Tuesday, August 26, 2008
at 4:58 PM Posted by futuremrsrickankiel
Red Sox v. Yankees, 7:05 pm.
But soft! What light in yonder bullpen breaks?
It is the East, and Wakefield is the sun.
Two ballclubs, both alike in dignity,
In New York City, where we lay our scene.
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where Yankee blood makes Boston bats unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of aging pitchers take the mound;
Whose crafty eyes and hit-defying throws
Doth seek their team a victory to found.
The nine-stage passage of this storied game
And the continuance of this rivalry,
Which, for tonight, but one victor shall claim,
Shall prove, I vow, a worthy game to see.
Seriously, though, that was practically minimalist compared to the amount of hyperbole I can guarantee you'll see and hear heaped on this, the LAST series the Red Sox will ever play at Yankee Stadium. And honestly? Good fucking riddance.
I went to school in New Jersey and thus partook of more than a few games in The House That Ruth Built, most notably Opening Day vs. my very own Red Sox in 2005. Oh yes. You can only imagine how incredibly sweet that was. Apart from that, though, there is literally nothing to enjoy about that moldering ballpark up the #4. Inevitably, I would find myself either relegated to the miserable upper deck seats, 100,000 miles away from first base, or quarantined in the bleachers and thus dismally deprived of the ability to purchase any sort of frosty carbonated ale. Fie! While there, I always wore my Red Sox gear and was inevitably subject to a myriad of insults and taunts, ranging from the vaguely sexual ("Hey there, Red? Wanna meet a real man?") to the horrifyingly graphic ("Hey Boston! I anal-fisted your mother last night!"). Once, I attended a playoffs game with a boy who made the mistake of wearing a pink polo shirt. I honestly thought he was going to get tarred and feathered sometime in the 5th inning. None of this bothered me, though. I figured it was me taking one for the team or some wacked-out martyr complex-type nonsense. Either that, or I'm just a completely unabashed attention whore.
What did bother me, however, was how terribly much the stadium sucked. A miserable experience all around: the sweaty train rides to the buttfuck middle of nowhere in the Bronx with Johnny Knuckles and his brother Blockhead; paying money to leave my crap at surrounding businesses knowing I'd wait in line 2 hours to get it later and probably risk losing it altogether; no beer in the bleachers; disgusting bathrooms; risers so steep they practically gave me nosebleeds; the idiot fancam; the impossibly inane cheers ("Hip Hip Jorge," eh? DIE.); the relentless heckling of their own fucking players in the bullpen; and last but not least, the 26 fucking World Series pennants. Fuck you, Yankee Stadium. May your remnants be spray-painted and peed upon by a thousand generations of vandals.
The one thing I will say about my visits to Yankee Stadium is this: I've never experienced a live moment in baseball quite as badass as the times I've been up in the Bronx to see Mariano Rivera walk out to "Enter the Sandman." CHILLS UP THE SPINE. Every time.
Anyway, hopefully we won't have to face Rivera tonight as Tim Wakefield (7-8, 3.67) makes his first start since August 6 against Andy "Would You Like To" Pettite (13-9, 4.17) and his ethnic-yet-not-too-threateningly-so good looks. Bring it on, Yanks. I BITE MY THUMB AT YOU.
Frivolous prop bet of the night: You know that scene at the end of Slap Shot where Ned Braden finally tires of holding out against all the pageantry and pointlessly escalated rivalries and skates around the ice stripping? Well, I'm not saying that Jed Lowrie will hit a home run and strip while he jogs slowly around the bases to "You Can Leave Your Hat On." I'M JUST SAYING IT WOULD BE AWESOME IF HE DID.
Serious prediction of the night: I'm just enough of a homer to be 100% sure that a recently-returned-from-injury Tim Wakefield can outpitch Andy Pettite. 5-3, Red Sox.