The day started off well, with gorgeous weather to christen the gorgeous stadium.
George was in attendance and Yogi threw out the first pitch and there were reps selling the “USA Today Yankee Stadium Tribute,” the publication that was kind enough to run an ad for my book.
I tuned in to the MLB Network’s coverage of the festivities, as opposed to YES’s, and was instantly hooked by the broadcast pairing of Costas (he makes even trivial stuff sound momentous) and Kaat (I love his folksy stories and been-there insights). And I really enjoyed Gillette’s commercial co-starring Jeter (it kicks off their free-razor promotion).
Then came the game.
I could tell right away that CC was laboring, but so was Lee. I figured it was anyone’s ball game – particularly since both lineups kept wasting scoring opportunities.
I was wrong. It wasn’t anybody’s ball game. It belonged to the Indians.
After CC was lifted and Edwar and Coke escaped trouble, Girardi went to Jose Veras to pitch the seventh with the score tied at 1-1.
The second he appeared on the screen, my husband Michael and I said simultaneously: “Leadoff walk.” Why? Because that’s Veras’ specialty in close contests. I stood right in front of the TV and screamed, “JOSE: DO NOT WALK DEROSA!”
Did he listen? No. Before I knew it, he gave up the walk and two doubles, and the score was 3-1. Boos rang out at the Stadium as he departed. Boos rang out at my house, too, and I was so mad that I threw this at the wall.
(It was empty, and I didn’t throw it very hard.)
Next up was Marte, who is supposed to be a lefty specialist – aka a situational reliever used only in specific match-ups.
He promptly hit Choo, botched Francisco’s bunt, gave up a single to Shoppach and walked Crowe, forcing in a run for 5-1.
Sizemore stepped in with the bases still loaded, and Michael and I said in unison: “Grand slam.” Why? Because it was obvious that Marte had nothing. I stood in front of the TV again and yelled: “DO NOT GROOVE ONE, DAMASO!”
Did he listen? Of course not. As I watched Sizemore round the bases, I wondered why Girardi was just standing there on the dugout steps, looking grim.
Why wasn’t he giving Marte the hook? Come to think of it, why didn’t he give Veras the hook after he walked DeRosa? Why was he watching passively as the Yankees’ home opener was going up in these?
Astonishingly, Marte remained on the mound. When Martinez came to the plate, Michael and I said at the same time: “Home run.” Why? Because that’s what happens when you throw batting practice to a major league hitter! I stood in front of the TV and yelled: “DO NOT SERVE UP ANOTHER BOMB, MARTE!”
Did he listen? Yeah, right. With the score now 10-1, the Stadium crowd chanted: “We want Swisher!”
Bottom line? The Yankees lost to the Indians 10-2, thanks to a crappy bullpen and what seemed like 1,000 men left in scoring position. I was fuming, to put it mildly.
I took a late afternoon walk and brought the She-Fan Cam along. Given my mood, it was only fitting that the person I interviewed was not a fan at all.