Thursday, June 18, 2009

Slow Motion Soak

THEY SAY YOU SEE something new every day in baseball, and today's has-to-be-a-record 5 1/2-hour rain delay would sure qualify as something different. We got to Yankee Stadium at 12:30 amid a steady downpour, and the rain never let up for the entire afternoon, postponing indefinitely the 1:05 first pitch. Then at about 5:30 it slowed to a drizzle as the grounds crew started taking off the tarp. At 6 the rain stopped altogether, and 6:30 sharp we finally had baseball.

A day game had morphed into a night game before our very eyes.

We killed the time by going to Monument Park and the Yankee Museum, even leaving the Stadium entirely a couple of times. Finally, back at our seats, we watched the Phils-Blue Jays game on the crystal-clear big screen scoreboard.

Still doubting they were gonna get a game in, we walked around the spacious concourse some more -- marveling at the dizzying array of concession choices and the ludicrous prices attached to them. Beers were 9 bucks a pop except for lowly Schlitz at 6, I believe it was. There were steak sandwiches for 15, sushi for 12, pork pull sandwiches 10, sausage for 9, hot dogs for 6, small garlic fries 6, large fries 9, slice of pizza 5 bucks, bag of chips only $4.50. There were yearbooks for just 25 dollars, programs for a mere 10, Yankee caps going for a song at $45. There was even an art gallery where you had the opportunity to purchase Peter Max-tinged bats, balls and player portraits for but a few thou.

Sometimes it was hard to tell if you were at a mall food court, a baseball game or stuck in a long flight delay at the airport.

By the time the game started, the crowd as you can imagine had thinned out to a few thousand hardy souls (paid attendance was 45, 143; rain delay clocked at 341 minutes). Plenty of very good seats remained empty, in fact, until an announcement to the effect of anyone who wants to sit closer, go for it. Now, of course, this did not include the $1,000+ seats you may have heard about: the ones in the first 20 rows or so that come with wait service and free, unlimited dining. Those rows are gated off and accessible only via a separate entrance. But the four of us were right behind those box seats, along the 1st base-rightfield line, where the seats were wet but offered a good view of 1B Mark Teixeira, 2B Robbie Cano, and RF Nick Swisher's new faux-hawk hairdo.

We left after 7 innings and over 8 hours at the ballpark, with the Yankees looking flat and trailing the Nationals 3-0, which is where it ended. We caught the last 2 innings on the radio on the way home. I just called my brother and he said that they announced on the radio that because of the rather lengthy rain delay, ticket holders can choose another non-marquee game later in the season. That's something we will definitely take advantage of. Besides, Yanks owe us a win after this lackluster, going-through-the-motions effort tonight -- getting shut out at home by the worst team in baseball, dropping 2 out of 3 in the series. Don't look now but baseball's highest paid player Alex Rodriguez is hitting a scrub-like .212 on the season after going 0 for his last 14.

Also, this was the first time all season no home runs were hit at the Stadium -- after an astounding 119 balls had cleared the wall through the first 34 games. I like to think the soggy night air had a lot more to do with that power drought than my presence there for the first time all season.


jimithegreek said...

greta & accurate post my friend. ya left out the skell with the hat & the fat guy eating 2 cotton candys at once!!!

The Warden said...

Thanks for filling in the gap! We also left before Brett Gardner crashed into the outfield wall.

JC said...

As a Blue Jays fan, I'm so glad your day sucked!!!!!

The Warden said...

Blue Jays, KC?! How... why... what... (Warden at loss for words here!) You realize this is good old American hardball, not soccer, er futbol? Actually the Yankees are the only New York team I root for, built into my hardwire since birth almost...

Actually, I may go to a Blue Jays game next month, and now I will be rooting extra hard for the Pinstripers!!