Saturday, May 09, 2009

Cleveland At Red Sox, 5/6/2009

Fenway on a Wednesday night. Got there for BP from the Monster--got no home run balls. Went to the bleachers and briefly had them literally all to myself--but no homers went out there during that time. Was the classic day--nice out, until dark, when I started freezing. Click each pic to enlarge. Only the above one is messed with.

Smoltz goofin' around in pre-game, taken from bleachers, before I headed down close.

Jhonny simles.

I'll spare you my usual Mark Sha-pyromania shots. But here's Tom Werner.

Heidi preparing for her thing.

At right, old seats, and old concrete on ground. At left, new and new. I don't know why it took me so long to get a shot from the dividing line.

A few Clevelanders.

The center field NESN sign was blue last year, changed to black for the start of this season, and now is white-on-green.

In that doorway in left field: Tubes, tubes, tubes! And also bags and a staircase. By the way, this movie crew seemed to be filming the people from some ocean race thing. Later the one dude was interviewed by Heidi and had a personalized Sox jersey with "1946" (I think) as the number.

I've noted this before--it's either a light in the room behind the board, or the sun is somehow making its way in the back and then out the front--which seems impossible.

Varitek and Kottaras. I found a good spot to get some just-before-game shots.

It was right at the far edge of the rolled-up tarp (left) and above this drain.

Jon Van Every.

JVE's arm and Wally way out on the warning track.

Ppai adn Jhonny.

Dustin Pedroia.

Jeff Bailey.

Papi's daily stretch ritual.

Nice pic of Mike Lowell.

Nick Green and Jon Van E.

This blurry shot would NOT have made the cut--but look, the B on his hat and the letters on the board behind him spell BAY!

Jeff Bailey high-tails it outta there.

I could straighten this shot of David Ortiz, but I really like it this way!

Jason Bay's leg. They really do wear red socks under there.

So I'm back up at my single seat which I was very excited for. The last row, the last seat, in the furthest bleacher section over toward right field. So for my second straight game, I had no seats behind me and no people needing to get past me--walls behind and beside me.

Looking down into the gap between bleachers and grandstand. Of course, I'm used to this, as my ten-game plan seats are also along this fence--but it's much scarier looking down from the top row. Normally I look across the gap at the people awkwardly looking back at me from the grandstand--here you're alone in the sky. Although people are actually above and behind you at the top of that relatively new staircase.

The very top of the railing that runs up the side of the bleachers.

Up in row 50, you're well behind the light tower.

Warning tracks always look much thinner on TV--you can see how wide they are from the side.

Bad picture, but, finally I spot a new message from the I Like Baseball guy: "Score Runs." At this point I've left the cold of the bleachers and gone to the perfectly reasonable temps of the standing room area behind home plate. But quickly the Tribe made it 9-2, and I made my move to the field boxes:

Here's Lowell at third. I love this first base side view, yet for some reason I usually go to the third base side when I go to the good seats. Also, it seemed warmer down there--maybe having the great seat makes you just forget about a little wind.

Hunter Jones. The other pitcher I saw from that seat was Lopez. I will not post his picture in an effort to save your computer screen from getting smashed.

How weird is this? Doesn't it look like Asdrubal has a prosthetic arm and it's flying out of his sleeve?

Grady Sizemore at bat.

David Ortiz up.

Close-up of Varitek.

Jhonny up. Our ninth inning non-rally fell short and I made a great escape and was home in no time. I'm telling you, when a double play ends the game, most people don't realize the game is over, and you can make a sprint for the runway and be on the street before the person next to you has grabbed their coat.

[bonus section to be added here. maybe.]

Friday, May 08, 2009

More Thunder

We've got game one under our belt. This time let's actually win the series vs. TB. Tonight was sweet, being down 3-0, but scoring 7 in a row late. Shields was so pissed when he gave up the game-tying three-run dong to Thunder Bay, acting like it was all him and giving no credit to Jason. But come on, dude, you then give up a double and another dong to the next two hitters....

So we're 5.5 up on them, and 4.5 up on the Yanks. We'll be 1 behind Toronto or tied for first at night's end. [Update: Jays lose. Sox in first by percentage points, best record in AL!]

Meanwhile, today my mom and I were at WVIT Channel 30 in Hartford taping a segment about our book, Dirty Water, with Kevin Nathan. Connecticut people, check us out Monday on both the 5:00 and 11:00 news. I'll let you know if the schedule changes....

Later tonight, my pics from two nights ago at Fenway.

Nice job by the Red Sox tonight honoring the Little Professor, Dom DiMaggio, who died this morning.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Twelve For Twelve

The Indians retire none of the first 12 batters we send up in the sixth. And all 12 score before an out is recorded. Red Sox roll 13-3, with Youk, Jacoby, and Papi out. Lugo and Rocco came through. Well, everybody did in that one inning...

Yanks are in a homer-fest with Tampa at Air Current Stadium. Pettitte gave up four dongs. But Damon's two-out, eighth inning homer tied it at 6, and Mo came in for the ninth...and he gave up two home runs! Yanks trail 8-6, going bottom nine. I will update.

Update, 10:38: And just after the entire Red Sox post-game coverage ends (our game was 2:35 long), the Yanks' ninth ends--they lose their fifth in a row! The empty seats are PISSED right now.

Sox Vs. Grinning Native Peoples, 7:Ten

This Cleveland guy, LaPorta, LOVES the Red Sox. But he's not on the team due to "god's plan." If you love the Sox so much, I'd say Goddy McGee's lost a little off his fastball!

That Just For Men "high school reunion" commercial ("Who's that?" "My husband.") needs to just shut up. And who's singing, the Whos down in Whoville?

