Spent the weekend in New York City, where it’s been 95 degrees and muggy every day. Had a good time meeting up with fellow Toastmasters Alex Belth, Cliff Corcoran and Diane Firstman on Friday night, and took in the A’s-Yankees game on Sunday. Given the weather, I was quite grateful that I had the nosebleed seats, as our seats were under the upper deck overhang, and we got to watch the ballgame in the shade. It was a good game, as Andy Pettitte was painting corners as well as he ever has, and Justin Duchscherer, while not quite on his game–missing the strike zone a bit more often than he usually does, still varied his speed and location well enought to keep the Yankees’ offense from launching too much thunder.
The difference in the game was pretty much the difference in the teams, as the Yankees have power, and the A’s don’t, and the Yankees have experience, and the A’s don’t. One blast from Jason Giambi provided more power than the A’s lineup could provide, and a baserunning misjudgment by Ryan Sweeney in the ninth inning prevented him from reaching second when Bobby Abreu dropped a fly ball, and he was forced out. Just a few innings earlier, when Sweeney had singled in the tying run at 1-1, my wife said, "Is there a worse baserunner than Ryan Sweeney?" He seems to make baserunning errors every time she watches him, and he made her very prescient.
I suppose that if Sweeney had made it to second on Abreu’s miscue and come around to score in an A’s victory, I could have said that the A’s have defense, and the Yankees don’t, as Sweeney made a nice throw to nail Alex Rodriguez at the plate for the second time this weekend. But such is the way of talented youthful teams–they’ll excite you one minute, and disappoint you the next.
This was my first and only visit to Yankee Stadium before the new version opens next year. I’ll write a longer post on the topic later in the week after I return home to California. I would have enjoyed a A’s victory more, but if you can’t appreciate a close, well-pitched ballgame, and having a chance once in your lifetime to experience the buzz as Mariano Rivera emerges from the Yankee bullpen to close out a ballgame, you don’t deserve to call yourself a baseball fan. Even if it was unbearably hot and muggy, it was a good day of baseball.