Saturday, June 02, 2012

Standing Heading Into Sunday

Caught the end of the Yanks game on Focks. The Tigers went up 3-2 in the bottom of the 8th on a Miggy dong. Valverde came in for the save--but he was a different man than the one we saw earlier in the week. He hit a guy with the first pitch he threw. After a walk and another HBP, he walked in the tying run to cap off the Typical Yankee Rally. Fortunately, despite the catcher missing an easy foul pop with two out, he finally got out of it.

But that made it so if the Yanks were gonna lose, it would be in dramatic fashion. And the only thing better than a Yankee loss is one where they almost win but still lose. Detroit was able to push a run across on a sac fly by that same catcher who made the error (his second of the game). YANKS LOSE.

So now we've got Balty and Tampa tied for first. The Yanks are 1.5 back. The Red Sox are 2 back. Toronto. Coming up after the current series end tomorrow, we'll be playing the O's at home, while the Yanks and Rays meet in New York.

Another Series Won

The Red Sox are alone in 4th place after beating the Jays 7-4. We're 2.5 out of first as of this moment. We've won 5 of our last 6, 10 of our last 14, and 16 of our last 22.

Punto had a great day, including a bomb of a homer, after which his teammates gave him the silent treatment--finally broken by the lunatic himself (pictured).

Former Yankee-killer Darren Oliver came into the game for the Jays at one point, and I wondered--was he already playing when the father of today's Jays starter Kyle Drabek was in the league? He was. Doug Drabek's final year was 1998. Oliver's first year was 1993. So Darren played in the league with a father and his son, though he was never on the same team as the father.

Don Orsillo made a Sterling-like call today. Joseph Pteropodidae hit a deep fly to left. Nava went back, was about a step from the fence, and moved back in a step as he reached up and casually made the catch. However, Don thought it was gone off the bat, saying the ball was "crushed." But he was so sure of it, when we saw Nava catch the ball, Don was speechless, wondering why the dude wasn't rounding the bases. He didn't know where the ball could possibly be, never thinking it might be catchable. My only theory is that he must have been watching the stands, and when he never saw a ball land in a group of fans, he was confused. The fielder caught the ball in plain sight! Just a weird call by Don.

Sunday afternoon, Bard tries to give us a sweep, then it's back to Fenway again.

Big Win

This win felt big to me. We go into Toronto, division match-up, trying to keep up the overall winning ways after Thursday's loss, and Clay shuts 'em down for 8 innings. Only 2 runs on a couple of solo dongs. It was close after 5, as we held a 2-1 lead. After loading the bases with nobody out in the 6th, we were only able to push one across. But Clay set 'em down in order and then we came through with 4 in the next inning, putting the game away. 7-2 final. Great job, Red Sox.

Papi had a dong and a ribbie single. Gonzalez knocked in runs with two singles. Nava continued to be awesome, going 4 for 5 with 3 doubles.

So we're tied with Toronto for fourth, 3 out of first, and 1.5 out of a playoff spot.

Saturday at 1:07 it's Doubront against Drabek's kid, who gave up 9 runs in his last start. He did dominate us in April, though. He also wears a single-digit number as a pitcher.

And holy crap, the Mets finally got a no-hitter! First in team history.

Friday, June 01, 2012


Anybody else wanna get in the latest contest? The prize is the new Oil Can Boyd book. Go here to enter.


After we tied the game 3-3 in the 3rd, we had only one hit and one walk the rest of the game. Tigers win 7-3 at Fenway and avoid a 4-game sweep. We fall to 3 out of first--no other AL East games tonight.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Photos From Tonight

Parked for 9 quarters, then walked through the $35 lot and got to Lansdowne, where I waited near DeNiro Sausage Guy to get in early with my RSN card. (Just to the right of DSG is that Fenway staffer who ALWAYS tells fans before day games that there's no batting practice even when there is.)

Went to CF instead of the Monster Seats. Only about 6 of us did, so I had a great chance at a ball. Above, a manager whose jersey we actually get to see! Papi stepped up and...

