Tagged: Yankees

The Offseason Is On! Thoughts on the Hefty-Lefty

The World Series has been over for awhile now, and I’d like to express my congratulations to the St. Louis Cardinals. They had the most heart out of any team I’ve seen in awhile. I said that if my Yankees couldn’t win, I’d be pulling for them, and I’m glad they took the title home. I hope the Cardinals can keep Albert Pujols. As much as I love the guy, I don’t want the Yankees to get him, and they have no need for him, so I don’t even know why I’m mentioning this. The Yankees still have a lot on this year’s offseason agenda, and a bat and price like Albert Pujols, or Prince Fielder for that matter, is not on the list.

So now that baseball is officially over and I don’t have to deal with the pain of other teams playing while my team is not, I’m feeling a little bit better. The offseason can be pretty exciting, at least through the holidays. I think this offseason will be more rewarding for Yankees fans than last season’s was, because the already crossed off the big #1 on their list: bringing back their ace, CC Sabathia.

I had mixed feelings about the CC Sabathia situation. Now I love my Chubby Chunk, but I feared that this lefty was getting a bit too hefty. I remember how he lost about 25 pounds last offseason, and progressively gained it all back by the time the season ended. To me, that’s a sign of laziness. An athlete of Sabathia’s caliber (and price) should be doing whatever possible to maintain tip-top shape, and stuffing your face with Cap’n Crunch isn’t acceptable.

At first I was unsure to whether or not I even wanted Sabathia- he has been one of the best aces in the bigs and has worked a tremendous amount of innings – but even so, I felt his weight gain and lack of success at the end of last season was worthy of concern. Since the Yankees have an excessive amount of long term contracts, some of which I don’t want (ahem, A-ROD), and CC was starting to get on my nerves and I thought he would want a huge contract, I felt that maybe it was better for the Yankees to just let him walk.

But then I wondered: what would the Yankees do without CC? Was it really worth it to let him go, just because we didn’t want those extra few years, and to not have the rest of the prime years? On the other hand, were the prime years worth the giant contract?

Luckily, I didn’t have to worry after all. The Yankees gave me the best of both worlds: an extended contract, but not too huge.

Instead of the 4 year/$92 million he had left on his original deal, CC now has a 5 year/$117 million deal with an option for a sixth year. I recently said that I don’t want any more contracts greater than 5 years, so this deal made me happy. I feel that long term contracts create laziness, just like with many teachers I’ve had who have tenure: their jobs and money are guaranteed, and in the case of these big money guys, it’s hard to move them, so they kind of have a free pass. But this deal is just the right length. Hopefully, Sabathia will come into camp in solid shape at the start of the 2012 season.

Another huge priority has been crossed off the offseason to-do list for my Yankees, and that was bringing back Brian Cashman, one of the architects of the organization. He’ll be back for another three years at least, meaning that he’ll be around to craft #28.

Let’s make it 28 in 2012 my boys!

106 days until pitchers and catchers report.

Grieving of a Yankees Fan

It’s been quite some time since my last post, and of course school is partially to blame for that. The big reason is because I’ve been mourning – mourning the end of the 2011 season. Every year you don’t win the World Series, it ends this way: losing. It happens more often than not, though the Yankees were lucky enough to come out on top more than any other franchise. If it occurs more than it does not, then why am I taking it so hard this season?

I’ve been contemplating this since October 6, and still I am empty handed.

As I’ve said throughout the entire 2011 season, nobody really expected the Yankees to win it all this season. There were too many question marks. And I remember trying to convince myself that I wouldn’t be too disappointed if they lost. I thought I had myself fooled.

I was wrong.

I think it hurts so much this year because my Yankees were the underdogs. People didn’t have high expectations, and the Yankees surprised them. This season was so magical, and I hoped the magic would continue and carry them to #28. It didn’t happen, and I still can’t believe that it is over. In that ALDS game 5, they came so close. I’d rather they had been blown out.

