Saturday, October 27, 2007

Sox at Coors

We played out in Colorado in '04, losing two out of three. Here's how our hitters did:

Ortiz: 4 for 11 (.364), 2 doubles and a dong, 5 RBI. No errors at first, either, tough guy.

Youk: 3 for 8 with a dong.

Tek: 2 for 11, but with a dong and 4 walks. 3 Ribbies.

Manny: 2 for 9, 4 BB.

Drew, in his time in negativeland, aka the NL, hit .368 in Denver over 87 at bats. And Lugo's 9 for 23 there. Lowell and Cora kinda stink there.

Timlin pitched an inning in that series, didn't give up a run. but has given up 8 in the other 3 innings he's pitched at Coors. Five of those came in one third of an inning on 6/10/01, when Timlin was with the Cards. He came in to start the sixth and gave up: Single, single (to Todd Walker), single, sac fly, dong (to Helton), walk.

Lying Liars/Contest Update

I saw the name "Shaughnessy" under the article name, but for some reason I still clicked on it. Let's just forget the rest of his stupid article (I won't even link it) and focus on this:

"The Red Sox and their entitled traveling Nationalists who've been taking over other people's ballparks for three years[...]"

The guy's been covering the team for so, so long, yet he perpetuates the myth that Red Sox fans travelling to see their team happens because the team won a World Series. What a dick. He's just trying to make us mad at this point. Do I really need to break out the video for the guy? Even going back as recently as the 2004 regular season--a year after one in which we suffered what could have been a "last straw" type of heartbreak for some fans--you had Sox fans taking over parks. I was there--that year, and the year before that, and before that.... I've said this before, but anyone who bought the recent DVD of the second-to-last game of 1967 heard Ken Coleman saying how the Sox have received support all year long--at home and on the road.

If Dan's so intent on talking about how things "used to be," he should let these "new fans" he writes about know that we were all about sticking with the team back then, before we saw them win. That's what's so great about Red Sox fans. Yankee fans (some of whom "divorced" their team because they couldn't handle only going to the playoffs TWELVE years in a row) simply wouldn't have lasted as long as all of us did.

[There's an update to the '08 schedule post below.]

Also, don't miss Cyn's experience at Game 1! Part 1. Part 2. And, I think a great blogger who doesn't get enough credit (and certainly not enough comments!) is Joanna aka Empyreal Environs. She wraps up every game with smart-itude and funny-tion, and, like Cyn and I, gets to a lot of games, and therefore posts a lot of great pics. Check those blogs out. (Cyn and Joanna, sorry you're both in a post called "Lying Liars," and that your names are so close to the CHB's. No offense intended.)

In Game 2, AJM & Laureen widen their lead, while STJ & Reb move into second via the tie-breaker.


5/AJM & Laureen / 8
4/savethejellys & Rebecca / 3
1/Peter & Ryan / 3
2/Matty & Quinn / 1
3/Kara & Pweezil / 0
6/Soxy Lady & Allen / 0
7/Novy & Dan / 0
8/Jay & Michael Leggett / 0
9 & beyond/my mom / 0

Friday, October 26, 2007

Jere Releases Some Of 2008 Red Sox Schedule

[Update, 11/4: much newer sked here.]

Okay, I went through all the tentative schedules that other teams have released to come up with this incomplete schedule. Click to enlarge. Home games in red. I'll update this post as more skeds are released.

We play the NL Central in 2008. Terribly, it doesn't look like the Cubs will come to Fenway, as we skip them entirely. We also don't play the Pirates, but the Yanks will play them for the second year in a row. We get the Brewers (the May series) and the Cards at home, and we go to Houston and Cincy. Our "natural rivalry" is a split with a road Philly series and a Braves home series.

We play against the Jays in their home opener on Friday, April 4th. I'd guess our home opener will be on Monday the 7th or Tuesday the 8th. Opening Day will probably be Monday, March 31st on the road somewhere, though they might want us in the Sunday night game.

No other big surprises yet. Same old "ignore the central and play the west more often" deal, it seems, so far. And when they announce the Yankees series', people will surely complain about their positioning: "You can't have so many early games!" or "You can't have so many late games!" or "You can't split them up like that!" or "You can't bunch them together like that!" There are six series against division rivals. To me, they've never done a completely terrible job with this. I don't know why everyone complains every year about it.

Sox play at home on my birthday, against Tampa. And since it's a Monday, and my 10-Game Plan is a M/W/Sat, maybe I'll be there.

Update: Looks like we'll be playing the A's in Japan on March 22-23. I also found the Indians' schedule, and added those games to our sked. I also figured out from the Braves schedule when we play them and when we play St. Louis--I've assumed the Thursday is the off-day the week of the Cards series--so that little section is fixed. The Twins already have their full schedule up complete with game times. And the Yanks don't have their sked up yet, but they're ready! Ha! (Yeah, you can change that one part of the address bar to make it say anything you want. At first, I was so psyched you could change it to any year--I was putting "999999" and "55378008" (BOOBLESS, calculator-style). Then I realized you could put letters, and the possibilities became endless.)

What I'm Reading

This article should be called, "Hey, real Sox fans, you always assumed most of the people who get to go to World Series games don't deserve it as much as you do. You're right! Here are their stories."

These articles always have that "intern" feel. One recent article about past Fall Classics may as well have been called "Yankee World Series Memories."

This article lists teams who had undefeated Octobers. What about the 1942 Cardinals, who went 4-0 in October, winning the World Series? There were other iffy ones, but by their criteria, I still don't see any reason that one team didn't make the cut.

My dad just sent me an e-mail with a subject line that says "I hope I don't jinx us." I didn't open it. I wrote him and told him to re-think and re-send.

Jim Rome: "If the Rockies see Papelbon running in from the bullpen, they should just quit." But, hey, we all know he'll never be Mariano and that Joba has already surpassed him. (Where "we all" equals "Yankee fans" and "know" equals "think because they're completely delusional.")

Speaking of jinxes, Matty and I were talking about this in the comments, but yet another thing I forgot to mention about Game 7 was the fact that I could've loaded up both my video camera and my still camera for that game. Then, for the celebration, I could've taped entire Papelbon dances--hell, the entire thing with a fresh video camera and an hour of tape. But I thought that was the ultimate temptation of fate. So I made the BeeGees (baseball goddesses) well aware that I only had my still camera, as usual. There is one other thing--well, two--that I've been doing, but won't mention unti--I mean unless! UNLESS! we win it all.

Looks like the Sox won't do the "last two pre-season games in Philly in '08." But we do play them down there on June 14-16, which means they are again our "natural rival," or at least co-natch-rye.

Sports Guy just now discovered who Jeremy Kapstein is. Seriously. Come on.

Up Two And Including

Schilling and Beckett combined in the post-season: 15-2, 206 IP, 38 ER, 202 K, 39 BB.

I love how, at this point in the season, if we can get to Oka in the 6th, he can pitch through the seventh, and Pap can go part or all of the eighth, and the ninth. All three guys were great tonight. Didn't Remy, among others, basically tell us to just forget about Okajima after that one late-season bad outing against the Yanks? And didn't Yankee fans call the guy a fluke (like they did with Pap last year--but Joba, he gets a monument already)? We are looking so gold right now. The series, at the very least, will come back to Boston. Now we fly out to the purple mountains. That is why the Rockies wear purple, right? "Purple mountains' majesty"?

Did Buck call us the White Sox at one point tonight?

Like McCarver, I was mad at Curt for not covering third. As soon as I see that ball get away from the third baseman, I'm thinking, "pitcher: cover third." I mean, you at least start drifting over even if the ball goes two feet behind the guy, just in case. You're not doing any good standing on the mound. But Curt got the win, and that's the key. At least he didn't "not waste a pitch" on 0-2s. Well, he did once, but the guy fouled it back. Again, he did what we needed him to do, coming through big time, like he always does in the big game.

