Friday, May 29, 2009

Country Fried

Okay, so I've been making fun of this song they play at Fenway since at least 2005, but I don't think I've ever done a full post about it. I'm talking about the god-awful country song about "having the time of my life at Fenway." You've heard it, they play it before every game. I'm not talking about that other god-awful coountry-ish song called "Play Ball," which is played right after the lucky kid says "play ball" way too close to the mic minutes before first pitch. The lyrics to that one, and the song itself, can be found here.

The one I'm talking about seems to have been written by a fellow who not only has never been to Fenway Park, but has never even heard from a friend what goes on there, or seen a game on TV taking place there. I went to search it by its lyrics, but it's nowhere to be found online. So I'm gonna have to do this from memory. Listen to these lines:

The main chorus is "I'm doin' all right, doin' okay, havin' the time of my life at Fenway, where the heroes play and the legends live, I'm lovin' it all, havin' a ball again." Okay, that works, but it also works anywhere. (Note that I just mean the lyrics "work." The music itself is offensively modern-country.)

But then we've got "somebody in the upper deck just started doin' the wave." First of all, we don't call our upper levels "the upper deck." In fact, there were hardly any seats up there at all until recently. You wouldn't just casually mention the "upper deck" if you had any knowledge of Fenway Park. Second, yes, The Wave never left Fenway, but it is almost consistently started in the bleachers. Waves don't get started in the pavilion/emc levels.

"the color red is everywhere"

No it's not. I remember when Kevin Millar got here saying something about how he can't wait to "see all that red," and right around that time, new ownership did try to put more red into the Red Sox, with more red merchandise, the red alternate jersey, and red underclothes. But the most common colors we've seen on the field have been white, gray, and blue (the hat) for our entire lives. People in the crowd are usually wearing a blue hat, with either a red, white, blue, or gray shirt or jersey. And when it rains, you get the classic yellow raincoats. And in April or October, usually a dark-colored coat. We just don't do that college thing of all wearing the same color. And the walls and field are green. So basically, the color red is closer to "nowhere" than "everywhere" inside Fenway Park. (Obviously there is also a lot of brick, but those are red just because bricks are red. And the field box seats are red, but you can't see the seats when people are in them.)

"we've got this whole place rollin', just like a crimson tide"

See, he thinks it's college. The Alabama Crimson Tide fans wear red, just like my college team's fans, the legendary "Sea of Red" you see at Nebraska games. Either that or this dude is from Alabama and threw in "crimson tide" as a nod to his state, and the type of people who would like a shitty song like this.

"we wave our rally towels"

That's the clincher. If you weren't buying my theory until then, now you know--this man has never sniffed Fenway Park. We couldn't possibly wave "our" rally towels because we don't own and have never even been offered "rally towels," and even if we were offered them, we wouldn't buy them. (As evidenced by the failed "sox supporters" from around the time the Homer Hankie was popular, which were socks on a stick.)

"got baseball, beer, and rock 'n' roll, what else could anyone need?"

Maybe some actual rock 'n' roll, as opposed to the decidedly country sound of this song! Back when we first heard this song, Pat and I had this idea that it may have been written/performed by Kevin Millar's brother, who I think was a country singer or something. It would make sense on several levels: 1. It's a country song. 2. No one seems to have heard of it outside of Fenway Park. 3. He thinks everybody at Fenway wears red like Millar, and knows nothing about Fenway, also like Millar until he got to Boston. So maybe Kevin said, "Dude, just use the normal baseball cliches--the upper deck, rally towels, but uh, I think they all wear red so just mention that and you're gold."

So, I hesitate to ask, but does anyone know the title/artist or any other info about this travesty?

Atlanta Braves Presale

If you want to see the Sox down in Atlanta, click here and use the code B69XH3.

Needle Washing

Did you hear about this dude who says he supplied the Washington Nationals with 'roids? Since they're such a new team (moved in '05 from McGladeland), doesn't that just confirm what you've been thinking: that this problem isn't really going anywhere?

