Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

Rockies – Yankees

Yes, another baseball game report, but this is the big one: Yankees versus Rockies. Another annoying bulleted list:

  • This game was HUGE. I got there about an hour early, and it was roughly three times more crowded than last Friday’s game. (The Yankees are a bit more popular than the Devil Rays.)
  • The ten dollar lot across the street was charging $30.
  • There were an insane number of Yankees fans. There were more Yankees jersies and hats than you’d see at Yankee stadium for a home game.
  • Also present: lots of large bald men with no necks acting like assholes. Also lots of loud-mouthed women with orange tans, frizzed-out frosted white hair, and pure black eyebrows. It was like being back in Astoria.
  • For $60 each, our seats were shit. Section 149, row 20 – that’s straight back from first base. It’s the worst of both worlds: you can’t see the scoreboard, and you can’t really get a good look at the field. They’re also uncovered, and not near any food.
  • Sarah had to meet me there a half hour late from work, so I had to fend for myself. See above about no food – it was a real struggle just to get a hot dog and a water. The lines at everything were completely insane. Every hot dog stand was like a confessional at the rapture.
  • There was a guy sitting in front of me that looked just like James Cromwell (aka George Sibley from Six Feet Under). He had on the old-timey hat and the nerdy dress-casual clothes and the whole deal. While I was sitting there, about three dozen people tried to cut through his row, and he got more and more pissed, which was both funny and annoying.
  • The stadium SOLD OUT. It was probably twice as full as Friday’s game. Even the nosebleed seats were sold out. (And nosebleed might be a literal term, given anything above the 20th row in the top deck is above 5280 feet.)
  • I don’t think I’ve seen a single Asian person since I moved to Colorado, which is somewhat amusing considering I used to live in a neighborhood where I was the only person not born in China. Well, over from us was a whole gaggle of Japanese, all holding up giant posterboard letter-per-person signs spelling out MATSUI.
  • Sarah pointed out later that each team had a player named Matsui. They were probably rooting for Hideki, but maybe they support their country and not just one team.
  • I mentioned that maybe if they wanted him to pay attention, they could have at least spelled out the sign in Japanese.
  • The lady next to me was this typical Long Island piece of shit that had the “New York is the best city in the world and we’re so much better than anything else, although I don’t actually live IN the city, just way the fuck out in Long Island” thing going on. Which brings me to my next point.
  • I don’t know if I am a Yankees fan or not. When I was in New York, I was a Yankees fan, because so many of my coworkers were Red Sox fans, and I was sick of hearing about it. And there, a Yankees game had a lot of tradition to it, and it was a nice little thing. It was like going to Coney Island and getting a hot dog at Nathan’s, or going to Times Square and beating a homeless man with a lead pipe: good fun for the whole family, in the spirit of the Big Apple. But I’ve found that when you leave New York, the kind of people who still associate themselves with New York are the pathetic, soulless assholes who are trying to cling onto this fake ideal as a way to define themselves. And part of that fake ideal is being a total prick. Yankees fans HATE it when people come to Yankee Stadium and cheer on the other team. Why is inundating the Rockies’ stadium and acting like an innsuferable prick any better? It isn’t.
  • I suddenly found myself surrounded by 40,000 of these assholes. I also found I was suddenly the biggest Rockies fan in the universe. I wanted them to win the World Series at this point. Hell, I wanted them to win the Superbowl, the Masters, and the 08 presidental election.
  • Jeter got the kind of response that George Bush would get at a conservative christian gun show. If you remember that Being John Malkovitch movie where he crawled into his own head and only saw John Malkovitches, if Derek Jeter did that, it’s pretty much what it looked like, with all of the Jeter jerseys out there.
  • You can get a Yankees fan very pissed by loudly saying “Now A-Rod, is he the one that admitted he used steroids, or is he still denying it?”
  • It’s also funny because I don’t think any of the Rockies players except maybe Helton could actually afford to buy steroids.
  • The game started really fast – pitch, out; pitch, out; pitch, out. I thought we’d get to the 8th inning at 0-0 in 20 minutes.
  • Pretty much every Yankees pop to the outfield was effortlessly caught, which became more and more hilarious as the game progressed.
  • The Yankees were having real first-base problems due to a lack of a certain someone who is injured right now. They called in so many people to play first base, I seriously thought maybe I had a chance to get down there for an inning or two.
  • To me, the only thing funnier than watching an NL pitcher with a batting average of like .130 come up to bat is watching an AL pitcher with a .000 have to bat at an NL stadium. I swear Mussina was going to start crying every time he got to the plate.
  • It was sort of pissing me off that Jeter could get to first base and the crowd pop was bigger than the first Beatles concert at Shea Stadium, but when the Rockies scored, people were largely like “yeah, whatever.”
  • Torrealba hit a home run, and I thought the Dina Lohan clone next to me was going to have an aneurysm.
  • The biggest tension of the game was in the 8th, when the Yankees loaded the bases with two outs, and Posada came up to bat. This was right after Hawkins came in to pitch, relieving Fogg, who had a good seven innings. Anyway, every Yankees fan in the place was absolutely, positively certain that Posada was going to hit in a grand slam and end the game. Strike, strike, strike. Much mullet hair pulled and obscenities shouted. First the Sopranos go off the air, then this. These people had nothing to live for, except maybe the hopes that Billy Joel would do a summer tour.
  • Some Rockies fans started getting more vocal about things toward the end. The George guy in front of me kept shouting stuff, like yelling “postseason!” when A-rod was at bat.
  • Also, it appeared that the rockpile (i.e. bleacher) seats were all bought out by drunken Red Sox fans, who started chanting “Yankees suck” and questioning if Johnny Damon’s mother was in fact married when he was conceived.
  • I gimped up at the end of the 8th to try and get closer to the doors, which was a bad idea, because the entire deck was filled with people, and I had to struggle to see the last of the game. Then Mr. Damon struck out, and it basically became Kent State. The team with the highest payroll was beaten by the team with the third-lowest payroll, and to a contrarian like me, that’s good baseball.

Photos here, although they aren’t that groundbreaking if you saw the last two sets.