11:55 a.m.: My brother and I are on a packed subway, filled mostly with people in pinstripes, and a crazy man is screaming he is diabetic. Let me state upfront that I am going to be incredibly bummed if Derek Jeter gets to 3,000 tomorrow. See, months ago, when these tickets were first offered to me, I had the option of taking Saturday or Sunday – I chose today. I also had tickets to last night’s game, but it was postponed. So now that Tampa Bay has refused a double-header, I may or may not flip out if Derek does not join The 3,000 Club this afternoon. Although, if he does make it, I will be grateful that this was not a double-header; 12 hours at the Stadium is an eternity, even for a baseball junkie like me.
Funny story about last night: So I met my friend Amanda around 5:45 p.m. at her office uptown, which is on the way to the Stadium. We were sitting there, drinking from a flask (because we are sketchy and hardcore). I already knew the game was rained out; however, I did not understand why Amanda kept refreshing her browser. Finally, around 7:15 p.m., I was like “Um, why are we still here?” She looks at me quizzically and says, “Aren’t we waiting to see if the game eventually gets played tonight?” Mind you, the game had been canceled for approximately 90 minutes at that point. Clearly, she confused the difference between a rain delay and a postponement. After I broke the news and she got over her disappointment, we went back to her apartment, rocked out, and finished the bottle of vodka. Needless to say, my head is pounding and these crazy subway fuckers are not helping.
12:45 p.m.: HOLY CRAP! We are sitting in the front-row. Like, hanging over the right-field wall first-row, Section 105. Until this very moment, I thought we were in “Row 10,” and we are – but apparently in the outfield, Row 10 is the first row. AND I AM AMAZED! I probably shouldn’t be – these seats are owned by ESPN, so I should have assumed they would be great. But I had no idea how great. I have been to probably 50 or more Yankees’ games, but I have never ever been this close to the field. It is incredible. Like, I can’t get over how incredible these seats are. I can obstruct any ball hit to right field. Andruw Jones and I may become best friends by the end of the afternoon. Jeffrey Maier 2.0? Yes please. Look for me getting arrested on SportsCenter tonight, thanks.
12:55 p.m.: My dream in life is to catch a foul ball or homerun at a baseball game. This is my fucking chance, people. I have this planned out already. I got Andruw’s attention (and a nod), so I made inroads there. A wink-wink and a promise of sexual favors should get me at least a foul ball hit into the corner, right? I have also decided that, for a homerun, a broken hand is totally worth it. I mean, I would break my face for a Yankee homerun ball. I told my brother that he has my permission to push the old man with the cane next to us. But I also told him that if a ball is hit directly to us that he better move out of the way, since I am clearly the family jock. He nodded in agreement. I like that he knows I am absolutely serious.
1:04 p.m.: The game is about to start and the atmosphere is electric. You can tell that everyone here is anxious, nervous, and excited to see greatness. The seats are packed already, it is hot as a motherfucker, and the jumbotron is showing Jeter highlights on repeat. Good god, I adore him.
Top 1: A.J. is on the mound. He, his former-convict tattoos, and his inconsistency scare the hell out of me, but what else is new? He ends the inning on a swinging K. I am sorry, but I still can’t get over how amazing our seats are. In fact, I keep saying it over and over again. All girls love diamonds, I am just not sure if I prefer the kind you get in the Bronx or at Tiffany’s. Potential suitors out there, please note that lifetime season tickets are the equivalent of any sort of commitment ring for me.
Bottom 1: Here we go! The crowd is roaring. It is crazy to think that, in reality, everyone is here only to see four or five at-bats by one man. And we are going to get the first one right here, as the Baseball Jesus leads off against David Price (it does not excite me that he is on the mound). Everyone is on their feet. I love the home-made signs that decorate the crowd; they are witty and worshipful. I don’t know if worshipful is an adjective, but let’s go with it. It seems DJ is up there to swing – and I love that. Everyone is hanging on each pitch with bated breath. AND 2,999 IS IN THE BOOKS!! A ground ball through the left side. That is one way to take some pressure off of himself. Everyone is going crazy – you would think he just belted a game tying homerun. Granderson flies out to center and Tex hits into a double-play to end the inning. But who cares? The Baseball Jesus is one away from history!
Top 2: I am going to be totally honest here. I am drinking beer on a gorgeous day in the front-row at Yankee Stadium and I cannot promise that this retro-live-blog will be as detailed as it normally would be. I will cover the big stuff and all of Derek’s at-bats. I may miss some stuff in between, but I will make up for it in kickass awesome pictures later. Is that cool? Good. Glad we had this talk. Kotchman grounds out. B.J. Upton, who I used to watch all of the time when he was a Durham Bull, strikes out swinging. But DAMN. Matt Joyce just rocketed a homerun directly over my head – like in the second-tier, directly above our seats. Someone else grounds out – I was too busy drinking and trying to figure out why Twitter hates me to care. My tweets have apparently stopped working. 1-0, Rays.
Bottom 2: Let’s hit around and get the Baseball Jesus his second at-bat, shall we Bombers? Yeah, they didn’t listen. Robbie was hit by a pitch (which does nothing to help Joe Girardi’s Braces, so thanks for nothing David Price), Andruw Jones walked, and everyone else grounded out. Lame. 1-0, Rays.
Top 3: Um, no one cares about this half-inning. We are too excited about the bottom-half. So can we hurry this along? AJ does exactly that, impressive. He strikes out two and gets Johnny Damon (who I also love, even with his ridiculous faux-hawk) to ground out. Baseball Jesus time!!!! 1-0, Rays.
The pitch Derek Jeter knocked for #3,000.Bottom 3: Brett Gardner grounds out, a bang-bang play, but whatever. DEREK IS UP! Oh my god, could this be it? Everyone is on their feet again. The excitement is palpable. One hit away… “Der-ek Je-ter, clap-clap-clap-clap-clap!” is being screamed at a deafening volume. Full count… HE DID IT!!!!!!! NUMBER 3,000 IS IN THE BOOKS!!! HOLY CRAP. The Stadium is going insane. And, god, he did it in such story-book fashion. A no-doubt homerun to tie the game. WOW. JUST WOW.
The bullpen running in to celebrate.I cannot believe I am here. I cannot believe that just happened! Everyone is still going nuts. Random people are hugging strangers. My brother just high-fived the two fat men behind us. Derek is getting mobbed at the plate; the jumbotron shows him as all smiles. OH MY GOD I LOVE HIM. Everything he stands for, everything he has done for my baseball team and my city, everything. I can’t stop smiling or jumping up and down.
Top 8: Robertson, that bastard, just let the Rays tie the game. Really? We could not just end this day on the perfect note? Because it was sort of perfect until that. It made me miss Joba, which says a lot. Sigh. Tied fucking game. 4-4.
The Mo Montage.Derek is being interviewed by Kim Jones down by the dugout and everyone chants his name one last time. It so SO loud in here and the game is already over. He waves with his hat and my day is complete. Sigh, what an incredible game. What a moment. #3,000 on a homerun! A five-for-five, game winning RBI, historic record kind of day for the Baseball Jesus. I can’t believe I got to witness it. 5-4, Yankees.