Woohoo! After a long wait, and once everybody had gotten a ball except me, a new guy entered the area. "This dude better not get a ball before me," I thought, as he took the spot against the front wall in front me, as I continued my "hang back and get any ball that goes past the first row" theory. Turns out he was a camo blessing, as Papi's dong went right to us, he fought another guy for it, and it bounced right to me.

My 21st ball lifetime, and my second ball with the 100 Years logo on it. Later, in the game, Papi would hit a dong to almost this exact spot.

This guy is a big ballhawk--he even does the "switch to the vistors' hat" thing when they enter the field. See how the camera well has two tiers? The upstairs is my house. That other guy owns the bottom floor. Two balls went in there, both went downstairs, so he got both. Along with some toss-ups. Whatever, I'm always happy when I get that first ball. Anything beyond that, I consider a bonus.

Apparently a bird got hit. Also, Justin Verlander's a really good shagger. He even robbed a home run in right field.

That MLBN ballpark cam thing.

Pretty much the perfect weather day/night. Warm enough so you need no jacket, but a nice cloud cover to keep it reasonable.

Youk in pre-game.

This is not the sun. This is one of those sun rainbows that sometimes appear way to the left and right of  the sun. For some reason it also had a sun-like light next to it.

See what I mean? The sun is above the Coke sign. The left rainbow is above the tower--the right rainbow is out of frame.

I started out in the right field bleachers. I've noticed that Marlon Byrd rips his glove off after he catches the last out of an inning, so I got a shot of that. (His left hand is the glove hand.)

An annoying foursome sat behind me, so I headed for right field standing room. And got this shot of a Green Team member with his shirt on over his backpack!

My view for much of the game. (This is Middlebrooks rounding the bases on his dong. Note a dejected Leyland on the TV.) There were closer standing room spots available, but I just felt like hanging out by myself wayyy out here.
Out the back-right corner of Fenway, as the night went on.
Check that score out! They'd go on to win 21-8.
After spending some time all the way over in the 3rd base deck, I moved close for the 9th. Here, Aceves prays to whoever.

Santiago up, Cabrera on deck.

Prince Fielder on deck.

One of the final pitches. After going down 3-0 early, we came back and eventually won 6-4. Tampa and Balty both lost again! So we stay in last, but move to within 2.5 of first. The losses in the division go: 22, 22, 23, 24, 24.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Coming Up This Fiscal Week

In the next 7 days, subscribers (meaning all humans) will get:

1. My review of Oil Can Boy's new, tell-all book. (Which you can WIN a copy of through my latest contest--click here to enter.)

2. A photo gallery from the Fenway Open House. I forgot there's a huge section of the ballpark I got to go to which is off-limits to most people. Well, I didn't forget that, I just forgot to post pics here since I'm doing it in multiple parts. You get the idea.

3. A photo gallery from an upcoming Red Sox game.

4. A thing where I ask you about a thing and you give me feedback. Maybe.

5. Other stuff.

6. And more!

7. Maybe.

8. (technical) Oh and for those of you who use Blogger: I noticed over the last few days that when I click on pictures I've posted, they show up at the same thumbnail-y size as the version inside the post. I looked into this, and Blogger says it's a known issue, but that it only happens when you post in HTML mode (which I always do). So upload your pics through "compose" mode and they'll show up at the correct size when clicked. I went back and fixed the ones that showed up small on my blog. The only thing before last night that you'd need to click again if you absolutely need to see it full-size is that shot of Danzig with the Oil Can book.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

More Importantly....

Yes, we're above .500 for the first time this year--but I'm more excited about being back to within 3.5 games of first place! We're still in last, but obviously everybody's bunched up.

I noticed tonight's game was also being shown on ESPN and wasn't blacked out, so I took a break from NESN and watched as Sean McDonough called the action, 80s style. I also gladly took the opportunity to watch a game from the "classic" center field camera. (And for some reason, the color on ESPN/Fox/TBS is so much more vivid than NESN, I don't know why.)

We had no trouble with Cy Young and Should've Been 2nd Place MVP Verlander tonight. Papi was a madman, with 2 doubles and a dong. Nava had a huge three-run double off Verlander on a two-out, 3-2 pitch. That put us up 4-0, and we won 6-3 behind Bard, Hill, Atch, Miller, Padilla, and Aceves.

