I'm sick and only part of it is due to Cold #347 deposited into my sinuses by my darling little son. The balance is due to the final, crippling revelation that for the first time since the strike-shortened '94 season, I will not be watching the Yankees play in October.
The first time that the Yankees overcame the awfulness of the 80's and early-90's and made the playoffs happened to coincide exactly with my move to Seattle. In fact, the game 5 of the 1995 ALDS that they lost to the Mariners (the single greatest thing that has ever happened to the M's, if I am to believe the daily reminders from every Seattle sportscaster throughout every baseball season since), was one of the first nights in our apartment. The sting of the Yankees loss was soothed a bit by the fact that we went out later that night and ran into Tino Martinez (then a Mariner) and Vince Coleman at a bar. Tino shook my hand and Vince Coleman didn't try to explode me, so it was a great night.
I had really wanted Finn's first Yankees game to be under different circumstances. When I bought tickets to this game, the Yankees and Mariners both were bathing in the early season glow of naive optimism based on unproven pitching staffs. I got online and bought Finn a Jeter t-shirt timed for his age/size and started counting down the weeks until it would finally be September. Alas, it was not the September either team wanted to be playing.
It was also apparently not a game that the Ninja wanted to be attending. Finn's first game was easy. He was so small that he could pretty much sleep in his Baby Bjorn. This one was a wee bit more difficult. Our little shortstop was fussy from the get-go, which I attributed to the fact that the Yanks were en route to losing the series against the worst team in the American League. Turns out that more likely it was due to the fact that he had acquired the aforementioned cold and had, as we discovered later that day, decided to cut his very first tooth.
I had assumed that the first indication of an incoming tooth would be a human tooth1. Nope. The first indication was a tiny little tiger/crocodile/dinosaur fang that he apparently stuck under his gums to stab me with when I put my knuckle in his mouth.
What? I suppose you've never played "bite my finger." If not, you don't know what you're missing. Don't look at me like that.
Here's a camera phone pic of the boy taken during a brief moment of happiness at the game. Sorry the picture is so blurry, but we had to take it in a hurry before he started crying again.
Now c'mon. Bite my finger.
1 That is, the first indication other than the drooling & fussiness, which I just take for granted these days as an indication that he is still, despite all of our stretching exercises, a baby.