Wednesday, May 31, 2006
So far this road trip is going about as well as my love life: exciting at times, but ultimately disappointing. And, to add insult to injury, more of the same was happening in Detriot. The Tigers staged a comeback from a 5-0 deficit to tie the game at six... only to lie down and provide the masochism whips in the 11th for an 11-6 beat-down from the skanks. To those of you limited to reading a recap online, I can assure you that it was excruciating to watch; In fact, I ended up having to leave the room before I could hurt myself trying to drop-kick the television.
With my lingering angst and pent-up violence from the last couple of days of baseball viewing, this link (in my inbox this morning from Jay from LA) really hit the spot. Now if only there was a way to pit the Farns against Gary Sheffield... (or any of his current teammates, for that matter.)
Meanwhile our view from the wide-angle lens has started to look bleak as well. It may be only rumor, but I'm still losing hope on the Clemens deal... just like any relationship, the more desperate you are to have someone, the less likely you are to get 'em. My only consolation here is the strong assertion that Roger is even less likely to end up in pinstripes. That just might be good enough for me.
Other things that might cheer you up:
- Edit, and moving immediately to the top of the faint-glimmer-of-sunshine list is Gary Sheffield's recurring wrist woes. Also, please note the worsening condition of Johnny Damon's foot.
- most likely, if you're reading this, you are not tribe member Scott Sauerbeck. Trust me, today that's probably a good thing.
- Boomer is not pretending he's OK.
- Loretta has sustained an injury at Rogers Centre, yet it appears to be minor.
- After tonight, we won't have to face the Jays 'til September.
Tonight our FO tests the mettle of a kid who hasn't even seen AAA, let alone the majors. Make sure your liquor cabinet (and/or other sedative of choice) is stocked tonight if you plan to experience Pauley making the start against a guy who's GOTTA BE LONG OVERDUE to have a shitty night against our boys in red.
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
It was only the fourth, but a six-run deficit is pretty much my cut-off for hope. I started a sudoku puzzle. I was briefly cheered up by Coco's homerun, the first of many, I expect, in a Red Sox uniform. It was solo, which doesn't put much of a dent in things; I wasn't about to get my dander up at this point, but a two-run shot by Manny in the 6th made it a game again.
Van Buren had defied my expectations of him by staving off a strong lineup. The Blue Jays can hit - best team batting average in MLB - and one would think they could make a youngen like Jermaine look foolish rather quickly... but somehow they didn't, and the Captain was set up to tie the game with another moon-shot in the eighth.
Here it is, I'm thinking. With all the ridiculous comebacks staged by the MFY, most of them at least partially unearned, it's about time we get some of that touch in our corner. I sit back on the couch and ready myself for a potentially long extra-inning drama. Wait a sec... who's that? I had not remembered Riske was back from his back spasms. Dude was not exactly feelin' the magic. A bit rusty, maybe? I was not thrilled. Pretty much in unison with the rest of the Nation, my thoughts jumped to our man Timlin, may he swiftly return. I can't blame Tito here, with a 'pen of tired arms and a potentially long game stretching out before us... but soon that was the least of our worries. Foulkie came in and got us out of a mess with just one pitch, but the damage had been done.
Don't get me wrong; I'd never trade him for our Pappy, but that B.J. Ryan was scary last night. Toronto stepped up with some cash this year and spent it in the right place to compete in the AL East: pitching. They awarded Ryan the largest contract ever given to a reliever, and last night in the ninth, he showed us why. Can we please, pretty please, mount an impressive lead over the Jays tonight so we don't have to see him again?
Meanwhile, back in the basement beneath Fenway Park, I certainly hope our army of young analysts and lawyers are diligently seeking a serious solution to our pitching woes. Mattie is starting to produce a thick cloud of dread over New England every fifth day. Plus, we've got the "open" slot in the rotation, which finally started to look solid the other day... for about four innings. Now we're back to the wait-n-see game (including who-the-hell is pitching tomorrow night.)
At least we have Josh Beckett taking the rubber tonight. That boy is like a shot of adrenaline right into the veins of Red Sox Nation. Which, of course, makes me nervous to have him pitch at Rogers Centre, if you know what I mean.
