Last night I got on the subway and stood next to two beefy, corn-fed couples. They were young, blond, in their twenties, all wearing shorts, a sure sign that they are from out-of-town (it's not that New Yorkers don't wear shorts, we do, but in the summertime, suburbanites and tourists seem to almost exclusively wear shorts). One of the guys had a tatoo on his leg. They were talking loudly. I turned to one of them and asked where they were from.
"St. Louis. How did you know we were from out-of-town?"
"Just a hunch."
The foursome was headed up to the Stadium for their first, and only, trip to see the Yankees. Next, they are going to Boston to catch the Cards play the Sox.
I thought of them later in the evening as I was watching the game on TV. What an ideal night to visit the old place. Sure, it wasn't a great game--the Padres inept performance made sure of that, as Cliff already noted--but the weather was gorgeous (not a rain drop in sight), Alex Rodriguez hit a bomb, Giambi hit two, including a real shot to left center, Robinson Cano got in some good hacks, and in a blow-out game, the out-of-towners were treated to a vintage three-K performance by Mariano Rivera. There's a Yankee Stadium memory for you, tension-free and made-to-order.
Rodriguez also made two nifty plays to his backhand side, showing off his strong arm in the process. But it should also be noted that his Manny Ramirez impression in the seventh inning cost him his first triple of the season. Rodriguez hit a line drive to straight away center and judging by the way he left the box, watching, jogging, he thought it was good enough for his second homer of the game. Instead, he cruised into second and not third. It's a lot easier to see a player Cadillac-it when his team is up, 8-0. Still, Chubb Rock could have been standing on third with his first triple since May 31st, 2006.