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October, 6 2006: ALDS Game Three

Well, I tried my best. Joe Torre always says that game three of a five-game series is the pivotal one, so I broke out the heavy artillery tonight.

First, we switched bars, heading off to the Sports Depot in Allston to watch the game. The Sports Depot used to be a train station, and it’s this huge place with a vaulted roof and dozens of huge plasma TVs. We’ve never been too badly harassed there for being Yankees fans, and they have a decent menu, too.

Second, I wore the as-yet-untested New York Black Yankees flannel reproduction jersey, size 3XXXL, in honor of the Big Unit. Yeah, it looks like a dress on me, but it’s warm, which makes it especially good for October baseball.

Third, I wore the blue and white hair stick in my bun. Not the black one, not the silver one, and certainly not he red one. The blue and white one I bought specifically to match my Yankee gear.

Fourth, I broke out the bears. Several years ago I won a Derek Jeter “Bamm-Beano” bear at the Jersey shore. (in August 2000, to be exact) and the Jeter bear has come with us to watch many playoff games. This little beanbag fella stands (well, sits) about 8″ tall, has pinstripes and a #2 and “’98 Champs” stitched on his chest. He has accompanied me to watch several playoff games before at various bars and homes over the years.

I also have a Roger Clemens, a Roger Maris, and some other bears. But on my recent trip to Cooperstown I found a bin of the Bamm-Beanos on sale for two bucks a pop, and pulled a Tino Martinez and a Scott Brosius out of the pile. All three–Tino, Brosius and Jeter–came along to the bar tonight.

To no avail. For the second game in a row the Yankees offense was utterly stymied by great pitching.

Why, oh why? did this have to be the night that Kenny Rogers finally figured out how to pitch in the postseason? Prior to tonight, in 9 postseason starts, Rogers hadn’t recorded a win. Some of you might remember how he was with the Yankees in October 1996. Or how he walked in the run that ended the Mets’ season in ’99.

I had a feeling of foreboding as we approached the bar a few minutes before game time, though. Why? There on the chalkboard by the door were written the fateful words: “10 PM TONIGHT: KARAOKE.”

Yes, my friends, it seems we could not win. Despite the fact that Randy Johnson pitched decently and was hurt by several lucky hits in the third inning, despite the fact that the Yankees just could not get any decent breaks, I knew then beyond the shadow of a doubt that the late innings were going to be painful.

We ordered dessert in the seventh inning in a last ditch attempt to turn things around. My boyfriend and I often have what I call PFM when it comes to the Yankees: “positive food mojo.” This means that if I’m hungry, and the hot dog guy at the Stadium comes just before the Yankees bat, then they’ll rally. Our Double Fudge Delight was delivered just as the Yankees batted in the eighth, but all it got us was that Jeter walked when he should have been struck out looking (at least according to ESPN’s K-Zone).

By then, the karaoke had begun. As Ron Villone was pitching, with two men in scoring position and two out, the hapless drunkard at the microphone was wailing out the song “Don’t Let Me Down.”

By far the most appropriate song though, came next, as the tuneless boyfriend of the karaoke nite organizer got up to intone the Rolling Stones’ classic: “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”

No indeed.

P.S. Will someone tell me what was up with the guy in the crowd holding up the sign that read “Billy Crystal Sucks”?? My only guess is that he used the old Tiger Stadium–just before it was demolished–as a stand-in for Yankee Stadium to film the movie “61*” but I’m thinking that might be a stretch?

P.P.S. I’m out of ideas for what to try. Anyone with any good luck charms, pre-game rituals, etc. I implore you, don’t forget them tomorrow.

(Did you enjoy reading this blog entry? Please consider buying me a hot dog.)

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