Friday, April 14, 2006

Fenway Pics 4/12/06

Most of these are video stills. Some are digital camera shots, though, which are much cooler after you click on them.

In my rear view mirror before the game.

The Pru and stuff.

See it go.

Lansdowne Street.

View of Fenway from the McDonald's parking lot.

The new stairway to the pavilion.

Stern's poster in those windows on the other side of Yawkey Way that show that day's starting lineup. I'm guessing they left him there since they didn't have a Dustan Mohr one ready.

I only got a few players entering. Here's Lenny DiNardo.

You don't usually see a Sox player (mostly) in uniform out on the street. However, Tavarez was looking over a showroom Lexus, which arrived after he was dressed.

Pesky signed autographs before the game.

Clement in a Quiksilver shirt. What is this, '87? You got an OP to go with that? How about Body Glove? Ron Jon Surf Shop? Vuarnet France? Maui & Sons? Vision Street Wear?

The new pavilion boxes.

I like this shot of Stern in solitude--except for that guy coming out of the scoreboard.


Even Gammons gets asked for his autograph.

"You're with me, leather."

Josh Beckett looks at Jere. (For such a brief interval you wouldn't even notice unless I paused the video at this exact split second.)

Youk chats with David Bowie (?)

It almost looks like Gammo has his head on Beckett's shoulder. Like, they're slow dancing, cheek to cheek. There's nobody here. Just Josh and Pete. Where they want to be. But Pete hardly knows. This beauty by his side. He never will forget. The pitcher in red.

A view of the right field grandstand you might never see unless you go to Fenway.

I like this baby blue flag. These were atop a building nearby.

Some Blue Jay.

A girl on the shoulders of her Fenway pa.

Stern throws a ball to the Monster seats.

"More shots of me on Jere's blog? Been there, done that."

Stern gives up a ball to a kid.

An interesting addition to Fenway. It's like they tried to make it seem like they built the park around this Gulf sign.

My favorite number.

Championship banners flying. It was a windy 68 degrees.

You don't usually see this view. This is under the right field grandstand.

The new pavilion boxes as seen from the bleachers.

The view of Jere's 10-game plan seats, center, right on the edge of the bleachers, as seen from the grandstand.

Manny fouls one off.

Artsy Monster-at-twilight shot? Or the moment a Blue Jays homer off Wells clears the wall? Both.

The view of Wily Mo from the seats.

Pena after throwing the ball back to the infield.

After the center field bleachers taunted Vernon Wells during a break in the action, he slowly walked toward them with his hands on his belt, after giving them the international sign for male auto-erotic pleasure.

Papi walks, and Manny's about to make the sign say "GIANT ASS." (And he did, but I've got so many pics up here already.)

The dude who ran onto the field being carted off by security.

At left: Drinkwater. At right: Kapstein.

Too bad Wells did so crappily. It was still great to be back at Fenway. Look for more stuff like this soon, since I'm also going on Saturday and Monday, and to Shea Monday night.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Same Old Same Old

Apparently, if there are ten hockey games on at a time, I don't get to see the Red Sox. Extra Innings has ten channels available for baseball. These are the same ten they use for hockey. I guess hockey takes precedence. Did you know that my digital cable has over a thousand channels? And that many of these have nothing on them? With all the money we're all spending on these packages, do you think they could afford to buy, or even rent for the night, a few more channels? Are there people working on this problem? Do they think we won't notice? Here's the plan I'm proposing. Tomorrow, everyone kidnap and tie up one businessperson or executive. (You may even find one in your own office!) Don't kill them, just don't allow them to have any food or water indefinitely. The world will instantly become a better place.

I fully blame this on the Jays' six-run second.

As I wrote that sentence, a commercial for the package came on, and the tagline was "We're on your team." I think they're betting on the other team, though.

Holy Crap

Not only is Pedro on schedule to pitch Monday night when I'll be at Shea (in the second game of my two-city Patriots' Day doubleheader), but he'll also be going for win number 200! And my seats are upper deck, but right behind home plate, for the perfect Pedro view.

