A Rod takes a swing (thats Madonnas steroid-loving former squeeze to you)

A Rod takes a swing (that's Madonna's steroid-loving former squeeze to you)

This week, we went to see the New York Yankees play, er, no wait it’s coming to me, the Tampa Bay… Rays. Anyway, off we go on the B train all the way up the enormous new stadium in the Bronx, and here’s me expecting to find tons of material for this blog, but what do I get? Almost no surprises at all.

Because if you’ve seen any American telly or movies at all, hardly any of it comes as news. From Sex and the City, I know it’s all about drinking beer rather than watching a game. From Seinfeld and When Harry Met Sally, I know about the hot dog and popcorn sellers who come to your seat. And from every baseball movie I ever watched as a kid (Major League, Field of Dreams and that one with Susan Sarandon), I remember the little organ jingles they play when you’re sitting around waiting for something, anything, to happen.

(Not being a big sports fan, I wasn’t prepared for everyone to stand up at the beginning, Yankee cap on heart, and sing the national anthem. I stood, out of peer pressure, but self-consciously put my hands in my pockets, out of Britishness.)

One surreal ritual I didn’t know about? At one point during the game, when the guys come out to rake the grit smooth, the sound system chirps up with YMCA, and at each chorus, the rakers pause to do the dance. And everyone loves it. They also love the big screen instructions to clap in time to other bits of music, and no one seems to mind the unending advertising in every pause in the game. When you stop noticing the ads, it’s all over, right?