Saturday, May 23, 2009


Our game and the Jays game were in the to of the ninth at the same time. They were losing by one, with three on and two out, and we were up one, needing one more out. I knew since both games were close, there was no guarantee that we'd win, they'd lose, and we'd jump them into first place. But honestly, I would've thought only theirs could go the wrong way. But Pap gives up a dong--and I knew it was gone right away, it was obvious--after WALKING the leadoff man, and the Mets had the lead. And we hit three balls hard in the bottom half, but they made every play, and we lose 3-2. And goddamn it.

That guy who hit the dong: I know you only had one homer before in your career, and I know you hit the ball hard, but come on--screaming as you hit the ball and all the way down to first? On a ball that got over the wall by eight inches? That's a big risk--if that ball is a foot lower--or if the replay that had to be checked to verify it was a home run at all goes the other way, you end up standing on second, and the next guy could make the final out, and who are you? Screamy McGee, the man who lost his shit for absolutely no reason. But "if"s are for Yankee fans--I'm just sayin', might not wanna dig in too deep next time you're in the batter's box.

I'm going to Fenway tomorrow. Good chance for me to see a win, I guess.

Friday, May 22, 2009


On a night when Eckersley blatantly said "shit" on the air (mid-inning, not when he thought he was off-air), the Red Sox and their fans can say the same thing. This is the game the Mets were expected to win with Santana, and they did it. Yanks lost 7-3 to the Phils, though--their streak is over, and we stay one up on them. Jays are scoreless in the eighth, and will either stay a half game up, or go 1.5 up. [Update: Jays lose 1-0, so we're 0.5 back AND the Jays move into a tie with KC for second place in our contest! Finally another team is within one.]

Didn't I say something about possible accidental cursing when we found out Eck would be in the booth?

Here's something I've been meaning to talk about--it didn't happen tonight. But Jacoby Ellsbury, fast as he is on the basepaths, doesn't seem to be the best slider. Several times I've seen him go straight into a base, instead of seeing where the fielder is and trying to get around him with a slide to one side or the other. Maybe he's just going so damn fast, he has no time to react. But I felt vindicated in my opinion Wednesday night, while listening to the game on radio. Jacoby was out at the plate, and I said to Kim how maybeit was because of his slide. Then Castiglione, watching the replay, says that he went straight in, and had he gone to the front side, he definitely would have been safe, as he looked safe to begun with. And I was like, "Aha! Sliding straight in!" So, is it my imagination, or does that happen a lot? I feel like if he can learn to go around people, he'll be even more amazing on the bases.

Edited to add: I don't like the new "stars 'n' stripes" hats. (I didn't like last year's either.) I think even if I was super-duper patriotic guy, I still wouldn't like them. They just look wrong.

Blue Jays At Red Sox, 5/21/2009

Pretty much checked all the boxes with this one. 84 degrees, perfect parking job ($1.25 in quarters), front row seat ($26, face value), pressure-free win, Papelbon save. Above, a poignant moment I had no idea I was capturing--the glare was so bad I was only vaguely aware these people were there at all. Click each for a party. [Edit, 9/6/2012: Came across this pic above and decided to reddit it--glad to see the people over there are enjoying it!]

I got there right at gates opening--and there's a construction project making for some easy parking for weekday night games. It lasts through June 30th--email me for details. Got this shot of (Dice-K? I can't tell) when I got inside.

I mainly wanted to get shots of Kevin Millar. He he is getting interviewed by the Hurricane Broadcasting System.

Here's Kevin again.

And yet again. At this point, I ran into Kelly aka Sitting Still, who introduced me to HorshamScouse, who seemed like a nice fellow.

I never noticed this on the poles before. My initial thought is "New York State, United States of America." But it's probably some company called NYS that is based in the USA and is there for all your obstructed view needs.

I was trying to get balls out in left field--here's one of the many strange chairs in section 33.

At one point while I was out there, a security guard gave a ball to a fan, and one of the Blue Jays in this group right near me started yelling at him: "That's our ball!" "You're not supposed to be giving those away!" He was dead serious. The on-field guard just ignored him. Honestly, the guy's right--I have seen guards standing right next to stray BP balls, and they always explain that they're not allowed to touch them. (As opposed to the ballboys/girls who sit down the lines in games who are instructed to give the balls they get to fans.) But still, come on! A player "reporting" this? Who cares, millionaire man? Anyway, the park was silent at this point, as no organ or other music had been playing. So right after the guy's yelling about getting his balls taken, some guy near me yells out really loud, "I didn't know you had any balls!" Now everybody was laughing, and even the players in this guy's group (BJ Ryan, Halladay, Downs) are just laughing in his face, like, "what the hell were you thinking, who gives a shit?"

I didn't get any balls, though there were some close calls, and I later watched a ball go right to the spot I had been standing in. So now I'm back by the visitors' dugout. Great day for plane trails....

This one woman was super-psyched to see Millar.

Vernon Wells--sad that all the Red Sox fans don't flock to him like we do to Kevin?

Lou Merloni.

Gammons and JP Ricchardi.

Now I'm out at the seat, looking straight down the CF wall. My estimate that I was directly over the middle of that gate was pretty much right on.

Looking left to the triangle.

View from my seat.

You know how I love when you can see trees outside the park.

Varitek and Kottaras.

This was my angle on that HR that bounced off the to of the fence. In this shot, Jon Wicked Lester is at far right.

Sid Lester and his long shadow.

I love how the ball is visible in this shot.

A beer and Pesky's Pole. (Not my beer. I don't drink alcohol. Because I don't want to.)

Ray the Jay, the loser on this night.

Millar gives the thumbs-up to fans on the Monster.

Papi greets Bautista.

