6:41: It’s pouring. Daniel Marcus is next to me and utters: “It’s downright biblical out there“. Proof:
6:45: The media lounge does not provide free food. Soda, popcorn, yes. Food no. I hit up Blue Smoke instead. Better choice.
6:51: Ken Rosenthal is sitting behind us in the pressbox. No bowtie.
7:00: Sodas are free. My bladder is up for the challenge.
7:10: Marc Carig is having wayyyy too much fun with this whole chicken thing.
7:19: Rosenthal’s a joker:
The immortal @ken_rosenthal is sitting behind me in the box.
Ken, to a Twitter heckler:
@Peter_M_Francis @jason_iiatms Accurate. But I bet you wouldn’t say that to my face!
hey @Peter_M_Francis, don’t rip him, @ken_rosenthal is a stand up guy. Kidding aside, good to be here with him.
7:25: Field staff on the tarp. Taking it off momentarily?
7:27: Tarp’s coming off
7:43 While waiting for the teams to come out, here’s the text of a chat Brien and I did with Vinny from Metsblog:
Vinny Cartiglia: I find that no matter who the Yankees are playing — even if it is a NL East team — I have a hard time rooting for them; even though I know I should. Honestly. I just hate them that much. Do you think Yankee fans feel the same way when it comes to rooting for the Mets?
Jason Rosenberg: No and it’s not even close. Most Yankee fans I know, including most who frequent the site, don’t view the Mets that way at all. As Yankee fans, we are conditioned to hate only one team: the RedSox. I’ve often heard the analogy that Yanks fans view the Mets like they do their little brothers: Often amusing, sometimes annoying, and we love to beat on them every chance we can, but deep down, we want them to do well (so long as it’s not at our expense, of course). My 9 year old was at Johan’s no hitter and came home just giddy about the experience. He wasn’t rooting against the Mets. I have told both my boys since early on that they don’t have to root against the Mets. Only Boston.
Vinny Cartiglia: Most Yankee fans I talk to cringe at the thought of having Arod for the next five or six years. Do you get the sense that the majority of Yankee fans feel this way?”
Brien Jackson: Do I think most Yankee fans cringe at having A-Rod on the team for the next five or six years? I don’t necessarily think so, no. Do most Yankee fans cringe at the thought of how much money the Yankees are going to pay A-Rod in that time period? Probably to a man. I know I do, and I’ve been an unabashed A-Rod lover for pretty much his whole career.
Vinny Cartiglia: I find that most Yankee fans love Nick Swisher. Whenever I am in a Yankee bashing mood at work, and I attack the Yankee right fielder, most stick up for him. What makes him such a fan favorite?
Jason Rosenberg: Nick Swisher tends to embody all that we want from our players: Play hard, have fun, enjoy being the star, interact with the fans. There are few other players who genuinely appear to be having as much fun out there. He salutes the Bleacher Creatures and plays like he has a complete sense of awareness of the luck that has been bestowed upon him. He’s no prima donna, some moody SOB. No, he’s the guy you’d want to pick as your wingman after the game. Who’s having more fun than Swish? Now, you want to bash certain parts of his game, have at ‘em. But in terms of guys you should want to root for, Swish is one of those, which is why he has so much fan support.
Vinny Cartiglia: If you could only choose one (meaning the other would be lost to free agency). Who would it be Robinson Cano or Curtis Granderson? And why?
Brien Jackson: Cano, if only because he’s both younger and harder to replace than Granderson. Not that finding a centerfielder who can hit 40 home runs is easy, but if nothing else the Yankees can easily shift Brett Gardner to center and then cast about for some extra offfense in the corners. That’s a lot easier than figuring out how to replace the best second baseman in baseball when all of his peers are getting long term deals.
7:50: A guy in a green zip sweatshirt, shorts, beard and fluffy hair just did the National Anthem with a cello. Most awkward thing I’ve seen in a while.
8:02 Ceremonial pitch is tossed while the starting pitcher is on the mound behind him. Odd.
8:03 First pitch. No Home Runs yet. 53 minute rain delay, press box voice announces.
8:07 Foul ball nearly made it into the booth. Nice catch by a guy 10′ in front of me.
8:12 Love having Andy back. Just feels “right”.
8:23 Keith Law is witty:
Made the Red Sox hungry. “@ESPNNewYork: New York Yankees bemused, unworried by Frank Francisco’s ‘chicken’ talk”
8:25 Justin Turner’s walk up song is “Call Me Maybe”. OK then.
8:30 Well that didn’t take long. Yanks down 5-0 on an Ike Davis home run that ticked off Swisher’s glove. Bah.
8:39 Pettitte singles. Figures. Left on 2nd base. RISPFAIL.
8:45 Umpire in Reds game got knocked out from a broken bat. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
9:12 Game is settling into a monotone.
9:15 John Franco is the answer to the fan trivia question. Franco comes up to surprise the old man with an autographed ball, gets bearhugged.