• May 26th vs. The Angels

    Posted by on May 26th, 2007 · Comments (5)

    Today, we brought our kids – ages 3 and 5 – to the Stadium for the first time.

    I have to say, in the first couple of innings, it looked like Worm Killer Wang was going to serve up a laugher for the Angels. But, he came around and did a very nice, overall, job.

    Today was one of those “My wife was right” days.

    At the start of the bottom of the ninth, we had this exchange:

    Me: The Yankees are going to win this game in their last At Bat.

    Her: No, this is no longer the same team.

    Me: No, when I went to my first game, the Yankees won the game in the bottom of the ninth. It’s only right that they do it again on our kid’s first game.

    Even when Giambi and Cano opened up the bottom of the ninth with punch-outs, I was still thinking/rooting positive. And, when Damon and Cabrera reached with two outs, I was really feeling it. But, Abreu went down and the game was over. Yanks lose, 3-1, and, a bummer of a game for the kid’s first time in the Bronx.

    My wife is right: This is no longer the same team.

    I guess it could have been worse. We were sitting in Section 6 of the Main Reserve. The section next to us (Section 4) must have been the Angels comp-tickets section. There were at least 150 Angels fans sitting there. They fell into the following groups: Blonde Valley-Girl types, Hoochie Mama types, or the extended family members of Vladimir Guerrero, Jose Molina and Kelvim Escobar. (I say the latter because there were a ton of Guerrero, Molina and Escobar jerseys there.)

    They were a pretty polite group. They cheered – but not too loud. And, they did not try and rub anything in the faces of the Yankees fans around them. I’ve seen fans of other teams act much worse at the Stadium…lots of times.

    I heard on the radio post-game, on the way home, that Torre was pissed with the umps for the called strike on Abreu in the ninth. Suzyn Waldman said it was the first time she could recall hearing Torre blame the umpires for being a part in costing the Yankees a game. Sounds like Joe and his boys are starting to get frustrated. I think they know it’s a sinking ship and the water is rushing in hard. They’re grabbing for anything at this point…if they want to blame the ump for blowing one called strike.

    Just look at the Yankees record this season. New York is playing like a bad baseball team. That’s why they’re losing games. That’s it – and it alone.

    Comments on May 26th vs. The Angels

    1. Jen
      May 26th, 2007 | 9:51 pm

      While you certainly can’t pin the whole game on it, that strike three call was ridiculous. The pitch was nearly in the other batter’s box.

    2. baileywalk
      May 26th, 2007 | 11:11 pm

      The last call didn’t cost them the game — they had their opportunities — but you can’t deny it altered the game. And it wasn’t even close. If you’re not frustrated over a call like that, what DOES frustrate you? I was surprised the players or Torre didn’t have an even bigger reaction on the field.

      That’s a really tough way to lose. I personally think it was a long shot to come all the way back, but K-Rod has been known to get a little wild at times, so anything could have happened. Jeter was ondeck. It would have at least been nice to have the opportunity.

    3. The Scout
      May 26th, 2007 | 11:15 pm

      Steve, you have it right. This isn’t the same team — not the same as last year, not the same as the last World Series year, and certainly not the same as the last championship team. The deeper into the season you go, you are what your record says you are.

      Some of the breakdown is puzzling. No one expected Cano to hit .340 again, but his decline has been greater than we would have guessed. Others seem to be aging before our eyes at least a year sooner than I would have anticipated. The entire outfield looks old and sluggish. Damon’s fall off from just two years ago is surprising, given his positive health history. Abreu seems lost after his terrific half-season. Giambi is another player showing alarming signs of age. Counting him, the team has three first-baseman who don’t add up to one complete player at a traditional power position. So almost half the line-up is underperforming. The bench is a non-factor.

      On the mound, I wonder if Wang’s performance is closer to what we should look for from a pitcher who doesn’t strike out many hitters. Are some of the ground balls finding holes now? Mussina’s problems have been amply discussed on all the blogs. I am not disappointed in the kids such as Clippard and Desalvo because they are being asked to do more than they should have to. It isn’t reasonable to expect a rookie to be much better than a .500 pitcher — few are. The bullpen is another familiar problem

      No, this isn’t a good team anymore. As the trading deadline approaches, the pressure (from the boss, the press, and many fans) for a quick fix may increase. Will Cashman, fearing for his future, trade away the team’s future?

    4. Jen
      May 26th, 2007 | 11:46 pm

      So Steve, what did your kids think of their day at the Stadium?

    5. May 27th, 2007 | 12:41 am

      ~~~So Steve, what did your kids think of their day at the Stadium?~~~

      They’ve been to about a dozen minor league games. So, they had an idea of what it was about – - but, this was 50,000+ more people than they’re used to seeing at a game. Plus, even though we were in the main reserved section, this was probably they furthest away they’ve sat from the field…so, you have to factor that in as well..in terms of making this different.

      When they weren’t eating, they did ask a few times “Can we go home now?” (And, we’re talking about the 3rd inning here.) I think the issue was being bound to their seat – whereas at a minor league game, they can move around a lot more.

      Plus, we were in the park around 90 minutes before the first pitch. So, this was a long day for them…when you also tack on the 75 minute drive there.

      Also, there’s more in between innings at the minor league games to keep their interest. Here, it just seemed like loud noise to them.

      They did get a big kick when I yelled “Hip! Hip!” and people would yell back “Jorge!” – - or when I yelled “Let’s go, Yan-keys!” and people would clap back in response. (Yes, I’m a shameless leather lunged chant starter.)

      Still, at the end of the day, when we left, the first thing they said when we hit the street was “Can we come back here again? When can we come back?”

      And, tonight, my oldest asked, when we were home, again “When can we go back? I want to go back to Yankee Stadium.”

      Maybe it was the dip-n-dots, hot dogs, popcorn, pretzels, new caps, pennants and stuffed bears that interested them? (Yes, that smell is my credit card burning in the background.)

      Still, bottom line, I got them into the “old” place before it comes down – and I have some video to prove it. Maybe, when they’re older, it will mean something, to them, to be able to say they were in the “old” (to them) Yankee Stadium before it was no more?

      I know I was happy to get into the other “old” one in 1973…so, I can at least say I was there once…even if I was young at the time.

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