Well, so far, the Yankees suck less. Or the Cubs suck more. However you want to put it. I was at the game last night with Alex Ciepley and my brother Ben. We sat in the front row of the upper deck, about twenty seats to the right of the right field foul pole. I had never been anywhere near that spot before so it the view was interesting. The sun was in our face for the first couple of innings, and after that, we saw some striking cloud formations in the distance. It was supposed to rain, but it never did. It was cool and breezy, really a perfect spring night at the ballpark.
There were lots of Cub fans at the Stadium and they made lots of noise during the middle innings. They didn’t antagonize the home crowd, they were just happy to cheer and get loud for their guys. We saw only a few fights, including what looked like something nasty about ten rows behind home plate in the seventh inning, but otherwise, everyone seemed to be on their best behavior. There was a couple sitting behind us who came all the way from Illinois. The woman went to high school with Joe Girardi, even typed his senior thesis. Girardi’s parents actually introduced the couple, who left, without saying goodbye in the eighth inning.
That’s when Ciepley told me that it’s a myth that folks from the midwest are friendly. He said mostly they are anti-social and weird.
There was a pretty funny heckler sitting to our left. The kind of guy who shouted random insults at the Yankees at random times. He loved giving Sheffield the business for no apparent reason. He told us, with great delight, about how when he sat downstairs, they used to give Mondesi all sorts of abuse. (Speaking of Sheff, my brother noted that he looks like he’s dogging it some lately. His name is popping up in phatom rumors. What gives? Anyone noticed anything off about him? And why would the Yanks want to trade him of all people?)
Carlos Zambrano wasn’t on his A-game, though Carl Pavano did everything he could to let him off the hook. (Zambrano is a gorilla. He reminds me of a combination of Rich Garces and Juaquin Andujar. You can see he’s often dominant.) Eventually, Hideki Matsui came through with two huge hits off of Chicago’s bullpen, as the Yankees came-from-behind to take the first game of the series, 9-6. Derek Lee had his usual two hits. Bernie Williams added two of his own, and Alex Rodriguez had three.
Ciepley will be at the game again the afternoon (then he’s got a birthday bash tonight downtown with some of his pals). As for me, Emily and I are headed up to the country to do some strawberry pickin. Who knows, maybe we’ll–I’ll–get ambitious and make some jaw when it is all said and done. Anyhow, should prove to be a fruity day, no matter how you slice it.