Tuesday, February 24, 2009

It All Starts Tomorrow...

Tomorrow the New York Yankees will take to the field at Dunedin Stadium in Florida for the first exhibition game of the 2009 season.

I… am… giddy.

Forget the fact that I’m a Yankees fan – I know there are literally thousands of reasons to hate us (26 of them jump to mind). I am just generally a happier person when baseball is being played.

A brief digression: I know Emily just read that and thought, “bull shit!” She has a point… In college, during one particularly terrible Yankees-Red Sox game, the boys from Boston were putting a ridiculous hurtin’ on my Yankees; I don’t remember the score but it was ugly. I worked at the Boston Globe and listened to idiot callers (uh… this is not a radio station) and co-workers give it to me. I took a miserable T-ride home and walked into see Steve and Zach’s shit-eating smiles in the living room. I walked into my bedroom and Emily greeted me with a similar smile and the score. I greeted her with expletives and stormed out. Very mature… sorry, babe.

Anyways, back to the happiness… the first game I ever went to was September 4, 1993. Jim Abbott – a one-handed pitcher – tossed a no-hitter as the Yankees beat the Cleveland Indians, 4-0. I was hooked.

A few things I remember about the game:
  • The stadium was more than half empty.
  • Three of the Yankees’ runs came on a play that did not look like major league baseball. There were two men on and Dion James singled up the middle. Two throwing errors later, all three men had scored.
  • Wade Boggs made at least two great defensive plays late in the game to preserve the no-no.
  • Kenny Lofton tried to bunt his way on in the top of the ninth inning. It went foul and he was booed mercilessly.
Ahhh memories.

Jumping back to 2009… I can’t wait to get to a game this year to see the new Yankee Stadium (which looks like a palace in all the pictures I’ve seen). I’m also planning to go see the Mets’ new stadium at some point this summer and Emily got Red Sox tickets for us, her father and her two brothers as Christmas presents.

I’ll wait until closer to the start of the season to make any predictions but I have to say, I do like this lineup (vs. LHP in parenthesis):

1. LF Johnny Damon
2. SS Derek Jeter
3. 1B Mark Teixeira
4. 3B Alex Rodriguez =(
5. DH Hideki Matsui (Xavier Nady RF)
6. RF Nick Swisher (DH)
7. 2B Robinson Cano
8. C Jorge Posada
9. CF Melky Cabrerra / Brett Gardner

That will not be the lineup tomorrow; nor will CC Sabathia start. Instead, taking the bump for the New York Yankees… Brett Tomko. Nonetheless, baseball is back and I’m all smiles.

To my Northeastern University comrades:

Speaking of baseball, how many of you caught this today? Check the byline.


One more note:

I’ve had this blog for about a month and made 15 posts. This is my first one about sports. Who would have thunk it?

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