"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice


The Yanks and Sox each won a game yesterday as the Bombers magic number was reduced to four. If the Yanks sweep today’s so-called double header, they will clinch the AL East (Cliff will be in the house for the second game). Josh Beckett survived a second inning jam, while Chien-Ming Wang was not particularly sharp as Boston beat New York 5-2 in the afternoon game. And though Randy Johnson wasn’t brilliant either in the night game, the Yanks pulled out a 7-5 victory. (Johnson vs. Tavarez was some kind of fugly starting match-up, eh? Like Lee Van Cleef goes to Jurassic Park.) Derek Jeter had singles in each game, extending his hitting streak to 25.

I was at the matinee with my cousin and we sat in the rattle-your-jewlery seats, three rows behind home plate, where people are more interested in anything and everything but watching the game. Look, there’s Spike Lee. Oh my god, is that Adam Sandler and Kevin James? There is a sign that reads “No Cell Phones,” that is completely ignored. Oy. These seats are mostly populated by well-healed clowns dressed-down in fancy t-shirts and ripped jeans, sandals and designer baseball caps. Two rows in front of us sat the film producer Brian Grazer with his son, and a thin, blond man. The back of Grazer’s neck looked like a piece of old leather–years of tanning by the pool. His hair was spikey, and he wore a black iozid shirt. His son wore a Che Guevara t-shirt. Grazer spent much of time on his cell phone and he was gone by the seventh inning. Two women behind us, with lungs that’d put Ethel Merman to shame, carried on at length about bridal showers, driving directions and how overpaid ball players are. “I don’t even mind that they are so loud,” my cousin said, “but at least they could be interesting.”

The seats were spectacular (and they were free thanks to the generosity of another cousin), but the atmosphere was repulsive. I felt like I could use a shower when it was all said and done.

The highlight of the game for us came when Jim Kaat threw out the first pitch. Accompanied by his three grandchildren (two boys and a little girl), Kaat watched a video tribute and then tossed a ball to Mike Myers. His granddaughter, wearing a pink Yankee cap almost bigger than her entire body, ran off the field and slapped somebody five by the Yankee dugout. She threw her arms around her grandfather as he held her in his arms during the National Anthem and in that moment it was clear why Kaat is leaving the game. Some things are just more important than baseball.

Two mo’ today. Let’s go Yankees!

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver