Saturday, May 24, 2008

First Game Taken By Oaklands, 8-3

Boston's American League club embarked on its series of Western games this eve under discouraging conditions by succumbing to the Oaklands and their sharp sticks. Over 29,000 "rooters" saw the melancholy culmination of the Bostons' seven-game spotless streak. Wakefield's famed floater failed to fluster the Frisco Bay batsmen, who knocked two dongs out of the field of play in fair territory, and eight Oakland men reached the home plate before the reigns were handed to Aardsma and Timlin.

thanks, Dino VournasHarden's display was two steps above that of the Boston lofter, the former zipping strikes past the Beantown unit like a man in a hurry to arrive home to peruse his personal information-gathering device. The game concluded in under two hours and a half, with Oakland doing five runs better than the Hub gang. Against the Oaktowners' relief crew, the pilgrims were powerless, and fate handed them a defeat for the first time since Wednesday last, in weather hardly suitable for shirtsleeves.

Ol' Thomas drove out a home run in the opening frame on the first lob he witnessed from his veteran colleague, giving the Northern Californians a lead they wouldn't relinquish for the duration. Ellis plated himself and two others on a fence-traverser in a four-plate third inning, removing much of the remainder of Boston's fight. A dozen Red Sox were dispensed on strikes in the fair contest, ten of those swinging ineffectually on try number three. The Athletics justly deserved the victory as their hits were pieced together in a constructive manner and all their runs were earned.

Pedroia rang the dong bell for Francona's men, and lumber lessoneer Magadan was expunged from the dugout after foul-mouthing the official. Boston remains in first position and tries again in California behind fireballer Beckett to-morrow.

The league's east division scores:

NY-A 13, Seattle 2. Tampa 2, Balt. 0. T'ronto 7, Ks. City 2..

Friday, May 23, 2008

Cong.'s To Two Humans

A new Red Sox DVD is out--it's the sequel to 2003's Still, We Believe. Friend of RSF/PT Mighty Quinn is in the film--is there any Red Sox project that doesn't include him?? More info is at his website, here. Congratulations, Quinn!

Sam graduated! You know Sam? She now mainly focuses on writing Roar of the Tigers for Evan's thing, but she does still occasionally post at Blue Cats & Red Sox, which was an inspiration for my blog and most every other Red Sox blog. When I started blogging in early 2004, I didn't know what the hell I was doing. I knew the internet was a thing that you use to do stuff or whatever, but when I went to Blue Cats (formerly Felines for Anarchistic Green Democracies), I realized I had a lot to learn. She'd been blogging since, like, the 70s somehow. I feel like my current world of posting pictures and being a smart ass and tryin' to come up with funny stuff is pretty much a direct rip-off of Sam's blog circa '05. Anyway, the thing about her is, she always seemed to be in college, at the U. of Michigan--or as my OSU friend Jim calls it, scUM. Every few months my girlfriend and I would wonder out loud to each other, Has Sam grad-jee-ated yet?? Well, finally, after what seems like forever (because, in the blogging world as I know it, it has been "forever"), Sam has graduated college. Congrats, SamCat!

Fake, Fake, Fake, Fake

Right on cue, Joe Girardi comes out with some fake blow-up, and the team talks about the "spark" that will surely emanate from it. The umpire, along with the rest of us, was laughing while Joe "argued." It was such an obvious spark-attempt, he couldn't even make it look real. "Look at me, I'm mad, see?!" It's like with that "mad fisherman" guy. You're not "crazy" because you say "I'm crazy" a lot. Look, Yanks, if something is going to spark you, it's going to have to happen naturally. You can't force it.

That doesn't mean I don't love that they're in this state of having to do shit like that to try to get something going, knowing that Big Bank Hank is watching closely with his finger on the button.

Now about this instant replay thing. Of course there should be instant replay in baseball. I just heard Jayson Stark saying how it should be there for home run calls only; the "human element" has always been in the game, so it should stay there, he says. I agree that the human element should stay in the game--with the players, not the umps. Why shouldn't we make every attempt to make the game as fair as possible? Is that really his excuse for keeping the game unfair? That it's "always been there"? Not the best way to progress in life....

I'm not saying they should haphazardly add a bunch of stuff to the game. Make sure it's right before you implement it. But do it already, it's 2008.

KC @ World Champs, 5/22

I got my $12 upper bleacher ticket to Thursday's weekday afternoon game back when the first tickets went on sale in November. Since you can't park at a metered spot for a weekday afternoon game, I drove to the $8 BU lot. It was a mostly gray, slightly chilly day with rainbow sprinkles. Click each for big-ness.

