Results tagged ‘ Steinbrenner Field ’

In Deference To Fans Of The NY Jets…

I’m writing this post about football – and why I don’t watch it. I’m a former New Yorker, so I’m rooting for the Jets in the most tangential way, but I’ll be skipping the big game tomorrow and picking up the blog on Monday.

Why don’t I watch/like football? I’ve asked myself that a lot over the years. I love sports in general, with baseball being my favorite, and can easily get interested in hockey, basketball, tennis, even boxing. But I have a mental block where football is concerned. Total apathy. To me, it’s a bunch of very large men, wearing equipment that makes them unrecognizable, gathered around a field, occasionally huddling, occasionally walking around, occasionally tackling each other, occasionally running and throwing and kicking. I have no idea what “fourth and ten” means. I’m clueless about “yards” and “downs.” I couldn’t tell you the difference between a field goal and a touchdown. I don’t know what all those white lines signify. There’s so much starting and stopping that I wonder why people think baseball is boring.
This is not to say I don’t understand the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat; the emotions of rooting for a team don’t change from sport to sport. And I’m sure the scheduling of football – the fact that games are only played once a week – really heightens people’s interest. Getting together with friends and family to watch a game must feel like more of an event, whereas you can catch a baseball game almost any night of the week.
Maybe I’m just a hot weather girl and the notion of watching a game played in frigid temperatures doesn’t appeal to me. Dunno. But good luck to any Jets fans out there. I hope the Super Bowl is in your future – partly because it’ll be exciting for you guys and partly because it’ll mean football is over and baseball is about to begin.
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The Nominees For The 2010 She-Fan Video Award/Twitterette (WINNER UPDATE)

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I had to be dragged kicking and screaming to Twitter last year. I figured the last thing I needed was yet another social networking site, having already jumped into the Facebook experience as well as interacted with other baseball fans on this blog. But something surprising happened after my first few tweets: I fell in love with Twitter. I enjoy the immediacy of it, the brevity, the ability to read what everybody’s talking about all over the world, the rush of learning breaking news before it appears elsewhere, and, of course, the chance to connect with a whole new cast of Yankee fans. 
Thanks to Twitter, I got to meet face to face with several of those fans, some of whom were gracious enough to submit to the She-Fan Cam. I present their videos to you now and ask you to take a look at these four terrific women and vote for the 2010 She-Fan Video Award/Twitterette. Here they are…
(Drum roll)
1) Amanda (Twitter name @amandarykoff). Back in January, she was visiting her newborn nephew in Santa Barbara and stopped by my house for a “tweetup” – my very first. She discussed football in the video – a subject that would normally make my eyes glaze over – but she was so entertaining and enthusiastic about it that I wasn’t bored in the slightest. She really knows what she’s talking about, doesn’t she?
2) Stephanie (Twitter name @stephsamps). I was in Tampa for spring training in March, and she and I had arranged a tweetup at Steinbrenner Field. It was an unseasonably cold night in Florida and I was shivering and ready to bolt. She, on the other hand, was happily telling me all about her sightings of players whom she gets to see often since she lives there. There’s no question she loves her Yankees.
3) Denise (Twitter name @SunnySoCal). She and I had been tweeting about how we wanted to meet up at a Yankees-Dodgers game in LA in June. So she drove up from San Diego and I drove down from Santa Barbara and we sat together and had a blast, even though the Yankees lost. (A.J. had one of his meltdowns.) To say that she has a crush on A-Rod is an understatement, but she showed remarkable restraint in the video.
4) Gayle (Twitter name @gcf123). She’s a season tickets holder at the Stadium – lucky girl – so it was no fluke that she was there the September day I was at the game and we finally got to meet. How she manages the country’s top musical artists and travels around the country with them and yet still finds time for her Yanks is a testament to her fandom. She made some very accurate predictions in the video, btw.
So there you have it – the nominees for the 2010 She-Fan Video Award/Twitterette. Can you pick a winner, people? Even those of you who aren’t Yankee fans? Yes, of course you can. And this time only ONE VOTE per customer. None of this, “But I like two of them.” Just one!
Next up will be the big showdown for the 2010 She-Fan Video Award/Best Yankee Fan Video Period. Get ready for a very tough field.
UPDATE: WE HAVE A WINNER! ACTUALLY, WE HAVE THREE WINNERS!