It’s tough knowing that baseball is going on without the Yankees in the mix of it. To me, the offseason starts when the Yankees are done. I know this postseason has been exciting, but it really doesn’t do anything for me.There’s no emotional attachment to any other teams, to any other players, so I don’t feel personally involved. Sure, I’m picking the Cardinals to win because they were my NL choice (I hoped for Yankees vs. Cardinals World Series) when they made it into the playoffs, but to think I’m going to sit down and watchthis Rangers vs. Cardinals World Series with enthusiasm? It’s just not going to happen.

Though it’s not easy, things are getting a little better with time. That loss is becoming farther and farther behind. Every once in awhile, I have a bad day, and the same questions and hypotheticals bombard my mind: “Why couldn’t Jesus Montero play?” “If only Jeter’s long fly in the 8thof game 5 went over the wall…”

If only…

I’m hoping that once the playoffs are over and the holidays are getting closer, I won’t be thinking as much about baseball and my grieving will be over. I’m just wondering how much is left. Here’s what I’ve been through so far:

1) Denial

Even though I knew that game 5 meant being on the brink of elimination, I never really thought the Yankees would lose. They were at home, they had rookie sensation Ivan Nova on the mound, and they were coming off an incredible victory that was courtesy of A.J. Burnett’s step-up performance. It just didn’t seem possible that it would end right there. I was thinking about the ALCS, and the fact that Jesus Montero would get playing time because the Rangers have so much left handed pitching, which he kills. Even when the Yankees were behind, Ithought they’d come back. Joe Girardi managed to keep the opposing offense off balance for most of the night by piecing together the innings with different pitchers, and I thought they were destined to win. When they were down in the 9th with Granderson, Cano, and Rodriguez due up, I was thinking about a walkoff pie. Thoughts of failing were quickly brushed away, and when it happened, I entered stage two.

2) Shock

Alex Rodriguez’s pathetic strikeout ended the season for my Yankees. All of a sudden, I was taken back to one year ago, where I was sitting downstairs with my brother while we were semi-watching Game 6 of the 2010 ALCS against the Rangers. A-Rod stood there looking as the called third strike sailed by, sending the stadium into a celebratory frenzy. I didn’t know how to react, so I threw my shoe at the TV and stormed upstairs. 2011 was a little different. After A-Rod struck out, I really didn’t know what to do. I stood there in disbelief and wondered if what I was seeing really happened, thinking, “There has to be another inning, right? It’s not over.”

It was.

I pleaded to myself, “NO! This isn’t right.” It began to sink in that the season was over, that the Yankees lost, and that I wouldn’t see them for a long time. My emotions then began to boil over.

3) Anger

Once I realized it was all real, I was livid. I tried to find something, someone to blame. The barrage of cursing made my brothers laugh a little, but I was in no mood for laughter. I thought of perhaps just going to bed, but I knew I was too pissed to sleep. I logged in to facebook, where I chatted with a friend who too was experiencing the same stage of the grieving process. Then the angry statuses emerged from myself and many Yankees fans. Mine was directed at A-Rod, and let’s just say it wasn’t very ladylike. But who can maintain their composure in a time like this?

4) Sorrow

This is by far the hardest stage to deal with, and the one that reemerges randomly. When I finally decided to go to bed after venting on facebook for a few hours, I cried a little. The fact that it was October and I wouldn’t be able to watch a real game until April was too much to bear. That’s a long time. Past the holidays, past winter, and well into my second semester. It seems that it will never come. I wore my Brett Gardner jersey to school the next day anyway, because he was one of the only guys who actually performed well in the postseason. Some kids scowled at me, saying, “Why are you wearing that today? They lost.” Obviously I didn’t need to be reminded. Randomly on that Friday I felt the tears well up. I went to the lounge where my friend, my fellow facebook venter, and I sat in remorse. I told him I had cried a bit, and then almost started to right there before I pulled myself together. He was just as devastated, and we talked about the “if onlys” of that fateful game 5. We were mad, but by this time the sorrow had definitely taken precedence. My friend rolled up his sleeve and rubbed his Yankees tattoo, and said, “Always and forever.”

