Saturday, September 06, 2008

Full Day Of Fun, Non-Fun

Had our little co-birthday celebration (me and my sister, two days apart) down on the CT shore at my parents' house today. I'd expected a hurricane, and therefore no beach, but the rain barely showed up at all, so we got plenty of swimming in. And even when it rained, my sister's four kids and some of the rest of us just stayed in the water anyway. You gotta take advantage of LI Sound when it has waves. It was really fun. I love rain-swimming. Especially when there's no lightning threatening to kill you.

Around cake-eating time, I checked the computer and saw the Rays were 3-3 in the 11th. Having recently boasted about how their days of great comebacks are over, I headed for the linescore thinking, "just don't let there be a 3 in the Tampa ninth." But that's what it was. BJ and the defense tried to blow it Friday, and they did on Saturday. So it was extra frames. I checked later and watched the Jays get out of a huge jam, giving an intentional walk with two outs and a man on second, only to walk the next guy, and then go 3-0 on Pena. They got out of that, but in the 13th, the Rays finally scored. But with two outs in the bottom half, the Rays walked Rolen with two on, two out, to get to Zaun. It was pretty sweet when I saw that score change from a 3 to a 7. Grand dong for Zaun, and the Rays lose again, now 1-4 in September.

The fun died out a little tonight though, as the Sox are getting executed in Texas. Looks like we'll still be 2.5 back.

Chris Smith's lettering on the back of his road jersey has always looked very spaced out to me. Tonight I finally got a good comparison. Timlin came in after him, and his letters are so close together, you could fit almost two "TIMLIN"s in the area they use for S M I T H. That's a slight exaggeration, but look at Cora, Ortiz, or any other short namer, then look at Smith. What's up with these mid-season jerseys not being consistent with the others? I guess that's normal.

Finally some news about the all-time consecutive sellout streak, which we'll break on Monday. Key lines:

"Other considerations include having players standing at the gates to welcome fans."


"No [other] team now has a streak of even 25 games."


"We remind ourselves every day how incredible this is, so we’ve decided we’re not going to go over the top on this.”

What kind of logic is that? If you don't go over the top in celebration of something "incredible," when do you? I'm not saying they should, but the reasoning is clearly off. They also mention how the Indians claimed their streak will never be broken. But I've already shown you all the quotes like that, last November. I've been psyched to go to this game for like two years, and it's only two days away....

And it's over, 15-8 final. You know what the key to this game was? That pitch by Wake that hit Catalanotto in the leg. No attempt to move! I feel like Wake got messed up by that. One more game in Texas, and then it's home for the Rays, either 1.5, 2.5, or 3.5 out.

PawSox down two games to one in their first round series, with game 4 postponed until tomorrow.

Anyway, the tropical storm is just about out of here, and now it's borderline hot out at 11 PM. I love it.

Friday, September 05, 2008


Beckett returns, goes five shutout innings and gets the W. Lowell returns and hits a dong and a ribbie double and a ribbie single.

The Devil Rays are now 1-3 in the key month of September, as they lose to Toronto. So we're 2.5 back. Even in a worst case scenario, we're only 4.5 back going into the three-game series with them next week, which I would've signed up for last week. More likely we'll be between 1.5 and 3.5 back. And best case, we're .5 back. At that point we play the Rays 6 of the next 10 games. It's gonna be fun. The Rays are in for a surprise, I say.

And there seems to be news that Ghostbusters 3 will indeed be happening! When I was talking about that movie recently, and how next year will be its 25th birthday, I definitely thought that GB3 was due. That story says it'll be a couple of years before it's out.

Finally, check out this pic I took from a recent trip Kim and I took. Can you guess where it is?

Thursday, September 04, 2008

"Game The Orioles Gave Us" Gallery, 9/3/2008

My mom and dad came up for this one. Actually, they came over to the right and a little up, where they met me, before we headed up and a little to the right. They were psyched to see our new house in Providence, and gave us really nice HW presents. We parked in the $8 BU lot and took a nice walk over to Fenway. Above, the BU football field (which I realize now is only a soccer field), with its turf now in place. (Here's the pic I took of it in July when they were still working on it.)

Perfect day for baseball. However, since it's September now, you could actually get "too hot," "too cold," and "just right" all within a couple of steps. In the shade, sometimes the breezes were cold and made you shiver. Sometimes they warmed you to the perfect temp. No complaints. But we're at the point where long sleeves will be required for night games....

Good to see Mike Lowell taking hacks and laughing it up.

David Ortiz and Julio Lugo.

And again. The Orioles, by the way, did not hit outside on this morning. I think they needed to sleep in. So Millar wasn't out there clowning around and signing autographs like he usually does.

Jason Bay looking skyward.

SON of Master, in front of the Monster.

Papi was flipping balls to the crowd one by one. One went right toward my mom, but the dude on the other side of her swooped in and caught it. He immediately justified his catch by loudly wondering "where's the kid? There's no kid here?" in a "why me?"/"I swear I'd give it to a kid if there was one, but hey, all I can do is accept this and it doesn't make me a bad guy" kind of way. Hey, if you want to give the ball up, how about the 5'2'' woman you reached in front of to get it? Jerk.

Papi interviewed by everyone's favorite almost-NESN network, NECN.

Two pitchers' numbers that require a ladder.

Dice-K before his start.

