So, I am writing this (Thursday) as I watch the Yankee game on YES. And yes… I am pretty bummed I am not actually there. (Postscript edits after the 10-2 shellacking… maybe not too bummed.) However, I’d have to say that I am very pleased with the coverage of the Opening Ceremonies at the new, swanky, Yankee Stadium.
Though I had to listen to the last fifteen minutes in the new Cookie-mobile (as I went to get Cookie Junior from preschool) and suffer the blather of one Susan Waldman, I did find the ceremony, in its entirety to be a class act. Like everyone, I loved seeing the old Yankees… Larsen and Ford of course.. but Bucky Dent, Nettles, Cone and a smiling Willie Randolph… excellent. We’ll always welcome you here Willie. Tino looked beaming and of course everyone loves ‘Donnie Baseball.’ I kinda sneered at Jeff Nelson and chuckled seeing David Wells. (If there was anyone in that big, shiny new stadium that could tell you where to find the good vittles, it’s Wells.) And what the heck was Mickey Rivers wearing on his head anyway? Was that a reject for the Mets’ Home Run hat?? Ed Figueroa seems to have slimmed down in his old age. Odd. Yogi Berra.. still as short as all those Matts jokes said, but moving really well for an octogenarian. Needless to say, I’m pleased he was the one to throw out the first pitch at the new stadium.
Honest abe, even if I wasn’t a Yankee fan, I would applaud what a fine production this Opening Ceremony was. I quite enjoyed Bernie’s rendition of ‘Take Me Out to The Ballgame’ on la guitarra. Muy bueno. It’s making me ponder getting his newest album. That classical guitar sure is soothing. (Apparently, it’s all about soothing in these stress filled times we live in.) Speaking of guitars, did you guys catch old fogey John Fogerty sing ‘Centerfield’ while playing a baseball guitar?? When I first saw him come out, I thought ‘Oh no.’ Looked like someone did too much nip and tuck on him and here and there and he got attacked with the hair dye. (Did someone say ‘hare’ ‘dye?’) Aside from that, his circa 1984 wardrobe looked well preserved. But, he sounded great and, c’mon… that song is cool. Well played big production people, well played. Even the mainstreamed Kelly Clarkson-ed national anthem was good. The jet flyover at the end…timed perfectly. (I was in the car when Susan Waldman’s head nearly popped off in glee over this.) Funniest bit was Don Larsen and Whitey Ford filling up plastic baggies with dirt from the pitchers mound. It was the perfect stuff for a Ziploc commercial. And, this was history.
I got back home to catch some pretty decent pitching by C.C. (big exhale at that) and then went back out just before the 7th to run an errand. Lucky for me, I only heard the carnage of that inning after it happened… leaving the Yanks all but dead for the game.
Sure, a win would have been better at the opening game in a spanky new stadium. All you Met fans could agree with me there. Alas, no. Not in the cards for NY teams. None of us miss the losses, but they make the memories too. I’ll miss the steep seats to the upper deck, the view of the courthouse past centerfield, and letting my feet just instinctively take me where I needed to go in the old stadium. I’m sad to say goodbye to my own personal memories inside that cathedral, like my first baseball game, feeling the stadium rumble under me during Game 6 of the 1996 World Series, and eating the duct taped cones (as in for strike outs by David Cone) off the upper deck facade during a late, extra innings game.
But this signals a new beginning for the Yanks and for me. While the crumbling of the bullpen is nothing new, taking my son to his first game will surely heal the pain of even the worst Yankee loss. We’re Mets and Yankees fans. We’ve got new stadiums for us and a new generation of fans. I’m excited to get there and to cheer for my old favorites and the new ones (put Nick Swisher in the pole position there folks). Now, if I could only score some tickets.