YANKEE STADIUM, DA BRONX – The heat is on here at MeetTheMatts.com these days with some serious anti-Yankee sentiment. (Damn you Mets for not signing Cliff Lee. If Cliff Lee was a Met, Yanks might be up 2-0).
The title of this post might make you think ‘Oh no!! What has our Cookie done now?!?’ No, I have not assumed the cheap and stupid actions of Phillies fan Susan Finklestein to try and score tickets. I’ve accepted my fate that it’s HIGHLY unlikely that I will get a ticket to the World Series. Mr. Cookie will attended Game #2 as the guest of a major news publication. He got to watch some great pitching but in the end, the Yanks showed Pedro who his daddy was.
But hope springs eternal. I thought it was a slim-to-zero shot that I’d score ALCS tickets, but glory be, I got the call last Friday that Mr. Cookie had been thrown two tickets to ALCS Game 6. Mr. Cookie told me he’d watch the mini cookies and I could take my brother. The tickets came compliments of what (we thought) was a major news network. After cooling our heels for a day after Saturday’s monsoon storm, my brother (one of NY’s Finest) and I drove (his idea – not mine) down to Yankee Stadium. Unfortunately, we got there too late to take advantage of the cop parking and after awhile, I jumped out of the truck to get into the stadium to empty my busting bladder (and to take in the first pitch, of course. I’m no dummy).
Getting up to the H&R Block Suites, I made my way to the Luxury Suite and entered. Imagine my surprise when I found that the box belonged not to a news network, but to a certain SPORTS network. Making my way through, an overly anxious (and slimy) sales rep greeted me, asked me who I was, and ‘who I was with.’ I told him the advertising and client affiliation of Mr. Cookie, the dude shook my hand, and I walked myself down to the front row of the box. Sitting down, I was pretty pleased with my perch above and directly behind home plate. The sales rep made his way to me again minutes later and told me he might ask that I move over as a certain celeb might come to the suite and ‘if I was lucky,’ he’d be sitting next to me. I’m not a big star-frogger in the first place, so it didn’t’ phase me. (Now it if was Mark Teixiera and he said he’d be sitting IN my lap? Totally different story.)
Twenty minutes and an inning later, my brother made it to the suite and was shocked at the good vantage point. We then got ourselves to grabbing some suds and vittles. I tell ya, I don’t know how much a bottle of Blue Moon goes for at a ballgame, but I am pretty sure that FREE is the right price.
Anyway, I hit the private bathroom in the suite (another perk that I love, though the new bathrooms at Yankee Stadium are quite nice), grabbed my second FREE Blue Moon and made my way back to the seats.
Blue Moon in da Luxury Suite
There are now TWO kids (aka waste of post season tickets) in my way; one of whom seems to have a problem hearing the first three times I say “Excuse me,” to which the other kid grabs him out of the way. I sit down and a few minutes later, glance back to the end of the aisle and there is Richard Gere, sitting on the step near the kid I just walked over.
First impressions: Shorter than I thought. Decent-looking, guy. And, I am pretty sure you could see the spots on THE MOON with his glasses, which was kind of endearing. Gere was with his kid and a male friend who also brought his kid. Since Gere was late, he turned to my brother (who was sitting closer) and asked what he missed. My bro pointed him to this Pretty Woman and I told him the Yanks stranded two.
The game went on and Gere and the friend played a bit of musical chairs. Gere, the friend, my brother and I traded comments, stories, wisecracks about the game and baseball in general. Pretty impressive. Gere seemed to know a thing or two about baseball and came to the seats with a program and a proper score sheet. (Unfortunately, the kid was sleeping by about the 5th, so that tutorial was abandoned.)
At one point, I got up to go meet a friend who was up (WAAAY up) sitting in another section and Richard says to me “Hey, while you’re up… can you get me a hot dog, some chips?” I said “Really?” And he gave me a big, Gerey smile and said “No. I’m just kidding.” When I came back to my seat, I had to climb over his sleeping son. Richard was kind enough to offer me his arm as I climbed over the kid. Seems that he is both A Yankee Fan And A Gentleman.
While I watched the game in peace, I couldn’t say the same for Richard Gere. The poor guy had about two innings of solace and then was barraged inning after inning with people coming up to him. One woman said to him, “You know we met before. I have a picture of you and me from when you were doing press for Pretty Woman.” (And this lady wasn’t no pretty woman.) She left only to return later with her husband in tow so he could gawk. People seriously have no shame, but Richard had some SERIOUS patience. Must be all that Buddhism and Ohhhhm’ -ing.
And then… it HAPPENED. I was STUNNED. Another person came to bug Richard Gere and I recognized him immediately because this guy has a face for radio. It was none other than overly dramatic and corny Michael Kay. It was then I decided to take another bathroom break (What can I say, it was the beer?), and as I passed him – I called him a do_chebag. (OK… That part isn’t true, but I said it real loud in my own mind.)
The game carried on and the Yanks gave up two runs in one inning. My brother was sweating. (Well, the overhead heaters were on, he’s a big guy and it was a tight game.) He glommed my water. I told him, “Dude… I’m thirsty and you just KILLED my water. I brought you to this game for free. Think you can go get me a FREE bottle of water from inside?” Apparently not. Lazy bastard.
A few minutes later, Gere gets up, leans over my way and says “Do you want anything?” I ponder it.. then answer “Yes. If you don’t mind, I’d love a bottle of water.” “Sure,” Richard Gere replies. And off he went.
My brother looked at me like I had ten heads. “I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU JUST ASKED RICHARD GERE TO GET YOU A BOTTLE OF WATER.” He turned to Richard’s friend and shook his head, “Can you believe her?!!” The friend told my brother “He asked her and he absolutely meant it. He’s the nicest guy.”
And? He was. I got my bottle of water and – against Mr. Cookie’s texted advice – I did not sell it on eBay. I also resisted a SERIOUS urge to ask Richard Gere if when he greeted The Dalai Lama if he said, “Well Hellooooo, Dalai!‘” When we left, Richard Gere leans into me, gives me the hearty hand-over-hand hand clasp and says, “Nice to meet you. Take care now. Be well.” And I’m sure he absolutely meant it because he indeedy was the nicest guy. I mean, I’m not as hot as Shilpa Shetty, but Richard was pretty darn friendly.
So what does this all tell you? Besides telling Officer Bob that some of us average folk DO get to go to the games (and a cop to boot, O.B.), it tells you that PLENTY of stars are out at the games. I’ve seen Jay-Z on the DiamondVision at Yankee Stadium along with Bobby Bacala of The Sopranos fame (Give it up people. That has a bit of cool factor to it.) Rumor has it that in Vegas, you can bet on how many times the network cameras will cut over to shot of Kate Hudson during the games, too. It also tells you that like us normal people, stars are no different. There are some real jerks and there are some who are just really nice. And they’re all capable of getting you a god-damn bottle of free water if you’re thirsty!
And Matts: Nobody puts Cookie in a Corner.