Friday, October 17, 2008
I don't believe what I just saw.
I cannot believe that game. I just... wow. My voice is GONE. People were leaving in the 6th inning; we moved down to the loge box where my cousins have season tickets because the people who share the box with them left early. I can't even imagine how it would feel to have left that game early.
There have been articles about how complacent Red Sox Nation is getting. How blasé. And there is some truth to that; after all, there were those seats emptying in the 6th inning of a playoff game. You wouldn't have seen that in 2004. Heck, you probably wouldn't have seen that in 2007.
But that 7th inning. I am not sure I can coherently express it. The David Ortiz three-run homer brought people to their feet in a way that would make even the most die-hard 2004-vintage fan proud. The screaming. The stomping. The jumping around and, and, and.... the continued screaming. How could we NOT? It was David Ortiz, our Big Papi, who had been struggling SO HARD, who had been wishing for EXACTLY THIS HIT for SO LONG, with all of us wishing for exactly the same thing right behind him.... and he GOT IT, he got the EXACT HIT he'd been waiting for, and Fenway just exploded.
We were still down 7-4! But from that point on, we did not sit down. We did not stop making noise. The last three Rays pitchers all had names that lent themselves wonderfully to taunting chants: "Baaaaaalllll-foooouuuurrrrr!" "Wheeeeee-lllleeerrrrrrr!" "Hoooowwwww-eeelllllll!" And oh, how we chanted. ESPECIALLY for Balfour and Wheeler, who seemed to actually become more rattled and uncertain as the crowd's volume increased.
There were Rays family members sitting in the section next to my cousin's seats. She was irate because, around the 6th inning, Fenway security came over and was talking to the Rays people about protocol when it came to running onto the field and celebrating, how they could get on there to party with their family members, and so on. "RED SOX security!" my cousin said, outraged. "Can you believe that?"
It did seem unbelievable. Even down by 7... these are the Red Sox! Have we learned nothing? I know that it was something those people had to be told at some point, but AT LEAST wait until the 8th inning, jeez.
Then of course the comeback began. The unbelievable comeback. I really cannot properly express how intense it was. On our feet, screaming and clapping and chanting and hopping and living and dying with every pitch. Practically hyperventilating. I honestly felt like I was going to throw up several times, or pass out, or SOMETHING.
It has been a while since I was last at a Red Sox game where every single moment hung you out on tenterhooks like that, but there was no denying the feeling: it was that good old 2004 feeling, where you WANT every out for every Red Sox pitcher so badly that you almost feel like you're throwing the balls yourself, where you WANT every base for every Red Sox hitter so badly your hands twitch like you're holding a bat.
I'm still obviously pretty verklempt from this game and I'm not being very coherent. But holy cats. Holy freakin' cats, that GAME. This TEAM.
Even if we go on to lose the series, it will not take away from what the team did in this game. It will not take away the fact that the Red Sox looked at the Rays and said: no. Not in Fenway. Not in our house.
Down 7-0, came back to win 8-7.
I don't believe what I just saw.
Labels: ALCS, baseball, Devil Rays, Red Sox, win
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Well, that game sucked. Many photos to come, but really the highlight of the evening was the extremely drunk/irate guy in the right field box section behind us who decided that he hated Rays relief pitcher JP Howell.
This particular bit of right field box, if you're not familiar with the area, happens to have a good view down into the Rays bullpen, and it was not too unreasonable to expect that the Rays could hear a particularly strident crowd member from that section. In fact the very first time this guy stood up and screamed, Hey Howell!11!, Howell made the mistake of actually looking in his general direction. Regardless of the truth of the matter, the drunk guy was then dead convinced that JP Howell could hear his heckling, and so proceeded with due gusto.
Things this dude yelled at JP Howell over the course of the game:
"Hey! It's six-tee three dahgrees! Hey, nice gloves, ya pansy. It ain't 32 dahgrees out!" [Howell was wearing a sweatshirt and batting gloves while stretching in the bullpen.]
"Hey, ya big fairy! It don't matter, 'cause at the end'a the day you go home and yer still a fairy!"
"Yer sister sez hi!"
"Keep wavin' those arms, Howell! You just keep on doin' that!" [Howell was doing that windmill-arm stretching thing.]
"Must be hahd to stay warm, sittin' on that bench!"
"JP! You suck! You suck! Yer terrible!"
"I don't care what the score is! Yer still a bum!"
"Yer a custodian! Jan-ih-terrrrr!"
And a number of other things in a similar vein that I did not note down around the edges of my scorecard.
The best part is the fact that this guy didn't heckle ANY other Rays. Not the right fielder, who could certainly hear deranged drunken rants from the section if the bullpen could. Not any of the other relievers, including guys who warmed up in the 'pen and actually got into the game (something Howell did not do). JP Howell and JP Howell alone was the target of this determined fan's ire. You just have to admire that level of dedication, detail-orientation, and insanity.
Labels: baseball, Devil Rays, in attendance, JP Howell, MLB, surly Red Sox fan
Sunday, October 12, 2008
CATDAMMIT, TIMLIN. Why do you hate me? Why do you want me to suffer? I have never done anything to you.
I know there are many other things to blame here, including:
--Whatever Is Wrong With Josh Beckett Oh Jeez I Bet It's the Oblique Even If He Says It Isn't
--the homeplate ump and his terrible strikezone
--the throw from Drew that was awkward and offline
--Tito for leaving Beckett in so long
--every stupid feature of Tropicana Indoor Skatepark
--Jacoby's 0-for-6 night
--Mark Kotsay's 0-for-6 night
--Evan Longoria and everything associated with Evan Longoria
--the removal of the word 'Devil' from the Rays' name
--MLB's scheduling, which has playoff games starting after 8 pm
--the TBS announcing crew
--Joe Maddon's black magick and sorcery
--men left on base
--the rays in the outfield touch-tank.
But because it is nearly 3 am and I am irrational with woe: CATDAMMIT MIKE TIMLIN WHY MUST YOU WOUND ME SO?!
I know that Timlin used to be a good pitcher. I know that those days are not too long gone. Why, he was downright GOOD last season.
Those times are gone forever. Mike Timlin is 42 years old. Those times are not coming back. We are collectively in a place right now where we see Timlin come into a game and we say, "Oh shit no we're doomed now," and most of the time we do that, we end up being right. Red Sox fans are naturally paranoid and pessimistic but this is not OK. We don't like being right when it's the result of our paranoia and pessimism coming to actual fruition.
With that in mind: why did Timlin come into that game? Why would you bring a ticking timebomb who doesn't even have the powers of his formerly high socks to raise him above the muddy waters of mediocrity anymore? Why would you do that in the bottom of the 11th inning of a vital ALCS game? Why do that when Papelbon had only thrown 18 pitches and had at least one night off immediately following the game?
First the first Wolverine loss to the MAC team in school history, on a frikking missed field goal, and then THIS. My frowny faces shall be epic this weekend.
Labels: ALCS, baseball, Devil Rays, loss, Mike Timlin, MLB, Red Sox
Friday, October 10, 2008
All photos by Samara Pearlstein, obviously.
Labels: ALCS, baseball, Devil Rays, MLB, photoblog, Red Sox, rivalry