I was told that the Yankees had about 25-30 cases and approximately 300 bottles of Champagne in this celebration. Judging by the smell of my shirt right now, I can certainly believe it.
A few scenes that will stand out:
• Hal Steinbrenner doing an interview off to the side of the clubhouse and mentioning that he would really like a beer. Reggie Jackson, who was watching the interview, said, “I can take care of that for you” and, as Mr. October turned to go find a beer, Hal called after him, “A regular beer please! No ‘light!'”
• Mariano Rivera, standing at the back of the clubhouse, wearing his AL champion hat on backwards as Robinson Cano pours beer all over his head. Rivera was smiling as widely as I’ve ever seen him and his joy was clear. “I’ve been waiting a long time for this,” he said. “We’re back.”
• Joe Girardi in the middle of the room, his hands wrapped so tightly around the American League championship trophy you’d have thought he would never let it go. “I never got to hold it as a player,” he said. “This is amazing.”
• Derek Jeter being absolutely soaked, beer running off the brim of his hat as cameras crowded around. “We may have made it look easy (in the 1990’s),” Jeter said. “But it was hard then. And it feels sweet to be back.”
I also particularly enjoyed the new, heavy-duty goggles that several players – including Joba Chamberlain, as you can see here – were wearing. Better Champagne requires better goggles, I guess.
Lastly, here’s some audio. First is an interview with Jeter and I highly recommend you listen to it, if only to hear him be interrupted in the middle of an answer by an assault of beer and Champagne. The sound effects are excellent and just about everyone around him – me included – got soaked in the crossfire. Jeter, of course, loved it … and then went right back to giving his answer. Total pro.
And here’s an interview with Hal Steinbrenner. Reserved as he is normally, I saw him walking out of the clubhouse and even he had soaked hair and clothes. (He also, it should be noted, was carrying a beer … regular, not light.)
UPDATE, 1:30 a.m.: Chad here with some of my observations. As I noted in a previous post, the first thing that struck me were the fountains of Champagne spraying everywhere. I really did think of the Bellagio. This was nothing like the celebration in Minnesota. This was a proper party.
• Andy Pettitte was, of course, calm and collected. Just like in the game. When someone finally asked about career postseason win No. 16, a new record, Pettitte responded as you would expect: “That’s great, but the greatest thing is to pitch this game and get us to another World Series and help this organization get to another World Series. That’s very special for me.”
• When I saw him, A.J. Burnett was not wild. Not over-the-top. I’m sure he dumped his share of bottles, but standing in the middle of that clubhouse ,he seemed more content than anything. Maybe not satisfied, but certainly content to be in that locker room, at that moment. “I feel like I’m a part of something for the first time in a long time,” he said.
• Like Sam said, the image of Girardi holding that trophy was priceless. He would not have let it go for anything.
• Alex Rodiguez’s reaction to CC Sabathia winning the MVP: “You can’t say enough. That’s what it takes to win in the postseason. Great pitching, no matter what you do hitting, hitting is irrelevant if you don’t have a horse like CC Sabathia. To me, he’s very special.”
• I didn’t get sprayed too much this time. Brett Gardner got me in Minneapolis, but I never took a direct shot tonight. The closest I got to being soaked was when Jerry Hairston Jr. bumped into me. He was like a sponge. A soaking wet utility sponge.