Thursday, October 21, 2010

Watching Jeff Francoeur play a meaningful October game in New York

I still can't believe Squawker Lisa was able to get ALCS tickets behind home plate (in the upper deck) for just $26 each. That's less than I paid for some Met games this year, and we know those weren't postseason games.

But to paraphrase Jeff Francoeur, at least I got to see meaningful October baseball in New York. I even got to see Francoeur participate. Unfortunately, Frenchy, who always played well in the field for the Mets even when his hitting went into the toilet, made a throwing error to allow a run to score. Same old Mets - even when they're no longer Mets!

While the market for tickets to Wednesday's game may have been weak, most seats were filled and the Yankee fans around us were very enthusiastic. One guy chanted "Kerry Wood" over and over again when Wood came into the game in the seventh. He had been chanting about something or other most of the game and his voice sounded like it was about to give out. But by the eighth inning, he had many of the people around us chanting "Kerry Wood" along with him.

His attempt to chant "Sir Lancelot Berkman" did not go over nearly as well.

Maybe Lisa is right about me being a good-luck charm for the Yankee bats. In the last three Yankee games I've attended, the Bombers have hit ten homers - three today, five on August 24 in Toronto and two on June 19 against the Mets. It was the second straight game in which I've seen Yankees homer back to back (and, uh, belly to belly). Curtis Granderson has homered in all three games. (I refuse to add anything using the nonword "grandish.") The only Yankee regulars I haven't seen homer in these three games are Brett Gardner and, of all people, A-Rod.

I don't know how long they've been doing this bizarre Michael Kay graphic for each homer, but talk about adding insult to injury.

Speaking of homers, the last playoff game Lisa attended was the memorable (Lisa would use a different word) Game 7 in 2004, and she was annoyed when Bucky Dent threw out the first pitch. Lisa saw it as the Yankees desperately trying to recapture some magic.

Today, Bucky Dent AND Aaron Boone threw out first pitches. But this time, it worked.

Lisa and I were happy to see that the Yankees had a shrine to famed superfan Freddy "the Fan" Schuman, who passed away earlier this week. I saw Freddy on the street a couple of times over the years on the Upper West Side.

But I still find it jarring when the late Bob Sheppard's voice suddenly booms out when Derek Jeter comes to bat. I just hope that A-Rod doesn't insist that his introduction feature a recording of Freddy banging on his pan.

Lisa thinks this game changed the momentum in favor of the Yankees. While the Yankee bats did wake up at least somewhat, and now Nelson Cruz is hurt, I still think it's an uphill climb for the Yankees to come back and take the series, and I'm picking Texas to win Game 6 and get to their first World Series...

And face the Giants!?

I've been dreading another Yankees-Phillies World Series, and now both of last year's pennant winners are one game from elimination. You can't count the Yankees or the Phillies out until the last out is made. But it's shaping up to be quite an interesting next few days.

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