• WasWatching.com Water Cooler Talk 10/26/09 – The Day After Winning The Pennant Edition

    Posted by on October 26th, 2009 · Comments (15)

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    Comments on WasWatching.com Water Cooler Talk 10/26/09 – The Day After Winning The Pennant Edition

    1. MJ
      October 26th, 2009 | 10:27 am

      For all my anxiety, for all my whining, for all my pessimism and for all my doom and gloom from Friday morning until I finally stepped off the subway last night…WOW, that all vanished the moment I walked up to street level and saw Yankee Stadium last night. All of a sudden a wave of calm washed over me when I saw 50,000 of my closest friends all congregated outside the ballpark. It was surreal to go from nauseous and depressed to suddenly pumped and full of energy.

      All of a sudden, I was like “Yeah, let’s do this, let’s go!”

      The Grand Hall at Gate 6 had never looked grander and the stadium itself had never looked more regal and befitting of a pennant-clinching game. Last night, at 7:40pm, I went from merely liking the new stadium to flat-out loving it. The ballpark looked GORGEOUS.

      Needless to say, the game was incredible. Pettitte had a few blips but was tremendous last night, efficiently working through 6 innings at 65 pitches. He struggled in that 7th inning but he battled and gave the Yanks a great chance to win.

      Yes, I’m sure you all guessed that when I saw #62 coming out, I practically fainted. The guy in front of me probably thought I was going to need paramedics. Somehow, #62 induced two grounders and then the game was in Mo’s hands. I never figured Girardi to go the 6-out route but I’m thrilled that he did.

      Yankee bats didn’t capitalize on what should’ve been a rout but, in the end, who cares?

      When the top of the 9th came up, the house was rocking. Let me just say that if I ever hear how this stadium doesn’t get loud, I’ll laugh and say that I know better. I’m sure I’m not the only one that screamed himself (or herself) hoarse last night. We were standing for every 2-strike count and we stood from the bottom of the 7th until the final out. Poor atmosphere, my ass.

      It’s so cheesy to say but once Mo fanned Matthews, I realized that I hadn’t been that happy in a long, long time. A lot of things have happened in my life since the last time the Yanks won a pennant and I thought to myself, “Holy shit, I guess this is what it means to be truly happy.” It was, and will be, one of the best nights in my life.

      Thank you to the 2009 Yankees for giving me the kind of joy last night that, truly, not everyone gets to experience. The joy of a child with the self-awareness of a 34 year old man. Best night ever.

    2. clintfsu813
      October 26th, 2009 | 11:02 am

      You and your stupid Playoff tickets (Yes, thats jealousy)

    3. G.I. Joey
      October 26th, 2009 | 11:40 am

      Last night was without a doubt the loudest the stadium has been all postseason. It was truly rocking. I had a tremendous amount of nervous energy that continued to build up as we failed to bring runners in, but Andy’s performance was a calming force.

      I was fortunate enough to run into the creatures in the Great Hall after the game pounding away on the cow bell and jumping around in a celebratory circle, which of course I had to join. I know I’ve said this before, but I truly feel that we cannot be stopped while playing in the Bronx.

    4. YankCrank
      October 26th, 2009 | 12:00 pm

      MJ wrote:

      Thank you to the 2009 Yankees for giving me the kind of joy last night that, truly, not everyone gets to experience. The joy of a child with the self-awareness of a 34 year old man. Best night ever.

      Dude, I know I don’t “personally” know you but after reading what you wrote, i’m so happy that you got to experience last night in person. As jealous as I am, i’m still very happy for you and very happy that it turned into one of the more memorable experiences of your life. Congratulations 🙂

      I too sat back and had that self-reflection period. I had to think of the last time I was able to celebrate an ALCS win, and it was never like this. I was too young for 1996 to appreciate the WS drought, and every year after that the Yanks were “supposed” to win it. Even the 2003 celebration was half joy half “thank fucking God we didn;t lose to the Sox!” This was new, I felt like a kid on Christmas and I still can’t wipe this glorious smile off my face. I hadn’t hugged my dad like that in a long time…great experience.

      Overall, this team has made me so happy all year. That’s 110 Yankee wins we’ve been fortunate enough to celebrate and hopefully four more to come.

      I’m just extremely happy that while fans of 28 other teams are at home looking forward to football, we get at least four more Yankee games out of our season. Go Yankees, let’s win this shit!

    5. Corey
      October 26th, 2009 | 12:03 pm

      YankCrank wrote:

      Dude, I know I don’t “personally” know you but after reading what you wrote, i’m so happy that you got to experience last night in person.


