Saturday, June 20, 2009

Good And Good

I love how Beckett has the good kind of anger these days. As in, "Fuck yeah, I just made the world's first confident, accurate throw from the mound to second base to start a key, late-inning double play." And I love how Derek Lowe had a solid performance, but we still won. Ellsbury made the play of the 24-hour period, though, sliding into the scoreboard.

The other day, after Cano ended the Yanks game by hitting into a double play, Kim and I listened to a lot of Francessa in the car, and got to hear all the bonehead complaining about what the Yanks should have done. The callers had Mike fuming with their "they shoulda bunted" talk. The next day, instead of talking about the next game, people were still talking about that at bat. Well, tonight, with the Yanks down one with one out in the ninth, Cano comes up... and hits into a double play! The tying run wasn't on third this time, but that still made me laugh.

So we're three up again--and hopefully extending it toward double-digits soon.

People Still Don't Get It

Don Orsillo: "we wondered what kind of reaction the crowd would have to Derek Lowe." Then they showed what every single thinking human knew would happen, Sox fans standing and cheering for one of their heroes. Don then noted, once again, how all the '04 Sox have been greeted warmly up on returning to Fenway with the exception of the ones who came back in pinstripes. If you know that, Don, why are you "wondering" about Lowe's return? Apparently, you know the drill. So just come out and say, "we're all awaiting Derek Lowe's return and the one and only possible reaction by the crowd--cheers." Yet I have to hear about wondering--and then Eck says, "you never really know how the fans are gonna respond." What?? We all know exactly. Every time. Is it so hard to figure out? Guy gives us te thing we always wanted. Guy goes away. Guy comes back. Boo? Luke warm? No! Huge exception: guy gives us thing we want, kills our family in their sleep. Cheer? No!

At some point, people got confused. That point was the Damon return. Oh, Red Sox fans for some reason hate guys who gave them championships! Settle down. Think. Guy is in Yankee uniform. We no likey that. No team's fans do, but especially us. If someone would be confused about this, I wouldn't think it would be the people who are paid to cover this team. So, Don, you seem to have this thing down, but you're just a little but afraid to say it beforehand. Go for it, man. And tell Eck while you're at it.

I just hate how suddenly the world doesn't know how Fenway fans react to things. Because it's so simple. If a guy did something we like, we cheer them. Did something we didn't like? Do you know it? Are you following? That's right, non-cheers. So simple. So just to clarify, the reaction of Fenway fans has been consistent through the years. There's never been anything to make anyone paying attention have to "wonder" what will happen.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Major Chimpage. Buy A Book As Medicine.

Need a late Father's Day gift? Want some beach reading? Check out this book I wrote this one time: Dirty Water: A Red Sox Mystery by Mary-Ann Tirone Smith and Jere Smith.

Dice-K pitched his way into nowhereville tonight. Just chimped out, that's all there is to it. Their dude did a fine job, too, holding us to nothin' wood-wise. Yanks just beat the 'lins. We should be way more than 2 games up. I can't wait till the charade, aka Interleague Chimpage, ends. I heard Selig on the radio today saying how "our fans love it." He called it "interplay" twice before correcting himself. I direct him to this post in which I shatter the oversimplified theory that is "we should do it because people love it."

D-Lowe goes tomorrow! Last time I saw him, it was during the ring ceremony in 2005. I should post more video of that, since I only gave you still frames back in the stone age of four years ago.

Dice's Rough Start Takes Over This Post

A-Rod (who hasn't homered in a real ballpark since that one he hit in his first at bat) benched tonight.

Carl Beane on the first page of Rolling Stone! (In the background of a Phish at Fenway shot. At least I think it's him. And I only get Rolling Stone because....well, for some reason, it started coming to my house, and it won't stop, despite accompanying warnings and deceiving offers made to look like bills.)

Dice-K gives up homer on first pitch of the game just now. Oy.

Don't those Smith & Wollensky ads remind you of The Shining a little bit?

Dice-K gives up a hit to the second guy. Oy again.

Dice-K gives up a double to the third guy. What the effing eff?? Again on the first pitch! It's time to let Dice just be himself. No pitch count, pitch however you normally do, not worrying about how "hard to watch" it is. I'd rather win. Then again, he used to pitch only once a --- and he walks the fourth guy. I'll see ya later...