I would like to thank our friends at the Goodwin Library in Hartford, where my mom and I had our Dirty Water event today. We had fun, and as usual when we're in that area, my mom met plenty of people who grew up in her neighborhood, and in some cases, reacquainted with people she knew as a kid.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sox Now (Win)

4:06: Pap gives up a single, but gets the save. 3-1 win. First place.

3:55: We go bottom nine. All we needed was one baserunner for Jacoby to get his chance, and we did--but the next guy hit into a DP. So unless the Twins score exactly two here, the streak ends at 22. Pap going for the save now, 3-1 SOX.

3:24: Wow, so their catcher and Gardenhire were ejected on that last play at home. Now, Tek gets all pissed at the ump and he gets tossed! As does Tito!

3:20: 3-1 us, bottom 7. Tek with a massive dong into the seats above that high wall of seats above the baggie. And then Bailey tries to score on a sac fly and is called safe. Don, for some reason told the audience his hand didn't touch the plate, and that he was tagged. I don't know what he was watching, because I saw a non-definitive tag and Bailey's hand touching the plate. Ellsbury hasn't extended the streak yet but will get one more chance if we get one more baserunner (with no DP, pickoff, etc.).

2:45: 1-1, mid sixth. Earlier, Papi checked his swing and the bat broke! I immediately thought of Jim Rice, who supposedly did that because he was so strong, but Don and Ron didn't get to talk much about it because it ended the inning. We got no replay until the next time Papi came up, and sure enough, he did break it on the check, and it went flying around his body. Terribly, Don didn't seem to notice that it was a check swing. He thought it was just swing where the bat broke. Ron did note the Jim Rice thing, saying he broke a bat over his back, which I assume means at the end of the swing. Anyway, I feel like they kept that highlight from us so they could use it as the sponsored "freeze cam" replay. Oh, and then Papi broke another bat over his knee after striking out his next time...

2:20: Beckett gave up a solo dong, but now Tek has hit one of his own. 1-1 in the fifth. Yanks are off, so we're either a half-game up or down after today. Ron Coomer, who works for the Twins, is filling in for Dave Roberts filling in for Jerry Remy.

In Hartford Tonight

If you've got a book you want me to sign, or if you haven't picked up Dirty Water yet, or if you want to hear my mom and I yap about it/read from it, come out to the Goodwin Library tonight between 6 and 8. Details here. Directions here.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Chimp of a game tonight. Six wild pitches. We lose 4-2, and the fact that we're still the only team in baseball that hasn't scored exactly one run in a game gives me no solace. Jacoby getting to 22 gives me some, but not much. The Jays lost their millionth in a row, so they stay 1.5 back, and the Yanks beat Texas, so they're tied with us for first place.

1:10 PM game tomorrow!

Here's what I don't like about Drew. It's almost like he treats every at bat the same. Like he's in a vacuum. There are at bats where all we need is a mere fly ball for a run and it's as if he's completely unaware. Or times when you absolutely need the batter to swing away and he watches strike three. Yesterday he saw the ball get away, and started jogging to second--only to get thrown out by so far that he actually tried to stop his slide and turn around. And I know what you're gonna say about how he doesn't seem to react to anything: that it doesn't matter or mean that he's any less frustrated than I am. But Christ, when it's such a big moment and he fails and I'm throwing things around the room and bashing my head on the wall, wouldn't you think he would at the very least be shaking his head? He just seems to me like exactly what the media said Manny was. Only not as good. It's just personal preference I guess--if you can take his antics (ha!) I envy you, but I've given him two and a quarter years and he's still annoying me. But I'm rooting for him as hard as you are.

Have you noticed they've been playing this song at Fenway before every game? And Camper von Beethoven's version of Pictures of Matchstick Men is often played between "play ball" and the game when they have a few minutes to kill.

Dugout Locations

Growing up, I thought that the first base dugout was the home dugout. Automatically. At some point early on I noticed that the Tigers had the third base dugout at home. And the Blue Jays. I thought they were anomalies. Then I got the 1987 American League Red Book and saw all the other teams listed with this bizzaro home dugout. And this story really stalls until last night, when I decided to look up the current dugout configurations, or at least the ones I didn't know off the top of my head.

