Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Get the party started
Ah, nothing like the return of America's national pastime to get me feeling excited at the dawn of another run towards the World Series. The annual springtime tradition resumes as the boys of summer take their limos for a spin and have their chauffeurs drive them to the stadium for a game. Today the sun was streaming over the city like an emerald-cut gemstone. The media horde was, well, hoarding for prime position with the local All-Stars better known as our starting lineup. The diehards were back in full force right down the pinstriped faces, heads, chests and God knows what else. Oftentimes, baseball's traditional season opener kicked off with the Cincinnati Reds. In recent years, the marketing geniuses at Major League Baseball have gone Pan Pacific in Japan to a Sunday night prime time prelude on ESPN, which suffered from a rain delay earlier this month in Chicago. However, with apologies to the Second cities, the baseball year does not truly begin until the New York Yankees play their first game in the Bronx. Even sworn enemies of the supposed "Evil Empire" would be hard pressed to deny there's something special about Opening Day at the House that Ruth Built.Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the crowd.
Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack,
I don't care if I never get back,
Let me root, root, root for the home team,
If they don't win it's a shame.
For it's one, two, three strikes, you're out,
At the old ball game...
Having a boss that's also a rabid Yankees fan has its privileges. He can sympathize when I slink in a bit later than usual because we were both up till 1 in the morning trying to catch the last out in a West Coast road swing. And when I came down with a mysterious ailment just before lunch today, he knew this was code for wanting to fly the coop. Coming in two hours earlier than usual had to tip him off. But on a beautiful, cloudless afternoon, could you really blame me? In the decade that I've spent rooting on my Bronx Bombers, I never had the luxury of being there for the curtain raising on the regular season. But I was bound and determined to make my debut in the tier reserved section for the 2006 campaign.
In typical fashion, the Yankees produced a little magic in their cinching their first "W" before a sellout crowd of just over 56,000 strong.
The hometown boys got off to a good start, then began to sleepwalk their way throughout the middle innings, keeping us unhinged waiting on the final blow to be struck. And with all the talk of our newest acquisition in Johnny Damon, it wasn't until the eighth inning, when Captain Clutch came through yet again with a three-run moonshot by Derek Jeter. The Bombers came away with a 9-7 victory, their ninth consecutive win on Opening Day in New York. It wasn't a pretty game, but in the end, it came with the sweetest conclusion you could've asked for. Start spreading the news, Yankees win. Thaaaaaa Yankees win!
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