Sunday, April 03, 2011

Opening Day Photo Gallery

Go Big Red. Spotted this Nebraska bus amongst the tailgaters--I guess this guy represents "North Texas Nebraskans" and brings this thing around, even to non-Nebraska, non-football games.

The stadium isn't too pretty from the outside so I'm not posting pics of it--but here's the nearby Cowboys' stadium, across the Nolan Ryan Expressway. The whole scene is so non-Fenway. The stadiums are way out in the middle of nowhere, with just parking lots (and Six Flags) surrounding them. Everybody gets herded in, tailgates, and then enters the park. I met two Sox fans from Portland, Oregon, who were very upset that there were no bars--or anything else--in the vicinity of the ballpark.

Lots opened at 10, gates 12, pre-game ceremony at 2:30, game at 3:05. I took this shot when I got in, while a Globe photographer took shots of me.

Soon the Rangers came out. Here's Kinsler.

Ron Washington being active.

Some more Rangers.

Drugs McJesus, old friend Adrian Beltre, and other old friend (and, apparently, Texas fan favorite!) David Murphy.

Pretty nice park, but the more I see of the "new cookie cutters," the more I realize you can't imitate the classics.

Inside the VOMITorium.

That CF grass thing that kids run on to get home runs.

Behind the center field fence there's this big fun zone.

From the bullpen. If you go to this park, explore it before the game. Even though it has a modern setup, the walkways are all packed during the game. Going from right to left field was sardiney.

All through the pre-ceremony time, they were showing a show about Pedro. So every shot I took with the scoreboard in it has Pedro on it!

From the outfield.

Finally the Red Sox emerged. Here's Tito.


Adrian Gonzalez.

Carl Crawford and his tats.

Papelbon and CHB.

The Sox warming up, and that Globe photographer, Chris Something. (Not taking a pic of Heidi Watney, though it appears that way.)

That reporter? The "weed" guy!


Papi talkin' to Beltre.

Pedroia and Bobby Valentine. I saw him on two consecutive Fridays, once in Stamford, CT, once in Arlington, TX.

Pull my finger...pull it!

Watney interviews Theo.

I wanted to see them raise the AL Champs flag, and the overhang would prevent that since I had a standing room ticket. So I went upstairs for the ceremony. They brought out all these old Rangers--here's Jeff "And A Little Child Shall Lead Them" Frye!

Your 2011 Boston Red Sox.

The 2010 AL Champs flag. Eat it, Yankees.

Youk in pre-game.

Carl Crawford's first Red Sox at bat.

Adrian Gonzalez's first Red Sox at bat. It was a good first inning, but every time we'd take the lead, Lester would give up a dong.

The Texas Rangers: Another institution unaware that the Red Sox changed this logo. In 2008.

Lester pitches to Christ McBoozeCokeFraud.

W in the house! "Hey Nolan, sit between Laura and me, I don't like broads around me while I'm killin' kids...I mean, watchin' baseball."

Another shot of the special people. Get this: Just like in Houston, they played that "stars at night" song. And freakin' Bush didn't do the claps! He was raised in Texas! He was the governor of Texas! And he just sat there! It was like the Homer Thompson moment--"okay, Mr. President, you're gonna hear a cue, and when you hear it, you're gonna clap four times. Okay?" "Okay." "The stars at night, are big and bright...." (birds chirp) "I thiiiink he's talkinnnng to youuuu."

Wakefield came in once the game was out of hand. Here he pitches to the old Adrian.

Overall the Texas experience was interesting. All the ushers and several fans talked to me about where I'm from, etc. The Sox fan contingent wasn't very big at all, which I think was because these Texas fans obviously wanted to be there for their AL champs on day one. I entered and lost their lottery for a chance to buy tix, and they said 500,000 people entered I think.

Oh and it was hot that day, but I was in shade the whole time, and actually got a pretty nice breeze.

They did have that thing where they keep you out of certain areas. At one point I took some stairs to try to get to the next level up. Unmarked stairs. When I got to the top, this older usher woman said in her best Mandrell Sisters Christmas Special accent, "where are you going?" I was like, What? Put a fucking sign if you don't want people going up the stairs. And when people do it, how about some of that southern hospitality I've heard so much about? Oh and speaking of this stuff, did you know there's a checkpoint on the highway in Texas? Not at the border, just right in the middle of the highway. They stopped every car. They asked me where I was going and where I'd been and if I was a citizen. They looked in my trunk. The guy wasn't digging my bearded aura, so he asked if I'd "mind" if he searched my vehicle. (Because I was, ya know, innocently driving across what touts itself incessantly as a "free country.") Even though I wanted to say something else, I said, knowing I had nothing to hide, "not at all." And apparently that was the code for being innocent, because he then said, "go ahead" and defeatedly looked toward the next car. Of course, I didn't know if he meant "go ahead on your way" or "go ahead to the official unreasonable bullshit search area," but I was speeding away by the time that question had finished crossing my mind. With my guns and drugs, assholes! Ha!

There should be fewer random police state checkpoints and more George W Bush checkpoints....
looks like you had a great time! now if they could just get that winning thing nailed down...
Ya gotta check with the locals or fans that have been to the park. There's a Sox watering hole called Humperdinks about a 15 minute walk from the stadium.
I went to that park in 2002. It was the first Red Sox game I'd ever been too. I hadn't even been to Fenway yet.

It was in August so you can imagine how hot it was.
Yeah, wow. It was like 88 or something the day I was there but I was in shade the whole time and was quite comfortable, getting a breeze even.

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