Concerted Effort

I got a letter from the Red Sox saying there's gonna be some big mystery concert on August 5th and 6th. They say it's not even confirmed yet, but that they wanted me to have the resale code ready if all goes as planned. I always get excited about this stuff, till I realize I don't really like any acts that are popular enough to play Fenway. Okay, maybe if it were the Beastie Boys or something, but what are the odds of that? I'll let you know when I find anything out. Or maybe this is one of those things where everybody already knows except me.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

God Damn It

We lose a five-plus inning game by one run. Braves come in tomorrow.

First Impressions

The Washington Nationals beat the Yanks two out of three. Solid Gold. Dance Fever.

The Red Sox are still in a rain delay. Unfortunately, the game had just gone official before the tarp went on, and we're losing. You don't wanna lose a six-inning game by one run.

On the Globe's Extra Bases blog, they've got some new guy who thinks he's a comedian on there talking about YouTube videos and stuff. Then he spelled Willie Mays' name "M-A-Y-E-S." I don't know about you, but I learned how to spell that one when I was, oh, two years old. I don't think I've ever even seen that one spelled wrong. So, Globe, leave the comedy to us "basement dwellers" and get some people who know the very basics of baseball. Mayes? Have I made it clear how terrible that is? That's like Babe Ruthe. No, that's like Henrie Arin. What a dope. But I'm sure his Tweets are really Twonkie. And he knows hip new phrases that nobody actually uses. Except people that walk around with those things that stick out of their ear.

Considering he's supposed to be updating the game, you'd think he'd say something like, "if they don't start again, the Red Sox will lose since the game would be official." Or at least tell people what inning the game is in so at least the ones who know how to spell Mays will know that means it's official.

(In the time it took me to write this post, he corrected the Mayes thing, so don't bother checking it. I hope more people than just me let him know.)

Marlins @ Red Sox, 6/17/09

Got to the Monster line early--you know that guy who always tells the "no BP, they're hungover" joke? Well, he also is in charge of checking bags. Yet he never notices my camera bag. It's at the point where I hold it up, eye level, and watch him ignore it every single time. Not that I care, it's just funny. I looked at his nametag this time. I swear this is true: his name is "TJ". Above, Beckett and Dice. Click to enlarge if you choose.

Got no BP balls, partly since there were these special groups in the stands early. Above, Papelbon throwing in the 'pen.

The Marlins bat boy gets his "name" on his back. Florida's BP was so national league. They don't just do a token bunt like us, they do an entire bunt-only at bat first, then when everyone in the group has bunted, they start swinging. But not for the fences like Kevin Millar. They seem to practice slapping singles to the opposite field, then to center, etc., before ever trying to actually wail the ball. Everybody in BP is supposed to go up the middle/opposite field, but the Marlins do it in a much more regimented way.

Before heading up to the 3rd base pavilion, I stopped at the right field roof boxes and got this odd Pru shot.

The view from my spot--pretty much the perfect spot up there.

Looking left, you can see outside the park on the left and the field on the right.

View of LF from my spot.

I noticed recently on TV that the Sox bench seems to be padded now. Here it is.

Brad Penny wins the Ass Lottery.

You can see the 500 on the field, with Papi out there. I hadn't thought about the fact that this would be the 500th consecutive sellout since the offseason. I was talking to my pal Dori (who, like me, went to the 456th consecutive sellout which broke the all-time record) and saying how I figured out what date the 500th would be, and how I felt like I'd probably have that game in my 10-game plan, since it was an interleague Wednesday. Sure enough, I had that game. And this was it.

Two planes over the Something Building.

Papi points to the press box in a pre-game ceremony.

Rocco and Cantu.

Hanley and, again, Cantu.

Three generations of Sox fans threw out the first ball(s). The 100-year old man was about the size of the little boy.

Youk at first--game underway.

The 500 in the outfield again. They had giveaways to entire sections of the crowd all night long.

Including the weirdest one: free tape measures!

Careful, you'll put an eye out! Don't believe me? Check out the bottom right....


Pedroia with a hit to make it 4-1 Sox.

Night has fallen on Boston.

