Two Opening Days in One Year

I went to today’s game. Maybe I shouldn’t have, perhaps I brought negative mojo to the game, but alas. Not much you can do about it. We sat in the normal seats and was treated to an intriguing concept – being on a movie set. Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore were in attendance, to act out Fenway Park scenes for their 2005 movie, Fever Pitch. The filming was going on one section away from me, one aisle away, so we were close to the action – so close that a camera went up and down our row, filming to the right. I was on the aisle seat on the left in Box 34. Another camera was in Box 36 facing us, so it is possible I will appear in the movie. Following this I will then leave you Fire Brand of the American League readers in the dust and hit the road for Hollywood.
I know I also got on NESN a couple of times, because you can see us with a lefty up at bat and a friend called us to say he had saw us which means that it must have been a very good shot. You have to pick us out of the crowd normally, but apparently he saw us clear as day.
So what happens in the scene they filmed? Well, they come up to the walkway, Drew Barrymore in standard New York high-falutin threads while Fallon has on a sweatshirt and jacket and gloves, all adorned with the Red Sox insignia, and he is dancing with glee. Why was he wearing this garb? Why, they were filming Opening Day! The ever-generous Red Sox crew agreed to stage Opening Day ceremonies also, which means we saw the members of some section of the military, the giant USA flag on the Green Monster, and Stephen King coming from behind the flag to ‘Thriller‘ by Michael Jackson to heave a one-hopper that Jason Varitek (yes, no ballgirl on this one) handled with impeccable precision.
Anyhow, the scene they were shooting – a man starts yelling ‘Peanuts, Peeeeaaaanuts!’ while a bunch of junior-high age people squeeze by this Peanut Man, then Drew and Jimmy emerge. Jimmy is as happy as a clam and is quite frankly, freaking out about being here. He directs Drew to his seats and they start to talk.
They filmed this off and on throughout the game, plus they filmed when they were in their seats. The Red Sox Ambassadors were going crazy trying to convince everyone not to look at Barrymore or Fallon or the cameras. They eventually succeeded, but continually reminded us throughout the game. The Red Sox’s oldest player, Charlie Wagner, said the words everyone was waiting to hear – “Play Ball!” Johnny Pesky sat up on the roof just to the left of the .406 Club and drew thunderous applause.
Speaking of thunderous applause, I have yet to attend a park where walks are so appreciated by the home crowd. In Fenway, a walk really is as good as a hit. And a walk by Mark Bellhorn against Jeff Nelson – why, you would think we had a game-winning pinch-hit grand slam! (See Nixon, Trot.) Wakefield struggled through some spots but all-in-all, looked good. He left after serving up a 3-run bomb, but Francona worked his magic the rest of the game to get outs from his bullpen. The hitting mounted a late comeback when Mark Bellhorn put the Sox back in it with a grand slam and David Ortiz added in a solo HR. But the rest of the offense was quiet, like it has all Texas games. Come on bats, wake up!
I wondered why Jason Varitek did not pinch-hit for Doug Mirabelli, Doug Mientkiewicz, or Dave Roberts. After coming home from the game, I checked the game threads over at Sons of Sam Horn and learned why – why would you pinch-hit Tek for any one of them without Tek being the tying or game-winning run? Plus, Mientkiewicz and Roberts have good OBPs also, and Mirabelli has had a great season. Makes sense. Dave Roberts got on at the top of the 9th and Bellhorn was at bat with Manny on-deck. Bellhorn sent a double-play ball to the infield, but Dave Roberts slid and Soriano missed the tag, and so Soriano threw to first. But wait, the umpire said Dave Roberts was out. Why didn’t Dave Roberts run? With Bellhorn at the plate, the risk of a strike-’em-out-throw-’em-out double play was exponentially higher than a double play groundball seeing as Bellhorn only does three things – strike out, homer, or walk. Good enough for me, and Francona is still in my good graces.
Pathetic call by the umpire. Soriano didn’t even come close to Roberts. But ManilaSoxFAN in the game threads said:

Tell ya what: not having to carry the pressure of keeping a win streak is a good thing right now. We’re in a division race and still have big series coming up…the burden of an extended win streak is too much of a distraction. Just keep winning games and series; play loose and easy. The last thing we needed is to get preoccupied with a meaningless statistic like “X wins in a row”. It’s a Big X and a Little Y in the won-loss column that matters…..

Hey, works for me.
Oh, and Drew Barrymore is a Red Sox fan. She led the cheering when we were informed the Yankees had been downed 7-0 (could have been down 1.5 – rats). But hey, at least they lost. Of course, it could have been for the movie, this acting, but I’m content to think it was Barrymore’s doing by choice as I could not see cameras around them when she donned the garb. So Red Sox Nation welcomes Drew Barrymore with open arms.