Monday, May 29, 2006
It's the Win that Counts
In the end we get the win, and the near-disaster gets to fade away in our minds, rather than fester like a bad taste in the back of our throats. Many a game like this slipped away from us last season, eating away at our confidence 'til we felt no lead was safe... This year (so far) has been better, and while we have had our share of rough outings from relievers, few have affected the actual outcome of the game. Still these failures will not be forgotten, and while the Z-boys have both pitched rather well of late, it's aberrations like this that stick in our minds and overshadow the faith we had started to build up; The next few times either are seen walking to the mound, it will surely be to the music of our own mental moans as we pray for the health of our trusty tough Timlin and ponder the readiness of young DelCarmen, Hanson, and Lester.
In the meantime we put it away and pause for a moment of appreciation...
You might remember sweep-boy from our series against the O's earlier this month. Maybe ya had to be there, but the sweet sound of carefree celebration and hi-5's all around plays in my head much like a song. It brings a smile to my lips and reminds me of all y'all out there in the Nation basking in the victory with me. By posting this picture, I offer you all a digital clink o' the glass to the sweet call of "SWEEP". May we see sweep boy again - soon and often.
Meanwhile, over in my neck of the woods... The Royals, led by our friend Tony G, made things exciting with a slow comeback from a six-run deficit. It was a valient effort throughout the game, but in the end fell short in a 6-5 final. I was checking on this game regularly, so I can tell you ::shakes head sadly:: those blue-boys stranded TOO MANY runners. One more timely hit, and they woulda taken that series for us. Eh, woulda-shoulda-coulda. Let's hope the Tigers keep it hot and start another win streak today.
Sunday, May 28, 2006
Skanks at Fenway
Reasons it's taken me nearly a week to post pictures from last Monday:
- I procrastinate.
- I had better- er, I mean other- things to do.
- Blogger Images is a bitch. She likes to tease me. There is no rhyme or reason to making her work.
- I took so many terrible shots that it took me this long to sort through and find some that are worth posting.
That last reason is the kicker. If you want some real may-as-well-be-professional pics from the Sox-Yankees series, see Samara. She has a real camera and real skills (not to mention real good seats); all I got is heart.
"Hey, it's those bloggers, Reb & Jere!"
Sorry if this is too much JD for you people; mostly it's for my readers Novy & Jtt.
(Head left intentionally in foreground for added creepiness)
Kapstein and Torre shake hands, agreeing that Damon should play as much as possible this next month. Jere has his photo taken with them to remember this auspicious moment.
Which arachnid-clad being pictured here is most obviously a Fenway Park employee?
At this point I parted ways with Jere, figuring my friend would arrive soon and I should grab myself a sausage and beer while I waited. Sure enough, the moment I stepped onto Yawkey way, I heard from her... But she was not nearly at the park. I tried to find Jere again, but no such luck. After waiting around for awhile near his seats with WCSG, I decided to check out a certain season ticket holder we know. I had never been to Andrew's seats before, but I managed to find him. I sat and chatted with him and his dad through the middle of the first, when I got bumped by people who had rights to the seat.
This time I found Jere and WCSG, who happened to have two empty seats next to them in section 23. I sat with them while awaiting my friend. She had gotten caught in traffic, arrived at fens so late that she couldn't find parking, drove home and took the T in from Brookline Hills. An otherwise sharp Schill labored through the top of the third while I was gone to pass Christin's ticket over at Gate A.
We ended up sitting in section 23 the whole time, as no one ever showed up for those seats. (Our seats were in section 43, right next to the red fence- Jere's seats, actually, which he gave me the crack at when he got the chance at these better seats.)
These guys sat in front of us during the game. Pictured on the right is Steve, one of the most gracious Yankee fans I have ever met. I am sad to say, for a fanbase seemingly obsessed with "class", that is not saying much. So maybe I should just say he was a nice guy and seemed to enjoy his visit to Fenway, despite the ugly hat.
I arrived back from my seventh-inning bathroom & beer run to find a bigger lead and a wet seat. I ran back to get napkins. "Who spilled beer all over my seat?" I asked as I wiped it off. A girl turned to me from the seat just to my right. She wore a satin navy jacket. "That guy," pointing to an enthusiastic but generally harmless fan who had been letting us climb over his seat throughout the game. "He threw beer at me," she pouted. I just stared at her. "That's nothing," I told her, "compared to what I saw at Yankee Stadium two weeks ago." She quickly turned away, so I did not bother going into it further. Seeing as a couple in their sixties had been sitting there most of the game, they were obviously crossing some lines by sitting in seats they were not entitled to, and who knows what they said to create trouble. Sorry, but I have no sympathy. I went to Yankee Stadium, I kept my mouth shut, I sat in my own seats, and I came away with dry clothes, just like many MFYF's at Fenway that night, including the ones in front of us.