A late rain delay put that fun-lovin', hecklin', permanent-smile-havin' crowd into the good seats for the final 5 outs.

Some screen-grabs from tonight:

The Tigers had a ball be thisclose to being a dong! (ESPN)

During the delay, I had it on NESN and they showed this shot of lightning over the Citgo sign.

While watching ESPN highlights during the delay, I saw this. Good night.

Wait! Update! Was just watching the post-game on NESN, and they STILL don't know that it's Vicente Padilla, not ViNcente! Now I'm really pissed--it's the man's name! He's on the team! You're telling us how great he is but you still don't know his NAME, you stupid asses! Here's the screen-grab, with current stats proving it's from tonight:
Final Update, 12:44 a.m.: Yanks lose. We're one behind them. So it's O's and Rays in first, Yanks 2.5 back, Jays 3 back, Red Sox 3.5 back.

WIN Oil Can's Book

Contest time! The publisher of the new book by Oil Can Boyd (They Call Me Oil Can: Baseball, Drugs, and Life on the Edge) has hooked me up with a couple of copies to give away to YOU the readers. So here's what we're gonna do. On the Red Sox' next homestand (the O's and Nats series, June 5-10, 2012), tell me how many runs you think the Red Sox will score, and the number of hits you think they will get. The total number of each, over those 6 games. The closest person in each category will win a copy of the book. Put your two guesses in comments. Your entry should look something like this:

Runs: 1,342,987
Hits: 0

Except the numbers should be much more reasonable. Oh, and check the existing comments and do not repeat anyone else's guesses. If you do, I will treat your repeated guess as if it didn't exist, though I will try to contact you to let you know you need to re-enter. One entry per creature. Humans only.

I will post my review of the book very soon. But I'll tell you right now it's effin' good so get in this contest. You have one week. Good luck/skill.

Fine print: No "Price is Right" rules--closest to the total wins, whether the guess is higher or lower. The only games that will count are the ones played on the dates between June 5 and June 10, 2012. If there's a rain-out or something and any of the games are re-scheduled for later dates, they are thrown out of our contest. The contest ends when the June 11th game begins. That way we give the official scorer time to change a hit/error decision after that last game.

Pictured: Danzig curling up with a good book.

Running Update: Here's what we've got so far:


22: Section 36
23: Bosox Fan in Wichita
26: Rich G
28: (Ryan)
29: Kathryn
30: Kara
32: RedSoxDiehard
34: Mark UK
36: Mom
40: El Cerdo Ignatius
42: Charlie
43: Liam, Summa Contra

36: Section 36
50: (Ryan)
56: Kathryn
57: RedSoxDiehard
68: Mark UK
69: Bosox Fan in Wichita
71: El Cerdo Ignatius
75: Mom
79: Rich G
81: Liam, Summa Contra
90: Kara
127: Charlie

Actual Runs/Hits:

June 5: 6 runs, 11 hits
June 6: 1 run, 7 hits
June 7: 7 runs, 9 hits
June 8: 4 runs, 8 hits
June 9: 2 runs, 5 hits
June 10: 3 runs, 8 hits

Final Total: 23 runs, 48 hits

Winners: Bosox Fan in Wichita (23 runs), (Ryan) (50 hits)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Winning, Me-Less-ial Losing

Doubront gave up 2 over 6. Sox win 7-4 in the first game of the 4-gamer with the Tigers.

The umps did the Red Sox a favor early in the game. With the game tied, Aviles swung and missed for what should have been strike three to end the inning. The catcher caught the ball. However, the ump called it a foul ball, and the first base ump said the catcher didn't catch it. Don and Remy went on and on about how the catcher caught the ball--which was true, and regardless of whether bat hit ball, that should be strike three--but they never brought up the fact that the bat did not hit the ball, meaning even if they catcher got it on a hop, all he'd have to do it tag the runner and there's your inning. After the big break, their pitcher pulled an "our pitchers" and let it get to him, allowing three runs to score. We led 4-1 and never looked back.

