I've never met the guy who lives in the apartment above mine, but I know he's a Yankee fan. I found this out in 2001 after game 7 of the world series. Mariano had thrown the ball into center field unintentionally, & I was too upset to watch any more. I turned off the tv and radio, and sat in
the dark knowing the tragedy that would probably follow. After a few minutes in the dark silence,
I heard a chair scraping the floor in the apartment above me.
I said I bet this person was watching
the game, and got up from his chair at its horrible conclusion. I turned on the radio, & found out it was so. Tonight, in 2006, Mariano was again carrying the burden for 2 innings.
- John Sterling wondered again why Yankee outfielders stand so far out when Mo is pitching as he watched 2 soft fly balls fall in for singles in the 9th inning. With the way things have been going for the Yankees, plus again putting such a big burden on Mo, I said forget it, I can't watch this. (And I sure as heck wasn't going to watch Mariano taking an at bat--that should never happen).
- So, Ryan Howard, THE WINNING RUN, comes to the plate against Rivera, already with 2 HR's & a 3B on the night. I turn off the tv and radio. About 15 seconds later, I hear the chair scrape across the wood floor in the apartment above me. I thought, oh God, Howard hit a 3 run home run on the first pitch.
- But, I was wrong. The greatest late inning reliever in the history of baseball had gotten the 'player of the game' to hit an infield grounder....on the first pitch. (P.S. I'll note a special assist from Arthur Rhodes).
I got the nerve to watch Mo's at bat on the YES repeat, & it was classic. Michael Kay said it was MO'S FIRST REGULAR SEASON AT BAT IN HIS CAREER
(he's had 3 post season at bats). It was quite funny, showing everyone laughing in the dugout, trying to find a helmet for Mo. Unfortunately, Mo didn't just stand there & take 3 pitches--he took big swings at a couple of them. When he finally struck out, his fans cheered his effort, and he smiled.