Saturday, June 13, 2009

Yanks @ Sox, 6/11/2009

After my two-ball day the day before, and considering the rainy weather, I decided to get to Fenway around 6:15, met up with my friends (and Kim, who was already in Boston), and went right to the seats in the center field bleachers. Above, the view. Click each to enlarge as always.

Tip of Pru barely visible to our left. Seats visible at bottom left are those two my mom and I sat in for that incredible win over the Yanks earlier in the season. I was two rows in front of those, in an 8-seat row, against the back wall.

Blimp over Fenway for second night in a row.

The view of right field. Again it was almost cold but not quite. Way too cold for June, though. The rain would come later.

Papi greets the traitor in pre-game.

After Penny hit A-Rod, the umps gathered, and must have warned both teams. And Tito was pissed.

Jason Bay up against 200.

The I Like Bsaeball guy (who I've nicknamed ILB-ert) was only a few rows in front of us! We got to see the whole catalog, including this new *awesome* sign!

Here's a close-up.

Notice the "V 2.0" on the classic ILB sign, as he had to make a new one for '09.

David Ortiz hits his fourth homer.

And Papi scores on his dong, as ILBert looks on.

Back to the standards now, ILBert shows us the Britney sign....

...and the Tom Cruise one.

Shot of field on left and Lansdowne on right. Before the rain...

...and during the rain.

At this point I was just trying to get a good rain shot, but as a bonus, ILBert snuck in the ol' ILB, adding to the photo. Also at this point, the Yanks were going up 3-1 in the eighth, and I started feeling guilty that I'd gotten four amazing Yanks games in a row, and my friends, who I invited to this one, were getting soaked, and the Sox were close to losing. Of course, I knew we'd turn it around though, these are the Yankees, remember. Ha!

Youk up in the rain. His hit would load the bases, helping our key rally along. I'd like to say we all got to rip on Yankee fans, but they ALL LEFT when the rain, and their lead, came. This one Yankee guy (who inexplicably booed when his team was first announced--another Yankee fan clapped loudly for Ortiz--what is wrong with these people??) had been doing that thing where as soon as a ball is hit in the air and a Yankee fielder camps under it, he cheers wildly, assuming the ball will be caught. When Damon dropped an easy fly, the guy was off getting food. It would've been so incredibly sweet had been there and cheered, only to have Demon drop it. (Sure enough, him and another nearby Choker fan did the premature cheer again later--this time I yelled a warning: "might not wanna cheer till the play is made...")

Rocco down in center field. So, for the people who did stay, it became that kind of party atmosphere you can only get when everyone's basically conceded the fact that they're not gonna get un-wet. The fact that we had another amazing comeback was part bonus and part vindication for having stuck out the weather.

My videos of the tying and go-ahead runs are here. We headed to the ninth, throats hoarse, and Pap nailed it down.

Here, Teixeira lines to first to end it.

The flag in the rain after the win. I noticed after Dirty Water and Tessie, Joy to the World was not played. That's new for this season. I also noticed that that "gimme a beat, gimme a bass line" is played every game. It was after the 7th. Does anyone know if that's the official post-7th inning song? Or is that someone's entrance music?

That same shot of Lansdowne, as fans file out.

Later, at a rest stop, it's still raining, but the sprinklers are on anyway! Side note: the car in this shot was British--steering wheel on the right.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Tonight's Exhibition Games

Red Sox win in 13. More on that later. Right now I'd like to go back to this afternoon. Kim and I are in the car listening to the FAN, hearing the Mets fan host talk about how he's all worried about their upcoming series with the Yanks. I then told Kim what I always tell you here: Every year, the Yanks get to play the Mets six times. And every year, no matter how good either team is or is doing going into the series, Mets fans (and the rest of us) have to watch as big brother takes on little brother. If the Yanks are on a losing streak, well, there are the Mets, waiting to turn it into a winning streak. If the Yanks are winning, well, there are Mets, to cower in fear of their big bro. And the Yanks get this "free parking" spot six times a year, while MLB struggles to find some kind of co-"natural" rival for the Red Sox.

If ever the Mets were out to prove me right on this point, it was tonight. Mets lead by one, two outs in the bottom of the ninth. Pop up. Mets dude camps under it, game over, right? Wrong. He drops the ball. The tying run scores, the winning run scores. This play right here epitomizes these two teams. The Yankees win on dumbass luck, and the Mets give the Yanks what they need. Ya got five more against 'em, Mets. Shape the hell up.