Sox/CLE starts soon--the pregame talk has begun. Eck called it "sickening." Lowell says the list of people kids can look up to is getting shorter and shorter. And Kotsay's pissed because he's a Dodger fan! Jim Rice: "I didn't use drugs. You don't need that."

As of 6:27, in our contest, we've got the Phillies alone in first, and the five untaken teams making a group of six. Then there are six teams tied for second, six tied for third, and six tied for fourth. 6!

Hyp Hyp

When A-Rod was caught, Yankee fans deflected it by saying "oh, everybody did it," "eh, nothing surprises me," and the worst one: "it's just sad," implying you're a bad person if your reaction was anything else (like being pissed off at him for being a cheater, or being happy that a player you hate got caught).

So....I expect they'll say all the same things now, right? Fat chance.

Manny On Roids!

People always say, "nothing would shock me anymore" when it comes to performance enhancing drugs. But I just got shocked!

I'm sure it will be the usual tale of something he took not knowing etc. etc....we shall see.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


That was a chimp of a game. Big leads mean moving to better seats, though, so I did get some good pics from the field boxes. I'd take a win a million times out of a million over that, though.

I listened to Francesa on the way up, and it was amazing. He was really making fun of the empties at Yankee Stadium. And he was PISSED about Joba going nuts while LOSING the game. "Can ya get a lead first?!" Oh, man, he was yellin' like Dog used to. And he was also all over the Yes guys for acting like Joba--again, the losing pitcher who gave up four runs before getting an out--turned in the greatest performance in history.

Yanks lost tonight--at home again. So there's that. Tex had a chance to tie it with just a sac fly in the 10th, but failed. (And they have to be a little pissed at Pavano beating us tonight. Just a little.) I heard some of Sterling in the car on the way home, and he said, and I swear I'm not making this up, "I've never seen a team get fewer breaks than the Yanks. You'd think they could catch a break just once!" (The next pitch got past the catcher moving Damon to third as the potential tying run, at which point he added, "they get a break there...")

I'll post pics tomorrow.

Just found out--Remy had lung cancer surgery and that's why he's been out. Here's to a smooth recovery, RemDawg.

Pics From That Awesome Game

Pre-gallery notes: Cheap food extended into May! (As I thought, since they did a radio spot for it after the last April home game had been played.) And--get your Don Orsillo shirt. (Let's see if more people than just my mom and Michael Leggett buy this one.)

With bleacher seats in deep center, I didn't plan on many game shots that night (although I shot video of Bay's game-tying HR), but I did get some interesting pre-game shots. First, I went up on the Monster with my RSN card--my mom was supposed to meet me, but was late, so I went up without her--but she gave a sob story when she got there and joined me. Above, Papelbon down on the field, who would boo the fans up there for missing a ball tossed up to them.

Now I'm in my bleacher seat. My mom took this shot of me. When I bought these, I was excited at the possibility of being against the back wall (seats # 1 and 2) and a very short row, due to the angle of the wall. Sure enough, it was a two seat row! You can see the yellow bag on the seat next to me. That's the row. In front of us, a five seat row, and they get longer as you go down.

It was like having our own non-luxury box. We had room to either side and behind us, never had to get up for anyone, and could stand whenever we wanted. I'd watch the last few crazy innings standing, leaning on the back wall.

Looking along the top of the back bleacher wall. Look closely and you'll see the antenna of the Prudential building right at the top of the wall, and you can see some of the bleacher seats at right.

And turning the camera around, looking back down the back wall toward the Monster Seats, with Lansdowne Street on the right.

Looking straight up at the underside of the centerfield message board, with the red '07 WS flag barely visible.

Another shot looking to the right. It was a gorgeous day with classic Fenway chill as soon as it got dark.

Peering over the back wall down at a ticket window on Lansdowne. See the letters spelling out "TICKETS"?

The field from our "box" seats.

Our view of the light tower was from the exact side-perspective.

Close-up of bleacher seats.

United States of Coke.

Looking down the bleacher steps.

Some Yankees with long shadows.

There's always plenty of this at Sox-Yanks games. (Also note the long shadows on the field and of the Sox fan's hand.)

Turning around, looking straight out over the back wall, this is all we could see of the Citgo sign.

Military dude--and note another camera on top of the roof of the camera well. Since NESN no longer regularly uses the well, with that crappy new robot cam in the straightaway CF position, maybe they put this robot cam here in case they want the "classic" (but a little higher) shot for replays. That new view is still messing with me. On the first game of every road trip, we say "whoa, this camera's waaaay to the side!" And then we realize it's "normal," and we've just gotten used to the NESN straightaway shot.

Vapor trails or whatever.

Tek isn't making a weird motion to the crowd, he's stretching. There was quite a crowd gathered watching him, considering you can see this every game.

It was our first live look at the socky hats.

Finally it was time for...


And you all know what happened that night. But I did do a further description in this post, and the video is linked above in this one. But here are just a few shots from during the game:

Fenway at dusk.

What Lansdowne Street looks like during the late innings of a packed Yanks-Sox game.

Looking up and to the right at that board that gives lineups and stuff--this isn't blurry, look closely. Weird how that board was made.

And Phil Coke enters the game! (Too bad his name is kind of blurry, woulda been a great shot.)


Papelbon strikes out Teixeira to end the top of the...tenth I think.

And Youk rounds third on his walk-off homer, and we all go crazy, and then hang out until every fan has left Fenway....

Then the Sox came back from down 6-0 to win the next night, as I watched from the bleachers again, and the next night I went yet again, got a batting practice ball, saw a steal of home, and saw the Sox sweep the Yanks in one of the greatest weekends in Fenway history. So...

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