Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Pinstripes in the Park

Combine a mammoth 14' x 18' projector screen, an absolutely crazy, screaming Jon Corzine lookalike, Tony Danza singing the National Anthem, Goose Gossage, Graig Nettles, Joe Pepitone and Jim Leyritz, a semi-obnoxious emcee who looked like Matt Pinfield, Continental Airlines handing out free round-trip flights, a soft-spoken Hispanic oaf in front of us who wouldn't sit down, peanut and Cracker Jack and soda vendors, several thousand Yankee fans, my buddies Dorsey and Russ, and throw them all into Bryant Park on a random Tuesday evening and usually, usually, you have a guaranteed good time.

That is, unless the Yankees' pitching staff gives up 17 runs, eight of them in the fourth and fifth innings after the team re-captured the lead on a Sheffield grand slam. The pitching performance ruined a perfectly good night for us -- but Pinstripes in the Park will go down as a huge success, if only because it was such a cool idea.

From the moment Danza belted out "And da hooome of da braaave" and I yelled out "Mooona" and "Sa-maaan-ta," to the middle of the sixth when we walked out to find a bar with our heads held low, I thoroughly enjoyed the surreal experience of sitting on damp, muddy grass with like-minded fans. I wasn't sure what to expect, but when Jeter led off the game with a monster shot to left-center and the park erupted in cheer, I thought it was going to be a fun night. Boy did that prediction miss the mark, much like Moose's pitches.

Moose decided to take the night off and was promply hooked after less than two innings trailing 5-1, not giving the fans a great deal of hope for this Sunday's scheduled start in Fenway. But then Sheff cracked a two-run shot in the third and a grand slam in the fourth, and the place erupted once again. These moments, taken with Jeter's solo shot in the first, made the night special and really showed me what this night could have been. But it wasn't meant to be, as Al Leiter and Scott Proctor and the rest of the middle relief scrubs took care of that. Walks will kill ya, especially with the bases loaded.

So we ended up at Earl's on the east side, where we chowed down on a late-night spinach and artichoke dip and some fried calamari while watching the Sawx lose their own game to the Jays. Well, at least we didn't lose any ground in the AL East or Wild Card races, we rationalized. And at least I got out of the apartment and experienced the beginning of an annual tradition perhaps, an event I'll come to every year if they'll have us.

Pinstripes in the Park, a novel concept. Now if we can only we can put up some more Wins in the W Column, I'll be a happy man.

Slack Link of the Day: Check out Part I and then Part II of our favorite writer's two-part column about his trip home to Wisconsin for last weekend's Michigan/Wisco slobberknocker (and e-mail him to tell him how uncharacteristically self-indulgent it is!).

Slack Song of the Day: Because I love it so, here's a little Caravan from The Last Waltz, which I discussed at length in this post.

But more importantly, for those of you who give a shit (I know your numbers are few, and "go fuck yourselves" to those who don't), is streaming the Comes a Time benefit from the other night -- check it out here.


At 10:30 AM, Blogger ethan said...

pinstripes in the park - i'm jealous. what a great idea.

although i must say, leaving in the 6th is questionable. what, did you think you were at a dodger game? i guess it doesn't matter since (a) you weren't actually at the game, and (b) im sure the game was on at whatever bar you were at, but i just wanted to get that la fanbase dig in there.

At 10:37 AM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

Actually Ethan, we left to change the was more of a superstitious thing than a fed-up thing.

But make no mistake, we were fed up completely. What an awful and seriously long game. Eh, brutal. Like I said, at least we didn't lose any ground.

Still, what a fun idea. Way to go Yanks, Continental, YES Network, and Carl Winslow.

At 10:49 AM, Blogger Matty Mac said...

I went to the Sox-Jays abortion last night and it sucked. The first few innings were great when we were winning, but the same thing happened to us as it did the Yanks and our pitching went way down the shitter. After the 6th inning, the only time anyone cheered was when the scoreboard changed the Yanks/O's score. Very sad and I believed I developed an ulcer. What didn't help were the 4 guys sitting to my left who came straight out of the movie "Born on the 4th of July", replete with 101st Airborne hats and their fatigue jackets from Nam. They were more than drunk, smelled like they slept in the back of a garbage truck and hit on every female human being within earshot regardless of age. It was awful, I wish I could have had a change of scenery.

At 11:34 AM, Blogger Gypsy Rose said...

Re: The last waltz post. . . Can my baby and I come to your party as a 40 year old groupie with Rick Danko's love child? No? Bad idea? Fine. Be that way.

When is baseball season over? I depend on this sight for entertainment.

At 11:46 AM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

Matty, that's terrible. People suck, sometimes it's best to just stay home and be a hermit.

Gypsy, that's a GREAT idea. You and the boy are invited. And your hubby can come if he gets all junked up and acts like Danko. But forewarned be thee, I might make out with him cuz I love Danko.

Sorry so much baseball...September and October are bad for Slack's non-sports fans. What do you want me to talk about, I'll oblige?

At 11:54 AM, Blogger Gypsy Rose said...

You're in luck. My husband gets junked up and acts like Danko all the time anyway.

Just kidding about the baseball talk . . .

At 4:35 PM, Blogger ahren said...

you just know the mets are gonna come up with some simiilar event next year that is a pale imitation of "pinstripes in the park:.

"orange and blue at the zoo" or some shit.

At 5:11 PM, Blogger Ace Cowboy said...

I sense more of a "Pizza with Piazza" on the side of the Cross Bronx or the Whitestone.


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