Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Late Night Smile
2008-09-07 07:22
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

I've never been to Safeco Park, as I mentioned yesterday, but it is an easy ball park to romanticize. More than anything, it's the sound of the train that gets me. From my apartment in the Bronx I can both see and hear the subway in the disance. It is not an imposing sound, it is faint, but it is always there and I find it comforting.

In the first inning last night, Bobby Abreu hit a line drive over the fence in center field. The sun had left the field but there were two patches on the outfield wall, just to the right of center. Jeremy Reed, the Mariner's center fielder chased the ball to the wall before turning back to the field. But you could see his shadow against the wall, and for a moment the image was hypnotizing. It was a brief moment. Just as I noticed it, Reed's shadow--of him turning back towards the field--was gone.

The game moved along at a brisk pace for the first five innings. Ryan-Rowland Smith worked especially fast, and Sidney Ponson threw strikes and had some help from his fielders. The Yanks were up 2-0 in the sixth--Jason Giambi added solo homer of his own--and Ponson got the first two men out. But then he gave up back-to-back singles followed by a line drive home run (Raul Ibanez) and the Yanks were playing the same-old-song again.

Fortunately, the Mariners are even worse than the Yankees. Smith was relieved in the seventh (he allowed a lead-off single to Ivan Rodriguez), and three Seattle relievers later, the Yanks had a 7-3 lead. Abreu had the big hit, a two-run triple, and Giambi added an RBI double.

Joba Chamberlain gave up a run in the eighth and Mariano Rivera was brought into the game to get the final out of the inning, which he did. Our man Mo--nice to see him in a game again--sent the M's down in order in the ninth, lowering his season ERA to 1.43 and giving the Yanks a 7-4 win.

A nice win. Yes, it doesn't mean much at this pernt, but as Nuke LaLoosh once said about winning, "you know, it's better than losing."

Most of the Banter Crew have their hopes pinned on Mike Mussina picking up win number 18 today. Let's hope he's in good form and that the bats are blazin.

2008-09-07 07:53:08
1.   OldYanksFan
Tonight...lets hope that the Moose is loose!
2008-09-07 07:54:25
2.   OldYanksFan
Hey!!!!!! And we are only 10 behind TB. we come!
2008-09-07 08:05:15
3.   Mattpat11
2008-09-07 08:27:43
4.   Sliced Bread
Everybody loves the sound of a train in the distance
Everybody thinks it's true

one of Paul Simon's best

2008-09-07 08:39:49
5.   Cliff Corcoran
0 ,4 As a kid, I could hear the NJTransit train in the distance when lying awake in bed at night (which I did a lot), so I know the feeling.
2008-09-07 08:44:50
6.   3rd gen yankee fan
It's a different experience in downtown KC, where there are still a heck of a lot of trains going through. Still cool though.
2008-09-07 09:32:59
7.   JL25and3
Thought I heard a whistle, now,
I think I see a train,
Deep in my heart there is
An achin' pain.

I just saw Hot Tuna do that tune last night. To me, that lyric is the essence of all American train songs - Folsom Prison Blues, for example, in just four lines.

2008-09-07 11:08:14
8.   FreddySez
Hey Alex.

I went to the last game of the season at Safeco last year -- a spur-of-the-moment add-on during a lull in a business trip. I can't say it was very romantic, but it certainly lived up to stereotype: rainy and chilly, with the roof closed.

Trouble was, the open sides let in the gloom. I'm sure the lights were turned up to the appropriate level, but it felt dark and dank inside. No electricity in the crowd, though in a cellar-dwelling town you'd think the last day would be at least a medium deal.

On the plus side, I rolled into the neighborhood 30 min. before first pitch not even knowing there was a game. Parked maybe 150 yards from the main entrance, at ground level, for $5. Got a decent upstairs ticket as a walkup. And got a bag of kettle corn about a yard long for another $5.

A sunny July day with the roof open might have been a completely different experience, but the impression I took away was that the most romance you'll ever experience from the place will be hearing that train whistle on TV from New York.

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