Another gorgeous day here in Yankeeville. No humidity. No bugs. Not even a stray alligator.
I met such great people at my signing at Barnes & Noble, including the one and only Rays Renegade
, ladies and gentlemen! He’s my BFF for showing up.
He had to dash off to watch the Rays, but I’m very grateful that he took the time to support his fellow MLBlogger. If anyone else gets the chance to meet him, seize it. He’s a sweetheart.
We had lots of other interesting visitors – from the woman who wanted a signed book for her son’s school auction to the boy who roots for the Tampa Bay Lightning but bought a book for his baseball-loving mother.
And then we had this Yankee-fan-family from Binghampton, New York, who’d flown down to Tampa the night before.
And this enthusiastic she-fan who was one of the first in line…
And the mother and daughter who were both named Laura…
And this hardcore Yankee-ite from Woodstock, New York.
Her name is Eileen and I met her the day before at the ballpark. Here’s the video from that first chat. As you can see, she has only love for her Yanks, one in particular.
Toward the end of the signing, along came a Yankee fan/Tampa local, formerly from New York.
I had to pull out the Flip Video camera to record her Jeter story.
Before leaving the bookstore, I chatted up Nan, the community relations director at B&N.
It turned out that she had her own intel about The Captain.
She escorted me over to the store’s “endcap” where my book was, indeed, creating a Jeter sandwich.
My last interview at the store was with the woman at the B&N Cafe who has actually serviced served Jeter.
O.K. Now onto baseball. Friday’s game was the first night game of the season at Steinbrenner Field and there was much more electricity than the day before.
And with good reason: CC was in the house.
I know. He’s the size of a pinhead in that photo, but he was in total command during his two innings and was a pleasure to watch.
Other game notes….Angel Berroa has lobster claws for hands….Cody Ransom is more than competent at third base as A-Rod’s apparent replacement, although I wonder where A-Rod’s 150 RBIs will come from….Aceves bounced back nicely from his last outing…Shelley Duncan needs to stay in the minors forever (terrible play in right field)….Brett Gardner made a fabulous catch in center and my infatuation with him continues….Ramiro Pena, the kid playing shortstop while Jeter’s away, is impressive….Nick Swisher is growing on me; he threw lots of baseballs to the fans….Yankee fans in Tampa booed Sheffield just like they do in the Bronx….and, best of all, the Yanks beat the Tigers.
Oh. Indulge me one final fan encounter. Seated behind me was a woman wearing a zillion Yankee pins on her jacket. If the Yanks were the Army, she’d be a general. Take a look.
After the game, we were treated to a dazzling display of fireworks. The Steins know how to throw a party.