The game tonight was like a dress rehearsal.
The full cast was there.
So was the stage manager.
And, of course, the theater was ushering in paying customers.
How did it go?
Without a hitch, despite occasional raindrops. The Yankees held back the Cubs 7-4, and a supporting player became a star. Yes, Cody Ransom, the understudy for A-Rod, belted a three-run homer off the left field foul pole and was instantly dubbed “C-Ran” by the adoring crowd.
Maybe it’s just me, but doesn’t he look a little like Clay Aiken?
Anyhow, there were a number of “firsts” during the inaugural performance at the new Stadium, even though the game itself didn’t count. Here are some that stood out for me.
* First Yankees hit: Derek Jeter (leadoff double).
* First Yankees unproductive at-bat: Mark Teixeira (stuck out swinging with Jeter on third).
* First Yankees homer: Robinson Cano (two-run jack in the second).
* First Yankees display of superhuman speed (Brett Gardner’s double).
* First bullpen by committee to hold the opposition scoreless (Mo, Veras, Ramirez, Albaledejo).
* First Yankees player-photographer: Johnny Damon (took pictures of himself in the dugout).
* First mention of Michael Kay’s large head (Paul O’Neill during the YES intro).
* First semi-joke (Michael Kay: “Having the old Stadium right there is like getting re-married and having your ex-wife living across the street”).
* First camera shot of empty field boxes due to economic downturn (two minutes into the broadcast).
* First shout out to attending celebrity (Paul Simon with unidentified companion).
* First use of new kitchen appliance (I roasted a chicken in my brand new oven).
I’m looking forward to another dress rehearsal against the Cubs tomorrow. Luckily, I have leftover chicken. If the Yankees win again, I’ll be eating it every day until they lose.