I watched the Sox game computer-free tonight, and for some reason NESN decided to ignore the Yanks instead of giving us updates. So I didn't find out about that horrible finish until after our game. And that's good, as I got to enjoy our finish without knowing about the Yankee crap. The Bard of Savon gave us a scare, but got it done. What a job by Lester again tonight, too bad he couldn't get the W. Nick Green has been huge for us lately. Even Lugo came in and got a key hit. Despite Ram-Ram giving up a ninth inning, game tying dong, we score three in the 13th for the 5-2 win. For the last few days, I've been wondering where Masterson is. I was under the impression he was the 8th inning guy, before he went into the rotation. So now that he's back in the pen, why wouldn't he be the 9th inning guy when Pap isn't available? They finally did bring him in once it was tied, and he kept it scoreless--in other words, he totally should have come in for the 9th. But he also should have come in the night before. Anyway, we got the win, but the Yanks get the ultimate Yankee win. Hey, we can all wake up tomorrow knowing that all this craziness doesn't count anyway, since MLB is a fine operation that would never allow exhibition games in which teams who play by different rules face each other, thus ruining the flow of the season for various teams, count in the standings all so they can make a little more money...

11:56 PM--For the first time all night, NESN finally shows viewers the Yankee highlights. And TC doesn't even note that the dropped pop up happened with two outs! That it would've WON the game for the Mets if the guy catches the goddamn pop up. Come on, TC! Man, I am so glad I wasn't watching that game, or every window in my house would be broken right now. Oh, and I love how after the guys drops it and the winning run is scoring, he fucking throws to second. What the crap? The best news from that game is how Jobber lasted just four innings, walked five, and hit two, throwing 100 pitches. And that Mo again did bed-shatting. That team is no championship squad. Unfortunately there enough bad teams so that they'll probably make the playoffs. But that's good because I'd love to sweep them right out of it.

Yes, The Contest Is Still Going On

I think it's amazing that we've got ten teams tied, one total away from taking second prize in the contest. One of the unchosen teams, the Tigers, actually wrapped up their cycle the other day. But here we are on June 12, and ten of you could win second prize on any given night. And eight more of you could join that group of ten on any night. What a race! (Provided I haven't made any mistakes--feel free to double check my numbers.)

As for prizes, I'm at the point where I'm just waiting for this last thing to get wrapped up, then I'll send everything out at once--first and second prize for quizzes and this current contest.

8-Pack O' Whoop-ass

It just gets better every day! For the fifth time in 2009 I was at Fenway for a Sox-Yanks game, and for the fifth time the Sox win in some kind of ultra-sweet or uber-amazing fashion. Six for six at home on the season, and eight for eight overall against the Yankees. We're two games ahead in first place. Above is the video of Bay's game-tying single, followed by Lowell's sac fly to give us the lead. It was a rainy dance party in the bleachers (I was in an almost identical spot to the one from the game where Bay rocked Mo in the ninth), culminating in the 'I Like Baseball' guy two-fisting it sign-wise, a first as far as I've noticed.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

In "Fact"

Ian Browne writes,

When the year 1912 is mentioned, astute Red Sox fans know that was when Fenway Park opened. In fact, on that same day, the Titanic sank.

Fact: The Titanic sank on April 15th. Fact: Fenway Park opened on April 20th.


Hey, remember when Yankee fans would whine like crazy about their players getting hit by us, and how they need to "man up" and all that crap and start hitting our guys? Well, look, they got their wish. And they've lost EVERY GAME.

Sox Beat Yanks Again Gallery

"You do steroids!" That was from the ninth inning.

But now back to the beginning.

A soggy, not-so-warm night in the northeast. I went on the Monster for BP, but got nothing except some pictures.

Here's one of Jacoby and Jed.

Well, in this first year of letting RSN members on the Monster for BP, they've gone from "not guarding the bleacher stairs at all" to "guarding the bleacher stairs only at first" to "guarding the bleacher stairs until general gates-opening time. So I stood with the guard waiting till 5:10 to get to the bleachers--above is the anti-beach ball sign. At right you can see the field through the CF gate.

And here's a shot of the concourse behind the bullpens.

