You all know Matt Peaslee and his amazing love for the game of baseball. Unfortunatly he could not make it to Boston for this trip so he sent me (Andrew Schuerholz) to Boston with Chris Kiernan (whom you all know from “The Look Inside Chris Kiernan”). Chris is a Rays fan, so he was excited to see his team after the beat down they put on Boston the day before. I myself am a Orioles fan, so a Rays Red Sox game has no good outcome. So i cheered for a great ball game, and that it was.
Chris’ aunt scored tickets on top of the green monster. On the morning of the game we all drove up to Boston. Leaving from south jersey it was only a 6 hour drive. We drove right by New York city which was fairly exciting, and then through Connecticut and part of Mass. which was as boring as it sounds.
The hotel we stayed at was luckily within walking distance, because parking is not a cheap thing by anymeans. The lot just outside of Jerome Bettis’ resteraunt is about a quarter mile from PNC and its 5 dollars to park. This garage was about the same distance from Fenway….
Chris and I had never been to Fenway before…and boy is it a dump. Having spent most of our days in Camden Yards, PNC, and Citizens Bank Park, Fenway was old, battered, and ugly. But one could feel the energy all around it. The traditon alone was enough to give me chills. This was my first game all year not at PNC…and it could not have been more different. Before the game Yawkey way was flooded with fans and vendors. There were probably more people on Yawkey way an hour before the game then there will be at PNC park tommorrow. It is ironic that PNC and Camden are beatiful parks…but no one goes. Fenway, a virtual dump is filled every night. So, by that logic in like 40 years when PNC and Camden are out of date the pirates and orioles can stop using a promotion every day to draw crowds because they will be winning. Speaking of which. About a month ago i checked to see if there was a promotion on the day of the game. The Red Sox have none. No promotions at all. PNC really spoils us. Although, I would trade a hat, a t-shirt, and a NoMit bobble head for a world series any day.
We next went up to our seats atop the Green Monster. For those wondering how one gets ontop of the monster it is quite dissapointing. Firemans pole, no. Rope Ladder, no. Elevator, no. About 35 cement steps lead one to the top of the monster. I know…how lame is that. But once you climb the steps and see Fenway from atop the monster you becomed immediatly overwhelmed.
As soon as we reach the top a man checks your icket and stamps your hand with a picture of the mascot. The first thick boston accent of the night. “Hey guy, can i see ya hand guy. Gotta stamp ya hand guy.”
The first thing i noticed on top of the monster is the Citgo sign. On TV it has always looked so close to me…but that sign is like a mile away. Like its not even close at all.
At this point we take our seats and anxiously await the first pitch.
As the first pitch is thrown flash bulbs go off all over the stadium. It felt like the Super Bowl. It’s May…and the fans are so into it. This is what I loved most about Fenway. 130 games left in the season and the Bostonians love it. Why cant Baltimore and Pittsburgh be like this. As the Red Sox take the field I notice an awkward patch of grass right under Jason Bay. Chris’ uncle (a huge Sox fan) tells me that they cut that patch out so Manny knew where to stand in Left Field. A funny joke…or the truth?
Some strang things happen in Boston. I say that as if 4 grown men running around in Perogie outfits is normal. (Oliver Onion is taking the season crown by the way). In the 7th Hedeki Okijima is called into the game. His entrance music is a song about him. For about 2 minutes japanses lyrics blair through the speakers followed by what sounds like 20 young asian girls screaming O-K-A-J-I-M-A. Awkward. Another thing that i have never seen before. A girl about 20 seats over from us had a sign that said “PAPI HIT IT HERE” I think to myslef…what an idiot, Ortiz isn’t going to hit an oppo bomb over the monster. 2 innings later Peaslee texts me asking if i saw the idiot with the hit it here papi sign, expressing the same thought that he would never hit an oppo bomb, or at least not frequently enough to hit a sign. I look over at the girl the next at bat and the sign had changed to “JASON HIT IT HERE.” This girl is a genious. The names is velcro…and she had every starter. She had a relevant sign every batter. Brilliant.
In the 8th inning during a Pat Burrell at bat, a strange thing happened. During the Red Sox game the Boston Celtics were playing a crucial game 4 in Orlando. I was recieving score updates on my phone because i have Pierce on my playoff fantasy team so i knew the game was close. I recieved a text that the celtics were down by 1 with 11 seconds left. All off a sudden about 5,000 people cheer. Pat Burrell was startled as was I. Apperently Big Baby hit a game winning shot at the buzzer. I later learned that all of the TVs in the park were showing the game so many fans were watching the celtics game in or around the stadium.
After 2 doubles by Papi and Jay Bay the Red Sox had a 4-3 lead going into the 9th. Then the Dropkick Murphys-I’m Shipping Off to Boston comes over the loud speakers. The most intimidating rendition of Riverdance I have ever heard. It was time for Papelbon. As he ran from the dugout to the mound Fenway errupted. Somehow the Rays managed to get a runner on first and third with no one out. Papelbon then went on to strike out the side. Pena, Upton, Crawford. 3 fantastic hitters, and he strikes them all out. I was impressed. I have never heard a ball park as loud as Fenway after Crawford missed the high fastball by Pap. Chris was not happy. We then met Boston accent number to. Chris had a dioner navarro jersey shirt on for the game. As we are leaving a kid yells “Hey Diona. Hey Diona, nice game Diona” They just cant get to seem to get that er sound down. Which is a shame because they are big Gahnet fans up there.
Speaking of Gahnet. Remeber 2 weeks ago or so when everyone was saying “Anything is possible!” in Pittsburgh. The Pirates have lost 8 straight. The offense has been just brutal. Something needs to be done. Mind you I am not the biggest bucs fan but i vote we bring up McCutchen. I know its to early, but i just want something exciting to watch. When Mahalom is providing his only run support something is seriously wrong.
I want to thank Peaslee for the oppertunity. The trip to Fenway was one of the greatest baseball experiences of my life. It falls second only to meeting Henry Aaron. I had a great time at the game, and writing this blog afterward.
LETS GO BUCS!