Saturday, June 25, 2011

Second Place

Good thing MLB wouldn't have us play games where the pitcher bats 38 years after the DH has been established and have them count in the standings. Hey, how about the goalie has to take every 6th shot! I think polls taken by fans who don't know what the hell they're talking about would show it would be a huge hit! And shouldn't the center really be taking every fifth 3-pointer? When ya really think about it? It would increase attendance. Same with linemen kicking field goals. Hey, they're all football players right? They should all learn all the skills. Let's have those big fat dudes stand there and try to kick a 50-yard field goal and then count all those stats and games. Who wants to see that? "Me! Me!" Okay, we'll do it. Now who wants to be a firetruck? "MEmeMEmeMEmeMEmeMEmeME!!!!!!!!!"

Jere, aren't you just using Bud Selig's mental deficiency to mask the fact that the Red Sox lost?

Firetruck you!

Friday, June 24, 2011

I Hate NL Baseball

And I still can't believe my team has to play it. Oh, well, Yanks lost too.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

What You (And Everyone) Missed Yesterday

Watch this video of N3SN missing a 3-2 pitch yesterday. Details below.

So Ellsbury fouls off a 3-2 pitch. It's still 3-2, and he's just stepping back into the box for another payoff pitch. N3SN then cuts away, first to a shot of someone's feet, then to a wide shot of the field, mostly covered up by an ad, and has Don tell us the sponsor name. Right as he's saying it, you can see the third baseman moving in and getting low, which is what fielders do when a pitch is on its way. Then right after Don says "airlines," you hear the ball pop the catcher's glove--completely unseen by cameras. (Even if the logo wasn't there, we'd have seen the pitch from a zoomed-out angle from low right field.) A full FIVE seconds later they finally go back to the shot of home plate, which is now just the pitcher and catcher. Don either has no idea that nobody's been seeing any of the action, or is just pretending he doesn't know, as he goes on announcing the game, and we find out Ellsbury has walked.

That it was "just" a walk and not a home run doesn't matter. How do they cut away from a 3-2 pitch 5 seconds early and come back 5 seconds late? And what were those shoes??

I have discovered that sometimes it's the local cable provider that causes pitches to be missed, as sometimes I'll miss one that others watching on a different provider will see. But this one's all on N3SN.

Dinosaur Jr./Off!/Henry Rollins, Paradise Boston, 6/22/11

On my college's spring break of 1994, I took my friend from South Dakota back to the east coast so he could "see New York." During that week, we also went up to New Hampshire to visit Pat, my friend since '80, at his dorm. While there, he showed us the 1991: The Year Punk Broke VHS. Among the hilarious candid footage of Sonic Youth and Nirvana dicking around Europe was Dinosaur Jr.'s performance of "Freak Scene" in front of tens of thousands of young English people outside. It was a memorable moment for me.

And so here we are in 2011, and the original Dinosaur lineup is playing "Freak Scene" at a packed Paradise in Boston, and this time I'm in the crowd. Pretty sweet. (I was with Kim but Pat told me about this show--and he and I did get to see a different Dinosaur reunion show in 2005, which I described, with similar "wow, here we are years later"-ness, on the blog here.)

You can watch the '91 Freak Scene on YouTube here. And then you can compare it to the one I shot tonight below.

We left for Boston, 45 miles away, at 5:30, intending to do a full sit-down dinner before seeing the opening band, Off!, at 8:00. When 7:45 rolled around, we were still sitting in dead traffic by the MFA, listening to the final rain delay of the Sox game on radio. Fortunately, we made the Paradise right at 8, and grabbed slices on the way in, and only missed (I assume) a little of Off!'s set. This band features Keith Morris of the Circle Jerks, and they kicked buttox of course. I also liked how Keith got pissed at people who don't use their signal. I know! So many people are so rude, I make plans of Canada-relocating daily. So it's good a guy like Keith is on my side. The young whippersnappers may be all, "I don't need to use my blinker, old man," but while Keith Morris is old, he's still the former lead singer of the Circle Jerks and Black Flag, so HE wins. So eff you, selfish members of society.

This tour has a twist, which is that before DJ plays, Henry Rollins comes out and interviews them. Besides just being a naturally funny guy, Rollins just cracks me up with his intensity level on all issues. When interviewing the members of Dinosaur, you got the feeling like even though they could relate to his punk rock experiences, they've just kind of let certain things roll right off their backs. Like, Henry asked about how they "dealt" with the first time having a semi-hit song and how they had to do a clean radio edit for it. And they just kind of looked at him like, "No big deal, dude, why are you making a fuss about it?" So J Mascis's answers were often one word. It was great. At once point some drunk girl started yelling for them to just play. What, did she think they were about to play and some random person from the crowd started talking to them? This is the show, woman! They obviously signed up for this, and the rest of us wanna hear them talk.