At 5:10, I went up. The FanFoto woman was all over me. When I declined her offer for a picture, she said, "can I just take your picture anyway? You don't have to buy it." Fine. I'm trying to get balls here, lady, and Papi's up. After the pic, Papi hits a high fly ball pretty much right at me in center, but short. I know a ball can bounce high enough to grab on top of the 17/18-foot fence, if it hits the track. It did. I was ready. But not ready enough, as I didn't quite reach down far enough, getting both hands on it, but letting it fall to the field. Dice-K was right there. He picked it up. Me and the FanFoto woman called his name. He looked up and around, finally spotting me right over his head, with no one else around. He tossed me the ball. I gave him the thumb's up. Above is my 11th ball.

Below is my 12th!

After getting that first one, another ball bounced at almost the same spot, but FanFoto-ey McGee had been taking my picture with the ball. I reacted in time to almost tell a kid who appeared there to grab it, but it was too late. Had she not been taking my pic, either me or that kid could've gotten it. Anyway, a few minutes later, I'm now in row three in center as people have lined the front row. I always do this hoping that either they'll miss a ball, or a ball will go to any row above the first, and I'll be the only one there, able to fly left/right and over rows with no competition. It finally worked! The people in front of me reached up, it bounced off their hands, and landed in row 2. I reached over the seat, sacrificing my body (of course), and got it a millisecond before some other guy. The above pic is that ball, my 12th lifetime. So incredibly, after never having gotten more that one ball in a day, I got three last game and two tonight. I'm on a roll--we'll see what happens Thursday night....

Now I'm in right field, and Melky Cabrera has just nailed Tony Pena, who was pitching BP. After they checked him out, he did a fake "fall to the ground."

The blimp was there for this ESPN game.

Sox and Yanks tied. Not for long.

Now I'm down on the third base side. Here's Girardi with Gammons.

Anthony Kiedis in the cage.

J(oba) Blue. (Blew.)

Down past third base, some rows of seats are on wood planks.

Mariano Rivera and the Prudential building.

The photogs' well over past the visitors' dugout.

My ticket was a Bud Deck SRO. I've had this once before, but it was a crappy day, I just went up, got my pic taken touching the retired numbers, and headed for cover. I kind of knew at this point I'd be doing the same tonight.

Another shot from up there--those home plate table seats cost a lot...

I stayed up top and headed toward the infield. Did you know there's a boardwalk in the new Cumberland Farms section?

I don't know if I was supposed to be allowed to go to the pavilion, but I went there and no one stopped me. Can you spot this celebrity walking away? Answer below next pic...

It was Carl Beane. So I grabbed a spot looking right up the left field line, on the first base side in the Pavilion Standing area. Looking to my right, you can see field at left and outside world at right.

Looking out at the retired numbers.

Jeter just before the game.

Youk from on high.

David Ortiz.

The blimp had left, but is now coming in from the north. Did you know the Citgo sign has 39 white lines in the square and 19 red lines in each section of the triangle? I totally counted tonight. It's so easy to count since they flip on/off one by one.

Night has fallen on Fenway Park. It was chilly, but not even hood-up cold. If you have a spot up there on the rail, with the little shelf and foot bar to gain extra height, you're gold. If you're late, no view for you!

In the eighth, I headed down to get some warmth in the home plate SRO area. And from there, I headed down and grabbed a good seat in the loge. Youk at bat. Bay on deck.

Papelbon in for the save, with us up 6-5.

A-Rod no threat here. This is the point when I shot the video at the top of this post.

Right before the final pitch of the game.

The Red Sox win! 7-0 against the Yanks so far this year. I actually entered a contest in which my prediction for these first eight games with them was Red Sox 7, Yanks 1. I clinched victory tonight, as no one else said we'd do better than 5-3, but I'm hoping I don't get it exactly right, as I want a win Thursday to make it 8-0.

The weekday night games have less Yankee fans, obviously, and being upstairs means even less of them. So the night was great on that front, too. Not that I don't love the back-and-forth with the non-obnoxious Yankee fans. (Many of whom are usually just acting obnoxious to "play the role.") And I do love watching the real pricks getting thrown out. And seeing their faces when they almost win but still lose. Tonight was like seeing two wins. A laughable Wang-fest blowout, and a one-run squeaker. Fun stuff. And I love watching Swisher fail, as he did on that one ball that bounced into the stands. I listened to some of Steve Somers on the way home, and played the Sterling call of that play. It has become well known that John can no longer see. His call of Swisher missing the ball was "Swisher going over, and he makes a great running catch! No, he dropped the ball...and it goes into the stands...."

Below, a coupla weird shots of the Pru and that R2-D2 building. Funny how you can be with 35,000 people and then within minutes be all alone in a dark woods..

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Location: Rhode Island, United States