My first job, 15 years ago, was at Stop & Shop. We went to one a few days ago, and I was shocked to see the produce guys wearing yellow instead of green. Then the higher-ups showed up in purple instead of those long, blue coats. The cashiers also wore yellow instead of the old red vest I once wore. And the logo--changed! No more "stop light." What I didn't think of at the time was that this would affect Fenway. And down the logo came as the wagon gate closed, unveiled to all (who hadn't seen it yet.) Of course, I've only heard the last week's worth of games on radio--I take it this new logo sign went up during the last road trip.

We had three separate seats, so we stood behind section 12, reserving our own shelf, while one of us sat in one of our grandstands seats. Two of our tickets were bought from my friend Dori. Thanks, Dori! We got a sweet game indeed. Anyway, this shot is looking straight up from the back of section 12 at the outer brick wall of Fenway.


Dustin pointing up to the aliens who have given him his great power like Adam capturing the special lightning that makes him He-Man. By the way, take a look at the spacing on his number 15. More on that later on.

Okay, this is weird. I thought it was cool that you could see the United States of American flag way off in the distance. But see that electrical box with wires sticking out of it on the far left, on the bleacher back wall? Again, remember that...

Bailey about to catch the pen you see in mid-air.

Dustin just before the game.

It was Roberto Clemente Day. Youk was honored as the team's Clemente Award candidate. It was also the day we tied the consecutive sellout streak. If there was any fanfare about it, we didn't see it, as we were never in a place where we could see the scoreboard. But I am going to the record-breaker on Monday, which also happens to be my birthday.

And here's Youk, with a kid.

Alex Cora stretching.

These two would be crucial in the game-winning rally.

A bunch of Red Sox.

Millar and friends. Kevin sat this one out. At one point right before the game, Papi was looking over at him in the dugout and doing a mock limp.

Right after that, Papi started with the handshakes. Here's the one he has with Lopez.

And here's Masterson's. We all know he has the Oki one with the bow--but I missed that moment. Crap.

But I did get my boy Chris Smith's Papi-shake, complete with hug. Note: anyone with my last name on the Sox automatically becomes "my boy."

Dice-K's first pitch. Since it was a weekday afternoon game while school is in, a lot of people were late arriving.

More Dice action. He gave up four runs on four hits, while our bats struggled in the early innings.

My boy Markakis. Note: Anybody on another team who rooted for the Sox growing up also automatically becomes "my boy."

Dice hopping over the foul line of doom after the top of the first.

Okay, remember I said to look at Dustin's 15? Lowrie's 12 is so spaced out. I've been noticing it on TV, and have been wanting to photograph it. I know all about folding, serifs, etc. But I honestly think his 1 and 2 are just too far apart.

I rarely do action shots because I don't want to miss what's going on while looking through a lens. But I went for a Dustin running shot and it worked out. Even though I missed the freakin' single!

The tail end of the next play, when Pedroia dove back to first.

Dice pitching.

Dice pitching, I say. At this point, my mom and I joined my dad near the one seat, but people finally filled in. I noticed a big batch of empties at the top of the bleachers, in the shade of the scoreboard, so we headed up there for a much different view, and no chance of the real ticketholders kicking us out.

Looking up and toward right field from under the scoreboard. This shows a rare side-view of the Dunkn Donuts and Ford signs at the back of the right field bleachers.

Looking up at the back of the board, which you can see from the street.

The spot where the ladder drops down so people can get up into the scoreboard. Ladder visible in this shot I took July 26th. And at left--the electrical box from the earlier picture. By random chance I took that exact spot, and even kept bumping into it when I'd lean against the back wall.

The third-string catcher, Ross.

The flags.

I knew when I saw this sign it was the "I Like Baseball" guy.

Sure enough, he turns it around for proof. Also note the marks in center field, probably from the Neil Diamond concert stage.

The guy himself.

So we're down 4-0, going to the bottom of the seventh. Dustin hits a dong here and it's 4-1. Oh, and there was a sweet catch by Ellsbury in this game--unfortunately that was when we were walking out to the bleachers. Heard the roar and watched the replays on the TVs under the stands.

What Landsdowne Street looks like in the late innings of a close day game.

I love the fans' reactions to this deep foul fly.


4-2, and Pedroia doubles, making it second and third. Kotsay then became a true Yankee or whatever with this two-run triple.

And now Britney is the target of ILB.

The Orioles' coach, after Shatner had an earlier argument, gets tossed and then comes out to fight.

Bottom 9--Cora's on first, and Coco tries to bunt him over. I could see from over 500 feet away the crazy bounce back into fair territory that ball took, allowing Coco to reach. Then before you knew it, Ellsbury was bunting, the ball was thrown away, and the winning run scored. I was holding the camera and had been ready to shoot Ellsbury going to first. I watched at the ball went into the outfield, and apparently I snapped this shot, which worked out, as I got the dugout's reaction just as they knew we'd win.

And the Orioles WALK OFF the field as Cora scores. The next day, I saw the replay, and Orsillo said, "The Red Sox walk off, 5-4 from Fenway!" His incorrect use of the term is getting more and more ridiculous. How could you watch one team walk off a field while the other is running onto it, and say that the latter is "walking off"? It's a walk off win. Because the losing team was made to walk off.

Okajima gives the fist bump to a giant furry creature. See below for my Papelbon/Wally comic strip.

And Chris Smith is still carrying that bag (David Pauley has the other one), as Coco is interviewed by HW. "It was goin' foul!" - Coco Crisp

This post is coming to you from my new, indoor, well-lit internet connection. We also watched Mrs. Doubtfire on our new TV connection. And don't have a phone yet but supposedly it works and we have an actual number. So now you don't have to hear about this anymore!

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Location: Rhode Island, United States