First Fenway Trip Teaser

Just made it back to NYC from Boston in about three hours. And got a spot right in front of my apartment in my borrowed car. This would be the end to a perfect night, if only the Sox had won. But I did get to see the first Red Sox homer by both Wily Mo and Dustan Mohr. Here's your teaser pic: the guy who ran onto the field to personally congratulate Wily Mo being carted away, and receiving a high five from one of his new fans. (He may have a lot more--check out the dude in the red Nixon shirt with his back to the field. There's an arm around him. Are they getting their picture taken with "the guy who ran on the field" in the background?)

Six hours til work, so this is all you get for now.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Stupid KC

Well, the Royals pulled another Royals. I blame the person on Royal Rooters (a fitting name today) who innocently chimed in with "Only 6 outs to go before the Yankees lose!" I am really pissed about that. Seriously, get a brain. I have to say, though, even though I'm "watching" on GameDay now, to see Damon strike out on three pitches as the potential go-ahead run in the eighth made my day, as far as that game went. There wasn't much of a chance of that Sisco guy doing anything other than walking a bunch of dudes because he was scared anyway. If the yanks have that much trouble beating the Royals, we're in good shape.

Too bad I didn't get to see the Papi homer.

"Bronson Arroyo homers (2) on a fly ball to left field."

"Pitch 1: Swinging Strike Pitch 2: Swinging Strike Pitch 3: Swinging Strike Wily Mo Pena strikes out swining."

It doesn't say much for the Wily Mo side of the argument when Arroyo is completely outperforming him--at the plate! I remember joking that I hope Wily Mo could help our pitching staff, because I feel we'll need a pitcher like Arroyo at some point. Funny how Arroyo actually is helping the Reds' offense, as well as being awesome on the mound.

I guess we needed the extra outfielder before we needed a pitcher, with Trot's injury today, though.

Stern Update

I decided to stay home until Stern batted. I found out that he (among others) sung the Candaian anthem, and then he goes and lines a two-run double to left. And steals third! This guy's a major leaguer. Can he steal home? Let's watch...


No, but he scores on a Youk double. Youk came ready to hit today. 4-1 Sox.

Royals take a 5-4 lead in the Bronx.

I'm going back to work.

Opening Day Lunch "Hour"

Just had a guy in a yankee hat ask me "Is this train going to the Bronx?" Talk about a win.

Now I'm at home for lunch, watching both games. Drinkwater was there from pitch, Kapstein has yet to show. He can be a late bloomer, though. Beckett just got out of a not-so-great first with only one run. Ortiz held his hand up really high during the intros so Stern had to jump up to hit it. And the dugout screens force everyone to stand and lean on them, because it's easier to see the game. So that tells the truth about Jeter. He's not "leading" by being up there, he just can't see from the bench.

The Royals just came back to tie Vera Wang and Team Dunbar. I've been calling Damon "Norm" in my head, as in, he's not a freak now, he's a norm. So they've got two Cheers characters, Norm and his unseen wife Vera. Come to think of it, Posada is kind of Carla-esque, right?

I've also been noticing that Damon must have been taught the inside-out swing by Jeter. Obviously, Johnny used to go the other way sometimes, anyway, but ever since spring training, I've gotten the feeling like Jeter immediately took him aside and said, "I've noticed your hits are very legitimate. Let me show you how to cheapen those severely. It's what these fans havecome to expect." Sure enough, I read that Damon's first at bat was a double--to left. Not that that's not okay, I'm just saying, come on, don't use the Jeter method. Have some dignity. I didn't get to hear the "ovation" for Johnny, as I got to the TV in the middle of his second at bat. But there wasn't much of a buzz in the crowd while he was up.

Awesome play just now. yanks had the bases loaded, one out, 3-0 count on Sheffield. Shef eventually pops out to the shortstop in shallow left field. The shortstop then fires to second to double off Bernie. Absolutely terrible job, Bernie. Inning over. Still tied. Equally bad play by Trot, though, now. Totally misread a fly ball and looked like a fool. Must be that new pavilion throwing him off, heh heh. Ooh, just noticed the C. Everett Koop guy is now in attendance. (Right behind Drinkwater if you're new.)

