Wednesday, April 27, 2005

A cold but fun Tuesday night at the ballpark

Last night, I was the beneficiary of a couple of free tickets to the Yankees-Angels game courtesy of one of our vendors. Several of my colleagues have been working on a major purchase for the past few months and after much technical, financial, and legal wrangling, agreed to buy a new backup system. In return, the vendor offered to take two of us to the game. The guys who worked on the purchase couldn't go, so my boss and I went instead, along with several of the salespeople who worked with us on the project. They have good seats in the upper deck, four rows from the front, looking over home plate and straight into the Yankees' dugout. They're in excellent foul ball territory. The sales guys also bought us all the beer we could drink and all the hot dogs and peanuts we could eat. The only downside was that the temperature was in the 50s and it was windy up there, so my hands were freezing, especially when I was cradling a beer.

Of course, if you follow the Yankees, or got an e-mail from me last night around 9 PM, you know what happened. Alex Rodriguez hit three home runs off Bartolo Colon, including a grand slam in the 4th inning. Seeing one home run from a player in a game is good, two is even better. When A-Rod got up for the third time, I kept thinking there was no way he could hit a third one. I was surprised that Colon even got the chance to pitch to him, considering the night he'd had and his pitch count (he'd already thrown 90 pitches of what was clearly not his best stuff). Either Colon wouldn't give him anything to hit, or Rodriguez would just manage a single or a double. Besides, the bases were loaded and there were two outs. I don't know much about baseball, but in that situation, I'd be trying to put the ball in play, not looking for the long ball. Instead, on a full count, Rodriguez hit his third home run of the night for a grand slam, and Yankee Stadium went crazy. Even my boss and I, neither of us Yankee fans (he's a Mets fan), were on our feet, high-fiving and applauding A-Rod's performance. 10 RBI in a game is one short of the Yankee and American League record of 11, and only 11 other players have ever hit 10 or more RBI in a game. I was happy just seeing a game for free, so to be there for an offensive performance like that was a real bonus. And it's a great story with which to taunt my Yankee-loving friends who weren't there. Too bad I'm not a Yankee fan too -- I would have appreciated it more.

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