BP Hit List

BP Hit and Run
ESPN Insider Archive Archive

Facebook Page


It's almost spring
when a young man's thoughts turn to... those expensive
seat licenses. An online cash advance can help relieve the anxiety.

Attending baseball games can be expensive. You could get a cash advance onine to pay for tickets.


All contents of this web site © Jay Jaffe, 2001-2011 except where indicated. Please contact me for any questions or comments regarding this site.

     F I E L D  T R I P S

May 15, 2001

April 21, 2001: Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees, Yankee Stadium
Not Quite

All of the ingredients were in place: A Saturday afternoon ballgame between the Yanks and Red Sox at the Stadium. I mean, what else do you need? At first glance, not much. The Yanks rollercoaster was ascending; after dropping two in Toronto, they'd won a 17-inning marathon two nights earlier. Then on Friday night Andy Pettitte gave the bullpen a much-deserved break with a complete game to take the first one from the Sox, who'd beaten them 3 out of 4 the previous weekend.

With a capacity crowd of 55,483 on hand, we were seated in an uncharacteristic location, section 664 of the Upper Tier — fair territory in left field, second row. I've been in the nosebleeds in right field before, but this was much better. Certainly better than being a bit closer in down the line, as our seats were facing home plate.

The game started on a high note for the Yanks — Knoblauch singled, stole second, taking third on an errant throw from the catcher, and then scoring on Jeter's sacrifice fly. O'Neill then poked one over the right field wall and it was 2-0. Mike Mussina pitched like the one in the catalog for the first two innings, striking out the side in the first. But he came unravelled like a cheap suit, surrendering two in the third and four in the fourth (eeeuch) before departing.

I have to admit, I'm partially to blame. I reminded my companion how I had derided the Red Sox lineup the night before. Without Nomar Garciaparra and to a lesser extent John Valentin, they have resorted to a patchwork lineup of futility infielders. Their starting infield on Friday night had been Jose Offerman at first, Mike Lansing at second, Lou Merloni at short, and Shea Hillenbrand at third. "Lansing, Merloni, Hillenbrand, Lewis, Offerman? I wouldn't pay a buck for any of those guys. Fifty cents for Offerman, maybe." Sure enough, shortly after I said that, Shea Hillenbrand put the Sox on the board with a solo homer. Then Merloni singled, and was driven in by Offerman. Hillenbrand ended up driving in two more runs. Merloni made the key play of the ballgame when he speared an O'Neill liner with two outs and two on in the seventh. Do we detect a pattern here? Me and my big mouth.

I was far from alone in terms of stupid utterances, though. For one thing, a good portion of the fans in our area were actually Red Sox supporters. I started the game behind three annoying ones (husband, wife, wife's sister, maybe, all around 50, on at least their second beer before game time, all commenting on every single pitch), only to be informed that I was actually in the wrong seat. This was no reward, as the Yanks fans nearby were no geniuses. I could perhaps forgive the well-dressed Indian gentleman who called first called for Paul O'Neill to hit one right here (Paulie ain't never gonna homer to left field in a million years, fella) and then for Bernie to "throw it over the wall" when batting. Hmmmm... But the real prize was the burly father behind me, with his chubby son in tow. "What does E-6 mean?" asked the son when the scoreboard summarized one batter's day at the plate. "E-6 is an error on the catcher." The catcher? What kind of irresponsible parenting is that? [For those of you NOT scoring at home, 6 is the scorer's shorthand for the shortstop. The catcher is 2.]

As the game slipped away for the Yanks, the one bright spot was the debut of El Duquecito, Adrian Hernandez. Another Cuban defector, not a sibling of El Duque but a protege, El Duquecito has a similar, high-leg-kick motion. Deemed not quite ready for prime time during spring training, Hernandez had been shuttled up from Columbus to aid the weary bullpen. He took over for the hooked Mussina (who, I later learned, was battling the flu), pitching three very solid innings before Manny Ramirez chased him with a solo shot to lead off the eighth. Given the difficulty the Yanks have had with their fifth starter to date (not to mention the elbow woes of the senior Hernandez), El Duquecito provided a tantalizing glimpse into the future. The crowd seemed to sense this, and gave him more support than they usually can muster for a team down by three runs.

In the end, though, that was the extent of our consolation prize, other than a chance to practice our "1918" retort (when a Red Sox fan starts to gloat about beating the Yankees in a single game, the correct response is a quick reminder of the date of Boston's last World Championship). The promised sunshine never materialized and the overcast sky yielded rain in the ninth, so we departed before the Yanks got their last turn. "It was not quite sunny," I observed shortly before the showers started, "and we're not quite winning."

Final score: Red Sox 8, Yankees 3. Zero beers, one ill-advised sausage which took my roommate two lengthy innings to procure, yet another late-arriving companion (he forgot his ticket and had to turn back), and two early, disappointed departures. BOX SCORE