    6. MJ
      October 26th, 2009 | 2:38 pm

      @ YankCrank:
      @ Corey:
      Thanks, amigos. I wish you guys coulda been there too. One day we’re gonna have to stop talking about it and actually meet up for beers and a ballgame.

    7. Tresh Fan
      October 26th, 2009 | 4:06 pm

      So now we know….

      The surest way for the Yankees to win a pennant is to open a new park.
      Worked in 1923.
      Worked in 1976.
      Worked this year, too.

      What the hell…Let’s open a new stadium EVERY year?

      oh, btw…anyone buy some of those ’76 YS seats? If so, what’s been your take?

    8. October 26th, 2009 | 5:01 pm

      @ Tresh Fan:Let’s just hope this WS is more like ’23 and less like ’76 😉

    9. October 26th, 2009 | 5:23 pm

      @ MJ:Regarding your thoughts from last night – I feel ya big guy.

      I was lucky enough to be there in the ALCS clinching games of 2000, 2001 and 2003. And, the ones for 2000 and 2003 were magical. The one in 2001 was nice, too, but, not up there with 2000 and 2003. Those two, because of the Justice and Boone HRs, were just “love-in’s.” I never high-fived so many strangers in my entire life as I did those nights. I swear, truly, both times, I probably slapped hands with at least 15 or 20 people who I had no idea who they were…

      By far, the most G-rated fun I ever had with strangers in my life! 😉

      And, if not for some girl that I met at the Paramount Theater at a New Year’s Eve party circa 1981-1982, well, the Yankee Stadium ALCS winning game experiences might just rank higher?

      Shoot, screw that, nothing could beat the Boone HR game…yeah, best time ever.

    10. October 26th, 2009 | 5:34 pm

      Nice one guys… yesterday certainly ranks high in my list… ofcourse nothing can top the Boone HR, i still feel the energy when i see it in highlights.. that was a great series and a great clinch.. i think the way they won it, most fans didnt seem to care that we lost to the Marlins.. the win over the Sox was so exhausting and ultimately befitting the tone of that series.. i will never forget that series EVER.. unless the Yanks get down 0-3 and win it 4-3 in a series.. 03 was the best i have ever witnessed…

      thatsaid, 2009 ranks very high in the list of fine seasons, good guys, an ARod rebirth and a team with some genuine characters… last night was great.. now lets get it done one last time this year… i wouldnt mind winning it in 6… infact i would love to win it in 6… cant take the tension of 7… i want us to clinch at home this year… bring home 27…

    11. Corey
      October 26th, 2009 | 5:46 pm

      Just heard on the FAN that Pedro is on for game 2. WOOOOO

    12. cr1
      October 26th, 2009 | 6:02 pm

      @ MJ:
      The paramedics were already tied up at my place and didn’t get freed up until 62 left the mound.

    13. 77yankees
      October 26th, 2009 | 7:51 pm

      Just think, this is the 105th World Series, and the Yankees are participating in their 40th!!!! That breaks down to one every three years or less. Even sicker when you consider they had droughts of 13 (1982-95, sans ’94) and 11 (1964-75) years with no World Series trips within the last 50 years.

    14. Evan3457
      October 26th, 2009 | 11:16 pm

      I was there last night.

      I did a ton of cheering and clapping for the first 7 1/2 innings plus. They were nerve-wracking, especially when the Yanks blew those chances in the 1st and 2nd innings.

      When Kazmir threw his bunt play away, and Cano scored, I said to myself “We’re home.” The Angels had just done something very difficult; they had scored an earned run of Mariano with a clutch 2-out clean hit by Vlad after a tough battle (and kudos to Vlad this post-season…very quietly, while the rest of the team except Mathis and Hunter was floundering at the plate to the tune of a .217 BAVG and a .317 SPCT, he had the best series on the Angels, and the best post-season of his career, breaking his own horrible A-Rod-like post-season nightmare), and they had made him throw more than 20 pitches in the 8th. They had a small, but real, shot of tying it up in the 9th.

      But when they botched back-to-back bunt plays, I knew that the Angels knew the jig was up. Having just gotten a very tough run off of Mariano, they weren’t going to get two more.

      Tex’s sac fly made the whole park sound like he just hit a grand slam. The noise and cheering dropped only slightly when it didn’t go out and Gardner scored. I made a point to not cheer much in the 9th inning. I felt it was over, and never having been at a clincher of any kind (despite having attended over 200 games at the old and new Stadiums), I wanted to watch and listen and soak it all in.

      And soak it in I did. I listened to the noise. Watched the whole crows rise as one to watch the top of the 9th on their feet. Every strike brought a blast of cheers. Kendrick grounds out to Cano. Cacophony of noise. Rivera flies out to Melky in right. Wall of sound. Mariano gets ahead of Matthews, 1-2 after a foul ball, crescendo of cheering. Slight boos on ball 2. More boos on ball 3.

