Sunday, October 07, 2007

Angels At Sox, 10/5/07 (ALDS Game 2)

These large, circular devices allow people far away from Fenway Park to witness games on special screens.

I quickly went past the players' lot, even though I knew they were all inside by then, and I noticed former umpire Steve Palermo standing there. Which is quite impressive, since doctors didn't think he'd walk again after getting shot in the spine. (Still, TJ by him for taking a job with the Yanks a few years ago.)

Nice sky. With the 8:37 start and it being October, batting practice took place at night. Cool.

The Monster under the purplish/pinkish sky on this hot night in Boston. I really lucked out during my final stretch of Fenway games this year, temperature-wise.

Timlin and his boy.

I'd brought my radio (and listened to the beginning of the Yanks while I took a really long walk to Fenway, as my train stopped at MGH due to some kind of emergency), but fortunately they were showing the Yanks game on the scoreboard. They kept it on until the pre-game ceremonies started. You can see the pitch dark non-western sky.

Johnny Pesky signing. Note the bunting. Woohoo, bunting!

The ALDS logo on the field.

Vlad in front of the scoreboard. Look how the "2" serves two purposes.

The TBS camera, set up right in the "get in Kapstein's way" position.

Heading back toward my seat in section 2, I stopped around this area to watch the Yanks without having to crane my neck to see the board. In front of me in canvas alley.

Looking to the right, you can see how the right field grandstand is higher than the infield grandstand. I remember being little, and going around the stands, always getting to this point and having to climb over, while your older, feebler types just went down the alley and came up on the other side. Around this spot, one of the chairs will always be in the "down" position where everyone's been climbing over.

It's the eighth in the Yanks game, and the Tribe are still being frustrated. While still down by third base, I saw Joba the Slut get out of the seventh, and said to the guy and his son in front of me, "they'll choke in the end" as I walked away. (Note: I'd be totally right.) But that's not the point of this picture! The point is, there was a mysterious light visible for a few minutes shining through the Monster.

Between rooting on the Indians from the right field boxes now, as I inch toward right field, I took some shots of Dice as he stretched.

Dice still throwing.

See it go, Dice-K.

You know I admit when I screw up a shot, so you can believe me when I say I was trying to get a shot with a lot of in-focus foreground grass, plus a blurry Dice in the back.

Dice and some bongos. What an incredible version of the anthem by Tiger Okoshi and friends on this night.

At this point, we're all riveted with the bug-infested Yankee game. Apparently, these things are called "Canadian Soldiers," as they infest Cleveland occasionally from across the lake. People were spraying each other with bug spray, toweling each other off, getting bugs in their eyes and mouths, it was hilarious. And Joba is getting nervous. I don't know if all of America can appreciate just how much the Yanks had assumed they'd found their savior. After he threw his first inning this season, it was "Joba, baby." That's all Yankee fans needed to say. He was Jesus Fucking Christ to them. And I just sat back and waited for this rube to fail. To choke, as is the new Yankee tradition. "Please, Torre, I thought, bring this hog in to a PLAYOFF game, assuming nothing can possibly go wrong." And for him to blow it the way he did, on wild pitches, with bugs all over his face, just made it all the more roll-on-the-floor funny. Joba, baby. Joba. I always love it when the Yanks fall for, say it with me now, Timo Perez Syndrome! (That link is from the second month of this blog, in April 2004--note that the "fiance" described in that post is long-since out of the picture. And that my girlfriend now absolutely pays attention when I talk about the Sox, and responds as well.)

Here, the Indians have tied it up, and everyone's watching at Fenway as Joba shits his pants, drawing even more flies.

Our game's getting closer to starting. Meanwhile, just as a two-out, two-strike pitch is coming in to A-Rod, the screen goes screwy, and then they break into the pre-game ceremony. So I go to my radio, and am able to pull in EEI. Two stupid hosts are blabbing, but eventually tell me that A-Rod struck out. We go bottom nine in Cleveland. Above, Luis Tiant throws out the first pitch.

Dice on the mound, with Cabrera up. Note the right field umpire.

Vlad out in front of us in right field. These were the seats given to me for having the 10-game plan. Those seats are in the bleachers, and they try to get you something close to where your normal seats are. I was happy with section 2--only a few feet to the left of my normal seats, and with no pole in the way, and cover in case it rained. So I'm watching the first few innings of our game with a radio to my ear, waiting for updates from Castiglione. We hear that the Tribe left men on in the tenth, and then in the eleventh, they have another chance. And we hear the news--a single has won it for the Tribe. I know, the guy in front of me gets the update on his fancy whatever-thing, and we're just waiting for it to go up on the Monster scoreboard. And here's that moment:

As you can see, the Angels have just scored three off Dice to erase our two-run lead, which was thanks to J.D. Drew. So it was a little bittersweet, but mainly sweet, as I could now relax, knowing they were down 2-0, and we had many innings left to come back from a one-run defecit at home.

Interesting view of the right field corner.