My friend Christin, aka "Clarissa" of FNX Radio, celebrates victory with me once Keith Foulke finally decides to let us do so.
And of course, this post is dedicated to the lovely and joyful WCSG, whose score of these sweet seats enabled my entrance to the ballpark.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Thursday, May 18, 2006
It's Safe to Come Back Now; Reb has Approved
This bit about Roger has been hashed out to a pulp all Spring, in Red Sox Nation and beyond. It's gotten almost as absurd as the bi-weekly press conferences they were holding for awhile in Green Bay over Brett Favre's non-retirement. Like Brett, no one really believes Roger is ready to step away from the game, but at least in this case there is some genuine drama, like where to go from there. Roger has laid out the possibilities clearly, pitting two sets of fanbases against one another, as the teams themselves duke it out for the right to play backdrop to the Rocket's final stage.
I have my own fantastical imaginings of what is going on behind the scenes. I like to make up these silly storylines, and naturally in my head things always play out as they should, like Ty Law's return home. When I first caught wind of the Roger rumors, I brushed them off as a pipedream, but as things have progressed in the media this Spring, the prospect has swung a one-eighty in my mind. The way Roger's been kissing beantown ass in the press, it feels like he's already decided to come here. I (in full acknowledgment that this is ridiculous speculation) believe he and theo are under hush-hush verbal agreement, with Boston needing to keep a strong showing in the division race of course, and also match any other bids. The secrecy is to drive up the bids, throw a stall into Cashman's schemes, and give the FO time to pawn off Wells or Clement. But don't take my word for it; I also thought Pavano was going to sign with us (as the clear career choice) and thank papi that didn't happen!
As far as the petition goes, I'll be honest in saying I'm not sure what the point is. I doubt Roger will ever know it exists, let alone read our pleas... and I certainly don't think it will swing the tide for him. Of course I signed it anyway, because it can't hurt, and I hope you will, too. (Except for Jere, of course, who won't, so I won't bother hoping. If Roger comes back, as far as he's concerned we'll have a corpse on the mound every fifth day.)
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Still More Egotistical Skankee-isms
He also wants to make sure you all know how much more patriotic yankee fans are. And that Red Sox fans are so politically liberal, the team ought to be re-named the "Lib Sox". As if there's something wrong or unpatriotic about that. So ignorant, he went as far as to say that nothing valuable has ever come about in the city of Boston, and made fun of the Boston tea party, and denied it unequivocably when I informed him that if it were up to the "Empire State", we all would still be subjects of jolly ol' England. All this I find to be utter nonsense and hardly worth my time to type, but he did insist... right before he went into some more crap about how we're still crying about Johnny Damon. Seriously, that just happened. I want to bang my head against the wall, but I'm afraid my ears will still be working afterwards.
This Week's Skankee Fan Ranting
Clear enough, do you think? I feel as if I should make it a bit more harsh... just so people would have no excuse as to what they should expect. Ah, but you know how those MFY fans are. Probably get all up in arms about "class"- you know, as if every bar and basement rec room in this area doesn't post that stupid "Yankee Fan Only - All Others Will Be Towed" sign. The standard skankee double-standard: they'll mock red sox fans 'til blue (with classy white pinstripes) in the face, but as soon as you cheer and smile, say when Mo gives up the go-ahead run in the top-o-ninth, they'll get on you for being "mean". As if rooting for the Rangers is some kind of crime against humanity or something.
This particular Yankee fan is obsessed with thinking that all good red sox players eventually become yankees, and the red sox organization is not "classy" enough to pay a player through to retirement. Come to think of it, the bro-in-law's pretty high on this concept as well. In fact, I've gotten an earful on this from every skankee fan I've run into lately; that must be their underlying theme this year. I wonder if you click on the "Pride, Power, and Pinstripes" it brings you to a page stating the official club harassment techniques for the season. Like it really bothers us that the management is smart enough to not pay the premium for a player in their decline. It's as if these people don't get it- or more likely refuse to. Acknowledge the economic purity of shying away from long-term contracts for players over thirty? Why, you just don't have to when you can take PRIDE in the POWER of not caring about the market price because you have so much god-damned cash to throw around in an anually-increasing desperation to add some 21st century hardware to those ever-classy PINSTRIPES.
