Holy Smokes...what a Yankee day. To be quite honest...I spent most of todays game cursing...cursing the damn heat, cursing the damn Red Sux fans, and cursing at the some of the Yankees. So in the end when they finally pulled through... it was a most welcomed surprise as I had almost lost hope.
By now we all know the outcome of todays game...so I am not going to spent any time on that...other than to say THANK GOD! Instead I am going to focus on a few of the things that I was able to observe only because I was actually at the game.
Let's start with Derek Jeter. I love him and forever will. That being said...painful though it is to admit...today I saw an example of the fact that he is not the player he once was. (This is a fact that I have been arguing against for the past two years.) He had a great day offensively but not so much defensively. He failed to turn a play that should have been a breeze and he didn't dive for a ball that would have been a no brainer in the past. I'm not saying that he didn't have a good game!!! I am just saying that I realize now that people are right...Derek often plays well offensively or defensively but rarely both. I don't fault or judge him in anyway for it...but it must be tough for him. He need not worry...I still love him just the same.
Moving on...let's move onto A-Rod...who has returned to the status of Yankee Enemy #1 for me. I couldn't help but join in with the rest of the Yankee fans who boo-ed him after once again left 2 runners on base. I couldn't help but think "All he needed was a damn base hit." Isn't that kind of like fundamental baseball? I don't know...but I couldn't help but think it. (Jason Giambi made it look easy in the 9th...just saying.) That aside...I don't blame the Yankee fans for boo-ing (the fact that I am also boo-ing him has nothing to do with it) as he is not delivering. There is no doubt that he is one of the greatest playing the game right now..but what is good is it to be great when you can't do it consistently? A fellow disgruntled Yankee fan made a very insightful statement today...he pointed out that it doesn't matter how many Yankee dollars Alex is making to wearing pinstripes...he will never be a Yankee. I couldn't agree more.
Let's talk about Yankee fans in general. I was SHOCKED today when I realized that we were pretty evenly matched by the Red Sux fan. It was the final Yankee-Red Sux showdown at the stadium and yet there were far too much red in the crowd. I know that our chances are slim but there is still hope damn it. Our odds are not going to improve with the fans abandoning the team like they did today. It was a travesty today that you could hear the "Let's Go Red Sux" cheers over the "Let's Go Yankees" in Yankee Stadium. My feelings were actually a little hurt by it. Luckily I was in a lively section so we were screaming and cheering and boo-ing with reckless abandon which is what being a proud fan is all about.
All of this being said...I had a blast today. I love the city...I love the Yankees, and there is no better way to watch the Yankees than to do from the comforts of Yankee Stadium. Today was my last trip to the Stadium and I will be honest...I got a little emotion as I left. I know it is just a game and they are just a team...but they are my team and they make me happy...even with the way that the season is playing itself out.
Now end on the best part of today...
It was fate that I was supposed to see him today. How else can you explain my last minute decision to get off the train scary Harlem? How else can you explain my sudden decision to check my seat first before going to go buy stuff? FATE...that's how you answer. As I walked up the ramp to check out where I would be spending the next five hours...I noticed that there was an abnormally large group of people hovering near the bullpen. There was a brief break in the crowd and I laid eyes on Joba Chamberlain for the first time up close and personal. And what a moment that it was. I have no doubt that it is a moment that I will keep with me as I follow him through his long Yankee career.
I cannot fully explain the way that I felt as I watched him pitch in the bullpen. I was shaking, had to remind myself to breathe, and even felt my legs almost give out as I tiptoed to get a better shot of him. It is one thing to watch him pitch on tv or from high in the stands, but it is another thing to see it from ten feet away. I was so mesmorized by him that I didn't realize that Joe Girardi was standing three feet behind him until I review the pictures on the train ride home. I can still hear the sound that the ball made as it hit the catcher's glove...and it really is an amazing sound. I can still remember the electricity that went through me when I first saw that it was him. But more than anything...I still get butterflies just like I did the moment I saw him give a small smile after he threw his final pitch. I am such a sucker for those moments of joy and this was one of those moments. Joba will be back this season and he will be great.