More 500 stuff.

The moment of Citgo's cycle when it flashes and only the name is lit up.

Have you noticed that many of the numbers in the 60s on the board are very brown with dirt? No? Oh.

I felt like Ellsbury was gonna hit a dong on one at bat. He didn't. But he did the next time up. Here he's congratulated and whatnot.

The Yanks were down 3-1, going bottom 9. There was a nervous moment when the 1 came out, but it was replaced by a 2. But the 9 stayed, so we knew the game wasn't over yet. After a long wait I decided I'd will the 9 to leave, signifying the end of the game, by training my lens on it, and seeing if I could get a shot of it coming out. Before I could raise the camera, the 9 came out! So I took this pic seconds after. Yanks lose.

Papi on third base.

Dustin singles again to add an insurance run....

...but Varitek is thrown out at the plate. Check out Papi and the bat boy telling him to slide. He didn't listen.

Pap got the last three outs, after three others in our pen pitched scoreless frames. It was a really comfy night with no wind and high 60s. And the people around me were totally great, even the group from Milwaukee right next to me, despite that their leader was misleading his friend and their wives with incorrect facts. See bonus section below.

But first, some other random shots I've taken lately:

Fireworks outside our window, as Kim looks out.

Amazing Larry goes after some string.

And for my friend at the Bookworm in West Hartford, who says she's never seen Tim Wakefield without a hat.

Bonus section: The Milwaukee know-it-none. This dude spoke deliberately, and with an upper midwest accent--think of Max Cherry in Jackie Brown. Listen to some of these quotes. After the first one, I just thought to myself, "Okay, if they ask me for info, I'll gladly give it to them. If not, I'm gonna enjoy this, because this guy is on fire. Meaning, on ice."

See that "420" there? They call that the "short porch" and Carl Yastrzemski used to hit balls there.

Ball hit to the 379 mark (420 mark clearly visible to the right of it): Oh, to the deepest part of the park!

I can't see the foot marker in the left field corner but I see the '379' and it can't be too much farther than that.

Well it's 380 out there, but right down the line is very short! Has to be about 240.

Retired numbers, let's see...42 is Jackie Robinson and 9 is Carl Yastrzemski.
(He had no guess on the others.)

I don't expect people to know everything. But it always makes me laugh when someone comes out acting like he knows everything, but proceeds to get every single thing wrong. Again, they were nice people, and I was very happy to have them over drunk college kids. At least this guy was only trying to impress people in his own group.

A Little Taste

So I asked an online chat attendant/robot woman if Fairfield County, CT (where I grew up--the only county in New England not allowed to get New England Sports Network) would be getting the new Comcast Red Sox On Demand channel. After having to show her through charts and graphs exactly what I was talking about, she finally figured out what channel I meant. And then she came out with this obviously cut/pasted material:

"Comcast will be launching the Red Sox On Demand in the following areas at the moment: Shelton CT, Bethel CT, Carmel CT, Brewster NY, Somers NY, Danbury CT, Ridgfield CT, Kent NY, Pawling NY, Beekman NY"

Woohoo! Not only are those Fairfield County towns getting it, but some towns across the New York border will be, too! (I don't see any of the coastal CT towns on there, but maybe they'll get it soon. If you're in Stamford or one of those towns and you have Comcast, demand that channel!) Now if only they'd get NESN--and learn how to spell my hometown: R-I-D-G-E-field. And figure out that Carmel is in New York.

By the way, if you're a new reader, I'm in Providence now so I get NESN (but Comcast isn't in Providence so I can't get this new channel anyway). But I'll always fight for my home county, a key part of New England and Red Sox Naysh.

Clean Slate?

Final Update, 7:21: Everything's back to the way it was. Forget I said anything. There is something kind of different, but it's very technical. Don't worry about it.

UPDATE, 5:38: Looks like I just caught them in an in-between spot. Now ALL games have Ts, even the weekend ones that had been taken down for months. (Though those weekend ones seem to have no tix available--for now.) All are up except the Yanks August series and the Rays September one. Sorry to alarm you...when you check it as often as I do, sometimes you catch them while they're my question mark in the post title turned out to be valid.

Looks like they've wiped out all the Ts. No more tix available online except for a handful of games. I'm sure they'll still do the homestand-by-homestand dumps, though. And you've always got the phone method. Still, I'm glad I have all the tickets I want for the entire season already....

Pav Love

I'll be back later with pictures from last night. In the meantime, here's a video I shot, walking from the first base pavilion standing area all the way around behind the press area to the first base side:

Three Up

Pictures from tonight coming soon. I didn't get a ball at Fenway this time--other than the one they gave out to commemorate the 500th consecutive sellout. Red Sox win, Yanks lose (thank you for getting at least one, Nationals). Three games ahead, best record in AL. If the playoffs started today, there'd be rioting in the streets over the unannounced, abrupt ending of the season in June.

Comcast to offer a Red Sox On Demand channel to "New England." Will Fairfield County get it? We shall see. Don't hold your breath. (Here in Providence, Comcast isn't even an option, which is fine with me, after twenty years of dealing with their antics in CT.) Thanks to Peter for the heads-up on this.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Naked City

Have you seen this NYT feature called "One in 8 Million"? It's a series of stories about New Yorkers told through pictures and each subject's words. Sometimes just the person's voice makes the story interesting. Anyway, as I was going through them, I wondered if I'd come across anyone I was aware of, slim as the chances were. But I think I actually found someone I met!

When I was working with seniors in NYC, I spent a lot of time in waiting rooms, having taken an old man or woman to a doctor's appointment. One time I sat next to a woman who told me she'd worked at Gracie Mansion for years--she even had a nickname for Mayor Dinkins. Well, here's her story! As I listened to it the first time, I started thinking it might be her, but I wasn't sure...until I saw the accompanying blurb that said she had nicknames for all the mayors she worked for. It also said that she doesn't want to reveal the nicknames, so I can't tell you the one she told me. But let's just say if Terry Francona were to nickname David Dinkins, he'd probably come up with the same one....

Contest Over!

The Rays, once a front-runner, but stagnant for a long time at one total away, have scored the 12 they need to complete the cycle and take second place in our contest. (And neither the Nats or Astros came within one by this point, so the result of the suspended game will have no effect on the contest.) Rebecca gets second prize. Reb, I was about to e-mail you anyway....

(Contest is officially over when the Dodgers game ends--they're going to extras with four runs, needing 13, and it's 1:19 AM and I'm going to bed. Sorry, Kara, I'm banking on them not scoring exactly nine more runs.) (Update: contest officially over. Phils first, Rays second--hey, just like last year's baseball season! Weird...)

Now, the question is, do I still see this thing through and keep track of games every night to see when other teams complete the cycle? It's an addiction now, checking every night--and it's easier these days, just checking for double-digits for the most part. I'm sure I'll let ya know. Thanks for playin' everybody. Now to finally send out some prizes.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Two and a half hours, and the Marlins are toast. Every time Wake pitches a record-breakingly fast game, I think of Wallace Matthews, and his famous "Wakefield takes forever" article. Wake is getting closer to 192--the all-time Red Sox win mark. And Papi with another up-shutting dong.

Wow, we're the first game to end in MLB.

10:06: Yanks win, 5-3.

Did you hear Kazoo Guy? YOu can't really hear the kazoo on TV, but you can hear the fans around him doing the "hey"s. I heard them clearly after the third run. Since he has the Tuesday 10-game plan and I have the Mon/Wed/Sat one, I know that when I hear him, my game will often be the next day. And it is. I get Brad Penny again. Which lately seems to be a good thing. (And it'll be Fenway's 500th consecutive sellout!)

Flaude Lodge--Ick!

It nauseates me to hear Orsillo and Roberts talking about how much they love interleague play. But it's even worse to hear that horrible excuse for it: "the fans love it, so they'll keep doing it."

Let me ask you this: Would you go to a game between the Red Sox and Pawtucket? Would you go to tonight's Red Sox game if you found out that it would be an 8-inning game? Or a 10-inning game? Or if you found out some players were cheating? (Oh wait, they are.) Would you go to a home-and-home series where the Red Sox played the Celtics in basketball one night and in baseball the next night? Would you go to a game between the Red Sox and a team of trained chimps? Llamas?

For me, and for almost every baseball fan, the answer to all those questions is Yes.