I have to say, even with Coco on the DL, the most bothersome aspect to JD becoming a yankee (from my perspective) is having it hear about it in every other breath from said fans. They go on and on and on about it as if I care. It is so hard for them to believe that I don't. Not that I'm surprised, but it's important that you people outside of the big-apple area understand that it's not enough for the typical MFY fan to sign a great free agent... their real pleasure comes in believing that it causes us pain. And I know that for some of us that's true. But I have to wonder if the gloating in my ears is more annoying because in my case it's just NOT. To hear these people harp on it, it's like they all believe the propaganda that the dude's Jesus or something. And now, with the current shortage in the Bronx outfield, with Johnny being the big team player and throwing more and more and more mileage on that sore shoulder... Well, I am not one to wish ill on the man, but I do inwardly chuckle as I think of the length of that contract he signed.
So in accordance with the theme of "Red Sox don't have enough class to re-sign their best players," I hear a lot of "who's next to become a yankee" speculation. "Wakefield will become a yankee eventually, you just wait and see," is my favorite for the sheer absurdity and clear lack-of-understanding for the contract-concept side of this issue. Manny Ramirez, of course, is the most believable to be thrown out there, and with the grooming of Wily Mo somewhat palatible, but not even Steinbrenner's likely to touch that contract... This guy Jay, in typical Italian-American machismo, is claiming Damon was lured over to the dark side by Jeter threatening "You come play for the yankees or I'll steal your wife." I'm sure you all can feel my hysterical laughter when he said Jeter was going to try this one on Papelbon next. (I mean aside from the whole practicality of Jonathon still with years left in his rookie contract, there's a slight believability issue in the prospects of that happening with a sleezy ex-stripper vs. the charming southern girl Pappy's married to.)
Get me a valium, people; It's the next day and I still can't come down from that one.
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Boston Red Sox Postgame Alert
May 11, 2006
Boston 5, N.Y. Yankees 3 at Yankee Stadium
N.Y. Yankees Record: (19-13)
Winning pitcher - Tim
Losing pitcher - Ron Villone (0-1)
SV - Jonathan
Those of you suffering without the "Hell, No" Network can likely guess that the postgame show is mostly about losing "much more than the game" as in Hideki Matsui, whose wrist injury includes a broken bone and need for surgery. What you also missed was Johnny Damon, looking a little bloated and tied up in a shoulder wrap, playing doctor as he assessed Hideki's injury based on degree of swelling. JD apparently aggravated his shoulder (and maybe a foot?) in the process of robbing Dougie of that homerun. He'll be playing hurt, though, 'cause he's a good guy like that, and besides they don't have anyone else to put out there now.
And we leave the Bronx with a better taste in our mouths than last night, as we remain in first place and hold a 3-1 advantage over the skanks in the head-to-head meetings this season. Done for now, but we'll pick right back up on it in ten short days, as the bombers come back to Boston on the 22nd. Hopefully Coco will be back for that one.
Adventures of Reb & Jere: *Layin' Low in the Nosebleeds*
I found seating across from a woman and her young son. Throughout the near-ninety-minute train ride I smiled as he asked his mother the silliest questions like "what's your least favorite show on television?" Across the aisle a young couple seemed destined for the same eventual location as myself, the guy wearing a white-on-white arachnid hat and tan yankee jersey. (what are those tan jerseys from, anyway?) A wealthy Westonite sat across from them, chattering away in her earpiece about hotel reservations, rustic resorts, convalescent accommodations, charity events, and adopting a little girl from China. Her designer jeans were to-die-for. Her voice and demeanor held my attention, as they reminded me of my cousin (sister of the one mentioned in a recent post.)
I spent my train ride working on a project for Jere. I'm sure it looked unusual, but no one asked why I was sewing with embroidery thread on the train. I had cut the letters out of the red knit cotton of a child's Papelbon t-shirt and glued them to a white knit backdrop. On the train I stitched the letters to secure them, then hemmed the edges of my piece. By the time I finished we were in the Bronx, and I put it away carefully in the pocket of my bag.
I weaved my way through Grand Central quickly, and into the subway tunnels to wait for the six-train. Silly to go all the way to GC only to head back uptown, in my opinion, but Jere wanted it this way, and he had my tickets so... I waited. And waited. Boston fans aplenty smiled and joked as a group of girls made nasty comments nearby.
