I watched until the bottom of the third inning last night and then headed to the Bruce Springsteen concert at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale. Sounds like I made the right choice, as after I left Yankee hitters started teeing off on Ted Lilly, slamming three home runs in a 7-4 New York win over the Cubs in front of 48,402, about 3,000 short of capacity in the Yankees' new palatial estate. (Mini-review of show: long setlist, 25 songs, the usual outstanding Springsteen performance, though it did slow a little in the middle of the show with songs like "Johnny 99" and "The Ghost of Tom Joad". It ran two hours and 45 minutes after starting an hour after the scheduled 7:30 time.)
Many of those empty seats, from what I saw on the broadcast, appeared to be the $2,625 per game seats that are right behind the plate (those are going to look pretty embarrassing on TV all year if they don't sell). That's a lot of money for a baseball ticket even if you're a New Yorker, and you don't even get a mango-scented towel as you do at Camelback Ranch here in Arizona.
In any case, we have reached the end of this seemingly interminable spring training journey: one more game and then it's off for the Cubs to Houston to open the season on Monday.
Alfonso Soriano and Aramis Ramirez were taken out of last night's lineup because of the sketchy weather. But had they played last night, Lou said he was going to sit them today, so with today's weather looking windy but dry, expect to see both of them play. Soriano didn't get his wish to be the first batter at the plate in the new park, but any "firsts" last night don't go into the record books anyway -- those will wait for the Yankees' first regular season game there against Cleveland on April 16. Chris DeLuca details Lou Piniella's thoughts about the new stadium.
Today's game will feature Rich Harden vs. A. J. Burnett. It can be heard on WGN radio (I'm not sure I understand, either, why they sent Pat & Ron to NYC and only did one game), and televised on CSN Chicago. It is NOT on the MLB Network today (they are covering the Red Sox/Mets game at noon CT) but you can watch for free at the MLB.com Mediacenter. And if you didn't do this last night and want to do it today, definitely download the NexDef plugin. Watching via my laptop using that plugin was really impressive -- I can see why they gave away the telecast for free, it was a heck of a promotion for the service.
Discuss amongst yourselves.