Thursday, August 09, 2007

From The Herald

"Closer Jonathan Papelbon, who was masterfully maneuvering a remote control helicopter through the Red Sox clubhouse before the game [...]"

That about sums up this off-day. I'll have some pictures up here soon from Baltimore, only they'll be taken by me this time. Watch for that. In the meantime, a book review I did, loaded with classic Fenway pics, is here, and I'll re-post this video I made, because it rules:

Momentum Shift

That was the kind of day we needed. Bob Ryan, before our game, actually showed his Whatever-Meter at being between "Panic" and "On the ledge." Yes, he was actually beyond panic. About the team with the best record in baseball.

But the Yanks had already been blown away. With all this recent talk of Wang being the best pitcher in the world, I loved seeing him get shelled. Eight runs in less than three innings. And they did nothing against Halladay. Yanks are going nowhere. Well, actually, they're going to Cleveland, while we go to Baltimore. A chance to get some space back between us and them.

In our game--well, it just ended and it's 2:15 AM. But we came back to win. Gagne with a spoon, Pap with a save. Nice to see Moss get his first hit. And the Doubler had three doubles and a single. Pedroia's dong off Anderson's glove was the game-winner. In the seventh, my power went out. The A/C was running, the lights were on, the TV was going, I was on the laptop--and boom, darkness and silence. Except for the laptop, but since my battery recently died on me, I knew what was about to happen. Two seconds passed, and the screen flipped off. While feeling around the room for the little radio, I found myself face to face with a glowing skull. Kind of scary. I finally got the radio, and Geffner talked me through the Mighty Oak's inning. Soon, the power was back, and I watched us go on to the win, while thousands of Sox fans cheered in southern California.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Jere Reviews A 27-Year Old Book

On July 20th, 1976, in the seventh inning of the Angels-Brewers game, California pitcher Dick Drago faced Von Joshua with a man on third and one out. Joshua flied out to right fielder Bobby Bonds. The runner didn't score from third, though, until the next batter hit a sacrifice fly. After the next hitter homered, Drago faced then all-time home run king Henry Aaron. Aaron knocked the ball out of the park, and Drago out of the game. It would be the last homer Aaron would ever hit. Number 755. He'd have more chances to add to his record in that final season of his, though, including an August 23rd game in Texas. Twice in that game, Aaron faced Mike Bacsik, going one for two with an infield single. 31 years later, Bobby Bonds' son, Barry, had tied Aaron's 755, and faced Mike Bacsik's son, Michael. Michael ended up giving up a 756th homer, a fate his father avoided. Had his father given up a 756th, Michael would've been spared being known as the man who gave up the record-breaker. Weird how that works.

Three years after Drago gained fame (not as much as Al Dowling, yet more than Bill Lee, who gave up what would've been Aaron's last HR had he not come back for that final season, and claims he would've been glad to be known for that), he was pitching for the Boston Red Sox. Batting was Bobby Bonds, then with Cleveland, in the top of the seventh. It was exactly 28 years ago today. A photograph was taken. It would appear on the cover of a book called "The Ballpark: One Day Behind the Scenes at a Major League Game" by William Jaspersohn. At five years old, I was given that book. I've found it again, and here's my review. (All pics (click to enlarge) and quotes copyright William Jaspersohn and Little, Brown.)

The front and back inside covers contain this Fenway seating chart. The book came out in '80, and describes a day from 1978, but the chart still shows Yawkey Way as being called Jersey Street. That part of Jersey street was "retired" (get it? jersey retired? still don't know why that's not a more common joke...oh, right, the non-funniness of it) in '76, though the message board in center was put up after the '75 season, and it, along with mention of a '76 game, are on this chart. Whatever, the point is, it's a cool chart. It actually gives the number of seats in each grandstand section. You can also see the dividing line in the bleachers: chair seats below, bench seats above. And check out right field by the pole (called the "FOUL LINE POST"), from before they started dividing up the lower parts of those grandstand sections and calling them "right field boxes."

The opening shot from deep in Section 3 looks a lot like it would now. Especially everything below roof-level. The opening line: "A ballpark is never quite empty." We then start going behind the scenes: the field getting prepped, the vendors arriving, and:

...the uniforms drying in left field! "John P. McGonagle doesn't like drying the uniforms by machine--he says they don't come out smelling fresh." In '78, each Sox player was assigned three home and three away jerseys.