"Where did all these Boston people come from?"
"wait, didn't the yankees lose last night?"
"well maybe you should shut your mouth?"
"nuh-uh. gotta be a true fan and support my team even if they lose. I can't watch 'em on tv anyway - too boring."
"Yankees Suck" exclaims a guy to my right.
"They sure did last night," I replied, smiling.
The group of Boston fans get on the 4-train. A 5-train comes and goes. After about fifteen or twenty minutes, a 6-train arrives and the crowd collected crams into it like sardines. I get off at 77th, as instructed, and Jere directs me to squeeze right back on. We make it, just barely, but end up waiting for his friend Jenny at 86th, who wasn't so lucky. I pull out my little sewing project, and Jere seems pleased. We arrange it over the numbers on his Damon t-shirt, and I start whip-stitchin' it down. Jenny comes along and we're back to squishing on the train, this time with truly no personal space. We get to Yankee Stadium, finally, and sit down on the wall outside of McDonald's courtyard across the street. I finish sewing so Jere can put the shirt on for all to see as we walk into the stadium. As he puts it on I notice a guy behind us immediately reach for his cellphone to snap a picture.
I'm disappointed that it came out a little crooked, but in my defense I was doing this job in my lap at best (when not in the middle of the air in Jere's hands,) not on a table, and our friend Jere was not exactly waiting patiently.
We found our seats and sat down while I ate the necessary-lest-I-starve-and-fall-down-the-upper-deck Nathan's (sans relish, mind you, apparently the toilet has something against the minced-pickle dressing I find crucial to a decent-tasting dog.)
From there we tried to spot Michael Leggett, who had sent Jere his seat assignment. Indeed, we spotted him, and headed off around the park to say Hi over in tier 22. I am always surprised, when I meet people I've gotten to know through blogging, at how much they are like how I imagined them; there always seems to be traits that I unknowingly expected. Michael is a jovial fellow, with a pleasant smile and an excitable demeanor. I have suspected (as Jere suggested to me long ago) Michael's unusual writing style to be a reflection of the way he speaks, and indeed this proved to be the case. It was a pleasure to meet you, Michael, and perhaps we will meet up again sometime, like at that Toronto game we both have tickets for.
Yankee fans seem to have a lot to say about class, but when it comes time to demonstrate, few are generally interested (unless they've brought a little kid along to the game.) As the fans continued to find their seats around us in the first couple innings, Jere was notably pleased by our immediate neighbors around the vicinity of row S, seats 9 & 10 in tier 15. The couple behind us wore no yankee gear. They seemed to be rooting for the skanks, but also seemed genuinely amused by Jere's modified T-shirt. Directly in front of us a woman sat alone with two empty seats on either side. She also wore no gear but supported the dark side. In front of her was a family with two small children.
Poor child. A lifetime of hubris awaits him. Jere joked about sneaking the boy baseball cards of Red Sox players while the father wasn't looking. Next to Jere on our right was his co-worker Jenny and a friend of hers - yankee fans as well, but not too likely to be trying to get in our faces. The seats to my left were empty for quite awhile before a guy lumbered up to sit next to me in the bottom of the second. He was wearing a yankee jersey, but was pleasant enough as he explained that he had drank so many beers already that it took fifteen minutes to find his seat. He was joined by his friends not too long afterward. "Asians... Perfect." Jere whispered. Asian guys can be loud and obnoxious, but are rarely violent or confrontational. Despite being surrounded by yankee fans in the upper deck, we were in pretty safe company - as long as we could keep our mouths shut.
Edit: ok, I missed something here. This is what jere meant by liking the fact thatwe had Asians next to us:
Reb, please clear up my "Asians" comment on your post. I said that it was good that we had people from another country next to us, because a drunken, racist, white-boy yankee fan might hate them as much for not being American as they'd hate us for wearing Sox stuff. So I felt a little safer because of it.
Personally I don't see how that would make us safer, and I stand by my comment about asians being less violent and confrontational from a cultural standpoint. Also, I'm pretty sure these guys were American, just not Caucasion, but whatever.
While Papi kicked the night off right...
...We know that didn't last. There were a lot of Sox fans up where we were, but Jere said it was a low turnout in comparison to recent years, most likely because it was a weeknight. It wasn't nearly as bad as what jere was describing to me (via Sam) from the night before, but as the night went on and people got drunker, one could not walk up or down the stairs with Sox gear on without people yelling and getting in their faces, and I can only imagine how much worse it could have gotten had the yanks not had a comfortable lead.
