Photos of New York and Yankee Stadium available on Flickr.
Today Erik and I attended the 43rd-to-last regular season game in the 85-year history of Yankee Stadium - but first, let's get you up to speed on our Saturday adventures.
After blogging, Erik Phil and I finally left Alexandria mid-afternoon and headed for downtown Washington. Phil had done a little research before our arrival and discovered that there was an annual DC BBQ Contest & Festival occurring near Federal Triangle, so we met up with Frank there to find out what that was all about. All in all, I'd say we were all fairly disappointed. I mean, it is pretty big (streets are blocked off), but about half of the festival is for competition entries only, and those entering food in the BBQ cookoff are not allowed to hand out samples. When we did finally find stands that sold BBQ, it was nothing in particular to write home about. There was also a ridiculous beverage system that involved standing in one line for beverage tickets, and then going in an adjacent line - in the same tent, mind you - to actually receive the drink. And on top of everything, there was for some reason an entry fee. So...if any of you are in Washington and have a chance to go to the BBQ Festival...don't. After a waste of $10 and an hour, we headed for the nearby ESPNZone to finally meet up with Lauren (who was not feeling too crisp from the night before and didn't meet us out until 5:30) and throw back a few before heading to the ballpark.
Saturday's seats were again excellent - 2nd deck, 2nd row, under the scoreboard in right field. We were all up in Elijah Dukes' business and had a great view to the game - and not to mention a pretty outstanding little bar right at the top of our section. When purchasing these tickets a couple months ago I figured this would be a great vantage point from which to check out the cherry blossom trees proposed for the left field concourse, which are synonymous with DC, but sadly those must have gotten V-E'd out. We also finally (A) met Lauren's boyfriend who came much-hyped because we were told he could get us free Five Guys at the ballpark (the Washington equivalent to In 'n' Out Burger), and (B) had time to visit the team store today. Both were awesome - the Five Guys was delicious, and the team store, even though it could have had more variety, had lots of cool stuff. Erik bought a Lastings Milledge t-shirt jersey, and I bought a plush Thomas Jefferson Racing President doll (see photos) and a Nationals Park inaugural season baseball. The game did not end up being as good as the food and team store, as they lost in a rout, 13-3. Josh Hamilton finally got his first hits of the series for the Rangers, and Texas pretty much put the game out of reach with a 7-run 7th, highlighted by David Murphy's bases-loaded double. Teddy Roosevelt again had the lead in the Presidents' race, but was distracted by an inflatable kangaroo around the final turn and lost to Honest Abe, thus extending his career winless streak.
Moving on to Sunday, we ended up post-gaming at a much-anticipated pirate-themed bar in Silver Spring, and then after closing the joint down took the Metro all the way from Maryland, through the entire length of the District, over to Virginia. What that meant was that Erik and I got about an hour of sleep before having to wake up at 6 to catch a 7:30 bus to Manhattan. It was a rough beginning to the day, but after sleeping the entire 4-hour drive to New York, we were refreshed and ready to watch ball in the historic final year of Yankee Stadium. The bus dropped us off near Madison Square Garden and we took the D Train to the Bronx for the game. We had the luck of the tour on our side once again - 40% chance of thunderstorms predicted, and even though there was a pretty fierce hour-rain delay, the game was played in its entirety. Luckily, we had seats that were just under the roof canopy on the top deck. It was nice to not have to work on a Sunday to be able to watch a little afternoon ballgame at this historic field. Our view was again pretty excellent - almost at the top, but right behind home plate with a pretty good view of the game. The Yankees ended up defeating the Reds 4-1 to avoid the sweep (of course the one game I go to, my Reds lost). Andy Pettitte went 6 strong innings, and Johnny Cueto for the Reds probably could have bested his 5 had the game not contained the rain delay, as he had only given up one run and struck out 8. The newly-moustached Jason Giambi was the star of the game, going 3-3 with 2 RBI, and the lone run for the Reds came on Ken Griffey Jr's 601st career jack, on a 102-mph fastball from Kyle Farnsworth that just cleared the right field wall. It was well worth the lack of sleep and 8+ total hours on a bus to get to see a game at Yankee Stadium one last time. After the game, we of course raided the team store for "Last Year" merchandise, and we had a quick drink at Mickey Mantle's at Columbus Circle before heading back to Washington for the night. Tomorrow it's a little bit more sightseeing and our final game of the trip, a minor league game in Aberdeen MD.