2008 FINAL REPORT
O.K. -- This will come as a surprise to most of you, but I am not upset that the boys did not make it to the postseason. Frankly, I was secretly relieved. To be honest, I was exhausted by the end of September. Between the All Star Game, and all the hype about the final season at the Stadium, I was toast.
And I'm a very happy camper that Boston — after looking like it was going to make its usual Lazarus revival (especially after that 7 run heartbreaker comeback) — fell to young Mr. Price in game 7 of a terrific ALCS. While we were all dreaming of Torre's revenge in a Dodgers-Boston World Series (can't you just see Manny winning the game in the bottom of the 9th in game 7?) it was great to get Boston off the field earlier.
As for the Phillies -- well, sure, congrats, but frankly, I find that team boring, except for Chase Utley, who I've always rooted for ever since he got that inside-the-park home run at the '06 Classic. And his ooopps expletive was funny.
Bottom line: how could ANYONE complain about the 2008 season!
Among the highlights:
• Discovering Grapefruit: Spring Training was absolutely wonderful. Mike Medwig & I went to Winter Haven to see the Indians with DocuLex' Tim Nissen & David Bailey. FutureLawyer Rick Georges & I got rained out of a game, Mike and I took the Hudson team to a Phillies game; but my favorite game was at wonderful the Pirates facility in Bradenton. Teri McCarron (aka Jersey Girl) and her sweetie Teddy Lindgren were in fine form, and Teri and the Parrott almost eloped by the end of the game. We even got a chance to wave at Brian Cashman who was walking off the field with one of our favorite players, Doug Meintkiewicz. (This will become relevant later in this story). A nice start to the season!
• The Opening Day that Wasn't: My Final Season Opening Day hat sez March 31, but we all know it was really April Fool's Day. Complaint #1: For once, could the GreedMongers call an obvious rainout earlier in the day rather than making us stand around for hours so you can sell beer. Not cool.
• The Mets game that wasn't: Ditto for the rain cancellation on May 16.
• Katie Montgomery, our associate editor from Wisconsin, joined the cult after about two Yankees games. It was great fun to watch her catch Yankees fever — and she stayed a fan even after getting pickpocketed outside the Stadium! Katie, who is now attending grad school at the Univ. of Iowa, even joined us in Minneapolis for our group game, with her delightful mom.
• The Chicago/New York doubleheader: April 22: Watched the Cubs beat the Mets at Wrigley with Sonnenschein's Andy Jurcyzk, then el'd it over to the Southside to meet up with David Baker, for our annual CWS/Yankee game, where the boys slammed the White Sox 9-5. An absolutely perfect day with two of my favorite dudes!
• Minnesota Times Two: Not one, but two series at the Dome — so always big fun.
Second: Jersey Girl gets so excited about A-Rod's home that she jumps up and her cell phone flies right into her beer. Her insurance covered the cost of her new phone.
Third: Meeting Joba Chamberlain's dad and mispronouncing Joba's first name. Everybody who knows me teases me about how bad I am with names. I was mortified. But Harlan C, who was snotty about it at first, was gracious when I explained my notorious dyslexia with names. His demeanor changed immediately and we had a wonderful conversation.
• It's Jimmy Hoffa's Fault: The Ortiz jersey buried in the new stadium was just too funny and ended up raising money for a very good cause.
• Joe #1: We had a great time at the Dodgers/White Sox game the night before LegalTech West Coast. Of course, I wore my #6 Jersey to honor my hero, Joe Torre. (I won't wear it at home because I don't want to show any disrespect to Joe #2).
• Oh Say Can You See? Watching everybody in our section turn around in awe at the June 17 Padres game, when SPi Legal's Babs Deacon -- an opera-trained soprano -- sang along to The Star Spangled Banner -- a huge strong voice coming out of such a tiny person!
• Flying insects #2: Hands down, the most depressing and weird moment of the 2007 season was poor Joba facing the Biblical invasion of those magflies at Cleveland -- the '08 version of flying bugs was much more benign but equally bizarre -- the swarm of termites at the Zephyrs game in NoLa. Tom O'Connor assured me it was normal. Yeah, right, sure. (P.S. Tom, thanks for reminding me!!!! How could I forget such a fun night.)
• Cash #2: I miss a game that I was scheduled to go to with Navigant Consulting's Shawnna Childress (who is very active with the Women in EDiscovery group) and Barrie Harmelin of our ad-side team. Colleague Mike Medwig subs for me. They end up at dinner at the Stadium Club, sitting next to Brian Cashman. They start chatting and they ask Brian to sign a note to me, which he does, "To Monica, Wish you could join us. Brian Cashman." I frame it.
• The All Star Game: Absolute magic, a memorable evening shared with Teri McCarron. Aura & Mystique finally showed up at 1:48 a.m.
