On Monday night, I sat in section 417, row 12, seat 7 at Yankee Stadium. It was a good game. Arod and Posada each hit 2 run shots, Ivan Nova pitched well through 6 and then the bullpen finished the game with 3 scoreless innings. Overall, it was a generally lovely experience. Except for the idiots and morons in my section.
Lets start with the guy sitting next to me. He approached the seats by walking across the row in front then climbing over empty seats to get to his own. No problem there. I did the same thing. But once he climbed over and sat down, he was done, despite the fact that his girlfriend was clearly struggling to get a foothold on the seat in row 11 and was quite obviously nervous that she would fall. Being a gentleman, I reached out and gave her my hand so she could get some leverage. It was at this point the guy next to me realized he should help. So he reaches out too and grabs a hand. MY HAND. So, now I’m helping steady this girl as she climbs and he’s holding onto my wrist for god knows what reason. It only lasted about 2 seconds, but it the set the tone for the night.
Joe Mauer batted 3rd for the Twins. When he came up in the 1st inning, the scoreboard showed his average, which after three games was something like .146. Abner Doubleday to my left decides to tell me, “Wow, he’s struggling this year. He usually does much better than that.”
“Really? The three time batting champ usually bats higher than .146? Thanks, ” is what I should have said. Instead, I went with “It’s only 3 games. I wouldn’t worry about it.” To which he responded, “Still…” Still what, Jackass?
At this point, he turned to his girlfriend to tell her about Joe Mauer. “This guy was MVP the last two years.” (No, he wasn’t.) “He’s the guy on MLB 2k11, and he was on it last year too.” (That is true.) “They always put the MVP on that game, so he must have won the MVP the last two years.” (No, that is clearly not true. You are spouting fallacies. Please stop.)
Later in the game, Derek Jeter hit a liner that landed a few feet foul down the first baseline before ultimately striking out. Mark Texiera followed up with a long drive into the right field stands which was also foul. He then singled. It is only at this point that the demon spawn of Joe Morgan and Tim McCarver turns to me and declares, “That Ump should be fired!” FOR WHAT? For noticing that two balls were clearly foul? This time, I responded with nothing but a grunt of acknowledgment.
Eventually, he noticed the rows of empty seats on the field level and asked me if I thought they could go sit down there. If you’ve ever been to the New Yankee Stadium, you know the answer to that question is an unequivocal no. Security doesn’t let you anywhere near those seats without a ticket.
“Yeah, you can probably get down there,” I told him, “Just act like you know where you’re going. They won’t stop you if you act like you belong there.”
Success! They left. I don’t know where they ended up (definitely not in the field level boxes,) but they never came back.
That joy was short lived. For what I heard next was arguably the dumbest statement in the history of mankind. It was later in the game, maybe the 6th or 7th inning. Jorge Posada walked up to the plate. The scoreboard in center field flashed this barely noteworthy tidbit, “With his next hit, Jorge will tie Phil Rizzuto for 14th place on the Yankees all time hit list.” It’s at this point that I hear, from 2 rows back, an adult male proclaim “Wow, if he hits a homer, someone’s going to make a fortune!”
WHAT???? Before I could fully register my disbelief, his female companion asked him why.
“Well, a Posada homerun ball is probably pretty valuable to begin with,” (Yes, I would imagine it is worth nearly as much as a regular baseball, once you factor in that it’s dirty and used.) “But tying Rizzuto, that’s gotta drive the price up even more. I mean, that guy was the Scoot!”
The fact that he confidently proclaimed Phil Rizzuto’s nickname was “The Scoot” should have been enough to drive me to violence. Instead, I quickly prayed to the baseball gods that Jorge Posada hit the next pitch so hard that it breaks all laws of physics by clearing the wall in right, then takes an immediate right turn in the air and lands in this guy’s lap, a hundred rows up behind home plate. Because I want to follow him into a memorabilia store when he presents the salesman with the ball that Jorge Posada hit to tie Phil Rizzuto for 14th place on the Yankees All Time hits list then demands a kings ransom in return.
That would be funny. I would enjoy sitting and watching that.