The decks are pretty rowdy, and security at the toilet seems to be um, a lot more stringent than Fenway - and for good reason, as far as I can tell, as the crowd seems to be looking for trouble and borderline explosively violent. This does not, in my opinion, excuse security literally pushing red sox fans out of the bleachers, forcibly overboard and visible from my bird's-eye seat. The security on our section was busy. Here's the first ejection I saw. It seems this guy wearing the number seven hit the girl next to him, although from the way he could barely walk I think it may have been an accident.
This harmless looking preppie couple were next. Jere speculated that they had lit up a joint. The huge melon in the left foreground of this picture is the drunk Asian yankee fan sitting next to me.
Not too long after this, the batteries in both of our cameras died (and in my rush out the door on the way to the train, it seems I dropped my back-ups) so the rest of our stay at the toilet goes undocumented. Honestly, it was mostly more drunk ejections in addition to the same disappointing non-clutch moments you all saw on TV. Then it was a long pushing-and-shoving walk to the subway tracks, where we failed to squeeze onto the first train and waited for the second. We rode it to Grand Central and debated glumly over our trip to the hotel.
We wondered. It had taken so long to get there, it was hard to believe we would catch any of them getting back. Plus it didn't seem like any fun, having lost, but I told Jere we were probably more depressed about it than they were.
We were wrong on both counts. After stopping at the pharmacy for batteries and going the wrong direction before finding the hotel, we arrived just in time to watch a bus pull up... And Jere on my cell with his girlfriend failed to get his batteries in his camera in time to get any shots off. And of course my camera's painfully slow and never gets exactly what I want, but here's what I got:
Dougie and Jason
Josh Beckett is studly
And our boys look as downcast as we do. We saw others, of course, and I would have loved to have caught Kevin Youkilis, who was staring right at us in clear recognition AS HE ALWAYS DOES when we see him. (He looks at us like we're crazy; just what are you telling him about us, Mr Youkilis?)
By this time I have to use the bathroom quite badly, and I was able to use the one in the hotel last year, so we head inside toward the elevator. A security guy stops us and insists we must have a key. We find another hotel down the street and use theirs instead. (Seriously, dude, I really needed it.) We wait around for awhile, but it's clear nothing's going on, and I still need to get the train back to Connecticut.
We're both pretty tired at this point... It was a long and disappointing night. During my train ride home I found I had lost my voice, and it was nearly four by the time my head hit the pillow. Still I would do it all over again.
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Beauty in the Bronx
I hate to admit it, but the skankee lineup is re-defining intimidation this year, which, added to our own lack of run production through the first month of the season, does not leave a lot to look forward to in these match-ups. When Giambi went yard in the first, Beckett clearly laboring and being forced to throw a lot of pitches early on, I thought to myself "oh, boy. here we go..." And there we went, indeed, but in a far better direction than I expected.
"I think [Beckett] got more competitive, if that's possible with him," said Red Sox second baseman Mark Loretta. "At that point, you could see him turn it up to an even higher notch. He took it to a new level. His location was fantastic tonight. He rarely threw a fastball over the middle of the plate."
It was pretty much smooth-sailin' from there, with a few minor defensive gaffes from the homeboys to help us along the way. Fresh from the minors, Melky Cabrera flubbed a pop-up which allowed two runs- and our dear prince purple-lips showed off why playing in the field makes him "most valuable" - er, to us, that is. (to be fair, a-rod is normally an excellent fielder... as is Edgah Rentaria, or so we've been told.) The skanker-site would have you believe that these errors led to their loss, but the real difference in the game was pitching, as inferred in the article: "Beckett looked shaky in the first, but it was Johnson who fell apart..." Our new yankee-killer has lived up to his billing, at least in the first match-up.
As good as we feel about Josh Beckett's future in red coming out of this game, it's the rubber ramifications in pinstripes that really piques the interest of baseball analysts. They may be living up to their nickname "bombers" in the Bronx, but poor pitching can only get a run-scoring machine so far, as we found out first-hand in Boston last year. The shriveling of the "Unit" is just one facet of many mound issues surfacing at the toilet also known as Yankee Stadium. Tonight we see the Moose, who's off to a scary-solid start this year, but all that could change in a matter of moment with just a tweak of an elbow...
