Take us out to the ball game! Two ball games, in fact! We’ve got Yankees fever. Having had, until now, no interest in any sport whatsoever (except figure skating, of course), why our sudden delirium? Is it because baseball is a deeply psychological contest of subtlety and finesse, dear to the hearts of intellectuals like Don DeLillo? Or because baseball is America’s national pastime, boasting a proud and storied history? No, the answer is much simpler. Tuning in to a televised game by chance one night, we were bowled over by a display of male booty greater than any we had hitherto experienced (even in figure skating), a veritable smorgasbord of shapely rumps encased in form-fitting pants. As the camera closed in on players diving, pivoting, or just standing at the ready, we realized at last why the Yanks are known as the pride of New York.
So, armed with notepad and binoculars, we hopped the No. 4 uptown to catch some live action (YANKEE STADIUM, 161st Street and River Avenue, Bronx, 718-293-6000). By Liquid City standards, the ballpark qua bar leaves much to be desired—no boozing permitted in the bleachers; elsewhere, lite brew costs an exorbitant $6.25 a pint, large fries $7; last call is absurdly early, around 9:30. Then there’s the service dilemma. On a bad night, you can wait forever for a strolling vendor to wet your whistle, while if you head inside to queue at the poky concession windows (or to light up), you’ll miss valuable playing time. In spite of such quibbles, we’re in raptures, for what taproom can rival the exhilarating spectacle of nine men in stretch gabardine gamboling in the summer air? Forget the opposing team, with their unsightly mullets and mutant goatees, their lardy arses: They were bested by the Bombers on all fronts (fashion, hair, fitness).
After this taster, it’s off to enemy territory—SHEA STADIUM (123-01 Roosevelt Avenue, Queens, 718-507-METS). For the subway series, the 56,655 capacity crowd is a frenzy of team regalia and testosterone, hooting and chanting with every pitch. It must grudgingly be admitted that Shea has the more efficient, and more plentiful, roving distributors of suds (clad uniformly in yellow for easy visibility), but prices are likewise unreasonable (12 oz. Miller Genuine Draft, $5.75). To ensure an ample supply, we purchase two bottles at once (the maximum allowed) and hoard the second under our seat—only to have it kicked over by our sprawling neighbor, Fat Boy. (Now we know why those hats that hold a beer can at each side of one’s head were invented.) As for the park’s orange-and-blue color scheme (extending from the stands to the bathroom stalls), it’s a definite eyesore. And why is there a plastic mannequin of a deer lurking behind the center-field fence?