Ever since I moved to the city, my family has made a tradition of going to Yankee Stadium on “Calendar Day”, usually the first weekend homestand of the season, when they give out calendars to everyone in attendance. After Friday’s game, I was pretty apprehensive about going up there in the cold again, but Saturday afternoon was much better overall. The subway was empty enough that my parents and cousin and I could sit, and I got a few rows in on my second Crusoe, although again once I was at the stadium, the gloves went on again, so the knitting was over with for the afternoon. There was still plenty of picture-taking, scorekeeping, and rooting to start with. Whenever we go, we sit way up in the upper deck:
This is the view from Section 13 row V. Needless to say, we didn’t do a lot of moving around this game. We were sitting next to a family who drove 4 hours from Pennsylvania to watch the game. When I found out that the father came from the same hometown as Mussina and played baseball against him, I felt like a bit of a heel for mentioning how Moose didn’t have it the night before. They were very nice about it, though. We settled in for the introductions and pregame festivities, which included driving a Ferrari around the stadium. The players warmed up, the managers handed in the lineup cards, and things got underway.
Unfortunately, while Kei Igawa was sporting some pretty cool shades, he got roughed up by the Orioles to the tune of 6 runs, beginning with a homer in the top of the first.
Luckily, this afternoon, Alex Rodriguez was on fire. The linked photo is of his first at bat, in which he hit a 2 run home run. Traschel did settle down after that, though, while Igawa…didn’t. They even had the Polish Powerhouse in at first for better defense…
but since there were a lot of fly balls, Doug Mientkiewicz didn’t have as much to do as he would with a groundball pitcher like Wang.
What the game eventually boiled down to was a tale of two bullpens. While Igawa didn’t have a single 1-2-3 inning, the Yankee relief pitchers got the game moving along much faster. Brian Bruney, Mike Myers, and Luis Vizcaino held the birds scoreless. The Orioles bullpen gave up a 3 run homer to Giambi in the bottom of the 8th.
I started to get a good feeling about what might be in store for us when Mariano Rivera came in to pitch the 9th inning:
It’s always a pleasure to watch that man at work.
That was when we moved down to the lower deck to meet up with my cousin, so we got a great view of Mo, and of the Yankee on-deck circle, and the batters. The Orioles’ closer got the Polish Powerhouse and Melky Cabrera out, but then Robinson Cano singled,
Derek Jeter walked, and then Bobby Abreu was hit by a pitch to load the bases for none other than Alex Rodriguez. Things were tense in the Stadium, but the crowd was definitely behind Alex 100%, even when he quickly got behind by two strikes. Some fans may or may not have even possibly declared their unconditional love for A-Rod. Perhaps. But then…the closer dealt, and Alex swung and…
Yep. A walk-off grand slam into the black seats. One of only three walk-off grand slams ever to be hit when the Yankees were behind in team history. I’ve never seen the man look so happy and relaxed, and it was pretty amazing to have been there to witness it.
In short, it was a really ugly game that got really pretty at the very end. And I’m glad that my parents, my cousin and I were together to see it.
So far, my 2007 in attendance record: 1-1.