Dear Fox: Manny Ramirez is a perfectly capable outfielder.

My girlfriend's mom has called while Drew was up when he got his big hits the past two nights. Instructions have been given for her to call when Drew is up on Saturday and Sunday.

Ubaldo did a nice job. Certainly outdid Francis.

How freakin' awesome was the pickoff?? Matt "Don't Call Me Doc, Or Halliday For That Matter" Holliday must've wanted to die.

Another crazy two-out rally tonight, only this one was more important than any of 'em last night, as it created the winning run. Lowell with that RBI, and Tek with the other one, and it's a 2-1 win. As Warner Wolf would say, "If you had the Rockies and .99 runs, YOU LOST." Okay, maybe that defeated the purpose of his little joke. But I just like to quote Warner sometimes.

So it's two-zip. Just like '86 and '04. And 1916--the only other time we went up 2-0 in a World Series.

Latest episode of my show here.

Got an MLB email telling me to enter a contest tonight. Asked me to pick the WS MVP. After two effin' games. I clicked on it, and the big, colorful text said "Tell us who you think the 2007 World Series MVP and enter to win the all new [stupid car]." I think some words are missing there. And "all new" would look a little spiffier (read: be correct) with a hyphen. I started to wonder if it was a phony e-mail, but I don't think it was. The other day, I entered MLB's "Daily Draw" for WS tix, and the official rules said that the winner would have to meet an MLB official at Yankee Stadium in Bronx, NY before the game. I guess they were using an old template. Four years old. They fixed it before I could get a screen grab.

So, I guess T-Bell makes money as long as at least half the people who get the free taco also buy food worth at least as much as the first taco. The odds of that are pretty good. So, in an effort to make a major corporation lose money, and to feed the hungry, tell all your neighborhood homeless people to go and get their free taco! (Tell 'em to use Royce Clayton's secret method, too.)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Click Here For Free Money

Listen to my latest episode of RSFPTFFWCR on YouCastr here.

"I Ain't Got My Taco"

Got one. Beckett was Beckett, and that was really the key. But the runs were fun. Really fun. Gotta come right back at 'em tomorrow.

The most exciting part of the game was when Coco explained the taco giveaway to Royce Clayton, who promptly came up with the theory of going to every Taco Bell in the world and act like you hadn't gotten your taco yet.

I'm thinking about the Colorado games, and the three options we have. I figure we do one in each game. Youk sits, and Ellsbury bats leadoff with Dustin second. Lowell sits, with Ellsbury leadoff, Dustin second, and Youk fifth. Ortiz sits, with Ellsbury first, Dustin second, Lowell fourth, Youk fifth. And each time, you've got an awesome bat off the bench.

Winning game two would be big, as we'd avoid them going home with momentum, like Cleveland did. But we're already adhering to my dad's theory, circa '86. I forgot to mention this in the ALCS--his theory, when having home field advantage in a seven-game series, is to win one of the first two home games, one of the three road games, and then you get to come home for the final two. The Sox barely got part two done against the Indians, and then closed out the deal at home. (Of course, I reminded my dad of his 20-year old teachings, and he said, "Eh, I was just blowin' smoke out my ass." But I really think he has a point. So, anything beyond winning the one early home game and one middle road game is gravy. But this series might not even come back to Boston the way we're playing right now.

Listening to Bronson Arroyo wrap up the game. Says any team can come back from a big loss, but if the Rox lose tomorrow, they're in trouble. So funny--and great--how all these ex-Sox are still hangin' around, paying attention to the team.

