Let’s Have a Grand Time

Yesterday’s pasting of the Devil Rays, 10-0 (GREEN MONSTER PRIOR TO GAME | SCOREBOARD AFTER THE GAME | PAYTON CATCHES BALL TO END GAME | SOX WIN!), was enjoyable because now I could just sit back and watch a game and enjoy all the hits and plays instead of worrying about winning. David Ortiz’s grand slam (ROUNDING THE BASES | REACHING HOME PLATE) put the game quite nicely out of reach. David Wells (WELLS WARMING UP) was on, throwing 7 IP, 6 H, 0 BB, 3 K. This was the David Wells we knew from the Yankee days, and pitching like this at home should boost his confidence, and ours as well, and we should be seeing more of this David Wells. Matt Mantei came on in the eighth (MANTEI WARMING, VAZQUEZ AT THIRD) and only gave up a hit en route to retiring the Jays. Mantei’s ERA is now down to 6.75. The pitchers seem to be settling into a groove as John Halama finished up the game 1-2-3 (HALAMA WARMING UP) and then I was finally able to get out of there and come and warm up back here. Yikes, was it cold!
I was watching Hideo Nomo warm up, and I immediately said to myself that my prediction was wrong, we wouldn’t win 5-4, we would blow out the Rays. Nomo’s fastball was not as quick as I had heard it was, meaning it was an offday for him, and he couldn’t throw a curveball to save his life. His windup was also a bit forced to me, not as smooth as I remember it. Two innings and eight runs later, Casey Fossum (FOSSUM WARMING UP) was in in relief, and struck out five in four scoreless innings, making him first in line for a starting spot when one opens up. Lance Carter (CARTER WARMS UP) pitched two innings and aside from one mistake to David McCarty (MCCARTY AT BAT | MCCARTY IN LF, PAYTON IN RF) that he rifled into left field for a two-run single, finished the game up.
How about Edgar Renteria!? He’s on fire. Yesterday he went 2-4 with two runs scored, and two great plays. One good double play shades of Orlando Cabrera, and another diving play to snare a line drive (RENTERIA AFTER HIS DIVE | RENTERIA AFTER TRIPLE) … looks like we’re going to see the real Edgar Renteria from here on in out!
A couple other things I wanted to mention – this was my second time sitting way out in left field (home opener was the first) but this time I was way over near the Green Monster (WHERE I SAT | PERSON CHANGING SCOREBOARD DURING GAME | PAYTON LF, DAMON CF | PEREZ AND CRAWFORD), so I was able to watch Manny (MANNY RAMIREZ). The fans loved him, and begged for him to point to them. When he did, the kids in the section went nuts. One time I saw him double-point to the left field bleachers where I sat, then the Green Monster people started yelling for him to point to them. Manny looks up, turns his back to them (play was starting on the field) and points to them over his head. They went nuts! Over the off-season, they had section 32 and 33 become alcohol-free zones, because CVS now sponsors this area (CVS PHARMACY SECTION). All game long people who kept coming into this section and sitting down with beer were asked to find other seats for the remainder of the game – they did not return, so after a while, there were quite a bit of empty seats. Also, if a Red Sox hitter hits the CVS sign on the Monster in the 4th inning, everyone in the section gets a free $25 gift certificate to CVS. I’ll be surprised if that ever happens.
After the game, I headed down a set of stairs and came out to a part of Fenway I had never seen before. This is why I love sitting all around Fenway, I get to explore and see parts of Fenway I don’t see. Considering I’m usually in the field box by the Red Sox dugout, left field is pretty alien to me. But no more, as I finally saw the third-base concourse! (THIRD BASE CONCOURSE | WHERE YOU CAN GET FOOD | JIMMY FUND SIGN | TED’S CREAMY ROOT BEER)
A couple of other vantage points from the park – I walked around prior to the game and took some shots of places I wasn’t used to being – such as way up top in right field near the Budweiser sign, where the tables are. (PINELLA AND CO. WATCH BP | SHOT OF THE RED SEAT, WHERE TED WILLIAMS HIT THE FARTHEST BALL EVER AT FENWAY (it’s to the bottom right) | VIEW FROM THE RF ROOF)
Also, today was the day to celebrate Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier, so they had a bunch of people to throw out the first pitch. I couldn’t make out who they were, but I know at least one of them is related to Jackie Robinson. (SHOT OF THE SCOREBOARD FOR JACKIE ROBINSON DAY) and also … I met Jerry Remy! I was standing around outside and he comes walking by me. I’m looking at him, and he says “Hey, what’s up, what’s going on?” I say “I’m good, you?” and he says “I’m good!” then walks by to start signing autographs. I jump in, so now my ticket has “JERRY REMY” on it. Pretty neat. (JERRY REMY) I wanted to give Remy my MVN card (don’t I sound all high and mighty there? “Oh, I wanted to give him my cahhhd.”) but alas, my wallet was bare of cards. I forgot to restock my wallet. Oh well, I’ll grab him one day.
Regarding the Sheffield incident … I feel it’s being made out to be more than it is. One sickening example is at Boston Dirt Dogs – I just can’t stand the way they approach the incident. Reading it, it seems as if Dirt Dogs is taking a “holier than thou” attitude and is just ripping the fan up and down, like he’s drawing and quartering him. I just can’t believe the way this site is acting. This site now is just so negative and enjoys ripping people, it’s like a worse version of the New York Post and I for one am ashamed to have this website representing the Boston Red Sox. I remember when it was the greatest Red Sox site in the land, but now it doesn’t even compare to that site, this site isn’t a shell of its former self – it broke the shell and poured a new mold. All the negativity and superiority oozing out of that site just really gets to me. Can we please move on? As some commenters have said – if this was Milton Bradley, he would be getting slammed left and right. But no, it’s Gary Sheffield who “restrained” himself. If it was the Devil Rays and Tigers, it’s barely a news story. And everyone is hating on the Red Sox fans? Excuse me, but: “Were Yanks fans deeply ashamed of themselves after the incident at Yankee Stadium in the 2004 ALCS where play was suspended & the riot squad was called onto the field? Were they deeply ashamed of Karim Garcia for joining the beating of the Red Sox groundskeeper in the 2003 ALCS? (Sam comments in Sheffield entry)” Is this as bad as Karim Garcia and Jeff Nelson beating the groundskeeper? Forget it. Is it the same as the riot issue in the ALCS? I say yes, and that riot issue got glossed over pretty quick. Let’s just move on, okay?
Tonight Matt Clement (0-0, 4.35) opposes Dewon Brazelton (0-2, 4.38) at 7:05. You know our offense is pretty good when Clement hasn’t lost yet and Brazelton has twice already. Clement’s got a great chance to notch his first win as a Sox at the Devil Ray’s expense. Clement works very slow, but if he wins, I have no complaints. I’m seeing spurts of greatness from Clement, and I’m also seeing Varitek struggling a bit to try to keep Clement doing what Varitek wants him to do. If I had to make a prediction (oy) I’d say that one thing Varitek and Dave Wallace will work on is Clement speeding up his game. To me it seems like Clement takes so much time between pitches that he overthinks everything. Get the ball back from Varitek, get on the mound, do what Varitek tells you to do, and throw it. Take some time to breathe before you throw it, but get back on that mound and get the sign. Don’t take a nice breather around the mound, get the sign (if you want it to be that) and then breathe. It’s all about repetition in baseball, and if you overthink it too much you won’t do well.
UPDATE: By the way, there have been reports of House, who is a season-ticket holder, always screaming out obscenities and piling up the beer cups with his friends. If this is true, yank the season tickets. Also check out this AP article on who should be punished. Fantastic article … because it agrees with me!

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