OK, So it was a 50 / 50 chance of Rain Delay vs. Game Postponement last night at Fenway Park. The Boston Red Sox were scheduled to play the second part of a double-header that was supposed to start at 7:10 pm. That was NOT going to happen. Good thing I brought my rain gear. No way was I going to sit this one out at home and say “Oh Well….” I can get a little wet for the sake of the game, hell, I can get SOAKED for my Sox !! If they can get dressed and go out there and play a game in the rain and cold, then I will be there to watch them do it.
I never thought I would see the day that the line for Dunkin Donuts coffee was longer than the one for beer at Fenway. It was weird, but then again….so was watching the Boston Bruins hockey game at Fenway on the Super Screen while waiting for our Sox game to start. I was a bit disappointed that Fenway did not air the music video that was made for rain delays by Jonathan Papelbon and Manny DelCarmen called “Blame It On The Rain”.
What I was NOT disappointed about was the performance of my team. Bailey had a great at bat with a 3-run homer that really got things going. Brad Penny was sharp, much better than Friday night’s game vs. the Orioles. We’ve got to cut the guy some slack, he only just pitched his second game at Fenway. He’s not in LA anymore, we are not a bunch of laid-back dudes that surf all day and hang in the Hollywood Hills by night…..we are up-tight, slightly stressed-out and extremely passionate Bostonians (and New Englanders).
Happy 50th Birthday to my friend Terry Francona (4/22), hope you had a good one Tito.
After Pap finished the Twins at 7-3, we officially have a 7-game winning streak going !!
On the way into Fenway, I ran into John Tomase of the Boston Herald and Comcast Sports Tonight – at the time, he thought the game was going to be postponed because the forecast was grim, but I am glad we all lucked-out. I did not want to have to pay another $30 to park again Thursday !! And my drive down is not so short either. Once again, the gods have shined their glorious light down on Fenway Park. (Hope I spelled your name right John)
It was a glorious warm night with no wind, and a great sunset over the beautiful green Oasis of Fenway Park. (Once I finally got there through the horrid slow-moving traffic all the way back to the ramp on 93 !!) It was almost like an early June night, instead of one in mid April. I was ready to watch my Sox battle the Batimore Orioles and begin their journey to get back on track.
The boys started off slow, falling behind early with a 7 to 1 score. The Red Bull must have kicked-in, and they settled-in for a fight that would last all night. Brad Penny was having an “Off” game tonight. It was his first game starting at Fenway Park for the Sox, so it would be wrong to be hard on the man. On came Manny DelCarmen, who was having a good night, then Okie and Pap. We caught up to the Orioles by mid-game and fought to keep that lead….and triumphed in spectacular Papelbon fashion. Boston was working it’s way back up the AL East standings ladder.
Before game start, I went for a walk and decided not to be my usual quiet smiling self, and ask for what I wanted. So I took the elevator, stairs and ramps up as far as I could possibly go in the Fenway “Nest”…..taking photos all the way. I wanted a really good shot of the park (was severely handicapped by my digital camera with NO WIDE ANGLE LENS ) but had fun anyways. I went almost everywhere I wanted in search for my money shot. Some old-timer let me stand on his seat in the Pavillion Club seating to get the right angle. It was a blast, but my feet were killing me and I was dead-thirsty by the time I got way back down to my seat to watch the game.
Enjoy the shots. (By the way, Sox won 10-8)
I was in an extreme state of Nirvana in Florida for the past week,using my time there very wisely observing Boston Red Sox pitching and catching,as well as Batting Practices. I think I actually made it to the field before the players and coaches did.
OK,so my favorite subject in baseball,especially Red Sox baseball is PITCHING. And after making so many field observations, and speaking to some pitchers and coaches, I will share my Preseason Pitching Ponderings with you. I am fairly straightforward on this subject,and realize that this is a very touchy subject…..and everyone has their favorites – but here goes.
Clay Buchholz started as a bright light, that eventually partially fades in order to join the masses. He is newly buff,and confident and steady, now that’s important!! He is calmer on the mound,and is learning to trust Varitek’s calls more. He wants to be successful this time around, so he is working hard. I still believe in my gut that they are putting him out there to be seen (“Highlighted”) to use him in a trade sometime this year. Clay’s not stupid,he knows it too. Whatever happens,as he ages,he will gain the experience he needs to succeed.
Justin Masterson is a SUPERSTAR. He is the Future Horse of the Boston Red Sox, no question. He is strong and well-grounded, a real clubhouse guy. He will pay his dues and go wherever they want him, starting or bullpen, because he knows it will pay-off in the end. The kid is so powerful, and has so much time to hone his skills and take his aggression down a few steps. I look forward to seeing him pitch for many years to come, and there should be a fat paycheck soon for that boy. I still remember seeing him stare-down A-Rod in September.
Daniel Bard is a lanky kid with a spitfire fastball that you can’t even see!! And it’s consistent too, he will go down to the minors to work hard and put his time in,and I think that they will be using him a bit at Fenway this summer too. The kid has great stuff, very exciting to watch.
Junichi Tazawa is a phenom, a gifted boy that will learn to control his arm and hit his spots in the minors this year. I think he may have been dissappointed to be sent down, but we are so loaded with pitching,we can afford to take our time to get these kids game-ready.
Michael Bowden is an intense power pitcher that has been great as a starter in the minors,but may be used in the Sox bullpen before year’s end. He, like Masterson needs to control the aggression impulse and take things more calmly. He will be extremely valuable.
I cannot speak of pitchers without mentioning my elation of personally observing the gifts that both of our new veteran pitchers on my happy list have to give to us as fans. Watching Takashi Saito pitch in last Friday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates was a thrill. The man has some very powerful stuff, and is very healthy and ready to go. I have no doubt that he will be instrumental to us earning a top spot in the AL East in 2009.
And Brad Penny, my other top pick will be another strong addition to the Red Sox starting lineup. What a powerhouse arm, I find myself worrying that he may dislocate something in his pitches!! If he can stay healthy, it will not only be a great year for him, but for our Red Sox.
As always, I enjoyed watching the funky throws of Okajima and Lopez, and it’s a religious experience watching Beckett and Lester throw lights-out stuff. Our Captain surely has his workload full this year wrangling all these studs and colts together to create a winning season. (And I predict that John Smoltz will be quite a handful.)
This year will prove to be a thrilling grind for players and fans alike, so enjoy!!!!
May the Sox be with you all.