May 14, 2004

Warning: Sports Ahead. When my friend Gabe was named one of the recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, I figured that the least I could do was take him to a ballgame and buy him a few beers. Sure, it's not exactly up there with hanging out at the White House with Secretary of Commerce Don Evans and running into Condoleezza "Condy" Rice in the halls, but I'm afraid I just don't have that kind of pull. Anyway, the Mariners were in New York for the only time all year, so it only made sense for me to bring my old Seattle neighbor out for a night on the town in the Bronx.

Hurray! Our Bronx festivities began with a fine dinner at the little Spanish restaurant a few blocks up from the stadium, the same one I take everybody who goes to a Yankee game with me. I had a Cuban sandwich, Gabe had porkchops and plantains, and we each had a couple of beers. Real damn nice.

Boooo! Seven freaking dollars for a program?!?! We called bullshit on that, as well as on the scarcity of the All-Star ballots.

Hurray! The game started off well as Ichiro led off with a double then moved to third on a single, bringing up Edgar Martinez. With this probably being Edgar's final season, this would be the last time Gabe and I would ever get to see this all-time Mariner great and fine comedic actor play, and we were hoping to see one last display of Edgar clutchosity. And he did not disappoint. After falling behind 0-2, Edgar worked the count a little and then hit a sacrifice fly, bring the run home. Because that's what Edgar does.

Boooo! And then the effing roof caved in. As you might have guessed, I have seen a lot of baseball games in my life. Major league, minor league, college, little leagues...and yet I have never seen a starting pitchers completely shit the bed like Gil Meche did last night. It started off okay, with Meche striking out Jeter, but hits by Williams and A-Rod put runners at second and third. Even then, it looked like the Mariners could hold their 1-0 lead, as a groundball led to an out at the plate. So there's runners on first and third with two outs when Meche falls behind 3-0 against Sheffield. Gabe mentions that the M's still have a base to give. Seeming to sense this, Meche walks Sheffield to load the bases.

And then...Meche walks Matsui to bring home the tying run. And then Meche walked Tony Clark to bring home another run. Up comes 36-year-old buck-thirty hitting John Flaherty, who not only was taking the first three pitches but I don't even think he brought his bat up to the plate, and Meche walks him, too! Game over for Meche, who had thrown 38 pitches with only 17 finding their way into the strike zone. Have fun in the dugout...dick.

Hurray! Well, Ron Villone relieved Meche and got out of the inning, the Mariners were still only down by two, Mussina wasn't looking strong, and it was a beautiful night for a ballgame.

Boooo! What kind of a schmuck wears his Red Sox cap to Yankee Stadium when the Red Sox aren't even playing?!?! You deserve to have a whole section of fans (including your girlfriend) point at you and chant "asshole!"

Hurray! Speaking of fans, every upper deck should have a few cute drunk Asian girls who are deathly afraid of heights but who must keep navigating the narrow stairways in order to get more beer. They're lots of fun.

Boooo! The Mariners did manage to take a 5-3 lead, but the stupidity continued in the bottom of the fourth as the Yankees put together a single, a walk, a sacrifice bunt, and a bases-loading idiotic reached-on-error to load the bases. And then...the Mariners pitcher walked in another freaking run! Following the sacrifice fly, the Yankees had managed the difficult task of scoring five runs without any of them being driven in by hits.

Hurray! We did get to see Edgar get two hits (including double #501) and drive in that run with the sac fly. So that was nice.

Boooo! The Yankees kept pouring it on (including some insurance runs off of Mariners pitcher, and I am not making this up, J.J. Putz), which means that we didn't even get to see Mariano Rivera come in from the bullpen to the sounds of Metallica's "Enter Sandman." Even though I don't like the Yankees, I have to admit that's pretty cool.

Final score: Yankees 9, Mariners 5. Win 21 for the first-place Yankees, loss 23 for the last-place Mariners. The ugly season continues with no hope in sight, only massive rebuilding ahead. When does football season start?
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