Thursday, May 21, 2009

Three's Company [With the thing and the thing and the thing]

Some people think that baseball season is too long.

If you meet one of these people, the appropriate response is to hit them over the head with a tack hammer, because these people are attention-deficient idiots.

Part of what makes baseball so great, and the marathon season so appealing, is that over the course of 162 games, you're pretty much guaranteed to see something, at some point, that you've never seen before. I've attended a fair amount of Yankees games in my life -- Here's an interesting little exercise: If you had to put a number to it, how many total times would you say you've joined the faithful in attendance at your favorite squadron's home ballpark? I've got my estimate at 50 in the real Yankee Stadium, with last night marking my second visit to Lonn Trost's House -- and only by virtue of the long season have I been given the chance to see some of the crazy things I've seen at 161 St. and River Ave.

Were the baseball season not seemingly interminable, odds are much slimmer that I'd have been in the house to see six pitchers combine to no-hit the Yankees for the first time in 45 years, a 2-homer game by A-Rod during his torrid 2007 summer, the 'Boston' standings flag flying inexplicably upside down (photo evidence available upon request), or the apocalyptic sight of "Your Opening Day starter, Carl Pavano." In sports with shorter seasons, you're lucky if you make it to a game or two. In baseball, you've got 81 chances to have a foul ball land in your seat while you're in the concourse putting ketchup on your hot dog, only to end up snagging a second foul pop to your section upon returning (And yes, every one of these things happened with this guy in attendance). Sure, every sport has its idiosyncracies and once-in-a-lifetime moments, but baseball's long season affords you the most chances to actually witness one live.

Last night, I got to be a part of another one of those moments. Looking on from Section 312, I watched Nick Swisher, Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera hit back-to-back-to-back (and belly-to-belly-to-belly?) home runs in the bottom of the second, staking Phil Hughes and the Bombers to what would ultimately end in a lopsided eighth straight win for the Pinstripers. It was the first time the Yankees teed off for 3 straight dingers since 2005, and only the 11th time they've ever done it. I'll even credit myself with halfway calling the third, as I leaned over to my friend Rob and said, "Does Melky make it 3 in a row here, or is that too much wishful thinking?"

Hopefully I'll prove to have a knack for these kinds of moments this year. Fresh off the heels of three consecutive homers, I'll return to The Stadium tonight and try to run my record to a clean 3-0 on the season. And oh yea, Bonnaroo starts exactly three weeks from today.

It's Thursday, and it's absolutely beautiful. Apparently summer decided to just show up. Come and knock on our door.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Wherein the Subway Turnstile Dashes My Hopes [Life Imitating Art]

Sometimes your personal soundtrack syncs with your life just a little bit too perfectly. Case in point, as I'm heading home from work today, I'm head-nodding along to a Phish song called "Possum."

For those that don't know (or don't care about that damn dirty hippie music), "Possum" is a bouncy little number in which the singer "Was driving down the road one day, [and] someone hit a possum." The refrain of the tune culminates with a three part harmony on the word "Possum," held for as long as the lungs will allow, followed by the shouting declaration, "Your end is the road!"

So, as the song is nearing it's jammed out conclusion, I enter the subway station and see the train parked in the station, open doors beckoning. Charging for the turnstile I quickly swipe my card and attempt to run to the waiting train, but feel myself slammed backward by the stuck turnstile as the LED indicator lights up "Swipe Card Again." The subway doors close and I hang my head in defeat, perfectly in sync with the song's final crescendo, having reached the end of my road.

Of course, I got on the next train and returned to the comforts of home. Ol' Possum wasn't quite so lucky.