Hollywood Insider

(AP Photo)

The dailies are in from the upcoming drama Cardinal Sin. Alec Baldwin (center) plays aging ballplayer Roger "Sin" Sinclair. Mercilessly stalked by "Jere" (Michael J. Fox) and "Reb" (Heather Locklear) (together in crowd, above Baldwin), Sinclair must decide if his holding on to his career is worth risking his life. Ed Norton (left) co-stars as colorful rookie sensation Raisin Brantley.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Royal Pain/Papi Pleasure

With the Royals coming to New York, I couldn't help but think of a game last year that was one of the most terrible jobs of the season. I was driving up to Fenway, and had the pleasure of hearing Jon Sterling describe the action as the Roy-boys blew a 7-3 ninth inning lead to the yanks. To think--had KC held the lead, the Red Sox would have finished a game ahead of the yanks. Nauseating. I realized I'd never seen the botched double play that would have ended the game, or any of the rest of the yanks' ninth inning "rally." So I went on to the archived game. What Sterling didn't tell me was: That the pitcher, on the bad throw to second on a play that should have ended the game, stepped on the rosin bag, causing the errant throw. That the shortstop still could have caught the ball for the second out, but simply missed it, having expected it not to be thrown so low and to his right. That the yankee hits that followed all scraped the leather of Royal fielders' gloves. This inning is pretty much the epitome of what my dad dubbed (probably before I was born) a "TyR," or "Typical yankee Rally."

To witness this classic TYR, and the reason we didn't win the division in 2005, click here (if you have, then find the 8/27/05 game, and scroll ahead to the 3 hour and 18 minute mark. Note: You won't be subjected to yankee announcers, as it's the Kansas City feed. But to hear the frustration of two men who have to watch 162 Royals

This game totally went under the radar at the time, and watching this inning gives you an idea of what I've been going through for years watching Mr. Dunbar repeatedly drop turds in my Coke.

Now it's 2006, though. 2005 is done. Opening Day at Fenway will be here in a few hours. We've got Papi on our side for the rest of the decade. The pitching and defense are solid. Here's to a gold 2006.

All Around The World Same Song

Some international Red Sox blogs:

A Sox fan in England. This dude knows his Sox.

A Sox fan in France. I hope this person keeps it up; hasn't posted in a while.

A Sox fan from England living in France.
You should know this one by now.

And what blogs-in-other-countries post would be complete without...a Sox fan in Jersey. This dude is pretty much on the same page as me, baseball-wise.

Ladies & Gentlemen, Boys & Girls...

My all-time favorite baseball player:

The Coco Injury

The official word on Crisp. Crap. At least I'll get a Stern overdose.

Four More Minutes!

...until the phrase "four more years" becomes ubiquitous in reference to Ortiz' new contract. It should be announced at 3:00 today. Maybe.

Also, yesterday, Dunbar announcer Ken Singleton talked about how before dugout screens, it was a lot more dangerous to sit in the dugout, implying all parks are equipped with screens. My first thought was, "They don't have those at Fenway." Sure enough, from today: "There will be a screen to protect Sox personnel in the dugout. It could prevent extra bases on errant throws that would have gone into the dugout. Francona said the protection is a good thing, and "maybe we can relax a little when David [Ortiz] comes up. There are times it looks like he's aiming [at us]." Francona said the screen is removable if players and coaches find they can't see the game well."

Removable. Interesting. I wonder if their will be advertising on the poles holding the screens. Or maybe they could be named after Varitek or something.

Cocoa-Flavored Justice Is Served Sternly

This past offseason, newspapers told baseball-starved Red Sox fans that the front office had inexplicably turned into a bunch of grape apes, and that after the loss of the starting center fielder, there might not be an attempt to find a major league-caliber replacement. This lead to talk that Adam Stern would be forced to start, and the thought of that made many Sox fans more than weary. I feared, rightfully, I believe, that if, for some reason, they decided they wouldn't get a new center fielder, Stern would take the brunt of the fans' disappointment, by getting booed.