I was just taking this to get a shot of Lester wiping his head/face after his bullpen--but I noticed all this crazy crap on his hat brim. All I can make out is the word TRUST and his number 31.

Eck with Don in the booth at right. Castig at left. And O'Brien, I guess.

First pitch of the game.

Vernon Wells in CF for the Jays.

Dustin happens to look back the moment I shoot.

Now it's night. Even nightfall didn't make my JIC-Jack necessary. ("'Just-In-Case' jacket.")

The Monster at night.

Papelbon in the 'pen.

It was a good night, crowd-wise, except for three creativity-free college kids two rows back who insisted yelling "Vernon" all night for no reason. Then they spilled a beer on the kid behind me. I told myself if I caught a HR I'd give it to that kid, as I know what it's like to have assholes around me (they always know exactly where I am), and to have beer spilled on me. The guy next to me explained that my seat was just an empty--he and his friends had season tickets--the four seats to my left--and that the team always asks them if they want to add a fifth. I'm glad they leave it for us regular folks! And the group to the other side was three texty teen girls--so that must be a group of three season tickets, explaining my single. I hope to get that spot again one day. Anyway, out in section 6, there was some craziness. I don't know what happened, but as you can see, everybody all the way down to the front row was paying attention to it. I think the girl in black is the trouble spot. A few people were carted away.

And finally--does Jacoby's 6 look like an upside down 9 to you? I've talked about the 6, 8, 9 confusion before--the bottom holes/spaces are supposed to be bigger than the top spaces/holes....

Oh, so I got there right at five because my mom and I did another Dirty Water event. It was at a country club--the annual event for the "Friends of Simsbury Library." So that's two fancy-ish ones in a row for us...and two mainly female audiences in a row. They said they had 99 people. Me and two dudes at my table were the only males there! We had a great time, met a lot of good people. Thanks to Julie and everyone else who helped out and/or came to see us! So that's why I didn't get there early enough to go on the Monster at 4:30--but it really worked out with that construction zone parking...

Tonight's "Moment"

Top right corner, gray jersey, ninety-one-in' it with the sweatshirt tied around waist. I pretty much had to get on being in that spot. My pics to come tomorrow.

Coming home, I heard a disturbing answer to a question on "Red Sox Replay." The semi-drunk caller's question was, "If Jason Bay's ball had bounced back onto the field, what's the call?" The host's immediate silence told me he was thinking, "I don't know, and I'm certainly not going to give a straight answer as I'm scared to death right now." After his pause, he says, "well there's a yellow line there." (Psst. There isn't.) Then he said how if the ball hits over the "line," it's a home run. Then he so obviously danced around the question by talking about the Green Monster and about replays (even noting that there haven't been any calls reversed due to replays yet, which is, of course, false, too). The caller kept trying to get a definitive answer, but the guy (I think John Ryder--I've heard him pull this routine on baseball rules questions before) wasn't going anywhere near it.

First of all, I'd think a question like this wouldn't even make the air. But if it did, it would be a layup for the host, just a chance to casual fans know the rule. Second, the proper answer should have been: "It's very simple. If the ball goes over the wall, it's a home run. If it doesn't, it's not." The fact that the host couldn't come up with this (in any amount of words) is unbelievable to me. No baseball instincts, and no simple Fenway knowledge. In other words, Terrible Job!

But nice win by us tonight. Sweep. Half-game out.

Edited to add: I met commenter "HorshamScouse" tonight--he was hanging out with Kelly (Sitting Still), and she spotted me in pre-game. I went back and checked to remind myself of his past comments here, and I saw that he was the one who got that screen shot of me on TV during last year's playoffs....speaking of me on TV.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Youk As A PawSock, 5/19/2009

My mom was coming up for that night's book event, and I saw Youk was playing at Pawtucket at noon, so she came up early, and she and Kim and I took the five-ish-mile journey to McCoy. Here he is with his new friends.

Youk with bat.

Out in the Buffalo Bisons 'pen, it's Kyle Snyder!

Another ol' pal, Wily Mo Pena.

And yet another dude everyone knows--I had no idea Clay Buchholz would be starting. Here he pitches to Pena.

Close-up of Clay, who had a pretty good line, but did not pitch too beautiful a game.

Youk at the plate for the first time. He got no hits in this game.

More Youk action.

There was a crazy double-rundown play--the PawSox had a man tagged out in a pickle between third and home, and then another one between first and second, on the same play.

Perfect day for baseball.

There was a ball hit to dead center that I thought hit above the yellow line. The umps said no. But then they changed the call. Homer. Clay was pissed.

McBeth trying to assassinate the Bisons of Buffalo-land.

Here's a close-up of their logo-age. (I also noticed the bat boy had a road PawSox uni on, and it was the same as last season's. Did they not switch to coincide with the big club's new road look?)

We decided to sit in the sun late in the game.

This broken bat lodged into the ground, look closely.

Here's a nice ad possibility for our AAA club.

Ball right between Youk's feet. He almost donged to left in his last at bat, but it was foul.

Here the fans watch Kevin as he goes back to the dugout.

I didn't like how they use "God Bless America" as the "stretch" period, essentially. They play it after the sixth. Then at the real stretch time, they do play Take Me Out to the Ballgame, but with no mention of a 7th inning stretch, so nobody stands! Except for my party, of course.

We knew we'd have to leave a little early, by around three, to get up to Boston in time for our event. So after Youk's at bat in the eighth, with the P-S's down one, we had to go. Got in the car, turned on the radio, and heard the announcer say Pawtucket got a bloop and a blast to take the lead, and they were suddenly three outs from a win. So we missed that fun. Happened the second we left. But oh well, we knew ahead of time we'd be missing the end.

Look for me on TV at Fenway tonight, catching a home run in the front row in dead center field.

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Location: Rhode Island, United States