As you may (or may not) know, I was on a company-mandated furlough last week. To save money, the company basically laid everybody off for one week this financial quarter. Under the rules, that meant no blogging, no e-mails, etc. So if you e-mailed and I didn’t respond as usual, please take no offense and keep an eye on your in-box.
It was extremely frustrating not to be able to work. The Yankees are playing well and I wanted to be there to chronicle what was going on. I watched every game (live or on Tivo) to stay up to speed. Beyond that, it was a decent week. Here are the highlights:
Monday: Lined up a few freelance pieces. I’m hoping to ghost write Angel Berroa’s memoirs. Tentative title: From Gehrig to Gardner, My Years in Baseball.
Tuesday: Cleaned my condo. Quite exciting. But I no longer live in abject squalor.
Wednesday: A friend gave me his company’s tickets for the Orioles game. Section 126 is right behind the notorious Legends seats adjacent to third base and it’s a great view. The $225 seats also feature waiter service and our man Moses was very attentive.
But it’s easier to get on an airplane than to get to your seat at Yankee Stadium. I met my friend at Gate 4 and we walked to our seats. The usher at the top of the aisle checked our tickets. OK, fine. Then we got to the seats and a second usher checked the tickets again. Um, OK. Then nine minutes later, a third usher showed up and demanded to see our tickets again.
At this point I had enough. I told her they had been checked twice already. But this woman said, “I have to know if you are supposed to be here.” After we gave the tickets up, she seemed almost disappointed that we were legit.
The same thing happened to the two women who sat in our aisle. What are the Yankees thinking, treating customers like that?
Meanwhile, Section 126 was a ghost town. There were no more than 20 people there. The Legends Seats were fairly full because of the sailors and Marines who had comps. We had a great view of the Legends Seats. It’s pretty comical what the Yankees have created.
There are dozens of waiters and waitresses in those seats literally trying to give food away. Candy, pretzels, peanuts, water, even sushi. Then every few innings, guys with boxes of ice cream sandwiches walk around and literally throw them to people who clamor like trained seals.
After a while, there were so many being tossed around that the people were catching them and throwing the back to the peasants in the $225 seats. Security rushed over and admonished those people doing that. Meanwhile, nobody was remotely paying attention to the game.
That said, it was fun to be a fan again. I kept score in the program, had a few frosty Coors Lights and took photos. My friend is a “Joba in the bullpen” person and I spent nine innings trying to convince her otherwise to no avail. The girls we sat next to were cool, too. Good time.
Thursday: Saw Bruce Springsteen and the mighty E Street Band at the Izod Center. Drummer Max Weinberg was away, taping a rehearsal in LA with Conan O’Brien. But his son, 18-year-old Jay, filled in admirably Jay Lustig of the Ledger did a great story on Jay and Max.
Caught the show with two friends, one long-time Bruce fan and one relative newcomer. We were dancing in the aisle like idiots, but then everybody was. We were all impressed with Jay Weinberg. Imagine being 18 and filling in for your famous dad in front of 19,000 people?
Saturday: Back to Bruce. Hung out with radio legend Sweeny Murti before the show and sat with one of my favorite people, Tara Sullivan of The Record. Bruce, being Bruce, played 10 different songs from Thursday as the show nearly went three hours. He did three songs of his classic 1973 album The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle.
If you’re a Bruce fan, you know how cool it is to hear Incident on 57th Street and Kitty’s Back live. He closed with a cover of Mony, Mony, the old hit by Tommy James and the Shondells. I’m here to tell you, there has never been a better version done of that song.
So that’s my week. All in all, not bad. But I am glad to be back at work and will blog my brains out this week.
Thanks to Sam and the guys for filling in for me and thanks to all of you for sticking with us. Things are heating up with the Yankees and you will not lack for updates here, I promise you that.