5) Hopefulness

Although I don’t want anyone else to feel the way I did, it was helpful for me to know I was not mourning alone. Discussing sorrows with another who knows what you are feeling is a healthy way to keep moving forward. He was right: “Always and forever.” No matter what, we Yankees fans will remain fans. After a while, I began to think about what I thought all season: that if the Yankees didn’t make it, I wouldn’t be too disappointed, because it was a surprise that they even made it that far anyways. And my friend had a point that for some reason comforted me. He said that just because they lost didn’t mean they weren’t the best team. All throughout the season, the Yankees have lost a series here and a series there. They just so happened to lose when it counted most. They still put together an amazing season as AL East champs with the best record in the AL. How can you argue with that? Especially when the Phillies were knocked out when everyone thought they would win it all? He’s right. The postseason is a crapshoot. It didn’t go our way this time, but maybe next season it will.

I’d like to take this time to thank my boys:

Yankees, I know you have been eliminated for almost two weeks now, so hopefully you are getting over it as I am. I just want to thank you once again for an amazing season. It seems that with each new season, I feel even more excited and intense. Though time for blogging is scarce, I make sure to watch you every night. You guys are such a part of my routine and my life, that I don’t know what to do without you. That is why the offseason is so hard. I don’t want you to misunderstand: I’m not upset because you lost. I’m upset because it’s over and other baseball is still going on. The farther you guys go, the quicker I get to welcome you into my home again. I hate not seeing you more than anything. You guys are family to me since you are always in mylife. And as each season gets more intense for me, each offseason gets harder. I want you to know that I am extremely proud of what you have accomplished this season. You have exceeded my expectations and have blown my mind.

Congrats on yet another incredible season, Yanks. It didn’t end the way I wanted, but we’ve got a whole lot to smile over. The future is looking mighty bright, my boys.

I’ve got April 6th circled on my calendar.

Yankees, rest up, relax, but stay in shape. Enjoy the offseason and the holidays, and come back to me driven and ready to start the Chase for 28.

I know I’ll be ready.

Still In Disbelief

The last time I posted was September 6th. Although I haven’t been active with the blog, I have remained active in watching baseball. I’ve come to the conclusion that 2011 has been the single-most surprising season that I have ever watched – and that I might EVER see. I still can’t believe that anything I’ve seen in the past month has actually happened.

So remember way back when I said I’d still have time to blog and that the college workload didn’t kick in yet? Well, it kicked in. Big time. Commuting is tough. But I’m glad I don’t live at my school, because they don’t have the YES Network! I wouldn’t be able to survive. Although now, the games are nationally broadcast because IT’S THE POSTSEASON! DAHH! How did this happen?

Last time I posted, the Yankees had a slim but solid 2.5 game lead over the Red Sox, who possessed a seemingly-insurmountable 7 game lead over the Rays in the Wild Card. I’m sure any conscious baseball fan is aware of what happened next: that Red Sox lead began to dwindle, while the Yankees and Rays kept on climbing.

Although I witnessed it all happening, I never really processed it, and I still can’t wrap my mind around it. What happened? The Yankees finished with the best record in the AL. Now I love my boys, but that stat surprises me. The Yankees are the best team in the American League, with all the question marks they have? The Rays made it in to the postseason on the last day of the regular season despite trailing all year long? And the Red Sox – the anointed World Champions – went 7-20 in this past month, failing to even make it into the playoffs? And their pitching had a 7 – something ERA over that stretch? And the Yankees pitching was good? It shouldn’t be a surprise. The Yankee pitching was beyond “good” all season long. But for them to have held up, and the Sox to have fallen…it’s incredible. Only in this game will something like this ever happen.

It still pains me that I missed blogging about so many things that happened in this month. In the spare amounts of time I had to write a blog, I had to do it for my PHILOSOPHY class…yeah. Blogging for class. The “class participation and engagement blog.” 10 percent of my grade for that class. And considering that philosophy isn’t easy (How do we know we exist? What? I’m right here!), I have to do well on that part.