Bronson's got the Vedder '94 coat on. Speaking of that, I also forgot to say--in ALCS game seven, I went to Fenway with my Ortiz 3/4-sleeve shirt, and I was "92in' it," which is my term for tying another shirt around your waste (in this case a sweat-jacket). I kept thinking, Well, it's warm enough to not need the jacket, so I won't make the call to the 'pen yet, I'll save it, because if I go to it too early, and then I get cold, I have nowhere to go from there. As the game went on, it got a tiny bit chilly, but I refused to remove that jacket from the tied-around-waste position, but now for different reasons. I never did put it on until I left the park at 1 AM. (I also refused to move over one seat toward the end of the game, after the guy and his young kid next to me left--probably the only ones in the park to leave that game early. We'd be standing, I'd move over a little, but whenever we sat back down, I went right back to that seat, right next to the guy on the other side of me. He was huge, and I would've loved having some room, but I had to stay in that exact seat.) It worked. You're welcome. One final Soup-Stish for ya: That Ortiz shirt--on the day of game 3, I went to put it on, but thought, No, I may need it on the weekend when I'm at the game, because it's got longer sleeves, and it might be cold, and if I wear it now, who knows if I'll get it washed by then. Did the same thing on the day of game 4. Game 5, I looked in my drawer, saw that Ortiz shirt once again right on top, and I said Screw it. It's going on right now. Worked. And my girlfriend ended up doing a wash between then and game seven, so I got to wear it that night anyway. Again, you're welcome. I don't believe in silly curses, only perfectly normal, real superstitions!

Contest scores after one game:


5/AJM & Laureen / 7
1/Peter & Ryan / 3
4/savethejellys & Rebecca / 2
2/Matty & Quinn / 1
3/Kara & Pweezil / 0
6/Soxy Lady & Allen / 0
7/Novy & Dan / 0
8/Jay & Michael Leggett / 0
9 & beyond/my mom / 0

Up 1-0. In the World Series! Sweeeeeeeet.

Click here and here for my two posts from after game one of the 2004 World Series, for some flashback fun.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The World Series Is About To Start At Fenway Park. Again. (I Just Like Saying That.)

If you're here for my ALCS Game 7 "live" coverage, start here.

Wakefield's out for the World Series with his injury problems, so Snyder takes his place. But why isn't Tavarez taking Gagne's spot? We've got the three big starters, and then Lester/Snyder for Game Four. So what if one of the big three gets in trouble early? Wouldn't Tavarez be perfect for that role? And doesn't it make perfect sense, since Gagne can't do anything right? Am I missing something? Didn't we all decide we never wanted to see the guy again? Whatever. Hopefully we never need to use the guy, but if we do, who knows, maybe he pulls a "JD Drew that one time."

We face Francis in Game One. He gave up 7 hits, but no runs to us in 5 innings in June. Tek was 2 for 3 against him. Meanwhile, Beckett had a tough time against the Rox in the same series. Both those things can't happen again, right? Nah. And this is post-season Beckett besides. Game One is key--if we can win it, we face their rookie who's prone to control issues, with Schilling going for us.

Here's a person who thinks the Mets' collapse this season makes the Yanks' 2004 historical one hurt less. She, hoping that if she simply says something, it will be true (only a Yankee fan, people), acts like when people think "choke" now, they'll think '07 Mets and not '04 Yanks. She even goes so far as to pull some random numbers out of her ass, saying, confidently, "the Sox had the same chance of a 4-game comeback as I have buying a scratch-off card and winning a buck on it. The Mets had the same chance of disintegrating as there is of an asteroid attacking the earth." Hmmm, by that logic, she would've been the FIRST PERSON IN HISTORY to win a dollar on a scratch-off ticket. God, these dopes make it so easy! The best part is, of course, that I get to hear Yankee fans saying to other fans "your choke was worse than our choke!" Again, this is stuff I've waited my whole life for. And now they have to deal with us being in another World Series. We've now won two AL crowns since their last one.

Here's that Ryan article I mentioned earlier, but never did link. The "don't feel too bad about losing to the Indians" one. Hey, everybody, for the last time, the Red Sox don't give up. Thanks.