That brings us to today. Coco is the center fielder, and everybody, me included, is happy. He's already clinched his standing ovation from the Fenway faithf--you know, the people who go to Fenway. How can you not love the guy? However, he'll miss some games with a finger issue. It may be a month or more, it may be a few games, we don't know yet. Either way, it looks like justice will be served tomorrow for Adam Stern. After his amazing performance in the World baseball Classic, and a solid spring training, if Stern is out there on Opening Day, he will get the ovation he deserved in the first place. Of course, my perfect scenario would be that Coco misses just tomorrow's game, Stern gets some--I can't believe I'm about to use this lame modern term--love from the fans, and I get to see Coco's first home game on Wednesday in person.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Mach 2: A Bird Killing

Record in games decided by five runs or less:

Red Sox 4-0
Dunbar 0-4

Record by series:

Red Sox 2-0
Dunbar 0-2

The Sox busted up some serious Baltimore chifforobe this weekend. Stern did a good job filling in for Coco today. I think Coco is going to get a nice, long standing ovation at the home opener. (The '46, not '86, AL champions will also be honored.) Meanwhile, in the Bronx on Tuesday, I don't see much of a reason for yankee fans to cheer Johnny, but we will see.

All that talk of the infield defense, and they make two Es. Fortunately, they didn't cost us the game. I knew Wake would be gold today after the crappy first start. And Foulke looked like Papelbon, while Papelbon looked like Papelbon Lite. But it worked. Sweeps are fun.

One Big Happy

Okay, so you've got Joy Of Sox, classic Sox blog. And then you've got his lefty site In Other News..., formerly In Cold Blog. Unfortunately, he's decided to end this other blog. But if you click on the link, he's left it up, so you can still click on all the other links over there. His partner, Laura, still does We Move To Canada, which is about the two of them moving from NYC to the land of Lisa Ruddy, Rush, and Mike Myers. On her site, you'll see the Impeach Bush banner. (Nice!)

Another blog who links there is Neasa's Blog, Blogging the Middle World. While she's not a Sox blogger, she does a lot of interesting artwork, and she's partnered with a Sox fan much like Laura is. Neasa's "husbutch" (her word) is a woman called Big Guinea, aka Couch Potato, who writes Diary of a Mad Boston Sports Fan. If you've read this far without having to ask your boy Jesus for forgiveness for your impure thoughts, you can check out another Sox blog called Gay Sox, written by a dude named Jon.

I'm also wondering if there is a connection between Bullfrog, also a lefty, who works on Five Bucks To Friday, which is an NYC comic strip-y blog, and one of the dudes from Keep Your Sox On in Brooklyn: Diary of Two Red Sox Fans, who writes for Brown Bullfrog Baseball.

Probably not. Joy (of Sox) to the (middle) world.

Beachblanket Ballplayer Bingo

Harden/Haren: same name but with one letter taken out/added in. (Bonus: On same staff!)

Chacon/Chacin: same name but with one letter different.

Anyone have any more in either category? Let me know. Let's say pitchers only to keep it from getting out of hand. Oh, Clemens/Clement.

B R _ N X

Where's the O?

After I downplayed the yanks' 15-run performance in game one--and was ridiculed for it--they've scored a total of ten runs in the four games since, losing all of them.

Michael Kay predictably made the comparison to the '98 team, who also started 1-4. I have a feeling that will be the end of the similarities between the two teams. If they're going to go anywhere, they better win these games where Randy gives up only three runs. (Which, by the way, is being talked about like no pitcher in baseball history has ever given up only three runs and on seven hits in eight innings.)

Moving on to the sweet win today in Baltimore: I think Curt went back and read my blog from last year. Specifically, the parts where I repeatedly implored him to waste pitches on 0-2 and 1-2. I like the Curt we're seeing now.

PapelbON. Again. There was something so symbolic about him striking out Kevin Millar to end the game. It's like the stale 2005 season is officially behind us, and the new electric one has officially begun. Or that 2004 is back, however you want to look at it.

Great D by Manny so far again this year. I'm not being sarcastic, and I hate that I have to specify that after that statement.

And I may never do a post again on here without mentioning how awesome Alex Gonzalez and the new infield in general are. It makes such a difference when you know every ball hit anywhere near an infielder will be an automatic out.

Oh, and Timlin--no need for camo during the game. I don't think any wild boars in the crowd are going to notice you either way.

Also, I love how all the Sox fans down in Baltimore knew to give Wily Mo a mock cheer when he actually took a pitch. When talking to Reb before the game, knowing WM was starting, I wondered aloud how many rallies he'd end with strikeouts. The good news was he only ended two that way (four total runners LOB). The bad news was that he only had two shots at it. Keep preaching patience, whoever's supposed to be teaching this guy how to hit.

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