As always, the season ends too quickly. I enjoyed the last week of regular season play, in which my Yankees took things easy, rested, and contributed to the Red Sox collapse. It’s fun not worrying whether they win or lose. But after awhile, both they and I begin to itch for that intensity…

So here’s the postseason. ALDS. Yankees vs. Tigers. Set to start on a Friday. I was excited. This week was long and strenuous, and I wanted to come home and relax in front of my boys. But actually, there was no way that was going to happen. I probably would have fallen asleep, despite the adrenaline of the postseason. Already being exhausted, and then exerting so much energy watching the game…don’t think I would have made it through last night. Nevertheless, I was still annoyed when the game was postponed in the 2nd inning. But maybe it’s for the best…maybe the Yankees and I will be more ready for the resumed game tonight. Sure, CC’s not pitching, but neither is Verlander. It’s gonna be a good matchup tonight.

I just want to say a few things to my Yanks: Yankees, I want to thank you for an amazing season. I know it’s not over yet, and I know you will play to your fullest potential to reach your goal. I honestly never expected this much from you this year. Best record in AL? Despite everything? I’m still in disbelief. I never thought you’d be where you are right now. But since you are here, I want you to win. You have shown me what it means to be strong, to fight the odds, and to play like a real team should (as opposed to the Red Sox who sit around and get drunk during games). I love you. I’m still processing everything that’s happened this year. I do believe you can win, though when I think about it, I don’t know how. On paper, surely, you are not the best team.

But paper can’t measure heart.

Good luck in this Chase for 28. I’ll be watching.

GO YANKEES!

Jesus Is Just Alright With Me!

That was a Byrds reference in case anyone cares.

But that’s beside the point. Point is, Jesus Montero is a friggin beast. And I’m still in disbelief about everything.

Jesus Montero has given me so much hope since I heard about him what seems like many years ago. Way back at the beginning of the season, when everyone was counting the Yankees out and saying there was no possible way they could win, because the Red Sox were so amazing, I thought to myself, “That’s okay, I don’t have to win every year. We Yankees fans still have a lot to look forward to. If I get the chance to see Montero play this year, no matter what, I will consider this season worthwhile.”

God. I mean Jesus…

IT’S THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS!

Currently, the Yankees have a 2.5 lead over those anointed champion Red Sox, which is relatively roomy considering how tight this division has been all season long. They have had possession of first and lost it many times this season…but with every game that passes, there is less and less time for the standings to change.

Not only are the Yankees winning – but now Montero is part of it! And I truly believe he is the real-deal.

Jesus Montero stole the show yesterday by hitting his first 2 homers in the Bigs. They were both of the opposite field variety, and they both earned him curtain-calls. I found that somewhat surprising, and also a little relieving. I thought maaaybee I was the only one who was so excited about the kid, and when he didn’t get a hit in his first game, I thought maaaybee my excitement was silly, but then when he had that huge game yesterday, all the fans embraced him, so now I don’t feel stupid for being his biggest fan already.

I’m tempted to go buy myself a “Montero #63” Yankees jersey, but I think his number might change soon. He’s too good to be #63 for much longer. But I’ve learned the hard way about those player jerseys…all of mine are out-of-date: I have Cano as #22, Melky Cabrera as #28 (lol), and Francisco Cervelli as #29. I had a Gary Sheffield #11 jersey, but my Grandma took off the lettering, so now it’s a #11 shirt WITHOUT a name. Ohh yeah.

But yeah, back to that Jesus Montero guy….okay not gonna lie, I really like him. And those of you that know me know what that means. He’s only 21….I’m 18, there’s hope. He’s soooo adorable.

Fangirl commentary needs to be put on hold…I’m sorry.

So yeah, Jesus Montero. In all seriousness, Jesus Montero, in the short time he has been with the team, has made me so happy. He has given me that desire to watch games again with that intensity that I can’t even describe. He’s helping us now, and I’m confident that he’ll be here for the future. If Brian Cashman didn’t move him yet – and he has had his fair share of golden opportunities to do so – I don’t think he’ll move him now. Not when he gave us a glimpse of why he was meant to be a Yankee. His swing is perfect for Yankee Stadium. That short porch in right was BUILT for him. The fans already adore the kid, hence the curtain calls. And hey, I know it’s a small sample, but he’s hitting .385 and has shown awesome power. Every once in a while, a player really does live up to his expectations. Can Montero be one of those guys?

