Friday, April 15, 2011

Tonight's Reviewed Non-Home Run

A few years ago, at the old Yankee Stadium, there was a controversial call down the left field line at the foul pole. I think it was an ESPN game, and they had a report from someone in the stands by the pole. One of the announcers then said, "Wait, why is the stripe on the fence so far from being lined up with the pole?" I knew the answer--it's all about angles. Here's that same foul pole, seen looking right down the foul line. As you can see, the white stripe on the wall is lined up with the yellow pole:

However, if you look at the same spot from the side....check it out:

The white stripe is way, way to the left of the pole. But that wasn't some asshole painting a line five feet to the left of where he was told. They lined it up exactly right, as the top pic shows--so that when you're looking right down the line, you have one consistent line going top to bottom, foul on one side, fair on the other.

Tonight, this happened in the Red Sox game. Sure enough, once again, the announcers were very confused (not just Don and Remy, but according to the JoS game thread, the radio announcers and the Jays announcers). They didn't understand why the pole and the line "aren't lined up."

Fenway's a little quirkier than the old Yankee Stadium, though, with the wall coming up to the pole at a very acute angle. Meaning that stripe on the wall's gonna look even more off from the pole, when viewed from the side. Plus the fact that these walls have padding that sticks out. So it's hard to get it 100% exact, but the point is, this isn't just some screw-up, it's what you have to do to make the pole and the stripe align.

Here's the Pesky Pole from looking almost right down the line, you can see it almost looks lined up:

(That's Kristen aka Red Sox Diehard in the pic!) And here it is from the side, with the stripe appearing way to the side of the pole--the other side compared to the above pic), just like at the old Yankee Stadium:

Now it is interesting what happened tonight at Fenway, because the ball hit the top of the wall right in that zone, where it was to the fair side of the stripe, but the foul side of the pole. I think they made the right call, because wall-on-foul-side-of-pole = foul ball. Had the ball come down sooner, it would have hit the wall on the FAIR side of the stripe, meaning a fair ball, in play. But since it kept going, it essentially "curved foul," just in a weirder way. Because the stripe is closer to home than the pole.

Also, how come Don and Rem never mentioned the fan that reached for the ball? One angle made it look like he could have made contact with it, which would have opened up another jar of caterpillars. I wonder if the umps noticed this when they looked at the replay.

In the game--it's 3-0 us in the 5th. I guess I'll update this part later. [Update, 11:00 p.m.: Gimme a goddamn break. They ended up tying it at 3, and then we kind of fell apart making it 7-3 Jays. We do the eighth-inning tease to make it 7-6, but then the top of the order goes down 1-2-3 in the ninth to end the game. 2 and effing 10. Come on.]

"Thor's Day" In New York

Went down to NYC yesterday to see Ricky Gervais on The Daily Show. This was my second Daily, as opposed to about six Colberts (and two Conans and a few Daves back in the day), and once again I will say that Colbert does it the best. The whole experience is better from start to finish. But it's still always fun to see a taping, and it's a bonus if one of your heroes is a guest. Ricky talked about that special coming up where he and CK and Rock and Seinfeld talk to each other, which should be sweet. But he also got into the whole atheism thing. I'm glad there are celebrities on my side on that, especially Ricky. Here's the extended part of his interview which didn't air.

Red Sox back in ack tonight at 7:10 vs. TOR. Front row Monster seats available as is the case this season--I wish they'd put some Monster SRO up there!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Earth Hour At The Strip

So I took a roundabout way of getting to Texas for opening day. It was really a Vegas trip that I timed so I could drive home through Texas on April 1st. One of the really cool things about the time in Vegas was that it was Earth Hour. Seeing the lights on your street go off, if anyone even does it, isn't that cool. Seeing the lights of the Las Vegas Strip go off is awesome. So we went to the top of the Rio hotel to watch it. The place is off the Strip and gives you a good view. The only problem is I had to choose which end to focus on. I chose the left. I think it came out pretty good. I held my little camera steady enough for a solid time lapse.

Mikey Doesn't Like It

HUGE mistake on Jeopardy last night. There was a clue about Jere's Personal Movie Hall of Fame film A Mighty Wind. In it, "Mitch & Mickey" were mentioned. Only they put "Mikey" instead of "Mickey," complete with Alex saying it as the incorrect "Mikey." It's not often they make mistakes (that I spot anyway) on that show, but this was a terrible one.

Red Sox/Rays rained out tonight. Interesting--over the last few years the team's MO has been to just open the gates on time, keep watching the weather, wait a long time, and then play or call it off. Kelly noted the other day that the new pre-game later-gates-opening and area-restricting stuff were cost-cutting things. If that's the case, it makes sense that their new system would be to just call off any iffy games early so they don't have to pay any employees at all. I'm sure most people will prefer this new method, though, so you don't go and get wet only to have to go home without having seen any baseball. Especially people who live farther away.