This guy picked up on my whole "where's the Indians curse talk?" thing. Note: the pigboinker also calls the Red Sox "just another big-money ballclub for the rest of the country to root against when the Yankees aren't around to play the villain." Did this jerkoff ever think that maybe a lot of people across the country (whose hatred for the Yankees goes back decades) might be LOVING the fact that the Yankees' chief rival is finally shoving it in the their faces? Or maybe--god forbid--they want to root for a FUN team? On a similar note, I was disappointed by CSTB who said "any remaining possibility the rest of America might ever again look favorably upon the Red Sox or their fanbase — with goodwill already in short supply — has been forever extinguished." He also lets a no-name hack named Ben Schwartz write for him, who so hip-ly said that he doesn't care about the Red Sox in such a way that made everyone think he's on the cutting edge of kinda-knows-about-sports humor. Oooh! Look, if you've decided you're going to forget about a hundred years of history and "hate" the Red Sox (when your time could be spent so much more wisely and efficiently putting ALL your hate toward the Yanks!), just say you hate the Red Sox--don't try to make it sound like "everyone" does. Besides, would you rather be seeing the Yankees in the post-season right now? 'Cuz we can just go ahead and forfeit this thing to them if you that what you want?....Don't make us pull this league over!

For the World Series Runs-By-Inning Contest, I think we'll just keep everyone in their same spot, only everybody goes back to zero. So, keep rooting for your same inning.

And as I finish this post, the Twilight Zone starts--and it's my favorite episode: Midnight Sun. Good sign for the Sox, I think, on this night where it was about 70 degrees at midnight. But fall really starts tomorrow, in more ways than one.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Indians At Red Sox, 10/21/2007 (ALCS Game 7)

aka "the most exciting 11-2 game in history."
People might read this last month of my blog fifty years from now and say, "this guy just says it's a beautiful day every single day--in autumn in New England. What a liar." But, no, Future McGee, it was true. The high was 75 on Sunday. (As I write this, two days later, it's 78, although it seems like there's a hurricane outside.)

I went over to Fenway a few hours before gates, easily got a free, Sunday metered spot, and headed over to the Charles, where I knew they were having the annual regatta. Turns out I was a little too far west on the river, I guess, because I could only see boats way to the other side of the Mass Ave. bridge.

So I started walking that way, grabbing shots of the Pru and the Cock and the moon. Above, you can see some of the boats. I walked out onto the bridge to get the above two shots.

Looking back toward Kenmore from the bridge.

Got back over to the park and looked at all the trucks lined up outside. The Dice games always have more activity, and I thought his ALDS game I went to would be the greatest amount of satellite dishes I'd ever see at Fenway. But this ALCS Game 7, also with him starting, topped it. Above is Fenway High School, across the street.

Choppers and cops were everywhere. I had to wait on the will call line, which was fortunately pretty short. Once you get your ticket there, you go straight in, no waiting. The poor woman that scanned my ticket was yelled at by her boss as I stood there. I tried to give her an encouraging word as I went past, but I don't know if she heard me--as her boss continued to berate her in front of the public instead of waiting til later. Hey, guy, I hear the new Yankee Stadium still has some jobs available....

I got inside and went to my special home run spot, but I only got to see Papi's last two swings, and that was it for Red Sox BP. They must have started early. You're supposed to be clicking on these, by the way.

The first Game Seven at Fenway since '86! And I'm effin' there!

Trot Nixon. This series worked out perfectly: Trot got a game-winning hit, but our team still won the whole thing.

The parrot in the Red Sox' bullpen.

It's so funny how Fenway's press are isn't big enough, so they throw a bunch of folding tables out in the right field grandstand and drape them in colorful sheets.

Here's another view. This was the first time I was able to witness this live. It's amazing how many "real people" seats are taken up by this area. We're talkin' 15 rows with at least 25 seats each. Nearly 400 seats taken up to get maybe 150 press people in there. I say put 'em in section 5.

The ALCS logo on the field. Hafner at top right.

As you may have noticed these past few years, I like getting shots of the Citgo Sign from all different angles.

So, yeah, I've clearly walked all the way around to the third base side at this point. Here, Gammons talks with that Shap-EYE-ro dude, and a Jim Palmer-looking guy.

Trot takin' some swings in BP.

This "ball in flight" shot became plural. The higher white spot in the sky is the ball hit out toward left center by the BP hitter. The lower one was thrown in to the guy in red, about to make the catch. Let's see you get two balls in flight at once, Wally-hat guy!

Howard Bryant and Jack Hank.

A view of the extra photographers' seats.

Under the Bud sign, you can see that press area I was right next to before. And at far left, three rows above the Nikon sign, was my seat.

"Like, I suppose Pat Sajak doesn't have, like, over a million friends...."

I do my usual eating of pizza and walk all the way back to my bleacher spot, above the triangle, in the third row, as we near game time. Game seven time! The parrot now has a ball.

They break out the Dropkick Murphys to do the anthem, plus "Tessie" and "SUTB," both of which they nailed. They were obscured from me by the 18-foot wall, so I had to get up on the seat in front of me and hold my camera up high to get a shot of them. You can see those dancing girls again, too.

Then Millar comes out and throws out the first pitch. Sweet. That dude is awesome.

Jake Westbrook warming up. Okay, this is the point where we deviate from the normal Fenway experience. This was, as I've said a few times, Game Seven. The ultimate do-or-die. And the fans were ready. The usual "opposing pitcher warming up" photo would see the crowd half full, sitting down, with lots of people milling about, making their way to their seats. As you can see here, when Westbrook warmed up, he was almost hard to find amongst the people, all at their seats, all standing up and ready to go.

Timlin and Donnely checkin' out the crowd.

And Dice-K starts things off. Everyone going nuts. Everyone on their feet at the very least for every 2-strike count. I hope Michael Kay was watching this "gloom and doom." I won't go so far as to say we willed the team to victory, but we were definitely a presence.

Our first inning rally. (Note: The times I was most likely to take pics were during the rare times we were sitting...) I love how you can see the defined lines of the aisles, as, again, nobody wanted to miss a pitch.

Sizemore and Lofton. God, it was sweet to see Lofton not win. Especially after those displays in Cleveland. He was so sure they were winning, and that made it that much more fun that we came back and took the series. The play where he ran on Manny--just beautiful. And that other play where he didn't--well, more on that later.

Manny on first. We'd end up scoring a run an inning over the first three. We had the leadoff man on in the first four, but had three double plays. We were happy with the lead, but it was rough knowing we'd let Westbrook off the hook. Then they cut it to 3-1, despite being terribly out-hit by us. Every inning was a white-knuckle ride, trying to hold that lead.

Another shot of the crowd, totally into it. I sat among season-ticket holders. It was a pretty fun section. Drunk, but not extra-loud drunk. The type of people who make the "that looked good from here, ump" joke as if they're the first to think of it, and the type who inexplicably laugh at it as if they've never heard it before. Oh, wait, that's every sports fan.... Anyway, this particularly toasted guy said he'd made a sign, but couldn't unroll it until the game was in the bag.... Oh, and I got this ticket for face value, having called the ticket office a week earlier.

Above, the nearly full moon, which hung over the city and the park all day and night. I really think this was the "Life Aquatic" of game sevens--it won't be fully appreciated until decades later. The seventh inning was incredible. Our bats had died, and they'd cut it to one in the fifth. After a 1-2-3 fifth by Westbrook, who suddenly was in control, the guy next to me said, "we need an inning like that." We got it in the top of the sixth, but couldn't add to our lead in the bottom half, going down 1-2-3 again. At that point, even though we'd seen Beckett warm up, we kind of knew the plan: Okaji 6-7, Pap 8-9. Jeemer started the seventh by getting a fly out to right. At this point, we were dying with every pitch. Sweet. An out. Hold this slim lead. Then Lofton pops one down the left field line. Lugo goes over toward the fence and immediately makes the call and settles, albeit unsteadily, under it. He drops the fucking ball. Lofton safely at second base. I'm standing there ready to jump out of the crowd and strangle Lugo. In a year in which many of my predictions came true, I couldn't help but think of how I worried all year that if we had a downfall, it would be Lugo making a mistake at playoff time. I was prepared to hate the man forever. I thought of how he may never recover from this one, if he even comes back next year at all. (Emotions were high, is what I'm sayin'.)

The next guy hits one down the line, past Lowell. I look at the ump. Fair. Shit. We're tied. I'm angry. All those wasted opportunities, and our bats still asleep. But wait! After I watch the ball hit the spot where the boxes jut out, I look at Lofton, and he comes to a quick halt a few steps beyond third. He does a little pissed off spin, as we all watch in disbelief. What is the third base coach thinking? Lofton walks home on that. WALKS home. Manny wasn't even going to try--there would've been no point. So we are still. Almost trying not to move as if doing so would allow Lofton to score: "We were just kidding, we meant to send him. Tie game!" But no. It's first and third, one out, and we're still up one. So now we're thinking double play. And there's a grounder to third. Lowell has it! Two clean throws, and we're out of this. Each throw took an hour. But we did it. The entire rest of the infield got Lugo's back. 5-4-3 DP, and it's stretch time at Fenway.

Bottom seven: Ellsbury grounds to third. Blake, who just hit into the double play, misses the ball. Misses the effing ball. It seemed like every time you looked up, a ball was somehow getting past an Indian infielder. The key word being "seemed." Three consecutive breaks for us, and now we're all smiling ear to ear. We all know at this moment (some of us have known for quite some time) that anything can happen--to ANY team. Good fortune can rain from the heavens right on the Boston Red Sox. And we and they certainly deserve it. With &Myers on first (above) and nobody out, we're thinking run. 4-2 lead, and bring in Pap for the last two. We'll take our chances with that....

But Pedroia wanted more. A day earlier, I was talking to Kim about how Dustin still hadn't had a huge walk-off homer, and how I'd like to see that from him this post-season. Well, he knew he couldn't do that here, so he did all he could--promptly deposit one into the Monster Seats. We knew it was gone. And this was off Betancourt, who'd done so well for them. Awesome. 3-2 became 5-2, and Fenway Park became a very confident and raucous place.

Dustin, in the dugout, with Mike Lowell all over him.

It wasn't over yet, though. Okajima gives up a bunt hit to Sizemore to start the eighth, and a base hit later. Papelbon is called in. Here he is on the mound with the tying run--the sleeping giant, Travis Hafner--up. He K's him. Next guy grounds to second, and Dustin double clutches a little before throwing to Lugo. I still think Julio should've thrown to first, but he didn't even try. Two out, first and third. Fly ball, right toward me. Jacoby goes all the way back, and catches it, just barely in my view. So we're three outs away, a we do the most spirited version of Sweet Caroline of the season.

Then Pedroia comes through again, with a three-run double. You know what that means....

The sign comes out! In his drunkenness, he claims to have some up with something "much more clever" during the game, and what a shame it was he hadn't thought of it earlier.

As the Tribe makes a pitching change, cops are protecting the field. They were really worried about this. Before the game they made a special announcement saying to be responsible "regardless of the outcome." It's like they worried we'd riot if we lost, or storm the field if we won. I thought this was ridiculous. First of all, we've already seen the glory of 2004, I don't think anybody's in the mood to go out on the field and rip shit up because we lost to the Indians after a valiant comeback attempt in a year in which the Yanks have already been eliminated. And no baseball fans have swarmed a field in decades--the fans whose team just won after an 86-year drought aren't suddenly going to break that tradition (although I love field-swarming!), especially for a mere pennant clinch. Like how all the "prevent defense" does is prevent defense, the only thing riot cops do is cause riots. Leaving the park later, I'd see an incredible mass of them, with dogs and stone faces. Terrible.

Anyway, here, Youk adds an insurance dong, and it's party time. 11-2. We finish it out with a fly ball to the triangle, out of my view. I later see on the board that it was an amazing catch by Coco, who, rightfully, got a huge ovation when he was brought into the game.