I definitely think so.

I hope the Yankees continue to keep on plugging him into the lineup. Jesus Montero in the BOTTOM THIRD of the lineup? That’s quite a force. They should use him every day, because after all: they have to win, and they have to put their best guys out there. Right now, I think Jesus Montero is a better designated hitter than Jorge Posada.

Even if he struggles, I say pencil him in there. Sure, he may worry about slumping, he may lose a little confidence – who cares about him losing trade value, he’s here to stay in my mind. Bottom line, Jesus Montero has spent 2 seasons in Triple-A. He can hit. The defense will come. Too much hope and excitement has been invested in the guy. The Yankees owe it to the fans to use him.

I can’ t wait to come home and watch the game tonight – and I hope Jesus Montero is playing.

GO YANKEES!

My First Blog From Marist!

Things have been pretty crazy since the last time I posted, both for me and the Yankees. The Yankees have gone 6-6 since my last post, losing their position atop the AL East in the process. They had some really good games, and some games where they were so bad that I didn’t even think they were my Yankees.

The most exciting game during this stretch was definitely last Thursday’s series finale against the Athletics, in which my Yankees made baseball history: the first team to have three players hit grand slams in one game. Robinson Cano, Russell Martin, and Curtis Granderson. The Yankees scored 22 runs that game – a historic offensive explosion I will surely remember.

Yankee fans, like myself, were so caught up in the excitement of that game that we may have forgotten: the Yankees still lost that series against the A’s. They dropped 2 of 3 at home against a stinky team that can’t hit to save its life. This was a stretch of games I thought the Yankees would coast through: 3 against those A’s, and 5 against the last place Baltimore Orioles. They lost the A’s series and split 4 against the O’s (thanks to Hurricane Irene, one game was left out).

Speaking of Hurricane Irene, she’s a b!tch. She screwed up my start of college. Marist College was holding Welcome Week this past weekend, but because of the storm, Sunday’s activities were cancelled. Which meant that Sunday move-in was cancelled. Which means it was moved to Monday. And that meant classes were cancelled Monday. So I’m sitting home in a blackout, just itching to just get started. No. Make the anxious/excited/nervous kid suffer that much more.

Today (Tuesday) everything worked out. My first day of classes, my first day in COLLEGE! The 40 minute drive to Marist might soon get old, but oh well. I sit here now, typing up this post, from the awesomely huge and amazing library at Marist. I’ve been here since 8am, and my next class is at 5pm. Quite a large gap. In high school, I remember not having enough time to do anything…now I sit here with all the time I could ever hope for (I’m sure that will change once I start getting assignments).

Due to the Hurricane, the blackout, and my preoccupation with school, I kind of haven’t really been following the Yankees as much as I would have liked to lately. Time sure flew. When I looked at the Yankees schedule a few minutes ago, I noticed they start a three game series against the Red Sox tonight. At Fenway. Ohhhh boy…here we go again.

The Commuter Leader here at Marist made it a point in his introductory speech to tell us that he hates the Red Sox, which totally made my day. Colin, you are already awesome!

Honestly, I’m really not thaaaaaat confident about this series against the Sox. I hate Fenway Park and I know the Red Sox steal signs. I’m annoyed at the pitching matchups: we have CC going in game 1, and he really needs to prove to me that he can pitch against this team without stinking. Game 2 is Phil Hughes, who, despite a few good starts after coming off the DL, still sucks to me. And game 3 is the always insane A.J. Burnett. The only reason I bother watching the games he pitches in is because there is always a chance he will get so mad that he’ll turn around and punch Joe Girardi.

I hope I don’t see that. But if it happened on live TV, I wouldn’t want to miss it.

