Wednesday, October 04, 2006

SPORTS: Derek Jeter is MVP

Yesterday I went about my day focused on getting everything done before the start of the playoffs that evening at 8PM. I checked in on the earlier game between The Oakland A's and the Minnesota Twins. It was a pitcher's duel between the Twins' Santana, who has been unstoppable this year, and the very good Zito for the A's. So I was surprised when I saw that the A's won 3 to 2. For the Oakland A's to win in Minnesota against their best pitcher, that is impressive. So I went back to writing a bit and I was about to watch the Yankee pre-game show on YES when I got a phone call; My friend Ori frantically asks me what was I doing and if I wanted to go to Game 1, Detroit vs. Yankees. Are you high, of course I want to go! The only catch is that Ori has the tickets and he's driving in from New Jersey an hour before the game. That didn't bother me at all. I got ready called a few people to gloat about the game; and headed off for the Subway. It took him a long time to park but we got into the stadium after 2 and a half innings. Before I could make it to my seat Johnny Damon had already singled, Jeter hit a double and then Bobby Abreau had a two run double. I unfortunately missed that one as Ori and I were running to our seats. I also missed Sheffield's RBI single but I sure as shit didn't miss Jason Giambino's smash homerun driving in two more runs. It was incredible if you had to come late for a baseball game, and this is the first thing you see before you sit down, then you know its gonna be a great night. The Yanks, under the pitching expertise of Chien Ming Wang knocked the wind out of Detroit's sails 8-4.

Let me just say that I love Yankee Stadium and this year has been very special for me because I've been able to go there so frequently(14 games). The field looked so green and beautiful. They had the official ALDS 2006 logos on either side of home plate. The crowd was large and rowdy, there were a couple scuffles. Nothing major though. Ori revealed that not only was this his first time at Yankee Stadium but his first real baseball game. He was about to see something that was truly extraordinary in addition to the playoff game. You could hear it on and off throughout the game, of course mostly when he came up to bat, but when Derek Jeter came up to the plate in the eighth inning, you would not have been able to hear yourself think. Everyone was chanting MVP. It's not uncommon for fans in New York to chant this slogan to their hero; he's always been Captain Clutch, as Cody calls him. Especially this year as he has boasted a .342 batting average consistently all season. Tonight was the icing on the cake. By the eighth inning as everyone was chanting, Derek Jeter was 4 for 4 on the evening and coming up for his fifth at bat. He was perfect a couple of singles a couple of doubles you couldn't ask for more. Derek crushed a solo homerun in the eighth to put the final nail in Detroit's coffin. It was beautiful; this was what my Dad was always talking about when I was a kid about Mickey Mantle. That kind of heroism, that kind of play that lifts a team into the stratosphere of greatness that no matter what happens after that it can never be taken away. Derek Jeter is by far my generation's Mickey Mantle. If this statement wasn't true before it certainly was after last night. Derek Jeter is Mr. October he took it fair and square from Reggie Jackson and he ain't ready to relinquish it yet.

It was one of the greatest games I have ever seen and I got to see that amazing 9 run comeback earlier this year against the Rangers, so I know what I'm talking about. I have a charmed life, what can I say, I'm living in the greatest city in the world watching the greatest team ever assembled. Sure it took a lot of money, sure the Yankee detractors call them the Evil Empire, but these guys have a lot of heart. Guys like Jeter, Cabrera, Sheffield, Posada and Cano. They are the reason the Yankees, are well, the Yankees, they build on that tradition of excellence that has come before them. Ruth and Gehrig, Berra and DiMaggio, Mantle and Maris, Munson and Mattingly they won a hell of a lot but they were also very human with problems just like the rest of us. They were also larger than life and they provided great stories and greater legends to pass down to future generations of Yankees. And I can't wait to pass down the legends of Jeter, Cano, Rivera, Williams and Posada, and many more, to my kids. This is why I'm a Yankee fan, more than anything else they are apart of my family's history from my Grandfather to me and someday to my children and beyond--Go Yankees!

Game 2 is on tonight at 8PM on Fox.

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