After a day of voting, we had a three-way tie between Denise (@SunnySoCal), Amanda (@amandarykoff) and Gayle (@gcf123) for the 2010 She-Fan Video Award/Twitterette. Golden fans go out to each of them!
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You liked all four nominees, naturally, but in the end this race was almost too close to call. So congratulations to Denise, Amanda and Gayle and thanks to Stephanie too. You were all such great interview subjects. You guys rock.

Who Will Get Voted Off The Yankees Island?

The competition for the Yankees’ #5 starter is becoming both clearer and murkier. While Gaudin is pitching himself out of contention, the others – Hughes, Joba, Mitre and Aceves – are keeping things interesting in Tampa. What would I do if Opening Day were tomorrow and I had to make the Big Decision?
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Huuuuuuuughes.
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I can’t really justify my vote. Aceves and Mitre have both pitched well enough to earn the job. So has Joba, although his value as the 8th inning guy can’t be overlooked. I guess it’s just instinct; Hughes had the job from the get go, in my opinion. It was his to win or lose. Aceves is the best long reliever we’ve got and could always step in when there’s an injury or somebody gets shelled or Hughes has to be kept on an innings leash. As for Mitre? I don’t know. Trade him or keep him for the pen, so we can say goodbye to Albaladejo? 
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The good news is the Yankees have plenty of arms that could help out in the pen right now – from Mark Melancon and Boone Logan to Amaury Sanit, the Cuban sensation who continues to impress. Yup, the more I see of the 2010 Yankees, the better I feel about their chances. CC’s performance today – and A-Rod’s tape measure homer – were hard to ignore.
P.S. I listened to the Yanks-Rays game tonight while I was in the car. The Rays announcers were talking about how unfriendly the staff is at Steinbrenner Field and how glad they were to be broadcasting from Port Charlotte. All I can say is, “The ushers and security people at SF were nice to me!” But maybe that’s because I was wearing this?
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Yanks Won and I Froze

I feel like such a wuss. Let me get that out of the way right now. Why? Because I came to Tampa specifically to see the Yankees and yet I didn’t even stay until the end of Tuesday night’s game. I was just too damn cold.
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The temps weren’t so bad when we got to Steinbrenner Field at 5 o’clock for the 7:05 start. In fact, I stood next to the Yankees dugout for what seemed like an eternity, waiting for the players to show their faces, and didn’t even feel the chill. I pulled out the She-Fan Cam and went about the business of interviewing she-fans who were also hanging around for some Yankees love. Here are my first two victims.
Still trolling, I came upon another pair of fans. Alyssa and Amanda were down from Staten Island to see the boys. Do they think the Yankees will repeat? Take a look.
Unfortunately, the Yankees never came out to take their turn in the batting cage, so Michael and I headed to our seats to watch the game. AJ didn’t have it and was pulled after two+ innings. Maybe he shouldn’t be working so hard on the changeup and just stick to his fastball? Mo got into his first game of the spring, and I was sooo excited to see him (and to hear “Enter Sandman”). But it was Hughes who really impressed on the mound. I know Aceves has been terrific, but I’m guessing Huuuughes will be our #5 guy. And then, of course, there were the boys: Jeter, A-Rod, Swish, Jorge, Cano, Gardner, Tex (sweet home run), plus newcomers Johnson and Granderson, neither of whom got a hit but, as I was reminded on Twitter, it’s only spring training. 
I think it was in the second or third inning when the temps started to plummet. I mean, I suddenly became aware that it was really cold – maybe it was when I saw a woman wearing a Yankees blue Santa suit? – and that I wasn’t dressed for winter. But I forgot my frostbitten fingers when I was joined by Stephanie (@stephsamps on Twitter) for our first tweet-up. She sure loves her Yankees. Here she is.
So even though Michael and I left the game after the sixth inning and felt like jerks doing it, there are times when the body just says, “Enough.” Last night was one of those times.
Today, it’s on to Clearwater to face the Phillies. There’s a 50% chance of rain and, of course, it’s cold again. But I’ll try to stick it out. I really will.

