Tuesday, June 28, 2005
I was fully prepared to watch this one from home. I'd already been to 5 games at Fenway this year, and my dad had two tickets to tonight's game, so he was going to take my brother (who hadn't been to many games at all, what with finishing up his school year and all... yes, Michigan gets out much earlier than basically all of creation). I was OK with that. Fair is fair, after all.
Then I got an email from Kristen, saying that she had suddenly come into possession of an extra ticket for the game tonight. Right field grandstand, probably not obstructed view, and would I like to go?
I nearly fell over myself in my haste to type my reply. Would I like to go? As when my friend Nate asked if I wanted to go to Comerica for an afternoon game, really, not a question that had to be asked. The only issue is whether I would actually be able to go, like if I had something else to do that night, not if I'd like to go. Would I like to go to a baseball game? Is water wet? Is fire hot? Is Jeter overrated?
I met Kristen and her friend Amy at their Place of Employment (nice building, by the by), we gathered Annette, and walked down to Fenway, which is a pretty pleasant walk that was made slightly more onerous by the fact that it was hotter than Bill Mueller's ass in Boston today, and we were all basically shvitzing ourselves to death, because that is pretty fucking hot.
We met Steve near Kenmore, where it came to light that Steve and I were both wearing the same tshirt. This one, actually. We declared ourselves The Bellhorn Cheering Section That is Not Comprised of 30 Year Old Women Who Want to Stalk Him But is Rather Comprised of Youthful Fans Who Appreciate His OBP* on the spot. Steve was asked about the shirt by some people sitting behind us at the game. They wanted to know 'what it meant'. We all sort of looked at each other and shrugged. I believe Steve ventured some sort of explanation, but really, it defies all explanation.
Of course then Bellhorn had to go ahead and make an error that resulted in two runs. He later redeemed himself somewhat with a single and a snazzy stolen base, and of course his performance yesterday should earn him some slack, but you're more visible making your outs than you are hitting the ball, Fenway is going to have a pretty short fuse with you.
We got there early enough to see 'Tek walk over to the bullpens (Kristen: "Are you paying attention to this?") and to watch Bronson stretch in the outfield. Before he went out to stretch he put his glove down on the ground, then took off his hat and put it down too. He then set off at a brisk trot, blonde hair streaming in the breeze, tossing his head a little to probably loosen his neck up, but seemingly to showcase his flowing locks. We cracked up.
As for the game itself.... ah, t'was ugly. Going into it only one Wahoo batter had an average over .300 (Grady Sizemore), but you wouldn't guess it from the final score. That ball that Trotter tipped over the bullpen wall with his glove for a two-run homer was particularly painful. Trotter thought so too, because we could see him over the wall pretty well from our seats, and he slammed his glove down with an absolutely wrathful expression on his face after the play.
It was very sunny (and hot) in Fenway, but we were luckily sitting in the shade, although we not so luckily had the setting sun directly in our eyes for a bit.
Funny how Trot's shadow is sharper than he is.
Very nice sunset over Boston last night. Sort of like nature was giving us a consolation prize after the heat and the mess of the game.
You know, I hadn't even noticed that Steve flipped his shades back down until after I got this one on the computer. Nice going, Steve Brady. And yes, Kristen's wearing a Varitek jersey.
I'm not usually this insane, and Annette is probably not usually this angelic.
Fenway from the outside.
As Arroyo came out and Halama came on to warm up, all the fielders slouched around to chat with each other. Millar and Trot were schmoozing in shallow right field, Johnny was lying on the grass in center stretching. And Manny?
Manny was disappearing into the Green Monster.
He just wandered up to the door and sort of sidled in. I guess he sometimes goes in during a break in the game to chat with the guy who works back there. It was just totally unexpected and completely awesome. After Halama had mostly finished up Manny popped back out onto the field, and the door melted back into the Monster again.
Speaking of Arroyo, though, why is everyone talking about this loss like it was totally the offense/defense's fault? Arroyo got way too many batters behind in the count, only to run it full and lose them to a hit or a walk. And Sizemore may have gotten a cheap homerun, but there was nothing cheap about Hafner's shot. I realize Bronson abandons the high leg kick when there are men on base, to make a steal less likely, but last night he was letting a man on base a bit too often, and his delivery without the leg kick seemed to be lacking a little. Maybe he sometimes needs to just say screw the runner and throw like he always does, if he's having that much trouble putting the ball over the plate.
Kevin Millwood, well, what can you say? We ran all over him, with Johnny, Edgar, and the Bell each stealing a base, and we worked him for some long at-bats, but we kept stranding guys. The bats were having 'one of those nights', which is galling, but something that has to happen every now and again, I suppose. It's just unfortunate that on such a warm, humid night, when the conditions were perfect for the ball to start flying, we couldn't get anything started.
Regardless, it was a good time. Sure it was hot, and sure we got shutout at home by the fucking Inbreeds and the light hitting Aaron fucking Boone (my Personal Nemesis, and yes, it sucked that he got on base because of a HBP, but I didn't exactly object to watching him gingerly swipe at his mouth to make sure he wasn't bleeding) and the amazing fucking Grady Sizemore. But I did get to go to a game, and I did get to see it with people who are most wonderful to watch a game with.
And the Orioles did lose, although I can't say I was rooting for that to happen, because standings be damned, no one wants to see the Yankees win anything. But we don't move in the standings.
So that's alright then.
edit: Couple new Tigers links. Detroit What?, and Bless You Boys. The latter is SportsBlogs finally getting its act together and getting a Tigers writer, to which I say, 'bout time. Of course, I am now an MVN writer, and SportsBlogs is teh enemy!!!11! But no, it's just nice to see more Tigers blogs of any sort out there.
*Now, I realize my tastes have been called into question on occasion. I have gotten in arguments with certain of you people who do not agree that there is hotness to be found in Pudge, or Ichiro, even though there clearly is... anyways, the point is that my taste is not universal by any means, but I'm laying this out there right now: Mark Bellhorn is not attractive. He is not. Attractive. Can he work the count and take a walk with the best of 'em? Yes. Is he wicked hawt? No. OK. Settled.