When I got to the park, after seeing that the Avalon and Axis are now completely gone (to be rebuilt as one mega-club, I think), I went inside when gates opened to see Jon Lester throwing his between-starts session. Hence, the above two pictures.

Like my last game this past Sunday, the Red Sox didn't take batting practice outside, but today, the visitors didn't either. Seeing some Royals over in left, I went over to that side of the park. Here are some Royal balls.

Only a few Red Sox were on the field. Here, Bartolo Colon is tackled.

You'll note that the Red Sox are in first while the Yanks aren't.

Gray skies over Fenway.

The 498 sign up close. It didn't change, yet again.

A dude with big headphones in front of the Prudential building. Like Sunday, while I was all the way over in left, the Red Sox pitchers came out to do their stretching routine and some throwing back in right field.

So I went back over. Here's Papelbon swinging his arms around, and generally looking like a little kid the whole time he was out there.

Pap stretching his neck to the left....

...and to the right.

Buchholz, Lester, Beckett, aka Double H, Wicked Sid, and...Beckett.

Hansen and Delcarmen, aka Bridget and Millions of Dead Cops.

Wake with the knuckleball grip.

Jesus, Mike, whatta ya got an entire camo body suit on?

Pap's like, "Is that lady in the crowd really wearing a Black Dog sweatshirt?" Yes. And her car climbed Mt. Washington.

The skies were still looking ominous at this point, as the pitchers threw in the drizzle.

Aardsma signs for the kids.

The bleacher bar is open! It's so weird, depending on the light, you can now see right in there and out onto Lansdowne beyond. Look closely at the gate and you can see the people and the door out to Lansdowne Street.

I went to the standing room for a way better view than that upper bleacher seat wouldn't given me. Those are the best to get--essentially a $20 SRO ticket for 12 bucks. Here, Manny, Lugo, and Papi do a tri-hug. (And a bird flies by, look at Manny's foot.)

Manny was really pointing and waving like crazy at some Royals. Doesn't Lugo look weird here?

He kept doing this motion which means, uh, Smile, Royals! Yeah, that's it....

More waving, etc., from Manny and Papi.

More of the same. I'm telling you, he wouldn't stop.

It all culminated in this crazy symmetry.

The batter's eye was slightly smaller than usual.

I've noticed on TV that Drinkwater has been moving over to the spot right next to Kapstein lately.

I moved over to a spot closer to the plate where I'd stay most of the game. This dude next to me was in his 70s, and goes to lots of games as reward for surveying people in the stands before the games. He talked about all the autographed balls he's been getting lately. He has one from every player from last year on official World Series balls. One for each dude. Then he said Dice has signed for him seven times. I felt better about my own weirdness knowing that 70-year olds do this stuff, too. Above, Dice-K' winds up...

...and throws the first pitch of the game.

Tek in the dugout, as Cash was catching. At right, a pole.

Papi coming out on deck.

And as he's getting ready to hit, the sun finally breaks through.

Floyd Bannister's son was pitching for Kansas City.

Manny on deck.

Lowell and Manny.

Manny on first.

Manny on second.

Drew has just hit a grand slam over the Monster. I noticed that each of the three batters before him fouled a ball off to the right, then singled.

Adding to my collection of broken bat shots.

The sun was going in and out, and at one point the rain started to fall pretty hard.

Kevin Cash with his forward-facing helmet.

Varitek, who had been out warming up Dice while waiting for Cash, talks with the ump in his regulation cap.

Jacoby and Manny.

And the sun is out again, as Dice delivers. He did his usual thing today: Throw a million pitches, walk a lot of guys, somehow avoid giving up too many runs, and get the win. 8-0!

Had to get a pic of his jersey.

On this pitch, Hansen would give up a dong. We had two ourselves, both of the grand variety. Drew above, and Lowell.

Third time I've shown you this view. Compare and contrast.

Manny with the 498 sign out there waiting for him to change it. He didn't, so we go into the weekend on the west coast, still needing 2. Contestants: Friday--skoronskianj, Saturday--Redsauce, Sunday--Fenway West. It seemed at first like this contest would quickly end. So at least Manny has given us some excitement.

For the second time in as many Fenway trips for me, the Red Sox had 11 runs after eight, yet still had to bring in Pap in a rainy ninth. So, again, I went down to the good seats. I love the view--but the downfall of this one is the screen in the way.

More Papelbon action.

It got very bright, but it was still raining, sun-shower style.

I like this face!

Pap would put runners on second and third, but got the potential tying run and Nebraska guy, Gordon, to end it. Sox win 11-8 and sweep four from the Royals. We've won 31 of our first 50....

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