A Day Of Firsts At Steinbrenner Field

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The 2010 Yankees got off to a sweet start, didn’t they?
* Impressive pitching by Gaudin, Mitre and Aceves.
* Nice catches in the wind by Hoffman and Gardner.
* Great seeing the Bombers again, period.
As with most early spring training games, there was sloppy play. And it’s hard to get a rhythm going when everybody’s being shuffled in and out like a game of musical chairs.
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But there were a few firsts that signaled a good omen for the season.
* A-Rod got the Yankees’ first hit of the spring.
* Pena smacked the Yankees’ first homer.
* Colin Curtis broke the 3-3 tie in the 9th with his three-run walkoff homer, enabling the Yanks to beat the Pirates 6-3. There was no pie, sadly.
Colin Curtis? Who’s he?
I would never have been able to pick him out of a police lineup, but he certainly got my attention today.
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He’s got a level lefty swing – almost Matsui-like – and he’s supposed to be a decent outfielder. Will he nudge Winn/Thames/Hoffman/Gardner aside any time soon? I highly doubt it; he’ll end up back in Scranton. But watch this video and tell me he’s not a terrific kid. He has a new fan in me, that’s for sure.

If I Lived In Tampa, I’d Be At The Airport

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As everyone knows, this is the week that pitchers and catchers report. Sure, there are some players who came to camp early. But for the most part, Yankees will be arriving and if I were in Tampa I’d be staking out the airport.
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Maybe I’d see CC unloading his luggage.
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Or Andy hopping into his rental car.
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Or A.J. practicing his pie throwing on some poor, unsuspecting passerby.
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Maybe I’d see Jorge waiting for people to ask for his autograph.
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Or I’d catch Cervelli hanging out with some very interesting looking friends.
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The point is, if I were there I might see Yankees – lots of Yankees. After the long, long off-season, the sight of them would be very welcome indeed. I’m even psyching myself up for him. Yeah, it’s been a long off-season.
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Where Did Cashman Celebrate New Year’s?

The NY Post reported that Derek Jeter and Minka Kelly headed down to the island of Canouan to ring in 2010. How nice for them. The last time I was down there, Raffles didn’t exist and there was no electricity on the island.
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But with the Yankees still without a clearly designated left fielder, I was more interested in where Brian Cashman was for New Year’s Eve. We know he wasn’t with Matt Holliday, since the Cardinals are about to announce their deal. And we know he wasn’t with Marlon Byrd, since the former Ranger is going to the Cubs. So where was he? Where is he? And what’s he been doing? 

Has he been partying at home in Connecticut?
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Did he go to Times Square to watch the ball drop with people wearing those oddly shaped blue Nivea caps?
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Has he been planted in front of his TV watching football?
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Did he fly to Hawaii to caddy for Obama?
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Did he drive up to Sugarbush to learn how to ski?
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Or did he end up in Tampa meeting with the Steinbrenners?
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Given the fact that there really aren’t any drool-over free agents left on the market, I wonder if he spent the holiday with Brett Gardner explaining to him that he has the job until 2011, at which time it will be handed to this guy.
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As for me, I went to a great party on New Year’s Eve. There was lots of food, excellent champagne, interesting people and a roaring fire in the fireplace. But the highlight for me was when I was introduced to a lawyer named Michael Cooney.
“I read about your She-Fan book in the local paper,” he said. “I’m a diehard Yankee fan too.”
Well, talk about a conversation starter. It turns out that Cooney is very friendly with Yankees first base coach Mick Kelleher and stays with him every year when he goes to spring training. I mentioned that Kelleher had been nice to me when I was at a game in Tampa last spring. (Here I am calling out to Mick and here he is smiling at me. That constitutes “nice.” At least he didn’t ignore me or tell me to go back to my seat.)
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“I’m going down to stay with Mick in March,” said Cooney.
“Oh, wow. I’ll be down there in March too,” I said. Hint hint.
“We’ll have to get together,” he said. “When we go out to eat, all the other coaches come too. It’s fun to sit there listening to them talk about all the players.”
Uh, yah. I’m so there.

