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I Have No Voice, And I Must Scream: The “Most Exciting Night In Baseball History” Firsthand
There are a lot of Braves fans in north Florida. This is entirely reasonable, as the Rays didn’t exist until 1998 and cheering for the Braves is a Southern tradition. My girlfriend Lynn, who’s lived nearly her whole life in Gainesville, was a Braves fan until we met and I slowly brought her around to the Rays (though she still rejects the designated hitter as illegitimate). Her favorite player of all time is Andruw Jones.
I give up when her favorite player homers in the top of the fifth inning to give the Yankees an insurmountable 7-0 lead. The home run goes to left field, where it passes under the bright red ribbon board providing live updates from Baltimore, where the Red Sox lead 3-2 and the Orioles offense appears to have already gone home for the offseason. “Quit being such a negative Nancy,” Lynn begs, but seven years of being a Rays fan has not exactly filled me with an optimistic outlook — on anything, really. Plus, a Yankee fan behind us is screaming “GO JETEY!” every 24 seconds. I leave my seat in search of comfort food that might at least make me a tolerable companion for the rest of the game.
Lynn, our photojournalist friend Melissa, and I are parked near the right field foul pole in section 140. Moving toward center field, you have section 142, where the vuvuzela-wielding bleacher creatures hold court, and section 144, where a young man with a whiteboard is providing live updates from Baltimore more quickly than the Trop’s scoreboard can (somehow, HIS phone works). His updates are not promising, and he also has an annoying habit of writing very unfunny jokes on the board and standing up to show everyone how unfunny he is. My realtor, Todd, says he’s like someone on Twitter you can’t unfollow. This is an apt analogy. I am not in the mood for your optimism, whiteboard guy.
Then the 8th inning happens.
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