(Game will be made up in August, so we now have 2 days off, and Dice-K can therefore be skipped this time through the rotation. You can theorize that's why they called this game, but I'm going with my above version.)

And check out this pic I took on Opening Day at Fenway. It's looking underneath the batter's eye from the right edge of section 35 toward 34 and the camera well. Click it to see it reeeeally big, and you can see through to the other side:

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I Can't Even Believe That Game

It just felt like your average Lester win. Except the other team scored more runs than we did. Eventually these same games will be wins when we start hitting. Good night.

Two Old Posts

There's been some activity on two of my old posts.

1. 3/6/11: Guess the city. Lots of guesses, most by the greatest Paw Sox blogger of all time, but still no one has guessed it! Feel free to give it a shot.

2. 1/21/08: Did Yaz Hit the Roof? Check the comments there. A person called leftygolf1957 has been adding insight to the mystery.

Sox vs. Beelzebub Raymonds, 7:10.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Not Fun

Gammons before the game: "I think the fans will cheer Johnny Damon, I think they saw how personally he took the boos when he came here as a Yankee, bla bla bla, yadda yadda yadda." I avoid the Boston sports media. But some of them are hard to avoid, like what's said on the pre-game or what I read about on other blogs. But whenever I do hear them, I'm blown away by their complete ignorance. You know I could extend this paragraph to the end of the Internet so I will keep it short, by my lord, when are these fuckwads gonna learn? Even Remy and Don were amused at how we Sox fans "never forget." Yeah! We'll never for-fucking-get when the fucking face of our franchise who helped us finally defeat the evil rivals who had been mocking and demoralizing us for eighty fucking six goddamn fucking years went and signed on with them! I'll forget my name before I forget that shit. Jesus H. Christ. (I also heard from Cyn's blog that a certain reporter who claims to be a lifelong Sox fan--who just happened to cover the Yankees until he finally came to the Boston Globe and acted like he knew everything about Red Sox fans--was saying we should cheer Damon. Gee, what a surprise.)

Moving on to tonight's craziness:

Sometimes Kim & I will watch Jeopardy in the 7:30-8 time slot, of course going back to the game on commercials. I have no problem missing the occasional second inning while keeping tabs on the game and even having it DVR'd just in case some amazing thing happens. Tonight, it was 1-0 Devils when the interview portion of Jep started. This takes place during the first round. When the round ended, we went back to NESN and were shocked at the score: 7-0! Six runs in less than a round of Jeopardy. Unheard of. Tampa had scored a total of 20 runs in their first nine games, and they scored 16 tonight in the 16-5 blowout.

I have been thinking about the bad start, and I've said to a few real-life people that I think part of it has to do with the fact that when you're such a big favorite, teams are really gunning for you. That's one time when the media can affect the games. But only slightly, and we're good enough to rise above that, so I'm not gonna be using that as an excuse or anything. It's interesting to note, though, that the two teams that swept us to start the season currently have a combined record of 16-3. Then again, look at the record of the team we played tonight.

Youk, Mr. Perpetually Pissed, actually had a smile on his face after he hit a hard liner that got turned into a double play. That's a good indication of the whole "nothing's going right" thing for Youk, and this season so far in general. (Dice was shitty enough tonight where it had nothing to do with "breaks," though. He just got his ass whooped.)

Kelly and Cyn were at the game--I spotted them on TV right away, as they're just to the left of lefty hitters on their close-ups. And staying the whole game almost allowed them to see a cycle. But the local guy Fuld, needing only a single in the 9th, with his team up ten runs, hit one into the corner and did not stop at first. You really gotta hand it to them for sticking around, and to Fuld for just playing the game the way he knows how. He's gotta be cursing in his head rounding first, but you just have to keep going. He won my respect for doing that, and the respect of a lot of others I'm sure, and that's more important than being in the record book, especially in a cheap way. (And I'm not worried about that "respect the game" BS--I'm thinking of it like this: The game you're playing in is the only thing that matters. You're paid to try to win, not worry about any individual accomplishments. If you let up for reasons that have nothing to do with the only thing that matters, and then you go on to lose, you're gonna feel like a mighty large asshole--even in a case like this, where even your manager probably would have been fine with you just stopping at first and getting what might be the only chance of your life to get a cycle.)

Final random thought: Did I never think about the fact that there was a Jae Seo and a Jaso until now? TJ by me. It's like Matt Suhey/Matsui. Are there any more of those? Maybe a Sebastian Carlyastrzemski will get called up soon...


