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Part Two from Inside the Death Star.... - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
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Part Two from Inside the Death Star....
Part One of this tale is sitting on a dead tablet, written on the train last night. Yes, I let my devices all die again. No, they didn't have a charger in the room; I asked for one this morning when I was more sentient.  I think we left off where I'd just entered Camp Georgetuanamo and somebody had stolen my beer.  Still almost an hour to game time, so I had one more errand of history: Monument Park.

The Yankees have a lot of heroes and a WAY lot of championships. Just ask any of their fans, particularly if they've been drinking. (We'll get to the star of THAT show in due time.)  Far as I could see, they didn't even bother to put up banners or huge placards for their 27 World Series championships, much less a Wild Card post-season win like the Mets do. They couldn't; it would block out the sun.  But they do like their players. We just retired our second player number in 55 seasons, shown among three other numbers from team or baseball history.  The Yankees have an entire section for theirs-

TooManyNumbers

-and that doesn't count Jeter's (I sense a ticket-selling weekend coming up) or the as-big-as-them-all monumental wall to "The Boss," convicted felon George Steinbrenner.

Plus there's a whole Monument Park behind center field. Here, not only do the number-retirees get a plaque and a place, but Hall of Very Good former players like Jorge Pasada get metal.  Plus, you know, Ruth and Gehrig and Mantle- and two I did want to see, from our teams' shared heritage.  Signs point the way- to a door reading

ClosedMan

Oh well. I approached the Premium Seat Entry in the adjoining section; the Mets guard their equivalents of these with nuclear weapons, and and no amount of pleading or cajoling will usually get you in even to say hello to a friend. But their security lady waved me right through- and through a chain link fence, I managed this:

MonumentsNoBanners

Hell, I probably could've sat there the whole night and waved to Marlins Guy across the diamond, but I don't repay kindness that way. Instead, I went back out to the hall, where anyone can pose with the retired crooked numbers.  I chose Casey Stengel, our original manager from when he was funny (and retired by these guys from when he was actually good)-

Casey

-and Yogi Berra, their longtime catcher (ours for maybe two days in his final year) and manager of our famed Ya Gotta Believe comeback team of 1973-

Yogi

Much as I hate the Steinbrenners, I can't question their class. George feuded with Yogi for years after firing him as manager for the umpteenth time, but finally let him back into the fold for his final years. We'd fired him, too, but only once, and we always stayed on good terms with him. But after he died over last winter, the Mets did nothing- 8 remains unretired, and no acknowledgement on the walls or unis.  Every Yankee had an 8 on their sleeve last night. Well played.

----

Then it was time for the nosebleed pills.

Cheapseats

Granted, New Yankee Stadium is not nearly as high or cavernous as its predecessor (neither is ours), but section 328 is still a haul. I did not order in time to join the official 7 Line section-


7Line

-a group of fen who root together at home and (eventually) every road ballpark, plus invading the Bronx every year on the two or four available opportunities. But they were nearby, and I was in the company of majority Met fans up there.  Also plenty of mixed-marriage families. I told one such mom that the place reminded me of my first year of high school; we'd come in from separate junior highs, and spent the first half of the first year on opposite sides of every classroom, because we'd heard that the McCleary kids were a bunch of shiv-carrying, short-tempered punks. Oddly, they'd heard the same things about us.

Whatev. The weather was perfect, the game a close one for the first half, and we even had overhead coverage:

Goodrich Blimp

Unfortunately, this was about the time the Drunken Bros showed up. Maybe they fell out of the blimp. Their leader was wearing a McCann 34 jersey; his number is not retired, nor will it ever be. But I bet he knows how many World Series rings the Yankees have; Head Bro sure does. For most of the game, he was good natured if a little anal (Bartolo Colon threw maybe 30 pitches for balls all night; Head DB cried out "GOOD EYE!" to the Yankee batter 3 miles away at least 60.)

No matter. Then something happened that shut even HIM up.

----

For the record, I hate KissCams and staged marriage proposals at ballgames. Too contrived, and the risk of her saying "no" is always so great that you always know she already did say "yes,"  kindasorta. But Ima sucker for the spontaneous, and it was during the inning when the Mets scored all four of their runs that the Yankee Fan Guy right behind me popped one question and one rock on Yankee Fan Gal next to him.

She cried. She melted. She waved rockage. And just as on the best and worst of occasions, we were all New York.
Propose


That even shut up Head Drunk Bro (DB).  For the most part before that moment, it was mostly banter. A typical exchange:

The Head DB's chant to Bartolo: "You're fat!"
Me, to the DB: "He knows!"
Bartolo: Retires the side leaving two men on.

But after the third or fourth overserved beer (I'd had two all night, plus a sip of the stolen one), he started counting off the 27 Championships as if they were on the evening's scoreboard; then, once he began getting abusive about 7 Line members in section 330 and their mothers' sex lives and was threatening throwdown with them, we "saw something and said something," and New York's finest escorted him out. Too bad for him- the Yankees mounted an almost-comeback bottom nine before Familia Put It In the Books as a 4-1 Met win.  I followed the crowd out to a multicultural row of buskers on the way to the train (no violins, though), and eventually made it to sleepage.

Which my still-charging tablet is still doing, so Part I of this series will be later than Part II. Cope.  I'm slightly detouring to the Hall of Fame on the way home, to see a real plaque for a catcher who was better than Posada was and McCann and his fan ever will be:

PiazzaHOF
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