      And then…I click my phone camera as the pitch comes toward the plate….swingandamiss!!! strike 3!!!. Tidal wave of noise and cheering. People high-fiving the strangers next to them. (I high-fived five people sitting near me.) People hugging each other. People jumping up and down, waving their arms. Couples kissing.

      The players charge onto the field. Mo hugs Posada. Jeter, A-Rod and Tex come together in front of short. I’m clicking and saving with the phone camera as fast as I can, knowing the moment is ephemeral, and wanting it to last forever.

      The big-screen in right-center has it up there…I’m staring for a moment at a screen saying something nobody needs to be told: 2009 American League Champions. As the players break their group huddle by shortstop, the caps and shirts start appearing The players start putting them on. Some of the Angels are leaning on their dugout fence, wistfully watching the Yanks celebrate. Their dream of redeeming the Adenhart tragedy has evaporated.

      The Yanks slowing moving toward their dugout. Some of them are saluting the fans behind the dugout. A naive, sentimental tear comes to my eyes. I say softly to no one: “Thank you, boys.”

      The moment seems to last forever.
      A few minutes of celebration later, I make my way out of the ballpark, immersed in a swirling mass of happy fans. Spontaneous chants ring out as I walk toward Babe Ruth Plaza, as I cross 161st street, as I walk through the mall between the new parking garage and the sadly shrouded old Stadium. (Side note. As I was walking from my lot to the new Stadium earlier in the evening at around ten minutes to 6:00, two guys walk past me, and for no reason, one of them stops and asks me, as if I know, why the walls of the old place are still up. I don’t know, but I give him my best guess: they’re waiting for the off-season to implode them, because they don’t want rubble and debris until then. He thinks about it for a moment, and agrees that’s likely the reason why. I then make a comment: It looks like a ghost, doesn’t it? He says, yeah, but that’s to make sure the ghosts make it across the street. I laugh and say: OK.)

      I make it back to my parking lot. Because I got there so early so as to get a spot in my favorite overpriced lot, I’m pinned against the back wall of the lot. Four cars have to be moved before I can go, and all the attendants are already tied up moving other cars. I’ll have to wait…and for once, I don’t mind it at all. I put on the radio post-game, and this time, I don’t have to cringe listening to Sterling and Waldman (actually, she’s in her best element; the post-game interview). After about a 15-minute wait, all the cars clear behind me, and after a 5-minute life-and-death struggle for inches of space, move my car out of the lot, and head home. It is 12:40 in the morning.

      I listen to the post-game show as I head south on the Deegan. I cross the Triboro Bridge (sorry, it’ll never be the RFK bridge to me; old habits die hard), and take the Grand Central. I pass Citifield. It looks pretty in the night, all lit up. But it looks sad and lonely, too. I say to it: “You’ll get your chance, someday. But not today. Today is ours.” I take the Van Wyck back to the Belt, and head home.
      You have to understand, I always have a bad night’s sleep on Sunday night, knowing I have to get up in the morning to start another week. If I get more than 5 hours’ sleep, it’s a miracle; 4 hours is about average. And so I’m always frazzled and grumpy on Monday mornings; too tired to be grouchy. More like the 20-yard stare than biting someone’s head off.

      Not today. Today I am a happy old young man again. The pall of 2004 (and 2005, 6, 7, and 8 ) is lifted, The Yanks are back in the World Series, where they belong. I bounce out of my house in the morning, and I bounce into work.

      I get to the Math Office, where people are tired and slightly gloomy at the prospect of the beginning of another week. The look at me, tired and happy, and say, oh, yeah, the Yankees won last night…did you watch the whole game? (schoolteachers, as a general rule, don’t stay up late watching ball games of any kind). I say uh-huh. Then I ask with a foolish grin, “Why so glum? Didn’t everybody get to see the Yanks clinch the pennant in person?…Oh wait, that was just me!!” And I laugh, and they get excited, and start asking me questions about how it was. And I tell them…

      Today, maybe just for today, all’s right in the world. A silly, stupid game that only kids really care about? Yeah, right. Tell me another.

    15. YankCrank
      October 27th, 2009 | 10:05 am

      Evan3457 wrote:

      Today, maybe just for today, all’s right in the world. A silly, stupid game that only kids really care about? Yeah, right. Tell me another.

      Great story Evan, it’s so much fun to share this stuff. Ever since blogging blew up, the Yankees haven’t accomplished something like this…so reading everybody’s stories about how happy they are in such a joy for me. I used to only hear about my close friends, but I find myself so happy for every Yankee fan in this community as well.

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