I've been familiar with the baseball rulebook since I was about womb and a half, but that interference call surprised me last night. I don't mean the fact that Youk was easily within arm's reach of second and shouldn't have been called for interference. I'm confused about that, too, but I'm referring to moving the other runners back to their original bases.

I was under the impression that if you fuck with the fielder at second, they call you out and call the batter out at first, end of story. And that if they get the batter at first anyway, well, that's all the defense gets. But apparently even if the defense overcomes this egregious infraction and still gets the most it could have possibly gotten (which kinda proves the interference call was a little much, huh umpy?) out of the play, they get even more: runners going back to bases they never would have stayed on.

In football, when the other team commits a penalty, you can have them march backwards, or, if their play failed anyway, you can just take the result of the play. You can't have both. In hockey, I'm pretty sure when you score on a power play, the other team gets their skater back on the ice at that point--you've already benefited from the violation so that's all you get. I guess I thought baseball had the same kind of deal but I was way, way, way off.

Rays at Us, 7:10. Rays go to Hellickson, we roll the Dice. I was gonna go to this game, as I was excited for Manny's return. But now, screw it, I'll go to a different game.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Damn It Feels Good To Beat The Yankees

Beckett doin' what we know he can. In an 8-inning performance, he only threw more pitches than the previous inning once. Zero runs. We only needed one tonight, but getting runs was a struggle. After being up just 1-0 for a long time, and stranding lots and lots of runners, we finally got a key two-run double from Scutaro off of Richard Chamberlain. (Get it, "Dick" Chamberlain? How have I not thought of that before?) Then Papi almost made all our furniture free, ending up with a 420-foot RBI double. 4-0 final as Pap pitches an A-B-C ninth.

The Red Sox are now 1-2 in series. Tampa, who is incredibly one game behind us at 1-8, comes in for three.

The new Sunday night crew was a breath of fresh air compared to Morgan/Miller. (Please note that saying that is strictly a reflection on Morgan and Miller. Anyone would be better.)

Random new Fenway thing of the night: I noticed they removed the top part of the fence between the fans and the pitchers mound of the visitors' bullpen. It used to be just the fence. (If you watch the '78 playoff, when Goose is about to come in, you can see the throw from the catcher go over the fence and doink off a fan's head.) They added a screen-fence to the regular fence. Then a few years back, they added an angled screen-fence atop that screen-fence. Now that upper one has come down again. Please make a note of it.

Also, it's very rare to see Green Monster seats available on the web site. But they had them up for tonight's game, and now I see them up for Monday night--two together even! They list them among the normal seats, not in that bottom "exotic" section. Go get 'em, people who pay $165 plus fees for baseball games.

Pre-Lame Activities

To further clarify the pre-game situation: Okay, when I was in the park 2 hours early, forced to stay between the bases, I noticed the RSN people were still on the Monster and in center field. And I thought, Wait a minute, if they're still allowed to be on the Monster, and they got in a half-hour before gates, that would mean they're getting a full hour up there. And sure enough, that's what the show on the chart on this page.

So I will use the 7:10 game time example to compare last year with this year.

Last year:

4:40: RSN people let in.
5:10: RSN people leave Monster and stay in park, while all gates open and all fans can go anywhere. Red Sox batting practice is still going on for 20 more minutes-ish.

This shitty year:

4:40: RSN people let in.
5:10: Gate A and D open, regular fans herded through one gate, one stairway, one walkway to get to field, where they stay between the bases. RSN people remain on Monster/CF.
5:35: RSN people leave Monster.
5:40: Rest of gates open, anyone can go anywhere. Red Sox batting practice has ended so no non-RSN fans get to see any of it.

Now part of me wants to not get an RSN membership to boycott the shittiness of the whole new system. Another part is saying, "Now RSN is my only chance to see Red Sox BP and have a shot at getting a ball while the crowd is still sparse." Whereas last year, even though I had the membership, I'd still sometimes just enter when the regular gates opened, and was still one of only a handful of people in CF where I usually try for HR balls. While knowing I could roam freely, go to the dugout to get pics, etc. All while the RED SOX WERE STILL HITTING.

So I really don't know what to do, except write the team and tell them to just change it back. You know what would have made sense? Keep it the same as last year but make Gates A and D open an additional half-hour early. That way, even with the new BP sked, regular fans could still come extra early to see the Sox hit. So the 2.5 - 2 hours-before-game period would have the RSN people in the Monster, and the A & D people between the bases. Then at the 2 hour mark, all gates open and everyone goes anywhere. Meaning a fan could do what they did last year, OR get a BONUS half hour with some restrictions. That would have been more than fair.

Yanks @ Sox, 8:05, ESUrineN.

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