Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Opening Day Ring Ceremony 2008

Lots of fun was had Tuesday, as my mom and dad came up from CT for Opening Day with Kim and I. We made a parking goof, and ended up in that dreaded "we're right near Fenway but all the lots are full" panic situation. Fortunately we found an open meter spot. The meter was broken. We left a note and figured any ticket we get would cost less than a lot would have. These pics are stills from my video so they probably look better at this size than the size they get when you click them. Above, one of the new LED scoreboards.

The Pops on the field with the flags lined up on the track.

Same routine as '04, with each championship flag dropping down, then the big 2004 one, and finally the equally big 2007 one. The wind caught that one...

...making it extra-dramatic as is slowly floated down.

And now it's down. They didn't play that 2001 theme like last time, which I thought was awesome.

We had a great view of the spot where everybody got their rings. It was a sunny day on the field in the bleachers, but up under the grandstand, it was winter.

They had some Celts with the NBA trophy, some Bruins with the Cup, some Pats with a Lombardi, and then some 2004 Sox with that trophy. What a great trio: McCarty, Daubach, and Leskanic! Three sub-stars who I love in three different ways.

And they were psyched to be there!

Tek hugs Leskanic.


Doug Mirabelli.

Tavarez gave a bow when he got his ring.

Jacoby Ellsbury.

Papelbon was pumped. The Pops were playing this whole time, but for Pap they played Shipping UTB, and then for Papi they played Dirty Water.

And here's Papi, the final player to get his ring.

Showing the camera his jewelry.

Now Papi rounds up the players and tells them to head out to the flagpole.

Out to raise the flag.

The 2007 champs as the flag goes up, hoisted by Ortiz and Pesky.

The flag went up. It was heavy like the '04 one was. It took a while, but finally the wind caught it and a huge cheer went up.

On the way back in, Papi shows everybody both rings.

There were no actual intros when each person got their ring, just like in 2004. But the '08 team was individually announced. Here's Pesky.

Lugo hugs Manny.

In 2004, I was in the roof boxes, so I had a great view of the flyover, as the jets went right over my head. They did again this time, but I had the overhang between me and them. The noise and the shadows of the planes crossing the field were cool, though. Since I knew where they'd be coming from, I kept an eye out, and got this shot of them cruising around during the anthem, thirty seconds before they sped over.

The first pitch was thrown out by a surprise guest. Bill Buckner. It was good to see him finally agree to come back.

Billy threw his pitch to Dewey Evans, a perfect strike. I like how agreed to do something that could've resulted in another error--throwing the first ball. He soft tossed it, but he got it right over.

Evans and Buckner and Pesky, as Castiglione *runs* toward Orsillo.

Buckner says hi to Bob Lobell, who had a sweet front row seat between Drinky the Kid and the Kaptain, I saw on the highlights.

Speaking of those two, Kapstein must've watched the ceremony from a different location, because here he shows up and Drinkwater gives him the initial 2008 greeting.

During the lull between ceremony and game, the hawk swooped in over left field. My shot of its shadow is better than the one I got of the bird itself. Of course, I've been showing you shots of the hawks for years, but now that it attacked A-Rod, it's finally getting famous. I never thought it would get more famous than when it ate that bird in '06. It also did a nice swoop over the infield during the game, drawing proverbial oozin' aahs. I liked the hawk's earlier stuff, before it got all commercial...

The retired numbers are now thick, like the ones on the side of the Park on Van Ness Street. They used to be thin and warped and peeling. And yes, they put the 8 right-side up.

Tonight, I'll be at the game using the "real" camera and I'll show you more new stuff for 2008, like the new bleacher seats, and the first night with the new Coke sign turned on. Above, Magglio during the game. Below: that Coke section.

And the classic Papi with Manny on deck shot.

As for the game, it was great. Dice-K was on. We rocked Kenny Rogers, but he did keep the now 0-7 Tigers in the game somehow. Manny hit a rocket, hustled all the way, and a bad throw allowed him to circle the bases for a pseudo-dong.

How cool was it that freakin' Sheffield had to watch both Red Sox ring ceremonies??

Oh, and Billy Buck wore number 6, over 16 and 22, the other two numbers he wore with us.

In the seventh, Steven Tyler sang GBA right out in front of us. He did a good job with it, though he did mention "our boys in Iraq" without noting that there are plenty of females in the military.

In the eighth, I spotted plenty of empty seats behind the plate, as it was so freezing in all shaded areas. So we watched the end from a great spot. I'd been predicting a Neil Diamond-type event for the eighth, but I knew they couldn't bring him out to do the whole tune, as that would take up too much time. It would be weird to have him just do the beginning and two choruses. So what they did was show a pre-taped video of him on the scoreboard greeting the crowd and doing most of the tune with Red Sox brass all around him. Then he said he'd do a concert at Fenway this summer.

Then Oki closed it out and we'd won the first home game as defending champs. And we finally got to get out of the cold.

After the game, we went to a restaurant--and Joe Castiglione walked in. My mom had run in to him in a different restaurant a thousand miles away from here as they were both randomly in the same town during the off-season. So of course she went right up to him on this day, and even Joe's wife remembered her.

Then we saw that movie 21. New movie scale: GEDMAN = really awesome movie. GEDMAn = the next one down. GEDMan = the next one down after that, and so on. I give 21 a GEDMan. (4 out of 6 stars for the one person who still hasn't picked up on the rules of the scale.) Actually, if I could cut that M in half... We'll see if blackjack becomes the next Furby like poker did. Or something. Lots of Boston shots in this movie, too. Man, that was the worst review ever.

Oh, so we get back to the car, and we had a ticket...10 hours of parking at a meter for a mere 25 bucks! A steal....

Daubach! Leskanic!

That would have been the highlight for me.
Nice pics, always know I can come here to get some nice shots from a game you were at.
Once again I am tinged with jealousy towards you are able to see games at Fenway.
But hey, you won't get to be at the 1st Fireworks Friday at Historic Ernie Shore Field tonight, will you? :)
Wanna trade?
And those damn sell-out hawks! Every time some really cool home-grown talent comes along that you're sure is the real deal and really touches you, the corporates get their claws on them and next thing you know they're part of the 5th Ave. system. Their flying starts to look choreographed, and they're showing up on car commercials and shit.
What can you do?
Fantastic pictures as always. Unfortunately, I was forced to miss Opening Day for the first time in about 12-13 years or so. But I got to watch the actual game on tv, and caught most of the ceremonies later. Nice job by the FO, and great job later by Dice-K. He looks like he's gonna have a monster year. Now we just need to get Lowell healthy, and Papi on track.

Good to be back to be able to comment, and good to know that I'll be able to get to Fenway later this summer.
Glad you're back in action.


And thanks, Sosock.

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Location: Rhode Island, United States