1st base side: Red Sox, Yankees, Mets, Braves, Mariners, Nats, Orioles, Padres, Phillies, Rays, Rockies, Astros*, Brewers*, Cards*, Marlins*, Rangers*, Reds*, Royals*.

3rd base, or inferior, side: Angels, Athletics, Jays, Cubs, D'backs, Dodgers, Indians, Pirates, Tigers, Twins, White Sox, Giants*.

It's weird, after I filled in 22 teams (the ones I either knew or found on their web site), it was 11 to 11. Then I had to find the others through pictures, and seven of the remaining eight were first base, giving our side an 18-12 victory. Those eight are the starred ones, so don't quote me on their accuracy, but they're probably right.

So the AL is split, 7-7. The NL is 11-5 in favor of first base. I have no idea why teams choose first or third. I know my high school coach liked the third base side. He was vehement about claiming that third base dugout when we'd arrive at a field. We quickly figured out it was because he also acted as third base coach since he had no assistants, and he didn't want to drag his lazy ass across the field every inning.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Red Sox lose 5-2. The classic "one bad inning" for Lester. (If he was a Yankee, they'd just throw that inning out, call it a masterful performance, and start filming the Yankeeography.) After we took a 1-0 lead, Wicked Sid gave 5 right back. Jacoby extended the hit streak to 21, though. And Toronto lost, so we're still in first.

My latest Photo Sleuth post is up at Baseball Digest.

And I will add Yankee updates--they started very late, and trail 2-0 after 2. Melky left the game with a shoulder injury (they had to pop it back in), and Joba has thrown 52 pitches through 2 innings.

12:36 AM: Terrible Job-a lasted four innings. But the Yanks tied it at 3 in the sixth.

12:59: Texas takes the lead in bottom 6, and Swisher grounds into bases loaded DP to end the seventh! 4-3 us, stretch time.

1:12: Rangers up 6-3 after 7.

1:39: Yanks lose 7-3. Eat it, you holes. "Swish" is 8 for his last 67. And that's their right fielder for ya. We stay one game up. And no team in baseball scores more than 8 runs tonight--needless to say, no team in our contest makes a move, as we're mainly waitin' on double-digits at this point.

5/24/2009: Sox, Mets, Rain

[Edit, 1/3/2013" Hi reddit! Fuck that condescending M's fan! ;) ]
Jacoby Ellsbury on the day he'd extend his hitting streak to 19 games. Taken by me from the good seats. (Hard to tell, but he's actually using one of Jed Lowrie's bats.) Click each pic to resize for the better.

I decided I didn't want to get up early and risk there being no batting practice. So I got there around noon for a 1:30 game. As it turned out, the Mets were indeed hitting. But I set a parking record. The loop I usually do to check for metered spots--the first spot was untaken. And it was Sunday, so I spent zero time and zero money on parking, a world record that cannot ever be broken. Above, the injured Jose Reyes.

David Wright coming out of the cage.

And look down--stirrups!

A closer look. For me, this is considered the norm. I can't wait till they "officially" come back.

Papelbon and Cora. Oh, I saw Cyn, Kelly J., and commenter "Brenken"--who turned out to be a Connecticut person and was interested in my mom's books--and not just the one she wrote with me. Was good to see them. I also got a little uniform-pin set when I walked in. Gifts at Fenway, a rarity.

Tatis and a very skinny Reyes.

Old pal Alex Cora, all wrapped up.

A beautiful day--actually humid enough where I decided to just stay under cover rather than sit in my fairly crappy bleacher seat. But the grounds crew knew rain was on the way....

Darling and Hernandez up in the Mets' booth. They bring a WPIX banner around with 'em?

The rare "NYM" on the scoreboard.

These people were psyched to see Kapstein.

Papi doing something to Lowell.

Me and my dad have this ongoing baseball league we started in 1988--Razor Shines is one of its stars.

The game begins. I really had a great view of throws to first. I'm in the standing room behind section 29. It's weird how they've re-positioned the standing room spots. I'll have to draw a diagram for you later, but let's just say awkwardness occurs, because people don't realize they're supposed to step forward, and then other people come in and stand right in front of them. No one followed my lead of just moving up right away before others came and filled in the rest of the area.

