (okay, WHY does everything I say about sausages sound incredibly dirty?).
Look who ran into us at the stadium! Ed! Lisa’s favorite of Serena’s colleagues. Ed had seats 3 sections over from us.
There was one really amazing upside about sitting in these seats though. I got to hang out with this little buddy the entire game:
How amazing is he? He’s adorable and fat. I wanted to dognap him. The downside to this bootyful baseball fan was that his owner was a jerk Mets fan that kept rooting against the Yankees. Dude, go be miserable at your own Opening Day. Don’t make my Opening Day experience miserable because you hate my team.

Soon after, the opening ceremonies commenced.
Jorge Posada threw out the first pitch to Papa Posada.
The pitching matchup was Hiroki Kuroda and Ervin Santana. I’ll admit that this did not inspire confidence in me after watching the nightmare of a game that took place in Tampa Bay in the week prior. However, we got out of the first inning fairly unscathed, so I calmed down a bit. In the bottom of the 1st, Santana led things off by striking out both Jeter and Granderson. Allow me to describe the mental illness that currently resides in this brain of mine. Instead of being overly pissed off at this, I got excited because Roberta’s ridiculous New York-focused fantasy team wouldn’t get any offensive points. Insert evil laugh. See? I’m truly a disturbed individual. With two outs, Alex Rodriguez (the one Yankees player that I managed to pry out of Roberta’s greedy fingers) singled. Hooray for fantasy points for Tigers Love Pepper! THEN he stole second. More fantasy points! It’s just an explosion of fantasy points for me.

When Mark Teixeira stepped into the batter’s box, our neighbors to Mamadukes’ right had some negative comments to say about him. She got very upset and defensive about “her man” (the fantasy baseball illness seems to be hereditary). I had to remind her that Tex was no longer her fantasy first baseman. Roberta owned him now. It was time to let go. With Rodriguez, Cano, and Tex on base, Swisher drilled a double over the center fielder’s head, scoring three runs. All fantasy points for Roberta. It’s just becoming tedious now.
Rodriguez would go onto hit a bomb of a home run to dead center field in the bottom of the 3rd and another single in the bottom of the 5th following a Granderson home run. While his sudden surge of offense pleases me both from the Yankees fan perspective and the perspective of being the manager for the future 2012 championship fantasy team, I feel it necessary to point out something that he did in the bottom of the 7th that really pissed me off. I have always defended Rodriguez. Despite the fact that he’s got a personality that’s equivalent to a brown paper bag and the whole steroids fiasco, I do believe him to be a hard-working and gifted athlete. When he fails, it’s never from a lack of trying. Yes, he’s totally overpaid and yes, he tends to collapse when the Yankees really need him, but I will accept a player who fails to succeed if he puts forth genuine effort. In the 7th, with Jeter on second, Rodriguez hit a weak dribbler to Ryan Isringhausen on the mound, which typically would’ve been an easy out, but Isringhausen bobbled the ball, giving Rodriguez the chance to safely reach first AND advancing Jeter to third. Instead of actually running hard down the line, Rodriguez did the f*cking Hustle! Naturally, this gave Isringhausen enough time to recover and throw Rodriguez out. I was enraged. If I recall the moment correctly, after a string of curse words, I shouted, “Did you have an asthma attack on the way to first, you a-hole?” Apparently the surrounding fans found this amusing. What the hell? I defend this man all the damn time for his work ethic and he repays me by acting like Carlos Beltran?? Trust me, I’ve played sports. I get that there was a chance that Rodriguez still may have been thrown out even if he ran hard. I totally understand that. The point is that he also might’ve been safe, giving the Yankees another chance to score. Crap like that makes me crazy.This better have been a brain fart on his part because if this is a sign of behavior to come, I’m going to convince Lisa to allow me to write another asstastic letter for this blog. And I’m very convincing. You have no idea how much stupid
sh*t I’ve convinced Lisa to participate in with me.

Just prior to the 9th inning, we asked the nice men sitting next to us to take our picture. I’m actually surprised that Mamadukes allowed this considering how much she hates taking pictures. I think the fact that this man gave her his Cracker Jack prize softened her a little.
We were pleasantly surprised when Kuroda came out to pitch the 9th having already thrown 103 pitches. He allowed Bobby Abreu on base with a weak a$$ crap hit and Joe Girardi pulled him out in favor of David Robertson. Kuroda exited to a standing ovation. A vast improvement from his first start. Now if only CC Sabathia would follow suit. Robertson closed out the game, coaxing Albert Pujols into a double play and then striking out Kendry Morales. Final score 5-0 Yankees.

By the way, exiting the mall’s parking garage was a nightmare. Do not park here. Make the extra $5 investment and park in a proper lot.

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