But would you want any of those games to count in the standings?

I rest my case.

Lion Unleashed

The top headline on the last two days has been the one about Papelbon closing in on the team's all-time save record. That headline contains this sentence:

"Ian Browne also relays the status of Jonathan's brother, Jeremy."

While Jon does have a brother Jeremy, the brother the Red Sox have in their system, and the one mentioned in the article the headline links to, is Josh. Again I ask, Who's in charge over there?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Holdin' Ballfield

Remember how we used to hear how Pesky "held the ball" in the 1946 World Series? At some point, though, people decided to stop blaming Johnny. I think it was when new video surfaced of the play, which showed that he didn't really pause for that long.

But sixteen days after the last game of the series, October 31st, 1946, a UPI story appeared in, among other papers, the Eugene Register-Guard:
Shortstop Johnny Pesky of the Boston Red Sox today took full blame for allowing Country Slaughter of the St Louis Cardinals to score the deciding play in the 1946 World Series.

"Slaughter simply outsmarted me, that's all there is to it," Pesky continued. "Harry Walker's hit was really just a single and I didn't think Slaughter would ever try to score. When I took the relay from Leon Culberson, I dropped my hands a little and when I realized Country was streaking for the plate I just couldn't get off a good throw in time. It was all my fault and I have no alibi."

Wow, so he admitted it was a mistake at the time. I never knew that. So what am I supposed to think now?

Contest Update: All Eyes on Cleveland. Only one team with a chance to take second place is in action tonight. The Indians need a 13, and have 12 runs right now, with their game in the seventh. Exactly one more run and Quinn takes second prize. Could the contest be minutes from finally ending? Bonus: I just noticed it's on ESPN. I'm tuned in. Will update this post.

Update, 10:24: As of the last update, it was 12-7 Cleveland after 7. Fielder just hit a grand slam to give the Brewers a 13-12 lead in the 8th. So now Cleveland knows they need that run.

10:37: 14-12, going bottom 8. Earlier it looked like the 8th would be the Tribe's last chance to get the 13th run. Now they will have two shots at it.

10:46: Indians booed as they don't score in the 8th. They've blown two five-run leads and trail 14-12. They have one more shot to reach the 13 mark.

11:05: Cleveland leaves the 13th run on third, game over. The contest goes another day.

11:09: Just realized the Dodgers can also win tonight with a 13. Okay, that's the last update. Unless LA gets close to 13. They have 3 in the 4th...

11:32: Well look at this--Dodgers ended up scoring 7 in the 4th and lead 8-0. They've got a shot!


July 4th weekend games are now on sale online-wise. Singles right now.

Buchholz starts for Paw on NESN tonight. [Update: rained out. I'm a few miles from McCoy--they could totally play in this....]

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Looked good for a while, but Sox lose a chimper, 11-6. Mets threw Santana at the Yanks and only lost by 15. So we're up two games, with the Marlins, then Braves, coming to Fenway starting Tuesday.

Three Up

I didn't get to tune in to the game until after 9:00. So it worked out that there was a long rain delay. When I heard we scored five runs on three Philly errors in the first, it was a bit of an "in your face" moment to any Yankee fans who were paying attention. We ended up giving up six runs, but still won by five, 11-6. Lugo with four hits! And Mets, I'm proud of you for coming through after yesterday. We're now three games up, and the Yanks could be in fourth place by next weekend.

Tonight Kim and I went to the Water Fire. This is a semi-regular summer event in Providence that's like a street fair, but with fires burning on the river(s) that run(s) through the city. We did it last year, and while the actual fires were pretty cool, we were more in it for the hanging out. But this time, the fires were lit in a much more entertaining fashion, with this dude walking from one pot to the next, seemingly walking on water, swinging these fire-things around before lighting each pot. Performance art doesn't really do much for me...unless there's FIRE. They also had this star land, where lighted stars hung from trees in the dark. Reminded me of that commercial that used Pink Moon.

Before the Water Fire, I spent some time with Kim at the event where she was selling soap. I've been doing that a lot lately, and it's always fun to meet people and tell them how great Kim's stuff is and try to avoid eye contact with the crazy homeless people.

Beckett vs. Happ tomorrow as we go for another sweep.

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