Thursday, March 13, 2008

Billy Crystal Holds His Head Up High; However, He Whiffs...

I didn't care for the fact Billy Crystal played in today's game, but I'll say for a guy who is not a baseball player, and at 60 years old, he didn't emberass himself. Ok, so he struck out in his at-bat (he hit leadoff); however he fouled off a pitch before being sent back to the bench. I watched the game on, and in the end, it was nice to see the Yankees embrace him.

From ESPN: Wearing No. 60 a day before his 60th birthday, and cheered on by fellow funnyman Robin Williams, Crystal gave himself a chance in the first inning in his only at-bat.

Swinging late against Pittsburgh's Paul Maholm, Crystal bounced a chopper past first baseman Adam LaRoche that landed several feet foul. Crystal got ahead in the count 3-1, but then swung over a pair of 88 mph fastballs.

The crowd gave Crystal a standing ovation, and he raised his hand to salute the fans. Teammate-for-a-day Alex Rodriguez signaled Maholm, who tossed the ball toward the Yankees dugout for a souvenir.

Crystal's debut -- and finale -- followed the likes of Garth Brooks and Tom Selleck, other celebrities who played in spring training games.

Johnny Damon took over the DH job from Crystal later in the game. Damon was in the spirit, saying it was fine that he sat at the start in place of Crystal.

"He's been around longer," Damon said. "He's got credibility."

Before the game, Crystal worked out on the main diamond at Legends Fields.

So, I might have been a little hard on him; however, he held himself up well and he has nothing to be ashamed about. It looked like he had the experience of a lifetime and got to live out a childhood dream.

I still don't think the New York Yankees should have given some who is a fan; albeit, a famous one a chance to play a professional game (honestly, Crystal had no business doing it), but stuff like this is what makes sports special.

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