Tuesday, June 13, 2006
I salute you, poor bastards who worked at Fenway this weekend.
Think about it. You've got a double-header on Saturday, so the weekend is looking long to the people who work in our fair park already. The weather seems iffy-to-miserable right from the start. You get to the park, do what you need to do to open things up. Doors open for the first game at 11:30. It's sneezing rain and it's miserably dampcold, but, this being Boston, people are staggering in with their trashbag ponchos right when the gates unlock.
Then they're just hanging out in the park. All these people. Miserable, agitated, Bostonian people. They want hot dogs. They want shelter from the rain. They want, mostly, to see some freakin' baseball. And you're the usher, or the ticket dude, or the hot dog vendor, and you're cold and wet and miserable, and you have to deal with them all, and the rain isn't stopping. And you have no idea when you're going to be able to go home but when you see your boss walk by, well, they look tired and cold and harassed and about to burst into tears like Brett Tomko when faced with AJ Pierzynski and a card game, so you know you're not getting out of here until they do.
The game gets pushed back, and pushed back again, and you don't know how this is gonna work, man, it's a double header and already you're starting to bite dangerously close to the posted start time for the second game, and the first one isn't even off the ground yet. If you're on the ground's crew, you're busting your Fenway-employed ass to do everything you can dream up to keep the field in playing condition, because the people upstairs are insisting that they're going to get at least one game in tonight, because they're already supposed to be making up a game today, they're gonna freakin' play, even if they have to send Manny out there in bright yellow waders.
Eventually it's announced that the second game will be pushed to tomorrow, and the first game pushed all the way back to 6:10 tonight. Remember, some people have been in the park since 11:30 am. These people are now raving beasts in Red Sox hats. People getting to the postponed game and confused people trying to find out what's up with the second game are cramming into Kenmore Square and milling furiously around like ants when the nest is stirred with a stick. Babies are crying. Old people are tottering. Dudes from Southie are screaming. It's like Lord of the Flies out there, and inside the park is barely better, no one knows what's going on but if you work there you've got to calm that mother of 3 down and assure her and her wailing, exhausted tots that Wally the Green Monster will show up eventually, you promise.
The game is played. You make some vague attempt at cleaning the park as usual, and the grounds crew sobs violently over the state of the field. Someone sacrifices a pigeon on the pitcher's mound, in the hopes that it will stop the rains.
Sunday dawns bright and sunny, and here comes a double-header, 1 pm and 5 pm starts, so there's hardly any time between them and people coming in for the second game had better not expect anything remotely like a clean ballpark.
And no one, so far as I know, died.
So yeah, I'm sure it was tough on the players and I feel especially bad for Texas, who had to fly back home so that they could get dumped on by the White Sox today, but my sympathy for them is limited. The MAD CRAZY BCRS PROPS instead go to all Fenway employees who worked this weekend. It must have been hell. I was at the second game on Sunday (sheer luck; my brother was supposed to go but the later start time meant he was otherwise occupied at that hour and the ticket defaulted to me), when everyone must have been mere minutes away from mental collapse, and it was a perfectly enjoyable game that went smoothly in every respect except for the score.
But let us not speak of Rudy Seanez, or Keith Foulke. For we do not wish to dwell upon such things, for fear of seeming Irrational.
Click on Kevin Mench's dirt dive to see photos from the game. The light was good, and I'm starting to get the hang of this lens, I think.
We lost, pitching sucked, end of transmission. But the weather was kind and I still had a ton of fun, and a seriously big thanks is due to the Fenway crew for keeping the damn place standing.
Labels: baseball, MLB, rain, Red Sox