Saturday, April 25, 2009

Yankee Fan Tossed

When I said I didn't shoot any video until the end, I just meant "of game footage," because I definitely filmed when Yankee fans got ejected, which was quite a few as usual. I'm off to today's game, so I will post pics from Friday's Incredi-awesome-athon later.

Who's Century Is This?

Ours! What a ridiculous game. So much to talk about. The four double plays in five innings, with two other balls that should've been DPs, too. JD Drew playing like that one kid on your Little League team who just did the worst thing possible at every opportunity. Bay's diving catch. The bases loaded, no out jam we got out of. Bay hitting a ball like his dad was kneeling next to him, just tossing it up so he could wail away, and we tie it off our pal Mo with two outs in the ninth. Pap getting out of his jam. And Youk sending us home euphoric. I'm glad my mom was with me in the bleachers to see that one. After shooting no videos all game, I decided when Bay was up that I'd start rolling--and I captured awesomeness. Which I'll post later. Update: Here it is:

Not the best job capturing what actually happened, but I was busy jumping up and down, and I think this captures the atmosphere in the bleachers.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Newspapers, Shut Up!

Same old shit-stirring from the Boston media before every Yankee series: "the buzz is gone."

First I see it from a Globe poll asking if the buzz is gone. Then McAdam tells me there will be no drama. Then Chad Finn comes out and tells me "the truth":

"the truth is that the rivalry doesn't quite have the buzz it had a few years."

I assume he means "a few years ago." But anyway, ARE THESE PEOPLE NUTS? This is a hundred-plus year rivalry. There's always a buzz. If these people would sit in the stands maybe they'd know this. If they ever had to BUY tickets maybe they'd know that the Red Sox sell tickets to JUST Yankee games through a lottery.

Trying to gauge a hundred-year old rivalry on a series-to-series basis is like giving the weather forecast for each individual street, anyway. It may shift from strong to very strong over a period of decades, but it's not gonna be one way one year and a different way the next.

I wasn't gonna say anything about this (yet again) after I saw that one Globe poll (which, by the way, sided with ME!), but when stupid Chad "I rooted for the Yanks in 2001" Finn, former fan turned media told me the "truth," I had to say something.

Rattle Him

Red Sox fans do not need to be told to get all over guys like Joba, tonight's starter. But if you're going to the game tonight, consider this a friendly reminder. This guy hears what you're saying. He's not the "I'm so focused I don't even hear the crowd" type. I have watched him in the bullpen. Every comment directed at him, from the most creative to the littlest "you suck," he hears, often turning around to look at who said it. I think he's going for the "I'm not intimidated by you" thing by paying attention to it, not realizing that he's only making it worse for himself.

So anyway, what with his DUI and all, we've got a whole new set of comments we can yell at him while he's in the bullpen/dugout. Don't let him off the hook. Till he gets the hook.

I'll be there tonight, tomorrow, and Sunday night--and we're getting incredible weather for this late-April series.


Gabbo! Gabbo! Gabbo!

100 Year Old Bat Boy

At Fenway on Saturday. And he's from CT.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Twins At Sox, 4/22/2009

Doubleheader, game two. Took two hours to get up there, but found a (free) spot right away, around 6:30. Ran in, got my pizza slice, and headed for the Monster Seats. Asked the guy at the stairway if they're gonna start on time. "They just took the tarp off!" ... "And then they put it on again." So this game wouldn't start until 7:55. Above, the new HoB across Lansdowne.

Rainy bleachers from atop the Monster.

Nick Green, in green, through the drops. The team wore the same green jerseys from St. Patrick's Day for this game, to celebrate Earth Day. (So the shamrock on one sleeve was highly unnecessary...)

The thing that holds the tarp.

Rainy Fenway, a common sight for me.

I briefly took a walk behind home plate--the seats are the same as always. It just seems like the fans back there sit in missing man formation, with Kapstein usually out.

Rain coming off tarp as it's removed.

A tarp hill, one of my favorite things in baseball.

Rain on the Monster.

More tarp fun.

Yeah, you've seen this shot before.

When I went back to the Monster Seats before the game was about to start, I went right to the first section--and the whole front row was empty. I wiped down the first seat and the shelf (this whole process takes about ten napkins) and sat down. The row stayed empty for along time. Slowly it filled in, but only to the point where I still had two empty seats next to me until the ninth inning. Again, I only had a $30 standing room ticket, but sat in a hundred-something dollar seat the whole game. The rain helped in this case. But the rain held off until the end of the game--I only had to drive home in it.

Jeff Bailey, who was just called up.

Wally in his rain gear.

The Green Sox during the anthem.

Dave Roberts had been there the night before to throw out the first pitch. After that game was called off, I hoped I'd get Dave in my night game as opposed to the day game. I got him. A huge ovation for Dave, of course, and Tito caught his pitch and gave him a big hug. (I also saw Dave when he came back to Fenway with the Giants.)

Dave and Tito.


Thunder Bay.

Brad Penny's first pitch. Game time temp: 49 degrees. I did a lot of shivering, but I was shielded from the wind.

Jeff Bailey has just hit a three-run dong.

Raindrop on the Fisk Pole.

Ol' reliable, aka my camera bag, on the shelf. Yes, I've sat in this same seat before and taken the same picture....

Papi gets to third.

Papi on third.

Twins pitcher Liriano.

Signs right below Fisk Pole. (People write on it anyway. One guy came down and kissed it during the game.)

Jeff Bailey through the pole.

Ronnie gettin' pissed after both teams were warned.

Jacoby and Bay below me.

Papelbon got the save in a 7-3 win. Game one was 10-1 in seven innings. I have the getaway down, though you never know when new challenges will arise--like the fact that my entrance to Storrow is currently closed. The one feature I could add is to bring a skateboard and pull a Marty McFly on a bus to get to the car faster.

Me On TV

Bottom right, next to pole:
Woohoo! Pics from my perspective to follow.


Nice win tonight, which I saw from the front row of the Monster Seats. I will post pics soon.

For now, two things:

1. The Yanks won in 14 innings on a home run. You know what the headline is on Are you ready to laugh? "Mystique and aura make move to new stadium." Some people are just delusional. If there are any smart Yankee fans, they're more worried about Sabathia giving up seven runs and the fact that they should've won that game long before the 14th, rather than thinking about some magical spirits that allow them to win a game for every two they lose by like 20 runs.

2. It's like clockwork. I've been saying this for over a year now: Go to Fenway Park and someone near you will think Sweet Caroline is supposed to played in the middle of the seventh. Tonight, I actually had two empty seats next to me the whole game. As the late innings approached, I thought, Just don't worry about it someone does the usual, just let it go. But then this couple sits next to me as Sweet Caroline is starting. I hear the guy go, "but they're doing it in the eighth." The girl says "well NOW they do." Uh-ohhhhh. I couldn't help it. I just turned to her and said, "it's always been in the eighth." She says, "Well I must've been so plastered before because I always remember doing it in the seventh inning stretch." So, again, for random people finding this on a Google search for some research project or article: The seventh inning stretch is for Take Me Out to the Ballgame. The middle of the eighth inning is, always has been, and always will be for Sweet Caroline.

Next time you go to Fenway, listen for people getting it wrong. Happens every time.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Day Game

4:12: Game one is done. Red Sox win rain-shortened game, 10-1. Still waiting on whether they try to start game 2 on time, but there is more rain on the way. I may be on my way up to Boston soon...

4:08: Still delayed.

3:00: We're in a rain delay. I wonder how this is all gonna work for game 2. Don't know when I should take off for Boston...I'll figure it out.

2:43: Sox up 9-1 now in the seventh. Lowell has a single, double, homer, and three RBI. Oh, and Green just got a bloop ground rule double to make it 10-1.

2:17: 6-1 Boston after six, light rain falling. Rem and Don talking about cows. Ol' friend and CT kid Breslow in for Minny. Yanks-A's tied at 4. Remember how I said the Yanks would have their fair share of homers taken away by fans? Well a guy at Yanke Stadium reached over and gave the A's a home run! It was borderline, actually, and they reviewed it, and let it stand. But still, Damon leaps, and a stupid Yankee fan makes the catch, and gets booed. By empty seats.

1:22: Lowell with the third two-run homer of the day with a line shot to the Monster Seats. 6-0 us after 3. The crowd has filled in nicely.

1:03: Nick goes over the Green for a 2-run shot. 4-0 Sox. I can hear Kazoo Guy after every run.

12:50: Youk with a rare Pesky Pole-dong. 2-0 us after one. Okay, now it looks like those seats right at the bottom of that middle aisle are gone. Tonight I'm definitely gonna check that out in person and maybe get to the bottom of the Kapstein thing.

Kim In The Herald!

Kim is in today's Boston Herald, print edition and online. Sweet!

Game one, 12:35.

Game two--I'll be there, but it might get rained out again...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Roberts Reigns (Update: Reigned Out)

Looks like rain is on its way to Boston. If they do play, Dave Roberts will throw out the first pitch. No "special weather statement" yet....

Update: Looks like they'll do the usual "open gates, sell stuff, see how it goes" routine.

Update: Rain delay. My guess for start time is 8:37.

Update: This stinks--doubleheader tomorrow, 12:35/7:10. I have a single Monster seat. I was psyched for the ultimate: Monster Seats with RSN people for the first half hour, then STAY there and get any ball that comes up there when the rest of the people are getting kicked out and before the new people come up. They won't have BP between games. Crap.

Blind Justice

On the new word verification screen on the Sox' site, have you tried listening to the word? This is a service I've seen before, so blind people have a chance to buy tickets--though if they got far, maybe they're not blind after all. But I'd never actually clicked to hear the words, because I assumed it was just a robot voice saying the words you see. Boy was I wrong.

They actually play an audio clip from old radio shows. I found this out by Googling some lines I heard. A bunch of them were from a show called "Irma Meets Jane." Others were from a show featuring Frank Sinatra called the Rocky Fortune series. One time I heard part of a commercial! And they make you type in all the dialogue you hear--with a "try your best" message beforehand. Good luck.

So then I went to Ticketmaster, to see what they used for their audio. Turns out it's a track played backwards, with eight spaced-out numbers spoken eerily over it. It's very hard to decipher what's a number, let alone which number it is.

Is there reason they can't just have a voice speak one clear word for these poor people?

I also always wondered about how the verification words Ticketmaster uses are from texts, which we the ticket-buying public are supposedly transcribing to help get these texts on e-paper. But you don't even need to type apostrophes or commas, for example. So aren't the full texts coming out all screwed up? (Okay, I looked into it. Look here.)

Anyway, go mess around with visual-impaired word verification. It's fun.

Monday, April 20, 2009


You know what's cool about living in Providence? Not just being able to go to any PawSox game we want to, but also being able to go whenever a big leaguer is rehabbing down here. That just hit me when I read that Lugo will be in Pawtucket tomorrow.

Red Sox, Celtics, and Bruins win on one day. Kim is psyched. As are all the rest of you who grew up near Boston and not in the warzone of Connecticut.

The Marlins got shut out today. Eleven unique totals in 13 games! They only need three more totals, and Liza wins the contest. I'll update the board later tonight.

The Game

2:20: Hunter Jones makes debut in 9th--we win 12-1.

1:49: 12-1 Red Sox!!!!

1:42: Kapstein appears! Second row, big red jacket, USA hat, and big yellow headset! It's like he's in the witness protection program! 10-1 Sox, still batting in the seventh.

1:39: 9-1 now. Everybody hits! Orioles are dangerously close to getting swept.

1:33: Lowell RBI double. 7-1 in the 7th.

1:11: Papi with a two-run triple. High fly to left center, Pie goes back and jumps and misses it. Hits wall, rolls away. This after Pedroia got his second RBI single of the game. 6-1 Sox! After 6.

1:00: Masterson gave us 5.3 strong innings today. MDC finished the sixth. Still 3-1, bottom 6.

12:29: Rocco reached on a three-base error earlier, and strained his hamstring, so he's out of the game. Still 3-1, mid fifth.

12:10 PM: 3-1 Sox after 3.

11:48: Single seats for this weekend's Yankee series just released. Go!

11:41: Varitek HR makes it 3-0 after 2.

11:27: Masterson gets an OTT first, and we score 2. 2-0 after 1. And my theory that Kapstein's actual seat is gone is wrong--I can see someone in it today. But it's still not him. Maybe he gave away all his tix this year to 81 random people.

Buddeck Biancalana

$30 standing room on the Bud Deck available for the next two nights. I'm finally doing this for a game this year, just to get that different view one time--but maybe for people who drink, it would be cool to go to that bar they have up there? I don't know, it's up to you. But if anyone does do it, let me know if they keep you from going down into an empty table seat...

