Full disclosure: I left the Bronx last night after nine innings, and I still didn't get to bed until 2AM. I'm not good with 'staying up late on school nights' or 'watching extra innings of an exhibition game' so right now I am an odd combination of 'excited at having seen an historic affair' and 'sleepy mcpeepies'. Forgive me if this passage fails to make sense at any point.
First off, Camp Tiger Claw did yeoman's work last night on our glog. Wait no, yeomen stink. He did the work of a king. Nobody said he had to stay up past midnight to chit-chat about extra innings, but he did it anyway. He's checking himself into rehab for the rest of the week just to recover from the extreme pain and suffering of a 15-inning glog.
Secondly, the atmosphere at the Stadium last night was electric and historic and wonderful, but the thing I can take with me is how much everyone was actually paying attention to the game. There were tense moments late in the game where the building actually fell silent; that'd be a no-no in a playoff situation, but I really think that the collection of Yankee fans and 'other' fans were appropriately cognizant of what they were seeing: an exhibition of the best players in baseball. All that silence went out the window when Mariano Rivera came in, however. Yankees fans like Yankees players, or something.
That entire pre-game happening was touching and well-done. Seeing George Steinbrenner be driven under my right field loge seats was inspiring, despite the bloated and doughy look to his face. Poor old tyrant! Yogi Berra and Willie Mays got the biggest cheers of the night...my dad was especially thrilled to see his boyhood idol Mays standing alone as the only HOF centerfielder on the field.
The pitching was awesome last night. With the exceptions of Billy Wagner and Edinson Volquez, there were very few hard hit balls. I salute every fella who pitched in extra innings (even though I wasn't there to see it) but the guys who pitched earlier were absolutely amazing. Ben Sheets, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Ryan Dempster, Joe Nathan, Mariano Rivera...these guys were masterful.
Yes, the fans did a good deal of booing last night. Jonathan Papelbon and Billy Wagner got the brunt of the harassment from the stands (including me), but Manny Ramirez, JD Drew, and Jason Varitek got their share too. Heck, people were calling for the guy who caught Drew's home run ball to throw it back. It's all super-confusing, especially when I caught myself simultaneously clapping and booing when Papelbon struck out David Wright to end the top of the eighth. Just so you know, I exclusively booed Papelbon, Wagner, and Wright. Also, Bud Selig. That guy's an ass.