Monday, August 13, 2007

Sox @ Baltimore, 8/11/2007

This post is dedicated to the memory of Casey the cat.
Took my third Camden Yards trip this weekend. The first was with Chan, April 2002. (video stills from that day here.) The second was with Pat, August 2003, which I wrote about here, and then provided a special video of here. (I also have still pics from both trips, which I still have to post someday. Keep in mind I hadn't started this blog yet at the time!)

This time, my girlfriend and I drove down--our friends in Philly got us the tickets and we stayed with them the night before. Pics of me on the Rocky steps to come later.... Click these to embiggen. Above: on Eutaw St.

One of my favorite features of Camden--the little markers where all the Eutaw St. homers have landed. Here's an Ortiz blast. We also saw a Carl Everett one, and years ago I took a shot of a Mo Vaughn one.

Looking the other way down Eutaw. Incredibly, an Oriole fan is visible. Five years ago, it was amazing how many Sox fans would fill Camden Yards. In 2007, it's no different than a home game for Boston. There was once a time when O's fans would try to boo down the chants and cheers of Sox fans. They can't even do that at this point because they just aren't there. The scoreboard says "Let's Go O's," which is read by the crowd as "Let's Go Sox." At the seventh inning stretch, it's "...root, root, root for the Red Sox." With two outs in the ninth and the Sox winning, the crowd is on its feet cheering for the final out. I counted three Orioles fans in our section--including the one we were there with. So much for whoever it was on EEI three years ago wondering if "interest in the Red Sox, let's say three years from now, will wane." Not only do we still sell out Fenway, we still sell out Camden Yards. The O's should try making tix available to only Maryland-area residents for the first few weeks or something.

Varitek: "This guy again? I look the same, dude."

Tavarez, Papelbon, and the area where we'd sit for the game.

A scorcher in the Charm City. Once the shade hit us a few innings in, though, it was quite the perfect day.

Dustin Pedroia. Looking up and to the right.

This is what the back of the field level seats look like.

That's not Pedroia in left, that's Timlin's kid (or whoever that kid is that always hangs around him), making nice catches as usual.

Beckett planted this ivy, then stretched for a really long time.

The many fine moments in Orioles history.

Papi during America's "Oh, Canada."

Ratio of Sox fans to O's fans: Approximately all to none. (I originally took this shot thinking, "Hey, I'll see if I can take pics of jerseys of the entire '86 team!" Until I realized nobody would be wearing a Joe Sambito jersey, etc.)

I used to have this painter's cap! (Still do, actually.)

The two most recent Red Sox to wear number 15.

Our sweet view, looking right down the line.

Beckett on the hill.

One of 1.5 million shots I took of Manny. It's fun to watch him all game long, the way he messes with his glove and his hangnails and waves at the crowd. The life of an outfielder is a boring one.

Sox fan Nick Markakis. I love that diagonal shadow behind him.

The foul pole to foul pole view.

Jay Payton, who I loved until he made that comment that the Sox and Yanks were the same (don't get me started on that again), after throwing the ball back in. Manny stops at third.

Close-up of the left field foul pole.

Does Millar know there's a giant bird above him?

Beckett and the bird through the foul pole.

Gagne, who Lugo'd two games for us in this series, and Pap, heading for the 'pen.

Manny and Coco.

Finally, a shot of Manny looking our way.

Manny up with Youk on third.

Manny glove-waving to someone in the crowd.

Two shots of Coco and his bird friend.

Tavarez heads back to the 'pen after warming up Wily Mo.

Pena, who replaced Manny in left. I finally got a shot of him with his tilde ON the nameplate. Gagne's accent mark is ABOVE his nameplate.

The crowd stands and cheers for Beckett, a strike away from a complete game shutout. Instad, Lowell missed a grounder, then he lost the shutout, and the complete game. MDC came in, and it was suddenly a little scary as he walked his only hitter. Pap came in and shut the door on the 6-2 victory. Unbelievably, this was the only game Papelbon pitched in. On Friday, after Lugo's "nice play, don't ever do it again"-style bunt led us to a 5-1 lead in the eighth, Gagne blew the game, and Pap never got a chance, as the O's won in the bottom of the ninth. That was ridiculous. There we were, consoling the O's fan we were staying with, and they come up with a late rally against our bullpen, which was supposed to never give up another run, nor throw another ball even, for the rest of the season. Then we almost blow game two, and then Sunday, it's another late lead, and again we go with Gagne, who blows it again, and we never get Pap in, as the O's win in extras. My theory that Lugo hates Curt Schilling comes into play again. In the first inning, a double play ball goes right through his legs. We had lots of chances to pull away in that game, but if Lugo doesn't do that, I think we win. That's three games of Schilling's that Lugo has seriously messed up with fielding miscues.

Fortunately, Tampa Bay comes to town. Before heading down to Philly/Balty, we stopped in CT for a little family party. Plenty of swimming in the Sound and Wiffle Ball action. While in Old Saybrook, I noticed this bug that my girlfriend's car, uh, killed, on our way there. It looks like it made a nice, smooth landing on the hood, judging from its final resting position. But it was not to be. So here are two different angles on it. Also, really cool reflections in the hood. Enjoy:

I'm a big cat sorry about Casey!

Great pics, although i could have lived without the dead bug...
I'm not much of a Lugo fan, but the blame for Sunday's loss was:

75% Gagne
25% Francona
0% Lugo

Lugo hit a scalding line drive in the 2nd (or maybe the 3rd) that would have knocked in two runs if Mora hadn't made an incredible snag on it...Brooks Robinson-Esque.

At this point I feel badly for the remaining die-hard Oriole fans who have to endure 'road games' in their own ballpark. It's not their fault that the owner is an idiot, and they're still there supporting the team.

Nice win tonight by Wake and Paps.
Just so you know, Casey was one of Taylor's cats, our friend who took us to this game. I was glad I got to meet Casey on his last day on kitty-Earth. Thanks, bsb.

jfAJM: Not 1% to Lugo? That was a Taylor-made DP ball, he missed it, and a run scored in the inning. And after 9, it was tied. I mean, I'd give him at least a percent even if the run hadn't scored, just for making the pitcher face an extra batter (or two). But that run scored. He's gotta get some blame. But anyway, I really can't believe we lost both those games...
The Red Sox had idiot ownership, too. Not that long ago.
jfJere: Like I said, even if you're gonna blame him on the dp ball (which I didn't see), that gets offset by the double and two ribbies that he got robbed of in the 2nd. And the fact that he did knock in another run.
Hey Jere - Any balls nest in that screen attached to the foul pole when you were in Baltimore? ;-]
You like that close-up view, huh?
Actually, I get a kick out of all your offbeat photos. Friends from far away, your feet on the turf at Fenway, diagonal player's shadows, etc. So I guess the answer would be yes.
Nice! Thanks.

Oh--and just so you know, on the diagonal shadow, I meant on the gate behind him, with the railing and whatnot.
Ooops, that's what happens when I try to recreate things from memory. I remembered Markakis, diagonal, and shadow. The only problem is the shadow was from your "Prelude to a Henge" post from last April 4th.
If I'd only checked, I'd have seen that the Markakis photo was on the same freakin' page that I was commenting from.
Anyhoo, the shadow I was thinkin' of, when combined on the diagonal with a photo of Markakis, makes a pretty interesting image, too.
I am obviously catching up on some long overdue Bloglines. I am dying. He Lugo'd two games. Lugo has now become a verb. Priceless. =)

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Location: Rhode Island, United States