Presenting The 2009 She-Fan Awards, Part 7 (The Grand Finale) – UPDATE!

The votes are in and, although it was a close race between Surf Dog, my mother and four-year-old Karissa (I’m laughing as I type this), the winner of the 2009 She-Fan Award for Best Yankee Fan Video is…
***** Bill “Surf Dog” Connell *****
If it ever stops raining here in Santa Barbara, I’ll take the She-Fan Cam over to Bill’s hot dog stand and videotape his acceptance speech. I have no doubt it’ll be a show stopper. Thanks to all who participated!
***
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With the Winter Meetings kicking off on Monday and the certainty that Brian Cashman will be giving Yankees bloggers something juicy to write about, it’s time for the seventh and final 2009 She-Fan Award to be handed out to a person who contributed to the Yankees’ joyous season.
Derek Jeter said during the post-parade ceremony at City Hall that it was the fans that made the season special, so it’s only fitting that we turn our attention to the Yankee fan who best embodied the spirit of the pinstripes when captured on the She-Fan Cam this year. The judges have reviewed the nearly 100 videos on YouTube’s SheFanVideos Channel and come up with clips of the the ones we feel are most praiseworthy.
Here, in chronological order, are the nominees for the 2009 She-Fan Award for Best Yankee Fan Video….
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- Alphonso Uses Pessimism To Protect Yankees (And Himself) From Disappointment -
On March 5th, during a visit to Tampa for spring training, I had dinner at a very dark restaurant with Alphonso of the Yankees blog “It Is High, It Is Far, It is….caught” and asked for his prediction on the upcoming season. As you’ll see, he was correct about almost nothing, which I found very heartening.
- Lisa Declares Herself Descendent Of Yankees Legend Joe DiMaggio -
On my way out of Steinbrenner Field during the March trip, I met Lisa, a Security Officer for the Yankees. She not only gave patrons excellent directions and handled beer-soaked troublemakers with ease, but announced that she was related to Joe D. Enough said.
- Joyce Intends To Be Buried With Yankees (Sort Of) -
Prior to the March 7th spring training game, I chatted with Joyce, who caught my eye because of all the Yankees pins and medals she was wearing. A Yankee fan for 65 years, she had surprising news to share.
- Michael Picks Yanks To Win World Series Without Being Bribed -
Yes, She-Fan family members are eligible for the award. (Why disqualify them?) On April 1st my husband Michael made a bold prediction about the Yankees’ season. He was not coerced. If he doesn’t want to do or say something, he doesn’t. Trust me.
- Patricia Reads She-Fan’s Tarot Cards And Pronounces Yanks World Champs -
On August 18th, I had my second reading with Santa Barbara tarot card reader Patricia Diorio, whom I had consulted for a New York Times article back in February. Once again, she was extremely encouraging about the Yankees’ chances of winning the World Series.
- Karissa Roots for Yankees Despite Being Only Four Years Old -
As I was leaving Angel Stadium after the Yankees had just beaten the Angels in Game 4 of the ALCS on October 20th, I heard cheering –  really high-pitched cheering. I followed the sound and came upon Karissa, whose father Mark had clearly raised her properly.
- Bill “Surf Dog” Predicts Yankees Win World Series in Six -
Local legend Bill Connell, proprietor of the Surf Dog hot dog stand in Carpinteria and former New Jersey-ite, hoisted his Yankees flag on October 30th and let me videotape him in action. He also gave me his thoughts (and a free hot dog). His prediction of six games made him more accurate than Jimmy Rollins.
- Mother Knows Best -
I couldn’t leave my 92-year-old mom (she’ll be 93 next month) out of this competition, could I? On November 13th, during my trip to New York, I asked her how she was feeling about the Yankees’ big victory. She was thrilled – and very candid.
And now comes the moment of truth…without any interruptions.
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The envelope please.
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The winner of the 2009 She-Fan Award for Best Yankee Fan Video is…
***** Oh, Wait! You’re Picking This One! *****


