Wednesday, July 18, 2007

"More 24" (My NY Trip, Part V)

1:00 PM - Yankee Stadium plays a pre-recorded National Anthem instrumental. Where's that Enrico Palazzo "Three Tenor" guy that always does it when the Fox cameras are rolling in October?

(Quick aside: I know that most of you snobs – in high-pitched, British voice – "would never, ever drink a ballpark beer", but Bud Light delivered right to your seat is what makes every stadium outside of California better…except for AT&T Park in San Francisco. That place is just awesome. Get the garlic fries, if you're ever out there.)

The A's go down in order in the first inning which, little did I know, would foreshadow the way they'd play for most of July. The Yanks are set down 1-2-3, as well. The only notable development was discovering that Derek Jeter's pre-at bat theme song is this. I hate that song. Just one more reason to hate him, Gary Sheffield.

Nothing happens of note in the second inning, either, save for finding out that Alex Rodriguez's intro music is…this. OK…for the record…A-Rod gets drawn and quartered almost hourly in the tabloids and talk radio, yet he inexplicably gets a pass for having the P.A. play Mims?! Not to overstate the significance, but this is a jillion times worse than the whole "stripping mistress" thing. Maybe a KA-jillion times.

The A's finally made some noise in the third. Oakland catcher, Jason Kendall, is usually the equivalent of "piss break" when he's at the plate. So, I'm about five bites into a chicken fingers and beer extra value meal, when our resident Nancy pulls a pitch off the foul pole for a home run.

Did you know the A's are 2-0 in the last 2 ½ years whenever Kendall homers? And, did you know that Kendall has only homered twice in the last 2 ½ years? Well, three times now. Thanks, Yankees starting pitcher, Kei Igawa!

A Black man named Mathan Shannon follows Kendall with a solo shot of his own and the A's are up 2-0.

2:00 PM - Meanwhile, the Yankee fans are getting restless. One section over from us, two mouthy broads are laying into the local nine with assorted f-bombs and harpy squawk. Nick says they must be from Jersey, which makes me wish Californians had an adjacent state to knowingly mock. "Dude, she's probably from Oregon!" Hmm…not really the same, is it?

A's starting pitcher Chad Gaudin has just completed five no-hit innings. A pair of Yankee fans behind me asks who this guy is. I explain that he's only got the eighth-best ERA in the league and even cite that it's 3.23. Nick rightfully mocks me for my esoteric wisdom, but come on. Are the Red Sox really the only other team that Yankees fans recognize and vice versa?

Quick, name five pitchers who've started a game for the A's this year. Now the Royals. Now the Devil Rays. Now the Red Sox. I've proved my point. (What? You want me to name some Royals and/or Devil Rays starters? Make me.)

With two outs in the top of the sixth, A's first baseman Dan Johnson swats a long home run into the upper tank…4-0, A's. I stand and applaud proudly as the boos rain down upon poor Kei Igawa. "It's a long drop to the first level, Oakland!", says one fan from the vicinity of the two she-males I mentioned earlier. Ooh, my first death threat! And, me without my video camera to capture the moment.

"Go back to Oakland, a$$hole!", says one of the "women". Based on that city's crime rate, we'll count that as my second death threat in less than six seconds.

3:00 PM - Yankees DH Johnny Damon hits one of his patented, punk-azz 11-bounce singles up the middle to break up Gaudin's no-hitter with one out in the sixth. The home team threatens before A-Rod strikes out (natch) with two on to end the inning. The A's change pitchers after the following inning, as the pace of the game slows to a snail's…uh, pace.

Only highlight the rest of the way is Nick's inventive nickname for an attractive African-American female fan, who happened to have the rustiest, dustiest feet of anyone I've ever seen. He called her "Ashley".

(Trust me, it's funny on every level. See, there's the obvious play on words with "ashy", plus the subtle irony of the un-likelihood that a sista would be named "Ashley"…early '90s NBC sitcoms, notwithstanding). See? Every level.

Speaking of sistas…two more of them sat down next to us with the game almost over. They hadn't been there all game, but immediately proceeded to smack talk the Yankees and their fans. My favorite insult: "We (Oakland) already got seven points (sic), we goin' for 10!" It would've sucked to catch a bullet intended for them.

4:00 PM - Final Score: A's 7, Yankees 0. Just one hit for the Bronx Bombers, to boot. We leave The Stadium and join the slow-moving herd back to the subway. An overwhelmed foreign family in front of us can't seem to get the turnstile to work. The locals, smelling blood in the water, attack the "new booty" with insults and invectives, imploring them to "Just jump it already! Jesus Christ, jump!" I love this place.

On the ride back to the hotel, Nick makes mention that he saw a rat at one of the stops that was about the size of his dog. If I could have, I would have gotten off just to see it. Of course, not before making sure that this wasn't the Harlem stop.

5:00 PM - Back to the hotel and it's officially time to power down. Nick and I finish each actor's lines during A Few Good Men.

6:00 PM - Stomach's not…quite…right. A basket of fried chicken and four light beers has sustained my people for generations, so a gastric betrayal now would be most unexpected. Moments later, Nick tosses me a Vitamin Water. I take care of my 20 oz in about two seconds and, inexplicably, I'm cured. "Vitamin Water", eh? I wonder if I'll be seeing you again later tonight. (Cue foreshadowing music)

7:00 PM - Time to shower, shave and press our ersatz dress shirts for the evening ahead. It was right about now that Nick tells me how much later "last call" is in New York compared with the rest of the country. The sun is just starting to set. This evening can't…end…well.

Next: Night at the Roxbury!


JPinAZ said...

Death threats in NY, chicken bones in Anaheim. What are you going for next?

Tom said...

"It's a long drop to the first level, Oakland!",

HA! Classic!