It was 5:30PM yesterday and I had had a particularly brutal day at work. You know, one of those days where there’s a pile of things to do and each one is more important than the next and each different person who gave you those tasks is uncharacteristically snapping at you because the person who gave *them* those tasks is snapping at them? Yeah, one of those. And to top it off, I had to be in work at 7AM the next morning to cover the traders coming in early, so I was looking forward to restful night of doing not much of anything and hitting the sack at 11PM.
Then Carol called me.
When I picked up the phone, she said, “Whatcha doing tonight”? I stammered a bit, because I really didn’t feel like going to the Good Look club that night. But that wasn’t why she was calling. “I have an extra ticket to the Yankee game tonight. You want it?”
God bless you Carol.
After the crappy day I had on Monday, this was just the pickup I needed. It turns out Carol’s friend, Alyssa, has some family tickets and she was giving them out. I don’t know why there was an extra (who drops out of a Yankees-Red Sox game?!?) but I wasn’t about to quibble. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to get out of work until about 6:00 or so, but I managed to make it up to Yankee Stadium at 7:10. I found Carol, and her friends Alyssa and Jill (their friend Sarah showed up later), standing in a row outside the Sports bar near the bowling alley, each one prettier than the next. I tell you, I felt like a billionaire walking in with them. Life can be good sometimes too.
The seats were up in right field and we had a great view of the action, except for the extreme right field corner. Nothing happened there anyway. Carol’s friends are very cool and we had a great time chatting, eating hot dogs, and debating about the best way to get the peanuts up to the top of a bag of Cracker Jacks. There was some good baseball action too. The Red Sox second baseman astounded us with his playmaking abilities and .318 batting average. Jill, who was the token Sox fan, was thrilled to see him turning fantastic double plays, but she was never obnoxious about it when the Sox did well (like when Manny hit a solo HR).
Around the 4th inning, the stadium started to erupt in cheers, from all over, but there was no obvious action on the field. We finally caught on to what was happening when we spotted a squirrel climbing the right field foul pole fence! He had made it about halfway up and the whole stadium was rooting for him to get to the top, which he eventually did. Perched up there precariously for about 3 innings, the squirrel made some feeble attempts to come back down but each time he turned back around and scampered back to his perch. The stadium became very interested in the drama of whether he would ever get back down and it was the best show in town, other than the drama unfolding on the field.
The Yanks were leading 3-2 in the 6th, when Andy Pettite gave up a solo homer to Jason Veritek, tying the game. But Johnny Damon hit a 2 run HR in the next inning, which BARELY cleared the right field fence, to put the Yanks up for good. Jabo Chamberlain came in in the 8th to give middle relief and Rivera put together a fantastic 1-2-3 9th innning to notch the save.
The whole affair was spectacular and mother nature treated us to some of the best baseball weather you could ever hope for in the late summer. I want to thank Carol again for feeling so guilty about not making it to Thursday’s HORSE cash game in her honor that she thought of me first when she had the extra ticket. J
P.S. When we left the stadium, the squirrel was still up on his perch. You can see the squirrel in the New York Times write up of the game: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/29/sports/baseball/29yankees.html?ex=1346126400&amp;en=baf7729bfda69a15&ei=5124&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink