Saturday, April 12, 2008

Red Sox Beat Freakin' Yanks

I loved that moment when Manny was up, after Papi had struck out with the tying run on third. It was getting late in the game and everyone's believing that Joba and Mo are automatic, even though one's a baby and the other's a grandpappy. The old Red Sox--the old Red Sox fans, too--would've thought that run wouldn't score, and we'd be screwed again.

Now I've always been an optimist. But I like to think we're at the point where a majority of Sox fans was thinking what I was thinking at that moment: "Manny's gonna come through here." And he doubled, knocking in the tying and go-ahead run.

Manny also donged earlier--492!

After the long rain delay, Pap, who had to start and stop throwing several times, looked like a man on a mission, and took care of A-Rod quickly. Then he pitched a 1-2-3 ninth, and the two teams were tied again, for third, at 6-6.

Look at each of our starters' last start. Besides Lester, they've all been beautiful. That's how the Great Space Coater flies, people. When Papi isn't hitting, we're not in "big trouble" like McCarver says. We have a great lineup. A lot of guys would have to slump at once for us to be in just regular-size trouble, and that's if the pitching falters. And the pitching looks fine.

I'm back at Fenway Sunday night. Free meter spots, woo-hoo!

Yanks @ Sox, 4/11/2008: Dicks On The Pond

When the Yanks have the bases loaded, I alter the baseball term "ducks on the pond" into "dicks on the pond." And since this gallery is loaded with Yankees on a wet field--well, there you go. Above, Andy Pettitte drops to his knees but makes a *quick* recovery and stands up again. Click all to enlargify.

The Moose gettin' serious. I got to the park when the gates opened, and the tarp was on the field. No Red Sox players out there, but a group of Yanks was out throwing and jogging.

Joba the slut.

Another shot of the liar and the scoreboard.

Terrible Joba's glove. It says "K.V.C." on it. He's got a two-year old named Karter so I figure those are his initials.

Inanimate Rod tosses a ball to a fan to feel loved. I like the ball in this shot. Usually when I get a pic of a ball in flight it's just a white dot, but here you can see the seams. (Ball at right edge of pic.)

More dicks on the pond for ya.

Mo Rivera, Slobba, and some other dude running.

I like how you can see a 22 inside the door of the scoreboard.

The past and the never.

Mo signing autographs. Some stupid girl right next to me told him he was the greatest closer ever, and I told her she was thinking of Papelbon, loud enough for Mo to hear. I'm sure with that sense of humor he has he couldn't handle that one.

Jeter seemed fine, yet didn't play and won't today either. Poor baby....

The frak of nature up close. During the game, I sat right behind the Yankee bullpen. A guy in front of me told a story of how last year he was yelling insults at Joba, and Joba was getting pissed and yelling back through the fence, "I'm gonna kill you." (I just noticed I left an e out of "freak." But I like it better that way. He's a frak of nature.)

The umbrellas were up in the Monster Seats. The day was not cold, but the dampness of your clothes from the on-and-off drizzle made it uncomfortable much of the time.

Legendary Yankee shortstops, Bobby Meacham and Derek Jeter.

The eyes were so calm I fell asleep and woke up in the third inning in the third base coaches box.

I love rainy pictures. It seems like every third game I go to at Fenway is a rain event.

A Go Sox sign on the new mega-building going up on Boylston, a block away from Fenway.

The scoreboard with tarp in foreground.

Dan in a fog.

More tarp action.

The '07 banner behind the '04 banner on Yawkey way.

The crazy overcast is what kept it mild. I effed with this pic to bring out the clouds.

The mound (at left) under the tarp.

As the tarp comes off for the first time, the tail end of it flips up and drops some water.

Another shot I messed with to show the really cool sky.

The crew.

One dude goes down....

The crew pulling the tarp.

It was Native American Night at Fenway. They've been celebrating a different culture each night for the past few. Is it just me or was this not really promoted at all?

Under the grandstand, another place for the banners.

Looking out across Yawkey Way, and right into the lit up souvenir store. Right at the spot I'm standing in, there's that ramp that goes up to the top of the grandstand. Next to that, they've added a staircase that goes right up. Another good move to get people in and out quicker.

BucHHolz warms up while the Native Americans dance.

The rain gear was out.

Clay on the mound, from my fifth row bleacher seat. Sunday, I'll be in the second row. All face value, no ticket agencies needed. It was so funny hearing the people around me talk about how much they paid. These two incredibly drunk (and, briefly, shirtless) dudes were so psyched to have paid a scalper 40 bucks each right before the game. Then a guy near them, says, "150. Ebay." Then another guy calmly says "26." That's face value. Then he explained something to everyone that I couldn't hear--but I assume he went online a few night ago like I did and just bought them from the ticket office. That's my boy!

Yes, I was trying to make it look like a tiny Drew was standing on the fence.

Streaks of water going down the Monster.

Papi up against Wang, who only allowed two hits in a complete game win in which he threw less than 100 pitches.

The championship flag flies in the rain. This was during the one real downpour of the night.

I finally left that bleacher seat in the seventh to get some closer views. On my way I got this shot from that area atop the first base grandstand.

Lugo tosses to Youk.

Papi through the screen.

A man on base for the Red Sox! Coco bunted in the ninth. One more baserunner and Papi would've been the tying run at the plate, but it wasn't to be.

It was a fun night, the usual Yankee game crowd, with constant noise and yelling and buzzing and fights. Not the steady stream of ejections in the bleachers, but, hey, it's only April. There's time.

Complete And Utter Wang

The last two games I've been to, we left the tying run in the on deck circle. Both times it would've been Papi. Crap. We just got Wanged tonight. Buchholz did a fine job, too. But Wang, man--the guy threw like five pitches an inning.

I'll be posting pics from tonight at some point before Saturday's game, I think. I love rainy shots, and I got a lot of those.

Okay, you want a teaser. I'll give you an embarrassing, blurry shot of Jeter. (This was actually his reaction to a guy yelling at him, "I hate you but I respect you.")

Oh, and the first predicted date in the Manny 500 contest has passed. Tex said 4/11. Manny currently has 1 dong, and has 9 to go for 500.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Front Page "News"

Back in 2005, in this blog entry, I talked about how I wanted to pee in the spot where the pitcher's mound would eventually be at the new Yankee Stadium. (It's funny, to find that post I just searched "pee stadium" on this blog.)

Well, some of the construction people at the new Stadium have beat me to it. Not with pee, but with Red Sox-related artifacts. Reader Cassie sent me this article. And over at Joy of Sox, in his comments he talks about somebody who says they put a lot more than the T-shirt the post is reporting.

(I kind of can't believe this story made the cover of the Post, but they bring up so many Red Sox curses, it's just nice to see them talk about a Yankee curse for a change. Which, as long as you're believing in curses is a little more appropriate considering WE'VE won two World Series since their last one.)

I'll be getting wet in the bleachers tonight, my first of four Fenway Sox-Yanks games this year. It's proverbially on!!!!!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Tigers At Red Sox, 4/9/2008

Red Sox win 12-6. So...just pretend these pics are from tonight, as the timing is off... These are actually from Wednesday night, another chilly one for home game two. Click to enlarge.

It actually wasn't as bas as Opening Day, weather-wise, as the wind didn't kick up as much. Above, a close-up of Francis Beltran's tattoo.

Coco and Youk. I was there for gates opening, so there are quite a few BP shots.

Manny was busy greeting Tigers left and right, of course.

I love this shot of Lowell, if for no other reason than the fact that that old Denver Broncos logo is in it. Edit: A minute after posting this and clicking on the pics to make sure they were working, I saw the hat is actually a Durham Bulls hat. I think. But definitely not Broncos.

Jacoby heading back to the dugout.

David Ortiz.

Papi chats with Chris Berman.

Theo did an interview with Don Orsillo.

The gray hairs that Renteria gave Theo Epstein.

The usual hawk shot.

Okay, this dude is all right with me. He was hitting fungoes, and took a shot at the ladder on the Monster. On his first try, he nailed the right edge and the ball caromed out to center. Then he tried again and I got to see one of my many, many lifelong dreams come true. That's right, he hit a ball that went between two ladder rungs, bounced back off a rung, back off the wall, etc., like a pinball game. Then he stopped. That guy is amazing. Don't know who he is.

No wind at all at this point. In other carom news, during the game, somebody hit a foul ball off to the right. It caromed off the pavilion facade and headed back out toward the field. Now, this happens a lot, but this one had extra-cool results. It went out over the Red Sox dugout roof, hit the top step, and bounced up to the dugout ceiling and then to the back wall, almost nailing some poor coach who never thought there was a chance in hell the ball could possibly end up anywhere near him.

I quickly went out to the bleachers to check out the new seats, which I talked about in my last post. Here are some seats and the gray fake-concrete ground.

Looking out onto the field from the top of the bleachers.

The newest seating section.

Now I'm over in the right field boxes. I thought I was gonna sit here, but then went for standing room much closer. Nice job by the 2007 flag here.

Wicked Lester preparing to...make us wait five minutes between every pitch.

Okay, the new Coke sign is effing with me camera's head. I would look through my viewfinder, and some of the letters would seem brighter than others. Then I'd look at the sign with my eyes, and all the letters looked the same. I checked this several times, just to make sure the lights weren't changing right at the moment I'd switch my gaze from sign to viewfinder. When I got home and looked at the pic, as you can see the letters ca-Co are in a different color lights than the first and last two letters. But I swear, when you look at the sign in real life, all lights are the same color. It's very weird. Subliminal advertising. Ca-Co! All hail ca-Co!

The new 3-D retired numbers.

Now I'm over in my SRO spot along the third base line. Lugo in the dugout.

Manny in the outfield.

Manny greets I-Rod as Magglio looks on.

A car on the warning track.

Papi in his stance.

Pedroia won some award which Youk presented him. Slowest baserunner award?

A building with a dome on it beyond section 39. (Not the Old State House, not the capitol building. I give up.)

It was Dominican day at Fenway, so they had Dominican dancers on the dugout roofs in pre-game, and in the concourses doing their routines. I also thought it was cool they had someone sing the Dominican anthem.

Jacoby out in center.

It's Enrico Palazzo! And Ivan Rodriguez.

Lester on the mound.

Lester delivers.

Love seeing Sheffield in this "I just swung for the fences but popped up" pose.

Magglio Ordonez.

DeMarlo Hale with his helmet.

Youkilis at the plate.

Papi in the box.

Youk got nailed by a grounder. Then Lowell left the game. In the crowd, I just thought maybe Youk got hit so hard that Lowell felt it across the infield. But it turned out Lowell hurt his finger fielding an earlier grounder, and is now on the 15-day DL. He needs a break--he was looking like a different guy at the plate so far this year.

Tek at the plate.

Jacoby at the plate.

Ellsbury swings and, if I recall correctly, misses.

Kind of a messed up shot, but I like it--Miggy in focus, with a blurry Manny saying something to him.

Okay, the 380 marker has moved. Here's a shot I took of it a few weeks ago on a Fenway tour. Now it's right on the bullpen door. I think they had to move it because there's one extra sign on the right field fence--for that ticket scalping agency. I hate how that one's not even vandalizable, since the bullpens are between it and the crowd.

You know that weird thing about me--I like seeing somebody out of their normal routine--a batter giving the catcher his mask back, a bat boy out on the field retrieving a broken bat, or in this case, the catcher giving the bat back to the hitter.

Speaking of bat boys, the Tigers actually sew on individual letters for the bat boy uniforms.

As it got colder and later, people started leaving. Then the Tigers went up 7-2 and I was practically on the field. Here was a view I had for a little while.

Manny at the plate.

View of the field from the good seats.

Carlos Guillen up...

...and he hits a dong.

Manny out in left.

Tek ready to hit.

Jacoby on deck.

Tek at the plate.

Jacoby at the plate.

Papi on deck. Had Youk gotten on base, Papi would've come up as the tying run. But he popped out, and we lost 7-2. At one point in this game, Lugo hit into a near triple play. Grounder to third, guy steps on bag, throws to second for two, and almost gets Lugo at first. Lugo, not satisfied with making but two outs, gets caught stealing to end the inning. TJ.

A note on Francis Beltran, from the top picture. I looked him up. Not only was he involved in the Nomar trade, but he also answers a question I had in my head: When do these stat sites officially give the date of someone's "last game"? Apparently, by the third or fourth year of not having played, they slap that tag on you. Now, on that page, it shows his last game (2004) but also shows that he's played a few games in 2008. So now the question is, How long til they notice that 2004 game was clearly not his last game, and take it down?

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