Saturday, August 9, 2014

Goodbye, Derek Jeter....

Last Thursday we tossed caution to the wind and went down to Yankee Stadium to watch the Bombers play the Tigers in an afternoon game.

That is, we tried. Or I did, anyway.  My wife and I have an agreement on trips like this.  I handle the tricky stuff (like actually the twist and turns of the city we're going to) and she handles the maps and the straight drives of the NYS Thruway/Northway/[fill in your favorite road here].  There are a few coffee stops and we try to build in time to get lost - which is becoming more of a thing now, you see.

I used to be able to drive for hours, get us there in good time, and whenever we returned to the destination, knew right what to do when, right into the parking space.

That's something that occurs more often now. Yousta.

I yousta drive better.

I yousta remember why I went into rooms.

I yousta remember what I did yesterday.

And, once, I could sit out in the bleachers on a beautiful warm sunny day.

We were in the fourth row.  I lasted three innings.  By the time we got to the main level, I could barely breath, sucking in air by the buckets, as I went down to my knees.  Eventually I got up, and we stayed in, away from the sun.  I must now live in the shadows.  Oh, it got better. We had Nathan's burgers and fries, cold drinks, and watched the game at the standing bars around that level.  We hit the Yankee stores and saw all the Yankee/Jeter let's-cash-in-on-this stuff.  I picked up a t-shirt that hand the right color and print of the old Yankee road jerseys.

Nice.  And all it took was a ride down the NYS Thruway to Poughkeepsie and grab the train there that would drop us off at Yankee Stadium.  It only took a half hour driving around P-see, trying to recall landmarks and get us to the train station.  But all that came to me was the I had to go near the river.  So once we arrived in the city, my wife asked if I knew where I was going.  "Sort of," I said. The directions provided by Apple Maps were somewhat looney, and I do apologize to Google for straying.  But the instinct was dow to the water.  As long as I was going downhill, no matter what street, I knew the station would be there.  Sure enough there it was.  We got on the train, and headed south, entertained by a group of five year old girls singing songs from "Frozen".

We were glad to see this:

Now we are not Yankee "fans".  My heart is for the Boston Red Sox, and my soul is with the Mets, the two teams most bedeviled by the Bronx Bombers.  I don't root for or against the Yanks (my wife is slightly more biased to the anti-).  I just love baseball, and the Yankees have so much history that I enjoy watching them, at least since the Torre era.  They are mostly guys who love the game and play it with a passion.  They've won more of everything than my other two teams combined.  Fine.  We are not all winners in life.  Like it says in the ballfield where the old Stadium was:

Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains. (Bull Durham)

Since I can still read, I've got shelves of baseball books.  Dice baseball game that I've played for 40 years, by myself and with friends.  My wife and I had hoped to hit every major league park after retirement.  That ain't happening, obviously.  But there are some within reach, and we'll do our best.

After the game we took the train heading back to Poughkeepsie, but each railroad car had full seats, and I sat on the floor and waited, then got to my feet, always good for a laugh as I lunged about, collapsing in a freed up seat.

We lost our way around the train station, and sometimes we just have to smile about it. This is just the way it is.  When we got to our car, there were no signs to tell us where to turn, and the directions were a waste of time.  But one thing that I did know.  I could see the bridge that spanned the Hudson River.  I just had to go up. The streets did not matter, as long we went up the hill, and then took two lefts, we'd be on the Thruway and headed home.  Just keep going up.

Derek Jeter did not play in the game nor did Mr. Cabrera of the Tigers.  The Yanks took the game 1-0.  Fine, whatever.  Exciting game.  We tipped our Yankee caps to the players.  Mr. Jeter played havoc with my Mets and Red Sox.  Don't get me going on the 2000 World Series.  But he was class, and he did the best he could with talent he had.  That's what we all try and do, acknowledge the Youstas and keep on going with what's left until the game is over.

I see we are slowly creeping up 10,000 visits. Many thanks and hope you enjoy the stories.

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