(I know ya'll are waiting anxiously for pics from the weekend. Blogger was a little bitch yesterday and would not allow me to upload them. I'm workin' on it.)
The Birthday Game
I had heard of these fabled tix, those held by the club and released when the gates opened. I didn't know how many there were, and didn't know how likely we were to get them, and we came prepared to scalp. On my way in from Kenmore, I asked some scalpers and got the usual BS "they're expensive today. $80 apiece for bleachers." Right. I'll take my chance with the line, I figure. When I got there, the line seemed pretty long to me, but then again, what do I know? The two girls who got in line behind me had done a little research. They had asked up toward the front of the line how many tickets were available and found out it was always at least two hundred. Then they counted people in the line as they walked back and found themselves at around the 148 mark. This made me feel a lot better. And when Nathalie finally showed, she managed to sneak in line with me, since the dude hadn't come by yet passing out the numbered rules handout which you need to purchase a ticket.
We were waiting for quite awhile, chatting with the girls behind us (who ended up right next to us later in section 21). We caught up on our family stuff: my new niece, her sister's next trip in from Denver, her mom's winter tour of Texas, my dad's dating the crap out of every girl he can find on match.com, our grandmother's golf game, etc. A couple guys came by from WEEI asking us to fill out a survey to win tickets to a sox game. Nathalie wrote that her favorite New England pastime was drinking beer, and I shocked the shit out of these fellas (the looks on their faces was better than the actual prize, a bag of potato sticks,) by answering their trivia question "what is Coco Crisp's real first name?" Apparently in a week of asking the question, I am only the second person to answer it correctly, and the first with breasts. (shouldn't this qualify me for the tickets right then and there?)
Anyway, eventually we get in, buy steak subs, and find our seats to eat them in. Then we wander about for awhile, sitting in some sunny field box seats since it was cold. No sooner do we sit down when some lady comes along to block our view:
Now I ask you ladies, who the hell wears tight pants like that and lets her panty-line show (even with a thong?) and then proceeds to make sure everyone sees it by standing on top of the seats? Anyway. It wasn't very nice of her to stick her ass in our faces like that, which is the only reason I'm ranking on her, I suppose.
We ended up moving down a bit as the sun shifted, and stayed in the field boxes through the top of the first. Lenny was laboring, and it looked like it might be a rough day from the start. We were at a bit of an angle, so of course it was hard to tell, but some of those plate-calls were pretty close, and you could see he was frustrated. When the seat owners finally arrived, Nathalie hit the women's' room and I went off in search of fried dough before going up to our actual seats. I saw bits and pieces of our first inning rally from the TV's everywhere, and when the bases were loaded I decided I had to walk up and watch, even though I couldn't find the Cuz.
I hit the open air and see a pitch headed into homeplate, then connect with the Captain's bat. Crack. And just like that we're up 4-1, Lenny's troubles are forgotten, and people are just sitting down again when I make it up the stairs and find Nathalie- not in our seats. Someone else is in our seats, because someone else is in their seats, and we all just smile and stay where we are, knowing someone will likely come along eventually to set off a chain of musical chairs. Indeed an inning later a few guys come along to start the ball rolling, and it turns out two girls were sitting in the right seats, right row... Wrong section. Terrible job;)
and here's the view from our real seats, section 21, row 10, seats 12 & 13:
During the game, I blathered on like an idiot savant to Nathalie, filling her in on the players with tid-bits of useless information. I offered to shut up at one point, but the Cuz claimed to appreciate my insight... ya gotta wonder if others in the vicinity were screaming "yes! Shut the fuck up, bitch!" in their heads, but since they said nothing I was free to run my mouth. When Keith Foulke came in, one of our new friends next to us (also named Nathalie) groaned. She and I had a minor disagreement over whether or not Keith had gone to crap (and yes, Beth, I was on the better side of that argument), but it stayed friendly, and as we were tacking on more runs in the bottom of the eighth I pointed out a new pitcher up warming in the 'pen. "That's Manny Delcarmen warming up," I told them. They looked at me in disbelief. Go ahead, click for big on our view, and see if you believe I could tell who was up there. Honestly, I wasn't even sure Manny was back up from Pawtucket, but for some reason I knew it was him:
For the ninth we had moved down, but they wouldn't let us in the field boxes behind home plate without a ticket- I bet those are pretty much redsox-owned seats only. We sat just above, and stuck around for awhile as the rush slowed to a slow trickle of fans still relishing their day at the park... And a good day it had been to be there, indeed. A guy who had been sitting in front of us stood up looking for hi-5's as the final out was made. "Sweet," it had sounded like the first time he offered the hand, but as I watch him insist on the celebratory slap from each fan that walked by at the bottom of the stairs between sections 21 & 20, it dawned on me... This was a SWEEP. Which is, of course, much more than sweet.
