Sunday, April 17, 2005

Fenway Park, April 16th, 2005

I was just writing about how great it is to see Red Sox players hitting home runs at night at Fenway, and tonight I experienced it in person. Two from Manny, one a grand slam.

It's cool to see HRs from our seats in the bleachers, right on the edge of the gap between them and the grandstand. There's always the chance that the ball is way foul and it looks fair, but the Monster Seats help, because you can look at the fans up there and judge whether the ball is headed toward them or not. Manny's were sure things. Especially that first one. Over everything.

Great job by Clement tonight. I went in expecting ball after ball, but he came out throwing strikes. We should be beating the Devil Rays just about every time, and we're doing a good job of that so far.

It was so sweet when the scoreboard on the Monster went from 6-4 yankees to 7-6 Orioles. 4 out of 5! My theory is that they're now going to beat up on the yanks all year and lose every game to us.

Next week is a key week, with two against TOR and two against BAL, the two teams ahead of us. I'd like to jump ahead of them, and put them both right between us and the (4-7) yanks.

As for the non-baseball aspects of tonight's trip:

New traditions are forming, such as:

When the PA dude comes on before each game, he says, "Good evening ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Fenway Park, America's most beloved ballpark." Then he pauses, then I say to Pat or whoever else is listening, "And?" And PA dude says, "And home of the World Champion Boston Red Sox."

On our way home, shortly after Hartford we pass a place with a huge, bright sign that says "Furniture City." As we pass it, I always say, "Spatula City," because it reminds me of that commercial in the movie UHF. "Cities" made up of items are amusing to me.

There's a garden near Fenway, with a path running through it, parallel to the sidewalk. We walk through it oon our way to the park. I call it "Shortcut Gardens."

On Saturday nights, WAAF (your home for an overwhelming amount of Alice In Chains songs) has the "Hair Ball," which is basically eighties metal hits. Since we're going to lots of Saturday night games this season, we'll be tuning in religiously after the postgame.

Tonight, Pat & I wanted to hear some music from the rare genre known as "Mid-to-late-nineties rock that was considerably more wussed out than the rock from a few years earier." Like Seven Mary Three, Sponge, Spacehog, Dog's Eye View, Live, Collective Soul, the Refreshments, and whoever did that song with the BB KIng sample.

We hated that crap when it came out, but now we like to hear it so we can make fun of it and reminisce about being forced to listen to it at a jon we worked at together back then. Needless to say we didn't find any of it tonight on the radio.

The rock from a few years earlier was what we were into, when it came to mainstream music. Like Nirvana, Jane's Addiction, Dinosaur Jr, Primus, pre-unecessarily weird Smashing Pumpkins, pre-trying too hard Pearl Jam, and some of those other Seattle bands.

Those bands were really influential. Case in point, tonight, an hour into our trip, we'd heard on the radio four bands from the Singles soundtrack, fifteen years after the fact. I know there's nothing more pathetic than a slightly older person talking about how great things USED to be, but come on, that stuff was good. And it was like the record companies had to catch up to what was going on, rather than just inventing something and pushing it in kids' faces, pretending like they didn't rip it off from a time before those kids were born.

I forgot to mention that Fever Pitch used a Nick Drake song, just like I did in my movie. They also used the Jonathon Richman song about Fenway Park, which was cool. And, of course, they used all the now-traditional Fenway Park songs.

I like how a lot of things at Fenway have become a tradition. Basically I'm just talking about the songs they play at the same point in each game. It's like Fenway has a soundtrack. There's a nice rythm at games now. Some constants to go along with the unpredictability of the game on the field.

The one thing a lot of people probably don't notice is how they'll play a song that relates to the visiting team right before the game. Like tonight, it was "Sittin' On The Dock Of The Bay" in honor of Tampa Bay. A stretch, but come on, do you know any songs about Tampa Bay?

There's a place near Fenway called "Blue Cat Cafe." Just thought female Sam would like to know that.

Our super secret parking is still gold. 25 cents instead of 25 dollars. We leave the park and walk toward our car, watching as everyone else goes a different way. Then we hop on the pike in mere minutes. There's a certain spot where we've decided a zip-line would come in handy, but we still need to rig that up.

a sox blogger with good taste in music. what a rarity...
Using Nick Drake in a soundtrack is always a good thing.

Did you like the play ball kid with the red and blue wig?
I did NOT know about this Blue Cat Cafe. Damn. How have I missed it? I must take my camera and troll Fenway at some point this summer.
The song with the BB King sample: "Standing Outside a Broken Telephone Booth with Money in My Hand," by Primitive Radio Gods?

Not a bad album, either. A little weird. Kinda psychotic & stuff. But the guy is honest, and some of his tunes are catchy, even though he doesn't always pull off the trick with his lyrics (as the above song title might indicate).
Commenting 12.5 years later: I grew to really love that Primitive Radio Gods song. I have it in electronic form and listen to it quite a bit. I really love thinking back to that still-underrated late-90s time period, as shitty as it was baseball-wise. But even up to summer '98 you're talking only the one Yankee championship.*
*Jeffrey Maier

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