Then, the celebration was ON. (Click there for my celebration photos and video, which was shot by me and shown to you because I'm a nice, unpaid guy, as opposed to getting paid to just search YouTube for "red sox" or tape NESN.) You know, I'm glad I've got this small community of readers, who know to come here for some unique stuff. I appreciate every one of you, and I'm thankful you come here, my fellow AL champion Red Sox fans.

Monday, October 22, 2007

My AL Championship Celebration Pictures/Videos

Final out (GooTube version):

What I didn't explain last night was that I didn't record the actual catch because the triangle was completely obscured from my point of view. And I'd seen the bullpen guys putting their feet up on the ledge to test whether the wall would be "jumpoverable," so I wanted to get a shot of them anyway.

Then, a second later, I zoom in and continue recording the celebration:

These vids are crystal clear on the camera or in the QuickTime player--it's a shame GooTube makes them look so crappy. But you get the idea.

Click each pic to enlarge.
Above: The initial celebration starts to die down, as the players are about to head to the locker room for the "private" celebration.

Jere, seemingly in a state of shock. I had no idea the clock had just struck midnight when I snapped the pic.

One final shot from center field. I wanted to get to the dugout for the on-field celebration, so I waited until the very moment where the bleacher crowd started to head for the exits, after we watched the trophy presentation on the board. I had the runway right next to me, so I knew I could beat them out if I made my move at the right time. I booked it underneath the stands over toward first, and then snaked through the crowd to get a similar spot to the night of the AL East clinch.

And here we go again. At first it was The Papi Show.

Ortiz took the American League championship trophy and placed it on the rubber. After each player picked it up, they placed it back there.

Clayton with kid, Papi, Snyder (who loooves to celebrate), and Kielty.

Clayton's kid rounded the bases to the delight of the crowd, and was picked up upon reaching home.

Papi and, to the right...Castiglione! I regretted not getting a pic of him on AL East night, and honestly, I didn't see him last night--until I looked at my pics later. Got a nice shot of him, considering I didn't know he was there. It's kind of like how I got this great video of Gedman at the 2004 Rolling Rally, but didn't notice at the time that he was even there.

Lots of players' kids were running around.

I love this one. Papelbon, the only one in focus, as he dances across the top of the dugout.

Timlin tapes Papi, Theo.

Schilling raises trophy and tells crowd "one more series." (Or "we're number one in the AL.") Below, Snyder, Pap's wife, Pap.

Youk holding trophy.

Timlin kissing trophy.

Papelbon pouring entire beer on trophy.

Schilling and the fam.

Pap's Grateful Dead T-shirt-wearin' wife tapes as he runs out to get the bullpen cop.

And the bullpen cop is gotten.

Kielty and family.

Cora, again directing the music, from the field and later from the booth. (There was some kind of SNAFU when they played Shipping Up To Boston for Pap's dance--it stopped toward the end and started over. Twice. There's no bigger crowd buzzkill than a song playing twice in a row, let alone three times.)

Another of my favorite shots, as they return from the bullpen cop-douse. I like shots of a group of people walking, but staggered, not in a perfect row. I saw this phenomenon, and chose a random three to get in frame, and I think it worked.

Papi got on the mic, and his first order of business was to direct us in a wave! With a raise of his hand, he made it go all the way around beautifully.

Papi and Lugo, with Papelbon at right.

My best attempt at a cigar-smoke shot. Timlin and Pap.

Papelbon doing "the dance."

Papelbon and Timlin dancing with the Dropkick Murphys.

Finally, a shot with Lowell visible.


Snyder doing the Okee Dokee.

Good group shot, and Manny Delcarmen makes an appearance.

About to take a group photo, when they all suddenly look right at me and imitate my shocked look in the bleachers!

And the smiles return for the group shot.

NECN's Crazy Chris!

Again, it was a loooong celebration.

Dice and Okajima pose with the Japanese flag.

A happy Lester with his lady friend or whatever.

And again for the entire thrall of Japanese media.

Theo does it again.

Amazing job coming back from a 3-1 defecit, Red Sox. The best team, the most fun. AL champs.

My next post will be photos from the game itself. (Now up--click here.)

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Location: Rhode Island, United States