The Yankees haven’t exactly been playing their best baseball of late…and I don’t really think NOW is the time to go to Fenway. I thought they’d be hot now, coming off games against bad teams, but they really aren’t.

Hopefully last night’s 3-2 win gives the Yankees the momentum they need to go out there and WIN. And hopefully Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez will be in the lineup tonight.

I want a good game. I’m going to get home at 7, and I know I’ll be exhausted. I don’t even know if I’ll have the energy to go through a Yankees-Red Sox game – they are very draining.

Oh well. I can’t believe how fast this season has gone. And my summer…but my Dad said to enjoy these next 4 years, because they too will fly by.

GO YANKEES!

A Special Gift

So yesterday was my birthday…the big 18. I had already received an amazing surprise, which was the Yankee game I went to last Thursday. I had a lovely day and a nice weekend with my family, who always make my day special. Was it selfish to wish for one more thing?

Maybe, but I was entitled to a wish when I blew out the candles.

Now I know it’s bad luck to say what you wished for or whatever, so I’ll just give a little hint:

Ohh yeah.

I don’t know if I should go crazy bragging like I did last time the Yanks sat atop the division, but you know…obviously it’s nice. And they did it just for me. A friend wrote on my facebook for my birthday that it’d be nice if the Yankees could move into first place just for me. And they did.

Thanks boys! I hope you can stay there.

So my birthday was fun…it’s weird being LEGAL haha. It’s one of those special ages.

The Yankees have a guy reaching one of those special ages, too.

Happy 40th birthday, Jorge!

This season has been tough for Jo-Po, and tougher for me to watch. I still think his struggles were because he just couldn’t accept the DH role. He was used to being involved in every single play. Then he found himself sitting on the bench, when he knew he could still catch. It’s sad when guys like Jorge get pushed aside. He’s not the player he used to be, and watching a legend (in my eyes) decline is never easy.

But on Saturday, this old guy showed why we love him so much. He knocked in 6 runs, 4 via a grand slam, and he looked genuinely happy doing so.

Jorge, I hope tonight is a good one for you. I hope the team does for you what they did for me – win – and that you are a part of it.

LOVE YOU, JORGE!

Thanks again, Yanks. Keep up the good baseball! 3 wins in a row, let’s make it 4 tonight!

Yankees vs. Angels: Sec 201, Row 2, Seat 7

A Day I’ll Never Forget

I finally made it back out to Yankee Stadium! I saw my first game this year last Thursday, August 11. It was the rubber game of the series against the Angels. The Halos won the first, the Yanks won the second. I knew it was going to be a good game, and and all-around good day. But I didn’t think it’d be THIS good.

Some of you might know that aside from my blog here at MLBlogs, I write for the FanVsFan Network at my site Pinstripe Partisan. I love that site for a number of reasons, one of the main reasons being that the people who work there are amazing. One of the leaders of the site himself is a Yankees fan and a native New Yorker, and he was generous enough to give me not one, but TWO free tickets to this Yankees game. So not only did I have the time of my life, but I was able to experience the day with my older brother, who had not yet been to the new Yankee Stadium.

But he didn’t just give me tickets. He gave me tickets, that for me, were perfect. When I found out where they were, I couldn’t wait to go.

My brother and I took the train down to the Stadium. Bobby is just as much of a Yanks fan as I am, and he was dying to see the new Stadium. When he first caught a glimpse of it as we were walking towards it, he was in awe – so much that he called home and told my Mom: “Ahh, Mommy! It’s so beautiful, you have no idea…” While on the phone, he turned to me and demanded that I take a picture.

We got the the Stadium 2 hours before the game was scheduled to start. Our plan was to go to our seats as soon as possible and watch batting practice and possibly get autographs. When we got to our section, Bobby reminded me:

“Virginia, please don’t embarrass me.”

Why so concerned?

Our seats were two rows behind the Yankee bullpen. And it was a day game. After a night game. Which meant that some players would be resting. Which meant that some backups would be playing.

WHICH MEANT THAT I HAD A CHANCE TO BE TWO ROWS AWAY FROM FRANCISCO CERVELLI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can see now why he was worried about me.