But finally that ended, and we waited some more while Dinosaur changed into their superhero costumes. At that point my throat was killing me (it has been for way too long), I was hot, my legs hurt from standing and my neck from craning, and these talls were right in my way. Lifelong adults might not understand this, but what I needed was the loud-as-hell-yet-soothing blast of Dinosaur Jr. We knew ahead of time they'd be playing the 1988 Bug album, but they did a few other songs first. So I had time to prepare to record "Freak Scene," which is Track 1. They nailed the album, and for the last song, "Don't," they had two dudes from the audience some up and sing, because Lou Barlow clearly can't do it the way his voice was. (The one factoid Wikipedia gives about the Bug album is how Lou coughed up blood after doing the vocal on that tune.) Those guys were psyched to get to sing the song, but the band go the last laugh, extending it for about 12 minutes, all of which I recorded.

Then they did an encore with a few more songs before we headed back out into the rain, and back to that same pizza joint for some midnight fries and Cherry Coke. (Then in the car we heard Def Leppard's Rocket and Herbie Hancock's Rock It within ten minutes on two different stations! Well, I did, Kim was asleep.)

The same show happens tomorrow night in NYC. If you're close, go.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

This Date In Nothingness

Kind of pointless to do the "this date in..." when we're playing these NL teams that we've hardly ever played before. So that feature will probably return when crappy Interleague ends. Maybe I'll do it for the Phils series since we've played them a little more.

Red Sox play today at 1:35 [update: game will be delayed by rain] to close out the homestand, Yanks play game one of their double-H at 12:35. Gotta gain a game and a half today!

3:25 update: Yanks win their game, ours is in its second rain delay, with us down 1-0 in the 3rd.

Update 4:13: Frakkin' Lackey, man. With the bases loaded, he allowed a run to score in four different ways, consecutively. Walk, HBP, WP, single. 5-0 Padres in the 4th.

5:06: Third rain delay is almost still not even're on your own for updates at this point.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Them 5, Us 4

You can point to a lot in this frust-fest, but it all comes down to Aceves walking five in a row. Jesus, if he only walks three in a row there, we probably win the game.

And if Bard is available with one out in the seventh...bring him in as soon as there's one out in the seventh!

Yanks rained out so we're a game up.

Red Sox/Padres/Dave Roberts/Zack Hample Gallery

A gorgeous no-sleeves-needed evening in Boston for Padres-Red Sox. It was the Padres' second series at Fenway. I went to a game at the first one, a rainy night in June 2004. (I described it here in the early days of this blog--funny how I talk about "if my pictures come out." It was also a rare game that I actually left early, since I lived in Danbury, CT at the time, and was with other people and we all had to work the next morning.)

I knew baseball-snagger Zack Hample would be at this game from reading his blog. When I got in, I didn't see him (though a favorite player of his, Heath Bell, was right there warming up with his teammates). So I knew he must have been up on the Monster with the rest of the RSN early-entry people. But I still couldn't spot him. As a fan of his blog for about four years, I wanted to meet him, and I'd just bought his latest book for him to sign. To be continued....

I loved Glenn Hoffman when I was little. One of my early Red Sox faves. It's through him I learned how to take the throw from the second baseman and turn the double play--one of life's critical skills.

It wasn't long before I spotted Dave Roberts.

Here's another one of the man we worship.

I kept looking for Zack up on the Monster, and I finally spotted him.

Here's Zack trying to get Padres to throw balls up to him. Finally they did. See the video I shot:

A dick-ier man might have pushed that kid out of the way, but Zack let him take it, even though it was Zack who called for the ball. (You can also see Heath Bell down below.)

More Dave Roberts action.

Now that they've opened up all of the ballpark, I'm in my usual CF spot, and who's there but Zack. I got to watch him in ball-snag mode for a few minutes. He was pissed that the section was dead and went hobbling away. (If you follow his blog you know he's been on crutches for a while.) I still didn't approach him yet as I knew he was obviously busy, as was I. I figured I'd catch him by the dugout after BP.

My mom was at this game too--I had given her my 10-game plan seats since I bought a better seat for myself. So I got to visit with her at the Red Sox dugout, where she was super-excited--she'd just gotten Tito's autograph on an old-logo seat cushion.

And here's Terry himself.

I also took shots of Carl Crawford's kid playing catch with...

David Ortiz's kid.

Then I headed to the visitors' dugout, and sure enough, there was Zack Hample. He was getting a pic of him with an "11" sign, since he's going to all 30 parks this season, and Fenway was his 11th.

So I went right down there and said hi, only to have him say ", Jere, Jere80." I comment on his blog as "Jere80." I had no idea how he knew my face. But he did. I later surmised it must have been because I sent a picture in to him when he asked his readers for shots of them with the baseballs they've snagged. Anyway, even if that's the case, still an impressive move by him knowing who I was. Above, he signs my copy of his book, The Baseball.

Another shot of Zack signing--he gave me a great inscription, which included "5103" in his signature--that was the up-to-the-moment total of how many balls he's snagged at major league parks. Also, I bought the book under the Citgo sign, at the B&N, aka BU Bookstore.

Of course, we took pics of us with my camera and his (or, in his case, the guy with him who was getting photos). It was great to meet Zack and just hang out and talk for a while. Again, his blog is Snagging Baseballs and is always entertaining. He snags for charity, too--all the info about that and his book(s) are at his blog. As I write this, he doesn't have his Fenway pics/stories up yet, but I'm sure they'll be up soon. [Update: Here's his post about this game.] He's also going to tonight's game. Oh, and he got three balls in BP last night--we'll find out soon if he got any during the game.

Now I'm out briefly at my mom's seats, where she reminded me that, Duh, it's Andrew Miller's debut with the Red Sox. I had been excited for that, but once the Zack meeting happened, I kind of forgot all about it. But I did get this shot of him in the pen about to make his first Sox start.

And now I'm at my "better" seat. Section 34 (which is underneath tarp during day games), last seat over next to the camera well, 7th row.

It was great. The back wall behind me, nobody but the two cameramen to the right of me, a quiet father/teen son in front of me, and an empty seat on my left, followed by teen boys who just talked about stats all night. And, like I said, short-sleeve weather. The only things that could make it better would be a huge blowout win, and a home run ball right to me. One outta two ain't bad.

Okay, one other minor negative is that the camera well roof blocks a little of the field, and from that angle, you don't see the Green Monster. But there are much worse obstructions in seats that cost much more than $28 at Fenway. I was completely happy with this view.

Looking to my left.

And up at the flag and back wall. (You can barely see the bank of lights from the tower too.)

Miller's first Red Sox warm-up toss.

You can see Jeremy Kapstein in this dude's cam.

Andrew Miller's first pitch in a Red Sox uniform. He did a fine job, though he lost the 3-0 lead on one swing of the bat by Orlando Hudson. Soon after that, though, we had a 10-run inning to put it out of hand.

You know those vents with slats you see on the back wall of the bleachers? This is looking down through the slats right behind me. You can see people walking on Lansdowne Street below.

And this is leaning back and holding the camera straight up over my head. (See the slats I was talking about?)

Maybin had a cheat sheet so he'd know where to play the hitters. Ellsbury had one too.

The Padres outfield.

FW Webb is the official (whatever the hell they are) of the Boston Red Sox....yet they don't know the logo changed in 2008, and neither do the people at Fenway who are in charge of these electronic signs. You might think I'm silly for spotting this elsewhere, but inside Fenway Park? Terrible job. (The Boston Herald, I noticed, is still unaware of the logo change.)

Dave Roberts coaching first. At this point, they're showing "the Steal" on the scoreboard, and he's reacting to it with glee.

Then people are clapping for him. But, many people in the park are surely unaware he even works for the Padres. But everyone is made aware of that when the highlight ends and the scoreboard cuts to a live shot of him....

And that's when everyone stood and cheered. And as you can see, Tito is happier than anyone.

Just to my right and down.

The camera well and my view looking along the Wall.

It's hard to get shots of Neshek's crazy motion without a pro camera....

After the ten-run inning, it was time for me to move to the good seats.

Again, Neshek--the only non-blurries are the ones where he's standing still.

Marco Scutaro.

Tek with Scutaro up behind him.

Anthony Rizzo, who was in the Adrian Gonzalez trade.

Pedroia, Ellsbury.

Adrian and Dave "Hey, did you hear the Yanks were up on us three games to zero--three to zero!--and we fucking came back and beat them and went on to win the World Series? Me too!" Roberts.

And an anti-climactic shot of Hottovy to close it out. Sox win, a lot to a little.


Speaking of missing, I miss those brown/yellow unis!

I was there for the tight game-turned-rout tonight. Will post more pics tomorrow. I also got to meet a celebrity, which was cool. Stay tuned.

Yanks won too, so we're still 1.5 up. Beckett has turmoil or whatever, so Aceves goes for us Tuesday night.

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