That’s right. You. And you have until Monday at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT to leave a comment with your vote. Good luck to all the nominees. The final gold fan awaits.
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Day Three In Tampa (With The She-Fan Cam)

Saturday was a day game after a night game. Good thing I didn’t have to play shortstop or even DH. I was really dragging. When I spotted the Marriott’s bellman on my way to the ballpark, I was tempted to ask him if he knew where I could score some boli. Instead, I bonded with him after he complimented me on my garb (Mo T-shirt/Yankees visor).

There was a packed house at Steinbrenner field for Yankees/Braves, and the weather couldn’t have been more cooperative.
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Even George was present and accounted for, as was Reggie Jackson.
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I got a stiff neck looking up at his box every few minutes, waiting to see if Hal would appear. Only Hank did. You can’t have everything.
On my way to buy bottled water, I ran into a Red Sox fan and felt compelled to ask why he was attending a Yankees game.
And as I walked by the woman in charge of the Customer Service booth, another urge to whip out the She-Fan Cam overtook me.
See how much we can learn through baseball? If we want a happy, 50-year-marriage, it can be ours – if our spouse is never around.
The game got underway and Wang looked sharp (well, except for the non-sinker stinker he threw to Kotchman that put the Braves on the board). He covered first and managed to avoid another Lisfranc injury, and there was a collective sigh of relief.
Hideki was the DH and seemed to be stroking the ball well.
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But the Yankees offense was anemic. I mean, come on. Men on first and third with no outs and nobody scores? I hate that.
Wang was pulled for Brett Tomko, who promptly served up a Bombko. Phil Coke gave one up too.
Rather than sit in my seat behind home plate and stew about the 3-1 score, I worked off my frustration by roaming the stadium. I encountered a couple of hardcores from New York.
(I really do want that robe. Memo to self: Go shopping on the MLB web site.) He also mentioned that he was getting married soon and that he was not only planning to wear the Mantle robe at the wedding but to stick the Yankees N-Y logo on the back of his fiancee’s gown. Excellent idea. 
I was returning to my seat when I spotted a she-fan in training. I don’t care what team you root for; her smile will melt your heart.
(Full disclosure: Her slightly older brother is a Red Sox fan, and they got into a fight after I shut off the She-Fan Cam. He didn’t punch her, but he pinched her really hard.)
Random game notes….I continue to be impressed by Ramiro Pena, who played second while Ransom took over shortstop duties and Justin Leone played third. I’d never heard of Pena before, but the kid is slick with the glove. Damon looked sluggish on an attempted steal. Get those legs in shape, Johnny. Opinions about A-Rod’s hip echoed throughout the game – from the guy who said A-Rod should play with a torn labrum for an entire season to the woman who insisted that surgery should be performed immediately to the kid who wanted the Yankees to trade for Adrian Beltre.
As we were exiting the stadium after the 3-1 loss, I chatted up one of the Yankees security officers. Her ears were pierced in places I didn’t know you could pierce an ear, and her tongue had a silvery thing embedded in it.
Later, Michael and I had dinner with John Sterling, the radio voice of the Yankees, at a swanky restaurant overlooking Old Tampa Bay. He’s a regular there and was given the royal treatment – as well as the “15% Yankees discount.” I figured it would be gauche to bring the She-Fan Cam, but I wish I had.
Looking forward to another great day on Sunday. The Yankees will be in Lakeland playing the Tigers, so we’ll be driving to St. Pete for some sightseeing and a drink with bestselling author Peter Golenbock. (I will definitely bring the She-Fan Cam to that.)
 

Day Two In Tampa (With Videos)

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.
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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.
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And this enthusiastic she-fan who was one of the first in line…
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And the mother and daughter who were both named Laura…
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And this hardcore Yankee-ite from Woodstock, New York.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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