The first Yankees we saw up-close-and-personal from our perch atop the bullpen wall was Freddy Garcia. He was getting some throwing in. Then Mike Harkey, the coolest bullpen coach ever, entered, and my brother and I (then the only people at the wall) yelled out, “Hi Hark!” AND HE WAVED!!! I thought my day was made. Oh, but there was more to come.

I was watching the hitters take BP, waiting for Cervelli to be done so he could come into the bullpen. BP was long, so my brother and I left for awhile to look around the Stadium, whose beauty was mesmerizing. When we got back to our seats, the wait wasn’t very long. Bobby pointed to a sexy looking man approaching from the dugout. I started to freak out.

“Virginia, you’re doing it.” he warned.

I managed to not explode. I let Francisco Cervelli approach. I captured his warm-up routine with about 50 pictures. Here are some personal favorites:

Before I knew it, he entered the bullpen. I was wearing my “Cervelli 29” shirt I bought last year at the Stadium. It was crowded at the bullpen wall now, but I figured, “It’s now or never.” And I was the only one in the ballpark that I knew of wearing his shirt. I was his ultimate fan. All these other idiots asking for his autograph didn’t really care about him. I didn’t want to harass him like the rest of them.

When he got close enough, I just yelled out, “Hey Francisco!!!! I’m wearing your shirt!”

Now I don’t know if he heard me, or if he saw the shirt when I turned around to show him. All I know, is that he waved at me, and I almost died. I’m lucky that I didn’t fall into the bullpen and die. I really am.

FRANCISCO CERVELLI WAVED TO ME. Holy Jesus. My life was then complete.

So he did more warm-ups, then when he exited the ‘pen, he waved again at us! Such a sweetie.

Oh yeah, then the GAME started. That was fun.

Bartolo Colon pitched a good game for the Yankees. I thought I was going to see Nova, but he pitched the night before. So when I heard it was Colon, I was happy. He was our first choice for a starter to see live!

The game was quiet at first, with no teams scoring through the first 4 innings. In the 5th, the Angels jumped out to a 2-0 lead on an Alberto Callaspo 2-run homer. That upset the sellout crowd, but they soon began to cheer when the fan who caught the ball threw it back.

In the bottom of the 6th, my cutie Curtis Granderson decided to give us something to smile about for real. After a Derek Jeter single, my GrandyMan homered to tie the game at 2! Then the next time the Yanks were on offense, big things happened, thanks to Mr. Robbie Cano. The bases were loaded after an Angel error, and Cano made them pay.

GRAND SLAM! Seeing that live was amazing. The ball jumped off Cano’s bat like I’ve seen no other. It got out of the park in a hurry, and Yankees fans went crazy. 6-2 lead!

*Note: Francisco Cervelli walked in that inning, and for some reason, Girardi called for Russell Martin to pinch run for him? I didn’t know why he did that. My Grandma said it was because a female fan was harassing Cervelli, and he couldn’t take it….wasn’t me!

Cory Wade made things messy in the 9th, so Mariano Rivera had to come in. Always a pleasure seeing him make his way to the mound.

We were all aware of Mo’s mishaps on the mound that week. We didn’t want to witness another one. And when Russell Branyan pinch hit, we were a little nervous. With 2 men on, Branyan homered…yikes. All of a sudden it was 6-5. I thought maybe that was all Mariano would allow.

Thank God I was right. We couldn’t afford to stick around for more innings – we had a train to catch! Luckily, Mo settled down and finished up the game. YANKEES WIN 6-5!

My brother didn’t want to leave. Once we got home, he said, “We need to go back.” He then proceeded into his room, and began looking up more Yankees tickets. I hope we can go again before college starts!

It was a day I’ll never forget, that’s for sure. How often can a girl say that her crush waved to her at close distance, and she didn’t die? I’m proud.

It was an amazing early 18th birthday present for me. My real birthday is tomorrow. I’ll enjoy my last day as a kid today.

Thanks again to Michael H. for that amazing day! You’re the best.

GO YANKEES!