We're back to .500, and we could be out of last place tonight! If the Jays lose to Balty, we're out of the cellar. If they win, that still would* help us close to within 4.5 of first.

*Unless Tampa wins--then we'd stay 5.5 out as they would flip-flop with the O's into first.

Field Research

People have written about the actual Red Sox game that was shown in the movie Field of Dreams. But tonight I decided to figure out the game shown briefly on TV that the daughter is watching during the film. Here's a screenshot:

The movie was released in 1989. The White Sox switched to those uniforms for the '87 season. We've got Carlton Fisk and a lefty pitcher in a home game. The only lefty pitcher on the White Sox between '87 and '89 to wear either 26 or 28 (it's pretty clearly 26 but I checked the 28s just in case) was Ricky Horton, #26, for part of 1988. So right there we've got our players and year.

I searched White Sox home games that Horton pitched in and Fisk caught in together in 1988. Fortunately Pudge missed a bunch of games that year, and Horton was traded at the end of August, which narrowed things down. And I was left with only four games! We've got April 4th (Opening Day), April 30th, July 31st, and August 16th. (They both appeared in the July 28th game, but not at the same time.)

Let's talk time of day. This looks like either an overcast day, or post-sunset but pre-darkness. You can see the lights reflecting in Fisk's helmet.

July 31st is a sunny, 73-degree game starting at 1:37. Between the lights, the sleeves, and the overcast/twilight, this can't be the game.

August 16th was a 105-degree day in Chicago, with the temp still at 98 at the 7:38 first pitch. If you do an image search, you'll see that it is rare to ever see Fisk or Horton not wearing an undershirt, but Fisk has something on that almost looks like a sweatshirt. Whatever it is, it's down to the wrists. This doesn't look like 100 degrees to me. This looks like an April game.

And that's what we have left. April 4th and 30th. (Also note that these two games were starts for Horton, in which he threw 7 or more innings--the summer games were shorter outings, making them less probable.)

April 4th, Opening Day, was described by the Sun-Times as "sunny" and "beautiful." 62 degrees. It was an afternoon game. Our shot doesn't look like that at all. The lights wouldn't be on, and Fisk wouldn't have full-on sleeves.

So we're left with April 30th. A 6:07 start. A sunny day, but the high was only 52, with a 14 MPH wind. Sunset was 7:48 in Chicago that day. This is starting to make sense. It was probably between 7:30 and 8:00 when the pic was taken. Lights on, but not completely dark. Temps in the high 40s, with wind. Long sleeves. The game ended at 8:33. Horton came out after the 7th.

So that's my answer. 4/30/88, Baltimore @ Chicago, Comiskey Park. Can't say I'm 100%, but many signs point to it. If I had to guess the inning, I'd say it's the top of the 7th. White Sox up 3-1, but the Orioles have just put two men on after Horton had retired the first two batters. Fisk is coming out for a very brief word with his pitcher, telling him to bear down and get this last out. Horton retired Orsulak to end the frame, and would turn it over to Thigpen for the save. The O's would fail to get a winning streak going, dropping to 1-22 on the year as the White Sox won 3-1. Ricky Horton would be immortalized. Carlton Fisk was already immortal.


Bonus: You may be saying, "But Jere, I've seen this movie a million times. The announcer is talking about summer, and at that point in the movie, it's not April at all. Well, the announcer's call is bogus. We know it's Horton on the mound for sure. The guy's voice is heard to say that he's just given up 4 hits in a row, 9 "all told" along with 5 earned runs in the game. The veteran southpaw's "summer of woes continues," says the voice. Thing is, though, none of that matches any of Horton's starts with the White Sox. It also reeks of "fake baseball game announcing done for a movie."

Sunday, May 27, 2012

A Great Day Ruined

A 7th-inning 3-run dong by Gonzalez turned a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 lead. Then we shut them down in the 8th. Then we leave the bases loaded in the bottom half, and that proved to be key, as Aceves gives up a 2-run dong in the 9th. We go quietly in order and that's it. We were that close to getting above .500. Shit.

We've got another afternoon game tomorrow as the Tigers come to town.

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