Look at that huge "foot" on the washing machine. Too bad he held up the jersey in front of it, as you can only barely see the stripes atop the stirrup.

Look at that old scoreboard on the roof. Now there are lots of seats up there. You can see how there wasn't much on the roof in those days. In the book, we learn all about Joe Mooney and his groundskeeping crew, and the Merion bluegrass of Fenway Park. We see the bases scrubbed, the laying of the foul lines, and the painting of home plate. This really is a good, in-depth book for kids and adults alike. Wow, I feel like I'm on "Reading Rainbow."

The amount of Fitzies, Sullies, and O'Bs in this book is amazing. Here, "Fitzie" Fitpatrick hangs the visitors' jerseys. (Clint Hurdle shown here.) I love this line: "Ball players appreciate home-baked goods, so for every home game, Fitzie's sister, Mary St. Sauver, bakes a fresh batch of brownies for the visiting team." We also see Vinnie Orlando (who once "got a girl" for Ted Williams in 1938) putting out fresh fruit in the Sox' clubhouse.

Here's a nice wide shot of the locker room, with Vinnie hanging a Fisk jersey. When Jaspersohn talks about the bat boys, he mentions Tommy Cremens, the main guy. I think this is the same Tommy that was there in the late 80s. We used to get seats right at the on deck circle, and the late Libby Dooley, who we sat next to, knew the kid, always referring to him as "Tommy." (He would've been a "bat man" by then....)

Here's Helen Robinson, the "voice of the Red Sox switchboard" for thirty-five years. Looks like she's been wearing the same glasses the whole time! I didn't include any of the inner office-type shots, but I assure you, wood-paneling is everywhere.

Bob Stanley arrives in his Jersey-plated 70s mobile. To the left are the lot attendants.

Here they are again, waiting for players to arrive, along with autograph-seekers. Same spot everybody waits in today....

Classic shot of Jim Rice getting taped up by Charlie Moss.

At the bottom of a shot of Dwight Evans working out, we see his personalized slippers! We also see Pesky and Rice watching video, Torrez autographing balls and filling out comp requests, and Yaz selecting some lumber.

Here are Hobson and Fisk at their lockers. Fisk has a big sign that says "THINK" (not "thimk") at the top of his, and above that, you can see a Peanuts cartoon and a bobble-head doll. Can't see the 27 on his stirrups that I've noticed before, but you can barely see a 2 and a 7 on the tongue of his cleats.

That's Johnny Pesky (wearing 35) playing pepper with Campbell and Burgmeier. Note his pole at right.

"Among the day's spectators are a movie actress, a United States senator, a famous football quarterback, and the governor of a large midwestern state." Then there's this lady, with Zimmer on her scorebook, being helped to her seat by this classic guy.

Pesky signs for the kids.

As does Dennis Eckersley. This is how I still think of the Eck. In fact, we used to call my sister "The Eck" when we were kids, as she had longer black hair, and when we'd force---uh, I mean, when she'd put on a Sox hat, she looked like Dennis. Without the 'stache, of course.

Shocker alert #1! Do you know the guy above, left? Yes, it's Peter Gammons. Love the shirt.

The umps: Terry Cooney, Al Clark, Hank Soar, and Bill Kunkel. Clark: "We don't have favorite teams... when umpires make mistakes, they are 100 percent honest mistakes."

Shocker alert #2! You know that guy, too (above, right). Bob Ryan! Wow. There are also shots of Joe Giuliotti and Dick Bresciani in the book, as well as two of my faves, organist John Kiley and PA guy Sherm Feller, of "ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, welcome to Fenway Park" fame. (Though I hear his name and think, "Batting for the Red Sox...number 24...right fielder...Dwight Evans. Number 24... Evans. Dwight. 2-4, people. RF. Dewey. D-W-I-G....") Did you know Sherm, besides doing the announcements, ran the balls and strikes section of the left field scoreboard?

Aside from the boy who got sick and had to go to the Fenway medical area, which I have not included, this is the shot that brings back the most memories for me. Inside the Monster. "Dude 78"! That piece of graffiti is still there, amongst many, many others. That guy's name is Ronnie Thompson.