The zoomed-out shot. Here, we score on a Lowell sac fly. Now, this was made possible in part by a great move by a front row fan. It was hard to see from where we were, but all I knew was, "that ball is in the crowd--it's the home fans' right and duty to go after the ball, preventing the visiting fielder to catch it." And that's what happened. However, there is a "temporary front row" in front of the real one, added for camera-people. So, does the area above that count as being part of the field, or the stands? I asked this question recently in this post, only I was wondering about the air-space over the tarp. Either way, even if someone tries to claim that the kid illegally reached out onto the field (notice there was no argument, and the fielder in question made no excuse, saying the kid made a good play) and that the area above the camera row IS part of the field, even that wouldn've been a borderline call. This play should never be mentioned in the same breath as the Jeffrey Maier play, which involved a blatantly illegal move that the umps *missed* (wink wink), and which directly put runs on the board.

Get that glove down, son. Hey, was that a terrible job by Dice not covering first or what? Get over there! Anyway, he wasn't great, but kept us in it in that weird way he often seems to.

Papi heading back to second after a foul ball on a 3-2, two-out pitch.

Manny, Lugo, and Lowell.

A window over at Hotel Buckminster with the Fenway lights reflecting in it. Either that or they're mining diamonds in there.

K-Rod, who seems to always get nervous against ONLY the Yanks, sprints in to meet his fate.

Ortiz is getting walked, and Manny is on deck, ready for the classic "make them pay."

A close-up of the soon-to-be hero of the night, taking a practice cut.

Manny heads for the batters' box, as all the fans off to the right point at him, thinking he's looking at them, when he's really focusing on a straight-ahead, far-away point as a hitting tecnique. So those folks would probably help him more by staying still and not distracting him. But hey, what are we gonna do, tell little children, "don't be fooled, Manny's NOT looking at you though he appears to be"? Anyway.....

....we delivered the bomb. Manny heads to first as the dugout spills out onto the field like the Kitner boy onto the dock. (Had they performed the half-assed autopsy.) (And had it been the right shark.) Look how close Papelbon is to Manny.

Manny rounding second.

The celebration at the plate. I don't think we need any more descriptions for a while. Like the announcer said as the last out of the '84 World Series happened, "we'll let you enjoy...."

Love this shot of Manny. We couldn't hear this interview as we all cheered and chanted Manny's name all the way through it. It was almost 1 AM but no one was ready to leave. What a shot Manny hit. I was thinking: One of the best things about usually sitting out in right field at Fenway is the angle we have on home run balls over the Monster. To see them on TV, you see it go straight up, and then when they cut to the shot from behind the plate, you see it going up, then down. But from right field, you see that ball jetting from left to right. Your eyes follow the ball, but when it's a real line drive, the background seems to do a stutter-step. You finally focus on a point in the Monster Seats to gauge fair/foul and distance. This one was a no-doubter, even from there. It was in the perfect spot where you knew immediately it was well fair, and that even if it was more toward center, no wall could hold it in.

And so that's most likely my last Fenway Park photo gallery of 2007. A great way to finish. Hope you liked them all, and hope you're clicking to enlarge.

The NLCS is set, with "my" Rockies against the Diamondbacks. We played better against Arizona, so I guess it'd be better to face them. But we'll think about that after we get past Anaheim and then the ALCS. The poor Cubs, man. October 14th of next year will be the 100th anniversary of the last time they won the World Series.

Schilling spins the wheel of fish against "Weava!" Sunday at 3-ish. "So stupahhhd!" I think Weavie's gonna pick the box tomorrow over the obviously superior choice of red snapper.

Jere, thank you for the great pictures, all amazing at their original size or when enlarged. Tremendous camera, not to mention the guy usinfg it to its full potential. word---WOW!
I was wondering if the kid who caught the ball even realized that it was Stephen King directly behind him or if he thought it was just some guy cheering him.
Great pics, Jere! You picked a great last night at Fenway!

That IS a long walk to Fenway, and the trains must have stopped by the time you got out of the park! Sore feet night as well.
I'm thinking of something orange...something you know what it is?
Great pix, Jere. Thanks for taking them and sharing them. I live far away from Fenway now so it's really nice to get to see pictures like this and hear about what it was like to be there for the best game at Fenway since '04.
The full train story. I was on the red line going over the bridge, and the thing kept stopping. It finally got to MGH, and sat there. Then they just turned off the engine and lights. That's when I knew it was time to give up. I could've walked to Park St. or somewhere else along the green line, but I just figured that if I could figure out where I was, I could walk all the way. And I'd left so much time, I still got there about 20 minutes before gates. And my girlfriend met me at the game, so I knew we'd go home in her car--but had I needed to get home by train, yeah, they stop running (this is still unbelievable to me that public transportation in a city stops at all) at 12:10, and the game ended at 12:40.

Thanks for the comments, everyone. Matty, it's an orange.
"this is still unbelievable to me that public transportation in a city stops at all"

Yeah, what the hell is that? Makes you nervous when it ends up being a long game or a late start. I've pretty much made up my mind I'm never going to take the train in to Fenway again..which means either a) driving into the city or b) taking a tour bus, neither of which fills me with abject glee.

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Location: Rhode Island, United States