So this is my first entry and I have to admit, it feels like the very first day of high school. I made sure to wear something nice and got a haircut. My only problem is that I’m not sure who I’ll sit with at lunch, which is a source of considerable stress for any freshman. To keep up with this theme, I thought we could look back and see how the “Core Four” fared in their Major League debuts. Granted the stress level for them was much higher than finding a familiar face during lunch, but we can at least try to make the comparison.
Jorge Posada: 9/4/95 vs. Mariners. Posada came into the game in the ninth inning, replacing Jim Leyritz defensively and did not have a plate appearance. Taking Leyritz out of the game was a poor choice. Not professionally, but personally. You never want to give Leyritz any more free time than necessary. This wasn’t a big sample size for Posada, but I think flying under the radar in a debut is in itself, a small success.
Now, if we were to equate Jorge’s debut to an experience you might have had at lunch on your first day, it would go something like this: You found a seat with some people you never talked to in middle school, but you now act like they have always been your best friends. Forming alliances is always a good strategy in these “Hunger Games”.
Andy Pettitte: 4/29/95 vs. Royals. Pettitte was brought in as a relief pitcher and ended the day with 0.2 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, K. He’s going to have to pull his hat down even lower if he doesn’t want to be seen after that outing.
Freshman lunch equivalent: A weird kid sits next to you and starts to drink his chocolate milk through his nose with a straw. The entire lunchroom then assumes you are friends based soley on proximity.
Mariano Rivera: 5/23/95 vs Angels. Rivera made his debut as a starting pitcher in this game. He allowed 5 ER in 3.1 IP as the Yanks went on to lose the game 10-0. We now call this man “God”, but on that day, he was more like Judas.
Freshman lunch equivalent: You’ve dropped some ketchup on your white shirt and everyone is looking at it like it is the Scarlet Letter.
Derek Jeter: 5/29/95 vs Mariners. Jeter started at shortstop and batted 9th in the lineup. He went 0 for 5. That’s a tough one. Mr. O-vember. No one is getting a gift basket after that performance.
Freshman lunch equivalent: The senior offensive tackle smashes the tray out of your hands, much to the delight of the entire cafeteria. The loudest laughs coming from the kid drinking chocolate milk through his nose.
Obviously, this is all said in jest. These youngsters have all gone on to have legendary careers for the Yankees, but even they had to endure a “first day”. It takes time to get adjusted and find your stride. So far I feel like I’m doing okay, but just to be safe, I’m skipping lunch.