Lots of great shots of old computers and stuff. The "disc" Bill Gutfarb is inserting here has photos and stats of every AL player. Poor Bill. His computer's taller than he is. We also get some nice shots of the broadcast booths: Ken Coleman and Rico Petrocelli, Ned Martin and Hawk Harrelson. We also see the control room, the truck, the cameras, everything about the broadcast.

Here, Jerry Remy takes the throw, forcing Joe Zdeb at second.

Eckersley's like, "Psst. Who's that guy taking our picture? Be careful, he could be a Martian. Watch me for updates." And look at the roof behind home plate. You can again see how much they've added up there. The Sox have won, and now eerything is packed up. We even see the box of flip-down sunglasses getting ready for the road trip.

The park is almost empty... You can really see the bench seats toward the top of the bleachers. And at right, you can see a big, temporary area for a camera--which I believe was put there by NBC for the national telecast.

The Sox, and their crazy space-age shirts, board the bus.

Like today, people stand and wait, just to get a glimpse of their Sox, and cheer them as they're driven away.

The back cover. If you've been following along, you should be baffled right now, saying, "Hey, where'd they get those button-down uniforms?" After the '78 season, the Sox went back to these. This photo, and the cover photo, like I said, were taken in 1979, whereas the photos within the book are from the '78 season. This one was taken in August of '79 or later, as Ted Sizemore (closest locker) didn't arrive in Boston until mid-August of that year.

Now, about the whole timeline of the day and book: It was supposed to be "one day" behind the scenes. But it becomes obvious when you start to compare it with retrosheet that the shooting took place on several different days. (And different years, if you include the front and back covers.) The main game that was described was the Royals-Sox game on Saturday, July 29th, 1978. It fits in with much of what Jaspersohn--who not only wrote the book, but was the photographer as well--says: 1-0 win, with Wright on the mound, and Lynn knocking in the game's only run. However, when I noticed Joe Zdeb didn't play in that game, I knew he must've been using multiple days. The Zdeb play was from the next day's game, in the first inning. Lynn did not double to right with a man on second and two outs. That was also from another day, though Lynn did single in the only run on 7/29. Two pics in the book show the scoreboard as having the Yanks in town. Those pics, I believe, are from my third birthday, 9/8/78. The four umps shown only did a game at Fenway together twice in history--a doubleheader on 8/12/78, so that's when those umpire room shots were from.

Jaspersohn also plays up the "Sox headed to Baltimore right after the game for two and then right back to Fenway" angle. The team actually stayed in Boston for a series against the White Sox after the Royals series (which had one more game to play anyway). At a different point in the season, we did play KC at home, then leave for two in Baltimore, but we didn't come right back--we went on to four other cities on the trip.

So, things got a little mixed up in post-production. It doesn't take anything away from this wonderful book. (In fact, it gave me an excuse to do retrosheet research all these years later--the book that keeps on giving.) I recommend getting this book for your kids. You can find it used for a buck online.

When reading the Jaspersohn bio on the inside jacket, the first line jumped right out at me: "William Jaspersohn, a writer and photographer, was born thirty-two years ago in Connecticut." (!) I'm a (wannabe) writer and photographer who was born 31 and 11/12ths years ago in Connecticut. It also says he "listens to Red Sox night games on a portable radio." I have to do a sequel to this book! In fact, I'm realizing now that my whole blog IS a sequel to that book. I must've flipped through that thing a million times when I was little. No wonder I have so much interest in taking pics at Fenway and writing about it, and the team's history. Thank you, William Jaspersohn, wherever you are.

I leave you with a great shot of Butch Hobson--he really let those stirrup stripes show....

People And Their Stupidity

Nobody in their right mind really thinks the Yanks and Sox, or their fans, are the same. That's just something people say to piss of Sox fans. It's a laughable idea. I've given you many reasons here over the years to support my position on this. But while Murray Chass is claiming the teams are the same, I'm receiving emails from the Yanks offering tickets for FIVE DOLLARS on weekdays and HALF PRICE on weekends for much of the rest of the season.

The Red Sox don't need to make ridiculous offers to their fans to get us to come out to Fenway. But the Yanks, even with the team's recent surge against the Little League teams of baseball, have to basically GIVE tickets away to get people to come out. Once they do, they need not fear if they don't know when to cheer--the Yankee Stadium scoreboard and organ WILL TELL THEM WHEN TO!

