There probably is no room left in the world for great deadline sports writing, but the last couple of days in New York on the beat for the Yankees certainly provided a gifted wordsmith a wealth of opportunity. A Rod had his finale last night and just as the Yanks are giving him the standard farewell, the sky opens up and it starts to pour. Only A Rod. Everyone is forced to leave the field, a video tribute is cut short. But Alex’s two young girls seemed to enjoy it. “You like this?” a mic picked up Alex asking the younger one. “I love it,” she squealed.
Of course, the rain didn’t last long and they got the game in. Not before a muderously gorgeous sunset. After the quick storm—which did nothing to relieve the humidity—the sky was a painting.
And then Rodriguez doubled in his first at bat, good for an RBI. That was all he’d get—but that’s more than most get. Girardi put him out at third in the 9th, and then took him out of the game with 1 out, and he got a nice ovation. All very modest. Then Girardi broke down and cried during the post-game press conference (I swear, watching this mind-numbing ritual, day after day these press conferences, I don’t know how these guys hold it together sometimes). Vulnerability is always appealing. He didn’t cry when Jeter left. Tells you something.
Then, the Yanks honored the 1996 champions yesterday at Broiling o’clock in the morning. And let me tell you, Saturday was hotter than Friday. The Yanks make regular business of these kind of events, and if only Hunter Thompson and a bucket full of blotter acid were around, a real gonzo writer could really do justice to it because these ceremonies are just like those awful Jerry Lewis Telethons.
Anyhow, the Yanks called up 2 of their hot young guys—and the kids hit back-to-back homers in their first at bats! The second kid, Aaron Judge, looks like he ate Mike Stanton. Just an absolutely Moose. And while 99 is not a number I’m crazy about for a baseball player, if you are going to pick it you had either be a crazy ass reliever or a Wily Mo Pena Giant slugger. And Judge looked as fresh as a newly picked pea pod at the farmer’s market in his post-game interview.
The ball was flying yesterday—even Aaron Hicks hit a bomb—and the Yanks won, 8-4