Your weekly random thoughts …
• I've been a lifelong New York Yankees fan. Growing up in upstate New York, I remember when my mother announced we were getting cable television in the late 1970s. The primary reason: so that we could watch the games on WPIX Channel 11.
I went to my first game at the old Yankee Stadium in April 1978. I was 7. Got autographs from Ron Guidry, who went on to win the Cy Young Award that year, and Don Gullett. The Yanks beat the Brewers in extra innings. It was quite a day.
Since then, I've been to many Yankees games over the years. I made a pilgrimage to the Bronx for Don Mattingly Day in 1997 to see the team honor my all-time favorite ballplayer and retire his number.
I was in the house with my lifelong buddy Steve Marshall for Game 1 of the 1998 World Series as the Yanks began what would turn out to be a sweep of the Padres and a coronation of one of the greatest teams ever.
I've got a collection of championship hats, including from 2009, that sits on a shelf behind me where I'm writing this. And I have a Yankee Stadium monument park brick that my mother-in-law gave me as a gift after the old place closed last year.
In fact, one of the highlights of my career came in 1999 when Charlie Jaworski -- my old sports editor in Binghamton, N.Y., and one of the great mentors in my career -- sent me to Yankee Stadium for a game to write a feature on utilityman Clay Bellinger, a former area high school star who had bounced around the minors for years until surprisingly making the Yankees out of spring training.
So to say I'm psyched about Saturday night's Yuri Foreman-Miguel Cotto fight at the new Yankee Stadium is an understatement. I haven't been to the new stadium yet, so my first experience there will be for Friday's weigh-in and then the fight the following night (HBO, 10:15 p.m. ET).
I think Foreman-Cotto is a solid enough fight, but the fact it will be held in Yankee Stadium makes it a must-see for me.
• You know who else is totally psyched about the fight Saturday? Welterweight Tommy Rainone (13-3, 4 KOs), who hails from Plainview, Long Island. The 30-year-old probably will never win a world title or even headline a big show, but he's pretty pumped to be on the Yankee Stadium undercard. "I'm a lifelong Yankee fan, and to be able to fight at Yankee Stadium in front of Yankee greats and my hometown fans, it's a dream come true," he said. "I'm just going to soak it all in, make sure to have a great time and make a statement with the world watching me."
• It looks like David Haye will once again duck a fight with Wladimir Klitschko. I'll say this for Haye: If he ever finds himself trapped inside a burning building, I know he'll survive. He's great at finding ways out.
• When Top Rank and HBO brass met a couple of months ago to lay out plans for a July 24 "Boxing After Dark" card, it was supposed to feature featherweight titlist Yuriorkis Gamboa against Celestino Caballero, with Humberto Soto defending his lightweight belt against overdue mandatory challenger Anthony Peterson in the opener. Helluva card -- and too good to be true, it turns out. So we're in for a downgrade. Gamboa and Top Rank don't really want to make a Caballero fight, so that's out the window. The next guy on the list was titlist Elio Rojas. But nobody found out if the fight was really doable. Turns out there are issues between Don King, Rojas' promoter, and the fighter's manager. So that's probably down the tubes also. Plan C is Jorge Solis, an interim titlist at junior lightweight who would move down, or featherweight titlist Orlando Salido. Not surprisingly, Top Rank, which promotes both, seems determined to keep the match in the family. As for the undercard, Soto has no plans to fight Peterson, which HBO wasn't even aware of until a few days ago -- even though Top Rank has known for weeks. Soto is making noise about moving to junior welterweight, where there are money fights. That leaves Peterson to possibly face prospect Brandon Rios for an interim belt in the co-feature. The two new fights under discussion aren't bad, but they're not nearly as interesting as what was promised. I don't like the bait and switch from Top Rank, and I know HBO isn't too happy either. It reminds me of a scene in "The Empire Strikes Back," one of my all-time favorite movies, in which Darth Vader and Lando Calrissian have a confrontation …
Vader: Calrissian, take the princess and the wookie to my ship.
Calrissian: You said they'd be left at the city under my supervision!
Vader: I am altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further.
• Publicly, all is quiet on the Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. front. That's a good thing, as far as I can tell.
• Had a chance to see a preview of the sixth episode of Showtime's "Fight Camp 360