40 minutes till Sox! Late morning baseball...gotta [be fairly indifferent to] it.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Orioles @ Red Sox, 4/19/2009 the outfield! (A few more pics--including me on TV--below....)

Sunday = free meters. Yet the $40 lots are still full. Go figure. Anyway, after I paid my 0 dollars to park a few minutes away, I headed to Lansdowne Street to meet Mike, my friend since middle school who hasn't been to Fenway since '97. He's also a Yankee fan. We had one crappy ticket, while the other waited for us at will call. So we had a problem--how could we get to the Monster Seats (with my RSN card--they allow you to bring a guest), which open 2.5 hours before the game, when we couldn't get our ticket from will call until 2 hours before the game? I asked the grumpy old man at Gate C about it, and wasn't really sure how that could work--but he solved our problem by telling us there was no batting practice anyway, which we thought might happen with the day game after a night game. So we decided against even trying to get to the Monster Seats, and just went to will call, waiting for 11:35. At that point, I got our second ticket, and we headed see the Red Sox taking BP! That guy lied to us! I mean, I would expect your average fan to say the same thing he said: "no BP after a night game, they're all hung over!" But I wouldn't take it as gospel unless the guy worked for the team. Like this guy. Terrible job by him.

We walked all around the park so Mike could see all the new stuff, and we finally decided to go to the standing room behind the right field roof boxes. The game was about to start, and we were psyched to have a sunny spot. It was a classic Fenway day where the people in the sun have a whole different experience from those shivering under cover. Then we got kicked out. I knew being up there might not be allowed without a ticket--but I didn't think they'd actually check once we were in there. So now we were slightly screwed, what with all the standing spots taken downstairs. It was either look over people's heads in the cold, or, take another risk and sit in great seats in the sun, hoping the real ticket-holders of those seats don't show up. (Because as has always been the official Fenway unwritten rule, you can sit almost anywhere downstairs--you just have to politely leave when the real people arrive.) We chose the latter.

It was nervous-time for the first inning, as a steady stream of people was still coming down the aisle. Finally enough people entered our row so that we had to leave, but we had coverage in front and in back, so we hopped a row into new seats. We were still on edge until about the end of the fourth. That's when we pretty much knew we were gold, and it turns out we were. Sweet, close seats for 60 dollars less than face value, and with free parking, and the food bought during the family hour. In other words, gold.

Lester was on and the game went by quickly. Lowell and Pedroia knocked in runs, and that was all we needed, even though Saito gave one back in the ninth.

We also watched the scoreboard, of course--I see now that the Yanks win was aided by a Jeffrey Maier play--funny, they built the new stadium with seats right up against the fence, forgetting about how they'd had the problem before. Terrible job. But it seems like there will be so many homers there, that the Yanks will get their fair share of screwage, too.

And the poor Oakland fans at Fenway! Okay, maybe there weren't any there, but if there were, they were probably happy to see the board showing all day that they had a 1-0 lead over Toronto. Game went final, score remains 1-0. Oakland. Turns out Oakland had actually lost 1-0! TJ by the people in charge.

Timlin threw out the first pitch, and Elmo was at the game, but I didn't get good shots of those. I didn't check into that Kapstein seat, either, so I'll do it next time.

O's pitcher Eaton.

Adam Jones (the baseball player, not the guitar player for Tool) and tomorrow's starter, Justin Masterson.

O's starter Uehara, who was hit fairly hard but didn't give up much on this day. At right, Pole of Pesky.

Now down in the good seats, Lester delivers.

You want a piece of me?? --Allan Wood

Youk on second.

Being blunt about it.

Kottaras at the plate. I've got a lahhhhhtta games coming up, so watch for more pics and stuff.

Sox vs. Orioles, Monday, 11:05 AM.

Added to post: Mike and I on TV, on the Orioles' feed:
Bottom left you see a green Youk shirt. Look up and to the left of him, and that's me in my Pedroia (15) jersey, with patented blue hood and sleeves underneath. And to the left of me, seated in blue, is Mike.

Fish Jump Out Of Pool

The Marlins take the lead! In our contest. They only need to score 0, 1, 11, and 13 now. Six teams are tied for second, each five scores away. Who knows how long it will take to crown a champ, though.

Went to Fenway today. More on that soon.

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