Carlos Beltran up, and Kottaras behind the plate for Wake.

And then...

...thunder, lightning, downpours. And here's DeMarlo Hale in the hail.

Pedroia up, and Papi covers up.

Pretty soon, they called everybody off the field.

Grounds crew getting soaked as they bring out the tarp.

These guys just decided to stay put as most fans scurried for cover.

Pools formed on the warning track. This was one of the most interesting rain delays ever. Because the hard rain stopped pretty much right away--in fact, well before the bleachers could even clear out, since the park was full when the rains came. So we all just kind of stayed where we were, watched the entire tarp-on process, then almost immediately watched as the tarp-off process started. Everybody just watched the show, as the crew put the drying agent on the field, and they got ready for baseball again. Normally as soon as the tarp goes on, people go off and do whatever, not knowing how long they'll be waiting. This felt more like a halftime show. Fun stuff, and on a warm day, so even people who got soaked probably felt good.

And then the game was on again:

Mike Lowell hitting a homer, on what looks like a completely different day.

Tito arguing on Youk's deep foul ball. I couldn't see where it went because of the overhang.

Youk pleading his case.

And the umps go to a replay!

I knew they weren't gonna change it when the visitors' dugout cop came out on to the field and gave a foul signal. Then, above, Cora started doing it. Soon the umps came back and said it was indeed foul.

Kottaras had two doubles and a single. Here he is with Lowell and Wright during a pitching change.

The Green against Green matchup, which Nick Green won, with a two-run single that gave us the lead.

Takahashi in for the Mets.

It was an iffy game for a while, and there was a chance we'd get swept, but eventually we pulled away. Here, Youk has just got the HR he didn't get earlier.

12 runs on the board.

When it went to 12-5, I knew I'd get a good seat somewhere.

MDC on the hill with a big lead.

Fans in front of the CITGO sign, ET-moon style.

Sox win, and I drive home into a rainbow. After seeing that the Yanks had tied their game in the ninth, I found out the Phils beat them right during the end of our game, meaning we moved into sole possession of first for the first time in '09!

Finally, how many players can you find represented on shirts in this shot?

I got two Mookie Wilsons, Gary Carter, Youk, Pedroia, Reyes, Dice, Tek, Lowell, Beltran, Ortiz, Masterson, Randy Moss, Beckett, Wright, Buchholz, Papelbon...and somewhere in there a Strawberry and a Gooden, though they aren't visible in this pic.

Lose! Twins!

After a few innings, I felt optimistic, thinking we'd eventually stop leaving runners on base. After we took a 5-1 lead, though, I got a little Pesci, wishing we were up by more than four, considering we were outhitting the Twins 11-1. Then after hearing three incorrect scores (thinking Dave O'Brien said the Sox are "up by 1" when he really said "up 5-1," then thinking he said "this game is tied" when he must've said "this game is five....[to three]," and finally hearing a fellow Memorial Day party guest say "I just checked and it's 8-3" when it was really 6-3), it just became an emotional roller coaster. I finally got to a TV in time to see a Twin rounding the bases to cut it to 6-5 in the ninth, and watched Pap get the last guy to end it.

So we're a game up on the Yanks, and suddenly Toronto's in third, 1.5 back. The Rays are 5 back after blowing a 10-0 lead!

We have the best record in the American League (but still, of course, the most complaints of possibly any fanbase. Relax, people! Enjoy!)

In the contest, second place is still out there--the Rockies joined four other teams needing one more total, and ten more teams need two. The Tigers (who nobody selected) are also one away, needing a seven-run game.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Papi Sits Today

First place (!) Red Sox at Twins, 2:10. Papi sits, Lowell to DH, Youk to 3B, and Bailey gets the start at 1B. I'm wondering if this is how they wanna play it for a while--with Lowell and Papi as a DH platoon, and then bring in another first baseman, but go with Bailey for now...

I will post my pics from yesterday at some point before the meaty part of Tuesday.


Really good day today. Here's a shot of Papi on deck with a makeshift umbrella. I'll post the rest tomorrow.

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