Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A War of Attrition

It reminded me of the opening line of "The Cat in the Hat". It was indeed a cold, cold wet day.

I had circled this date on the calendar as soon as the tickets were ordered. 6 seats to a Yankee- Red Sox game. It would be a memorable evening. It was, but not quite as I had envisioned.

I was thrilled with the 'guest list' for the evening. I was to be in the company of both of my children. Enough said about what that means to me. Richie had invited one of his oldest and closest childhood friends, along with a friend of recent years. Alex had an old ski buddy joining us. I liked this crowd immensely, and the 'invitees' shared a love for my children and for baseball. What could go wrong?

Alex, Richie and I checked the weather forecast throughout the day, and monitored the Yankee website to make sure the game was going forward. The Yankees posted no 'warnings'. At 5:30, Joanne drove us across the bridge. We then took the local bus through the streets of Manhattan and the Bronx and arrived at the ballpark by 6:30. Perfect.

We entered the Stadium, as the misting drizzle continued. Surely, the Yankees had factored in the inclemency. The tarp was still on the infield. This game was not starting at 7:05.

The rest of our crew was coming from various environs. Laura hopped the subway from 125th Street and met us as we arrived. Julie had to take a train from Stamford, Connecticut. Keridy managed to leave her law firm and head uptown to the Stadium. By shortly after 7, we were all huddled together. We found some seats, took out the towels and the plastic coverings and hunkered down. While the players signed bats and balls, read their books, discussed their portfolios or called their friends, we waited. And waited, and waited.

There was not a hint from the Yankees as to when, or if, the game would begin. Sunday the game had been canceled after about a one hour rain delay. Not a pitch was thrown. At least those people got tickets to the makeup game. As it turned out, we would not be as lucky.

One would think that at a cost of $1.5 billion dollars, the Yankees could come up with a more sophisticated system of alerting the fans to the hows and whens of what was happening rather than merely showing a fake image of falling raindrops with the superimposed "Rain Delay" on top. It didn't take a genius to figure out that with no players on the field, and the tarp gathering moisture, there was not a baseball game occurring below us.

7 o'clock became 8 o'clock and then 8:30. The only certainty was that money was being expended in large sums by those gathered for food, drink and assorted 'unnecessities' in the various stores that sell everything Yankees. We could not take shelter in the many 'private' restaurants that ring the stadium, because the price of our tickets did not qualify us for entry into the inner sanctum. So, I bought my $9 Johnny Rockets hamburger, the $9 order of garlic fries (I think it was about $1 per fry), and tried to think about anything but how cold and damp it was.

Laura was the first to throw in the towel. Nearly 9:00, with no hint from those in the know as to whether the weather was ever moderating, she bid us a fond farewell in her British accent and Red Sox cap, and headed home. She had not seen a pitch, or even a player. One down and 5 to go.

Keridy had joined us years earlier for a similar experience. We sat through a long rain delay (which, if I recall correctly, did NOT include any rain but just the imminent threat) and wandered out, as Laura now did. Not this time, not again.

So, we stayed. Around 9:00, a cheer erupted as the ground crew emerged from the warmth and comfort into the night. I was too cold and tired to really care.

The official announcement was that there was a 2 hour and 17 minute rain delay before the game began. We forced ourselves to stay for 1 inning before we headed for the exits. It was now nearing 9:45 as we headed out of the Stadium, just minutes into a game that would ultimately be ending after 1 AM under drier conditions. Julie reluctantly said her goodbyes, as she had clearly hoped for more time to take in the good, now that she had experienced so much bad. Keridy, if truth be known, probably appreciated the fact that Richie, Alex and I had all given it up for the evening.

It was 10:30 before we got home. 5 hours of 'entertainment' and all I could think of was taking a hot shower to get the chill out of my bones, and then crawling into bed.

But, there is always another day and another game. As a matter of fact, I have 4 tickets for tonight's game against the Red Sox. I have already gotten 2 calls asking if we are heading to the Bronx. The forecast is almost a replica of last night's. My response to my friends is to tell them of course we are going. I can see there is a small window of moderation of the precipitation and I am sure the game will be played. Why would they even question me. You see, stupidity is my constant companion. See you at the ballpark.


gail said...

Maybe if you really did buy some Yankee sod to wear on top of your head (still my favorite piece of yours!) you would have been drier.

You, Richie, and Alex are really what I would call devoted fans. I wouldn't have even made the trip across the bridge in that weather.

Robert said...

I think you are very kind by calling us 'devoted'. I know many others would use much harsher adjectives.

Unknown said...

tonight we will find out which Crook is tougher or crazier.........We need to have dinner soon.


Robert said...

4 old men tonight. First hint of rain and we will be heading for the exits.