This morning, I was trying to figure out how many times I went to Opening Day up in the Bronx. My guess is around 15 times. And, there are so many good memories from these games that it seems like they all meld together in a way now.
I had a nice streak going for a while once the (then) new Stadium opened – where I went every year without fail – that ran into the mid-1980′s. Even during 1981, when they had the strike and were calling the first game back “Opening Day II,” I went to that “second” Opening Day – to keep the streak alive. And, once I got season tickets in 2001, I usually made sure I was there for Opening Day.
Further, I must confess, there were many, many, times where (if I didn’t go to the game in person) a certain creativity would be called upon so that I could (at least) watch the home-opener on TV.
Sometimes it was a flat hooky, call-in sick to work, thing. Later, when working remote became fashionable, I would “work from home” with the TV on in the background.
But, today is a very rare item for me – being at work the day of the Yankees home opener (and not even being able to see the game on TV). Thank the heavens for the internet and gamecasts. I’ll try and make the best of it by providing some close to real-time commentary here – as work allows. Stay tuned.
Update 11:38 am ET: Joe Mays is pitching for the Royals today. This makes think of Opening Day 2003. The game was snowed out and played the next day. It was so cold that day that I lost the feeling in both my feet around the 7th inning. But, seeing Matsui’s grand slam that day – off Joe Mays – made it all worthwhile.
Then again, when I went to O.D. in 2004, I was excited over the game that Javy Vazquez had turned in – and look what happened with him.
Update 12:57 pm ET: Sweet. A few minutes ago, I found out that the cafeteria in my building has the YES network. I went down and asked the cashier if we could put on the Yankees game at one. She was not sure if they had YES. So, I asked if there was a way to find out – and she handed me the remote.
I started to scroll through the channels to find YES and someone yelled “Just pick a channel!” at me. I said I was looking for YES and some guy said to try channel 70. It worked! (Funny, YES is 55 by me and 40 by my folk’s house.) When I put on “70,” and the pre-game appeared, I think I heard someone in the cafeteria say “Great!”
Ah, Yankees baseball. Me and some others are going down to watch the game for a bit while on a “lunch” break.
Update 1:55 pm ET: I did get to see most of the bottom of the 1st, all of the 2nd, and the first batter in the top of the 3rd, on TV. I’ll take it – considering that I thought I would see none of the game live today. That Giambi HR was a golf shot. It looked like the pitch was 6 inches off the ground.
It was amazing to me how many people passed through the cafeteria oblivious to the fact that the Yankees were on TV. I really feel like the Yankees-version of the lead character from the movie “Fever Pitch” at times like that. What’s wrong with those people? Don’t they know what day it is? How can you walk by the TV without even looking up at it?
People – it’s Opening Day at Yankees Stadium! Oh, what’s the use…..
Update 2:16 pm ET: This is now twice in the game where Wang has allowed K.C. to score after the Yankees scored. That’s such a no-no to the flow of the game. It ruins the whole Feng Shui of the scoreboard.
Update 2:39 pm ET: Bernie is a friggin’ space cadet. Getting doubled off in a spot like that is inexcusable. Based loaded, one out, in the 4th inning of a tie game. How do you get doubled on a pop-up?
Update 3:05 pm ET: Great, we’re 12 outs away from another Yankees loss – in a game where they once had a 3-0 lead.
Update 3:11 pm ET: Bottom of the 6th. One pitch to Cano. One out. Three pitches to Bernie. Two outs. Four pitches to Damon. Three outs. An 8-pitch inning for the Royals bullpen. I’m speechless.
Update 3:31 pm ET: You can’t spell “Tanyon Sturtze” without the letters “rout.”
Update 3:37 pm ET: Bottom of the 7th. Two pitches to Jeter. One out. Three pitches to Sheff. Two outs. Six pitches to A-Rod. Three outs. An 11-pitch inning for Elmer “Cy Young” Dessens. He must think the Yankees are like “butta” they way he’s going through them.
Update 4:00 pm ET: OK, that was a pretty big 1-2 pitch hit for Bernie. Now down by one with the top of the order coming up. We have ourselves a ballgame!
Update 4:03 pm ET: Big Papi Jeter! OK, Joe, get Mariano up!
Update 4:23 pm ET: Little shaky there in the 9th, but, the win is the thing! Still, they need to play better if they’re going to beat good teams. This means better defense, better base running, better relief pitching, and better at bats. You can’t count on hitting two 3-run homers in a game when you face the really good pitching teams.