I went to last night’s debacle and I’m happy to say that even without the benefit of replay or proximity or perfect vision or even good vision (I wear contacts and my prescription is in need of a serious upgrade), I was able to deem the utter outness (as opposed to the complete safeness) of Bloomquist. From the right field bleachers, it was pretty clear, which is sad considering my view of the game:
The right field bleacher bums were a decidedly jovial and peaceful bunch. There were no fights, only a few unnecessarily malicious things said about other fan-bases (the Mets were a target. No mention of the Sox), and righteous class warfare (a lot of anger directed toward the box seats. The Astors and Rockefellers deserve our scorn!). In all, to paraphrase Ice Cube, today was a good day for the bleacher creatures. I also got to participate in the first inning roll call. Fans of other teams might hate this ritual, but…well…don’t be haters.
As you can see, the diversity of Yankee Stadium is on display during the roll-call. As a player’s name was called, that player would, in some way, acknowledge the crowd’s cheers. The player reaction ranged from cool indifference (A-Rod and Jeter turning briefly with a wave our way) to over-the-top graciousness (Bobby Abreu turned around, cupped his hands in a quasi-prayer position and bowed to us with a Buddha-like smile and solemnity. Robby Cano’s grin shined all the way from second base. Gerry Davis looked confusedly into the distance.)
The game? Well, it was a rather quick uneventful affair, but there was a sense among the crowd that our beloved Bombers would pull it off. After all, it seemed that the Yanks were the only team threatening big innings. Eventually, some of these baserunners would score. So the crowd was relaxed. Over the years, Yanks fans have become accustomed to winning games, especially ones in which the Yanks are basically dominating every facet. But baseball (especially Yankee baseball in 2007) is cruel like that. The Mariners scored their last 2 runs without much build-up at all: first a blown call, then a bloop and a run, and then Farnsy got out of the inning to be greeted by the boos of the stadium.
Then the great Mo. As he ran to the mound to the dulcet sounds of Metallica, the crowd, as is custom, erupted. A couple of people near me genuflected. For the first two batters he looked like like the Mo we all know. And then suddenly confusion and angst. Mo leaves one up over the plate and Beltre gets good wood on it. But from where we were standing, the Beltre hit didn’t seem like a homer off the bat. But as the ball traveled closer and closer to the wall, and Johnny Damon kept on running, all the silent pleas and loud groans of the bleachers couldn’t deny the reality. The Yankees had lost again.