There are fundamental differences between these organizations. When people tell you they're the same, check their brain switch, and feel free to flip it on for them.

No Spiders

Another frustrating game, with homers robbed, and many plays at the plate going the wrong way. I know you "real" Sox fans know we've got the best record in baseball, we've got an easy schedule coming up including two D-Rays series, and the second-place team has a tough schedule coming up, as well as serious pitching issues. But for you worriers, who don't really exist, but rather are planted on radio call in shows, just think, we could be Cleveland Spiders fans, 108 years ago.

There was no partying in Cleveland in 1899. The Spiders of the National League finished the season 35 games back...of the next-to-last place team. Going into August 26th, with a record of 19-94, 55 games out of first, Cleveland lost 24 in a row, before winning a game, then losing the season's final 16 games. The first place Brooklyn Superbas went 101-47-2, 84 games better than the Spiders, who finished 20-134.

They did have 19 winning streaks that year. One was two games long. The other 18 were one-gamers.

Starter Jim Hughey was their most used pitcher, going 4-30. Frank Bates wasn't so lucky, going 1-18 with a 7.24 ERA. A crazy season, as pitcher Crazy Schmit (2-17) could tell you. And as pitcher Harry Colliflower (1-11, 8.17 ERA) could tell you, things got hairy before the season even started. Basically, the team owners took all the best Spiders and moved them to the St. Louis team--who they also owned!

The arachnids' season, and history, mercifully came to a close in Cincinnati on October 15th, when they were swept in a doubleheader by the Reds by a combined score of 35-4. Read more about the club here.

There have now been two home run kings in my lifetime. Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds. Keep adding on to that total, Barry. Make it as hard as possible for A-Rod to catch you. But I don't think we'll have to worry about that. Hitting 30 homers in each of the next eight seasons is no guarantee--and that wouldn't even get him there.

The guy who caught the ball was a 22-year old guy from Queens named Matt Murphy, who was wearing a Mets jersey! Sweet. It wasn't Matt "Guitar" Murphy, but the guy did have to survive a mosh pit to get the ball. He was escorted away from the stands. That's right, the game went on without its dry white toast, without its four fried chickens, and without Matt Murphy.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Ejector Seat

The despicable Alex Rodriguez has been used as a dartboard by the Jays, fittingly, as retaliation for his horseshit move earlier in the season. Tonight, Clemens retaliated for the retaliation, and he and Torre were ejected. Oh, I'm sorry, I must've offended you, as 60 percent of you "like" Alex Rodriguez, and 90 percent of you would like to see him become the all-time home run king. At least according to this poll. Wake up, America. (Note to ESPN: terrible job not giving any other choices on that second question.)

Unfortunately, the Jays have been worrying more about that than winning. We need a win to stay six up on the puppy-assaulters. We're tied with the Angels 1-1 in the third.


Remember hearing about how Bill Buckner was still wearing his old Cubs batting glove during the '86 World Series? (Much like how Wily Mo Pena is still wearing his Cincinnati Reds "26" wristbands now.) Well, at least it was his own item. Check out Ellis Burks, above, circa '87, with a Bill Buckner wristband!

(Look closely at the Buckner pic in the linked article and you can see the same wristband on Buckner's wrist. I always thought those wristbands with your own face and signature were weird....)

The Devil Is Six Back

I think a good name for a debate hall would be "Divide and Concur."

Remember when Lugo screwed up Schilling's no-hitter? It was quite fitting that after Schill goes through all this rehabbing, he gets back, and the first batter he faces hits a ball to Lugo...who promptly lets it go by him. I don't feel bad about blaming everything that went wrong from that point on on Lugo. He's "Edgar 2: Electric Boogalugo." He's "Renteria: Havana Nights." Just like Edgar, he got here and literally forgot how to be anywhere near a good baseball player. And we have to watch O-Cab on the other side, to rub it in....

Manny didn't show up the ump. You can't eject a guy for walking away (not walking away from an argument, just walking away), no matter what he says about your mom. But these are same umps who, tonight, called a foul ball fair, and said strike three to Lowell didn't hit the dirt. (What did it bounce off of, Steinbrenner's wallet? Oh, right.) Oh, and let's not forget the play Manny was tossed on. He didn't swing, but umpy didn't even appeal, he just called him out.

When Schill reached up with his hand, I could tell problems were ahead. Then he had to cover on the non-DP, and he started the heavy-breathing. I almost always feel I can will us to do well, but in that case, you could see Schilling giving up the runs. And he did.

How many runners can we strand. Two on, one out, two innings in a row, no runs. Later, two on, NO out. We didn't even get a runner to third....

On the Ortiz ball, I was surpised they didn't intentionally walk him and pitch to Moss (they also could've done this in ninth)--and he hits this ball that deflects off a glove, and goes to O-Cab, who throws him out. Frustration city. Gotta give Moss credit for stepping in, and having to be up against Krod with 2 outs in the ninth with the tying runs on. Krod: No need to yell and scream in celebration toward whoever your god is. It was the guy's first game. Maybe act like you're supposed to come out on top in that spot. Besides, if there's a god, I guarantee you she was rooting for the rookie....

My whole life I've wondered this: Let's say it's a tie game, bottom of the ninth, runner on third, less than two outs. You're in the outfield. Fly ball to you. Why not purposely bat the ball up in the air, keep bobbling it while running in toward the infield? When you get close enough, make the catch, and the runner who had to wait on third until you fully caught the ball wouldn't try to score. You save the game. Legal? Answer: No. Tonight, Brandon Moss bobbled a fly ball in left. The runner left as soon as the Moss made contact with the ball. By the time he caught it, the runner was halfway home. The Sox appealed to third, but the ump said safe. Remy was right on it, telling us that as soon as contact is made, the runner can leave the base. I guess I should've known there's a rule against purposely bobbling the ball. But I didn't know that if you accidentally do it, the runner can just take off as soon as he thinks you made the catch, i.e. when it reaches/makes contact with the fielder. Makes sense. (They actually DID used to do my little theory. Joy of Sox says "I read that Sox RF Harry Hooper used to bat the ball in the air with his glove until he was near the infield, since the runner couldn't leave third until he actually caught it.")

Still, I have a feeling that one day, this will happen to the Yanks, and the umps will get the call wrong in that case, going in the Yanks' favor. And A-Rod will be involved.

You know what I'm worried about? Lugo in the postseason. The weird mental plane he lives on could cost us big if he goes and gets picked off in a Game 7 or something.

So, we're six up. Today wasn't as crazy as that recent mega-crazy day, but it was a frustrating one--and this time, both games went the wrong way. And many Yankee fans probably missed the day game because they were at work, and missed the late game because it was too late. While I suffer through both. That's the worst part--they look at the paper tomorrow, and my seven hours of agony, to them, is two seconds of "Oh, good, we gained a game. Yankees, baby!"

Let's not forget that we still have the best record. Yanks are gaining ground because they're playing nobody. They will have gone from July 9th to August 9th without playing a single team with a winning record. We've got the schedule advantage the rest of the way.

They keep showing this Papelbon moose hunt footage. Tonight, they showed him and the other dude using logs to fill a hole in the road so they can pass in their small-penis mobile. Now, don't get me wrong, what makes me sick, above anything about this, is the fact that they're out to kill innocent animals, and that it's celebrated. But, Jesus, should our closer really be lifting heavy logs in his spare time? Can we get Gagne to lift the freakin' logs for him, if he lifts logs two days in a row? This is the guy they baby because he has arm problems, remember? By the way, I now know that Yankee fans' "moose calls" are way off!

Finally, in poppy, dual-gender band news, we've got Mates of State in an AT&T commercial, and Imperial Teen in a Pizzeria Uno ad. ("It's the best that you did...") It took me a while, but I found out that's from their album "On," and it's called "First." I didn't get that album, but I had the first and second ones, and I liked them a lot. As a Faith No More fan, I had to get their stuff when they first came out, as this was the keyboard player's new project. Now they've got a new album coming out August 21st. I hate the fact that it will be a pizza ad that got me back into IT, but, whatever. I wouldn't put my song in an ad, but it's their call, and I still am a fan. And I've told you a little about Mates of State before. I'm sure they're ad money is going to the raising of their kid....

Monday, August 06, 2007


You don't have to be a die-hard know about the hat the Sox wore at times during the '74 season--blue with the red panel on the front. (middle hat here)

But I swear I've never seen a pic of it actually being worn. Until now:

This is the '75 yearbook, featuring pics from '74. You can see the hat on everybody, with the blue sides especially visible on Fisk. Also, in the action shots, you can see how there are no stripes on the stirrups, as is also noted in the Uni database linked above. This isn't the uni-related mystery I was talking about earlier--I'm still working on that. This is just an aside.

But here's another one for you. Sent in by reader pweezil:

"...noticed that when Jose Lopez pinch hit for Broussard on Sunday, that he was the third batter in a row with the first name Jose. He followed Vidro and Guillen."

I'll probably try to figure out if this is the first time three people with the same first name batted in a row. Or if it ever happened with four....or if three or more same-last-names batted in a row. But if anyone else wants to look it up, too, let me know what you come up with.

Dunbar Update

Note: Updates below! (But don't even read them. The shitty Yanks end up with a shitty win.)

Yanks losing to the Jays 3-1 after five. Jays had second and third, no out in the fifth, and could only get one. Frustrating. Two guys struck out with a runner on third and less than two outs. These guys need to get the bat on the ball in that situation.

Update, 3:10 PM: What's that take, ten minutes? 4-3 Yanks. Stupid Blue Jays. What did I say? Can't be leaving runners on. Can't be swinging for the fucking fences with a guy on third when a lazy fly will get him home. They don't deserve to win this game. If they happen to win, I'll take it. But I'm not counting on those fools. Hope they play like shit when we play 'em, too. Now 5-3. Why don't you give the Yanks lovely parting gifts at the end of the game, too? Shake their hands, even bow down to them? Maybe the Rogers Centre could set off fireworks after the game, in honor of the American Yankee kings honoring them with their presence?

Update, 3:26 PM: Did you know the Yanks cut Mike Myers? And they didn't call up that Jojoba guy, instead going with Jim Brower, who just came into the game with two on, two out. Let's see if Reed Johnson can "solve" Jim Brower.... of course not. Line out. Still 5-3 Luck Dragons after 6.

Update, 3:50 PM: Note to Jays fans--realize that as soon as your team comes back or beats the Yanks tomorrow or whatever, I'll go right back to them (as with anyone else who plays the Yanks) being my second-favorite team. Nothing personal. But anyway, I'm still pissed at them, as they waste a leadoff single. A DP by Thomas ends the seventh. 5-3 Dirt-tasters. My least favorite thing about Gameday--it'll say "in play, out(s)." Then, while you're you're waiting for them to tell you exactly what happens, you inevitably think of the possibility of a double play, thanks to that "(s)". So it's agonizing, waiting, fully thinking of a DP in your mind. Then, there it is, and you wanna kill yourself for thinking DP, when it was THEM who suggested it. That's what just happened with Thomas.

Update, 3:55 PM: Ha! Yankee fans go through same ordeal, as Cano ends top 8 with a DP. Gotta score, Jays. Watch for Mariano for more than 3 outs here.

U, 4:00: On the other hand, the BEST thing about Gameday is when there's no one on base, and you see "in play, run (s)," because you know what that means. That's right, the ol' four-base error. Or, a home run, which is what Hill just hit. 5-4 now. Too bad they got Glaus before him, even though he had a 3-0 3-2 to Zaun....and he's out, two down in the eighth.

U, 4:09: Overbay walks, Stairs HBP. Two on, two out. They're stickin' with Vizcaino!

U, 4:13: Reed Johnson grounds softly to the pitcher. Come effing on. 5-4 NY, we go to the ninth.

U, 4:20: We go bottom 9. Rios, Wells, and Thomas against Mo. Let's do some "in play, run(s)"-ing! Rios goes down swining on three pitches, as if Mo was ten years younger. Don't be afraid, stupid Jays.... Wells staying alive---ahhh! They say "foul tip", and then all of a sudden they "ammend" that to "Wells strikes out on foul tip." Bastards. Somebody needs to fix Gameday. They're too busy with frills for us to get the basics, as is every other American company. Can we get a ball in play, Thomas? 2-2 now. Full count now. And he looks at strike three to end the game. Unbelievable. Yankee fans, you all deserve to see your team not win for a seventh consecutive season. They're shit. Absolute shit. Somebody's gotta step up and beat their sorry asses. If they play us, we'll know to make fucking contact with a man on third and two outs. How sad is it when you know a team has lost when they're up 3-1? It was guaranteed. You don't leave runners on like that. I said it at the time. The whole Blue Jays team should be fired. And then Vizcaino is hitting and walking you, begging you to take the game back, and you still don't do it. I want 9 new Jays out there tomorrow.

TV Eye

When did the "batter's eye" start at Fenway? I mean, when did they start to cover up those first two sections of bleachers during day games? I don't remember that happening when I was a kid. It seems pretty recent to me. I think they always thought the high wall out there did the job, unlike Yankee Stadium, which was re-built for the '76 season with a place for bleachers--which was immediately painted black, with no actual seating ever added.

NESN showed a Fenway day game from June 23rd, 1990, the other day. People were sitting in those seats. Just like they were in pictures I've seen from various years in the 70s and 80s. (Including a postcard I got when I was, like, four, which had a photo probably taken in the late 70s. It was actually two postcards: Fenway by day, Fenway by night. And I don't remember those seats being blacked out.)

I do remember reading about how when Tony Conigliaro made his comeback from being hit in the eye, the fans in that area all wore green shirts, to help him see the ball. (Shaun Kelly and Prime/Nowlin have written about it.) While doing a search on that--I found the answer to my question:

From this 2004 Projo article:

The area of the park is known as Conig's Corner, for Tony Conigliaro, who, after returning in 1969 from his 1967 eye injury, said he had trouble seeing the ball from that area during day games. Conigliaro was traded in 1970, and the seats were available from 1971 to 1997, when hitters again complained.

There you go. The "new eye" started in '97. And the "old" Conig's Corner (the new one is up on the right field roof, and doesn't involve audience participation) lasted from '69 to '70. So, forget I asked. I do have another Sox-related mystery that I'll hit you with soon. (It's uniform-related.)

Picture key: Top photo taken by me in April. 34 and 35 are the two bleacher sections covered by the tarp during day games. (This was taken before the start of a night game.) You'll note Cyn, aka Red Sox Chick, is in the photo. We were sitting together but arrived at the park separately, so at one point before the game, I was way on the other side of the park, and snapped a shot of her out in our seats, continuing my lifelong dream of taking pictures of people I know from really far away... The second shot is the new Conigliaro's Corner, as taken from the old one, on the same night--after I'd joined Cyn there. The third shot is another view from that night, a better view of the new CC from the old. Final pic: the batter's eye seats covered by the tarp for a day game, Father's Day, 2007. All pix by Jere.

[Update on Gagne's accent: It was brought up in the UniWatch Sunday open thread, and people provided examples of Gagne having an accent on both his Dodgers and Rangers jersey. Although at first he didn't have it on there with LA. Still wondering about the positioning--the way it's above the nameplate, and if it's sewn on or drawn on or what.]

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Sox Party Like 1999 Is 2000

NESN keeps telling us that the Sox have just won their first series in Seattle since 1999. That's wrong. We won one there in 2000.

July 31st: Red Sox 8, Mariners 5
August 1st: Mariners 5, Red Sox 4 (19 inn.)
August 2nd: Red Sox 5, Mariners 2

I checked the news to see who else reported it incorrectly. There was this ProJo article from before the series, although they got it right--we hadn't won a season series in Seattle since 1999. Maybe that's where NESN got it from, and they left out a key word. But, wait--we didn't win this season's series, we only won this second of two series, losing the season series there 4-2. Just sayin', take a peek at the records, NESN. It takes, like, a few minutes. So, the final, official truth is: We just won our first series in Seattle since 2000. We still haven't won a season series there since 1999, though two of those seasons we tied, and three others consisted of three games total.

Anyway, the Sox, up until '98, kicked butt in Seattle against the Ms. From the start of the Mariners' existence in '77 til '97, we won 23 series, and lost 12, with four ties. We swept them nine times, and were swept four (though three of those were two-game series.) We were 71-50 overall in Seattle. After 1997, though, they've beat us in 10 series in Seattle, and we've beat them in three, with three ties, two of those in 2004. They're 29-19 against us in that span. Making the total record 90 wins for us, 79 for them, in Seattle. That is, if I did the math correctly....

Good win today, with Josh being on, Manny doing the Baby Bull charge in the dugout, and Coco almost getting killed by a moose on an ATV. We're still 7 ahead, going to Anaheim.

Happy birthday to Spike and Tabatha, who would've been 23 today.


Hinske: will be away from team for three days, due to wife having difficult pregnancy. Still waiting to see if Moss can come up. Also, Lopez will go to Pawtucket to make room for Schilling, who pitches Monday night.

Gagne's accent: From commenter el cerdo ignatius:

The accent over the e in Gagné's name indicates how to pronounce the e, not which syllable to stress (as might be the case with certain accents in Spanish or Greek words). The e with un accent aigu - i.e., é - is always pronounced approximately as a long A is pronounced in English. Oh, and the infinitive form of Eric's last name, gagner, means "to win". The word "gagné" means "won". Heh. (You probably knew this already.) Go Sox... and toothaches, sprains, strains, pains and uncountable losses to the Yanks.

Love the last line. Still wondering about the positioning of the accent on the uni. It's definitely above the nameplate. I can't remember if this is the usual way we do it. Like, is Pena's accent mark on the nameplate or above it?

We All Scream

From Edes on Extra Bases:

Pawtucket outfielder Brandon Moss will be joining the Red Sox tomorrow in Anaheim. He will temporarily take the place of Eric Hinske, who will be away from the club for three days for personal reasons. Moss has been taking ground balls at first base for the last couple of weeks, evidently in anticipation of such a move. There may be further details later.

So a couple of weeks ago, it was determined that Eric Hinske would have a personal issue a couple of weeks later? Is he getting his tonsils out? What's going on here?

And Lo...

Looking through the windows of a firehouse, Friday night in New Bedford, Mass. My girlfriend gets credit for suggesting I shoot this. My idea to crop it like this. More about what we were doing in NB at the end of this post.

Nice job by Dice-K tonight. We had to sweat a little, with both Gagne and Pap, but we held on for a one-run win, the first at Safeco in quite some time. We remain 7-Up, the Uncola.

I say this all the time, but I love the late-night games. Especially the wins. I shall leave a note for the Skipper. We have burned the midnight oil, and the ship remains secure. I have kept watch over my flock by night, as Linus once said.

I noticed that Gagne has an accent over his E. And it lies above the nameplate. Weird. So they've sewn it on. Or he just grabbed a Sharpie, I couldn't really tell. I checked photos of him in other unis, and I didn't see any sign of an accent. So, does this mean it should be pronounced "Gahn-YAY" as oppsed to "GAHN-yay"?

So, Friday night we saw that all-female Zeppelin cover band, Lez Zeppelin, again. We didn't drive all the way down to New Bedford just for them, but we fit it into our schedule. They were playing the big, annual Portuguese feast. It was funny to see these very old people in their little chairs, waiting for the band. I guess they just watch, whoever it is. I give them credit--they didn't run away when the loud guitars started blaring. In fact, I think they stayed for the whole show. It's also weird to think that people who were, say, 30, when Zeppelin came out, are pushing 70 now. 70! So it makes sense to see people of all ages at a performance like this.

Anyway, I just read my review of the show we saw them play in '05. I noticed I said they were all lesbians. That may or may not be true. In fact, that's not even the point. They just named it Lez Zeppelin because it fits an all-female Zeppelin group. The guitarist said, in a recent Globe piece, "If they want to think we’re all lesbians, that’s fine with us. If they want to try to figure out who is and who isn’t, it’s all in good fun. It’s all part of the mystery."

I also said that the singer didn't have blonde, curly hair, and didn't sing in the primal voice Plant sang in. This is all still true, but she gets credit for making it her own thing, and using the great voice she has for something like this, rather than some crappy pop group or something.

The Page woman was the star again. She didn't have the bow this time, but she topped it:

That's right, she broke out the theremin for Whole Lotta Love. (I know, I cut the video right as the music kicks back in--but I just wanted to get the theremin part.) Terrible job by the person calling for "Moby Dick"--during "Whole Lotta Love." There are ten minutes left of this song, buddy! Also, terrible job by the dude repeatedly yelling for the singer to show him her belly button. I'd love to see these guys try this crap without an entire crowd to hide in.

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