We managed to get sweep-boy and his buddy to take pictures of us- My Cuz is the one with the drop-dead gorgeous eyes; I'm the one who looks retarded in pictures:
But we didn't have time for re-takes, as he had an important job to do...
...Even if some people didn't understand it.
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
When we arrived, Papi was chillin so I assumed it was Kev he was talking to. But it wasn't. I really don't know who it was.
As expected, our dearly departed Kevin Millar was the center of attention during batting practice. Here he turns to look as some fan yells something at him. He's pleasant and gracious about the attention. He still loves us, you know, and clearly enjoys being back at Fenway.
not pictured: I saw Larry Lucchino letting a little girl try on his WS ring but wasn't fast enough to catch it with my camera.
Kelli the ball-girl was hanging out for awhile during the O's batting practice. Sorry, guys, I'm sure most of you would have made more effort to get a better shot of her.
Jere thought we should follow them to see where they were sitting. So I went along with it the first time they moved, but the second time I insisted we keep walking. I mean who cares where their seats are? Not that we meant any harm, but I'm sure it didn't escape their notice that we were tailing and talking about them. I think it would have been interesting to see who they were rooting for in the game, though, since apparently the family still roots for the Red Sox.
From our seats, we had a great view of um, the crazy bleacher-creatures. I love the pants on this Dunkin' Donuts dude.
As you may have already read about over at ARFIPT, some scruff in our section kept nodding off. Here he is taking a drag off his cigarette, which seemed to keep him awake for awhile.
Finally he had been passed out so long, people around him started to wonder if he was dead. Security came to find out. After being woken up, dude tried to stand up to leave (per instruction) and sunk right back down again. Here the Security guy is helping him up for the second time.
Not the least bit tipsy, I assure you, I manage to tip my cup, and am destined to smell like beer for the rest of the night. Terrible Job, Reb.
a few rows down on my right, a woman was gettin' down n' dirty with the shoulders of just about any man who would allow it in front of her.
a couple of those guys disappeared after awhile, possibly to find some standing room elsewhere?
back-rub girl returns from an unnecessary beer-run. not pictured: pulls down her tank top several times upon request to show her boobs before finally sitting down and letting those of us behind her watch the game again.
And yes, the game itself is what I was watching most of the time, although we were to far away to get any decent pics of it with my crappy camera. The early lead gave us a relaxed good-times vibe up in the outfield. Jere is always of the opinion that Wake should stay in, while I believe wind conditions sometimes prevent him from pitching effectively. In the first few inning, when Wakefield was making batters look foolish, the wind was blowing softly out, ideal conditions for the knuckleball. Later the wind changed directions and was blowing more fiercely, and seemed to affect Tim's control. It stayed that way, which eventually led to bringing in Tavarez (and that near-fracas.) The air got chilly with the wind once the sun went down, but most everyone stuck around... till we tacked another couple on in the eight, and it was clear we would see no Pappy in this one. Even Jere left the bleachers at this point, although I'm sure he stuck around to see the end somewhere else, where he could exit the park more quickly. Me, I was in no hurry, and slowly ambled my way down toward the T at Kenmore, just a few stops from dancing the night away.
Edit: Dan brings up a good point in my comment thread. I met some great people toward the end of the game who had been sitting behind me. Once Jere left me high and dry it sure was good to have other people to talk to. I didn't mention them because it seems that I failed to take a picture of them... and also I forgot their names, which is so typical of me!
Dan's brother had been visiting some friends over on the other side of the park in one of those glassed-in company boxes. It was some guy's bachelor party, and they made him wear a pink red sox jersey, pink boxers, and a purple Boston hat. From the bleachers I could see him, but only because he had been given a fuschia boa by a bride-to-be at her bachelorette earlier in the evening.
Dan, his brother & wife, and her sister seemed oddly familiar to me. I almost feel like I've met them at a game before. They seem like a really fun bunch, anyway, and I'm glad Dan made it over here to reb sox.