• Hot seats: My brother Bill and I roasting literally and figuratively as he bravely wore full Oakland As logowear on a blistering Saturday game that was so hot that I dragged him from great seats in section 8, to section 25 where we happily found two empty seats in the shade. The next day, Johnson & Johnson's Deanna Coffman (an LTN board member) endured my antics as I cajoled two guys to take my two $60 MVP Tier Box seats behind home plate in exchange for their $5 row X seats under the overhang. Suffice it to say I don't do well in hot, humid weather.
• Pen Pal: At one of the Yanks/Red Sox games, meeting Clay Robbins and his delightful son Campbell, a gifted writer who is debating between a career in law or journalism — and has become a wonderful pen pal.
• Rituals and traditions: Opening day with Roberto Jimenez, a Mets game with Bijah Shah, an Anaheim game with Ashby Jones, and away games with David Baker and Eric & Stephanie Peck Hall, and seeing every single Yankees/Twins Dome game since 2003 — almost all with Jersey Girl and Jon Bream.
• July 30! We offload Kyle Farnsworth to those suckers at Detroit, for Pudge. Poor Ivan wasn't all that great, in fact he was pretty awful, but what the hell -- we got rid of Farnsworth. I was very very happy, and it meant I could give up my search for the T-shirt I saw on another fan and hopelessly coveted, that said "Anybody but Farnsworth." But even after he was gone, I kept up my tradition of text-messaging Jersey Girl with "Farnsworth Sucks" during the 8th inning of every game. We have to keep our game rituals going, ya know.
• Surprise in St. Pete: Ad-side's Jai Wallace and I added a quick trip to Florida enroute to our California group game at Anaheim. Took the aforementioned Shawna Childress and her hubby Robert (of Wave Software) and LTN board member Cathy Paunov, for a terrific game in a stadium that is lot lot nicer than it looks on TV. Next day, joined FutureLawyer Rick Georges in the cowbell section -- awesome, but dangerous territory to be wearing Yankee logowear :) Talk about loud -- next time I'm bringing earplugs! Big fun!
• Cash #3: On our Anaheim trip, the ad-side team was staying at the same hotel as the Yankees (I was at the Hilton) -- and while waiting for them to finish a vendor meeting, I noticed that Brian Cashman was sitting alone at the next table. Normally, I don't approach celebrities, but I couldn't resist thanking him for being so kind to Michael, Barrie & Shawnna and for writing the note to me. We end up chatting for about 10 minutes, about the season, about Dougie M, etc. He was delightful. What a class act he is.
We had a great time in Anaheim, thanks to everybody who joined us for a super night! Unfortunately, my batteries died and they didn't sell any at the stadium, so no photo album :(
• The Final Week: It was Chicago, Chicago, Chicago: First, David Baker (right) and the Baker Robbins crowd, then my pal Ron Stevens, arrived from the Windy City. We saw Derek Jeter pass Lou Gehrig's record for the most hits in Yankee Stadium; every game had a delicious poignancy. And at Fenway, Moose finally got his elusive 20th win.
The actual last game was the best and the worst of the Yankees. I was furious, just absolutely furious, that they ignored Joe Torre. It was inexcuseable that they did not honor his contributions. And don't even get me started about the poor planning -- on everything from concessions to the mess created when they failed to deliver on the promise that attendees could walk the warning track before the game.
But overall, despite the screwups, it was a sweet, memorable day, and I'm so glad I was there. Seeing Bernie Williams was wonderful, and I loved that it was Molina -- not A-Rod -- who got the final homerun. It's always the unexpected in baseball.
So congrats to the Rays. I would have loved to have rooted you on in the Trop, but I turned down a very kind invite to the World Series because I was already committed to go to Phoenix to see my brother and niece (who both thought I was nuts for not changing my airline tickets to Tampa) play in the Men's Senior Baseball League World Series tournament in the Father/Son division. Kelly is the only daughter who plays, she was awesome. The Tri-Valley [California] Giants made it to the last round of the playoffs. Just like the Rays, they had a very good year, to quote Frank S.
Oh yeah, technically I did attend a World Series -- On Saturday Oct. 25, my 9 a.m flight from Phoenix back to JFK was diverted twice due to the windy Nor'easter, first to Harrisburg to re-fuel, and then, and at about 10 p.m., to Philly. We flew over Citizen's Bank so low that we could see the Jumbotron and the players on the field. (Really smart U.S. Air -- pick a town to strand a full plane of travelers where there are no hotels and no rental cars because of the World Series -- but that's another story.)
O.K. boys, it's time for the future. Aura & Mystique, let's take that walk across the street.
P.S. This one's for Bobby Murcer. A life truly well lived.
Photo credit: Rays, Mo: courtesy MLB.
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I'm crushed that attending a New Orleans Zephyrs game in full Yankee regalia and almost getting devoured by swarming termites in the right field stands didn't make your list of season highlights ... I mean really, how often do you see a baseball game interrupted by swarms of flying ....oh, right, that Jaba thing ...ok never mind
Posted by: Tom O | Nov 4, 2008 8:20:52 AM