Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Oh, what a night!

It was more than the night, it was an incredible day. I'm working on the pictures to post later today so you'll have to hang on a little bit for the proof.


My agenda:
  • 6am-ish: wake-up, still groggy from the Bon Jovi concert the night before
  • 12:30pm: leave the office, head to the Bronx
  • 1:20pm: pay my $30 to park at the Stadium
  • 1:30pm: tip the parking guy $10 to get a prime parking spot for a quick getaway
  • 1:45pm: Get on 4 train back to NYC. Train was clean, air-conditioned and nothing like you have read/heard about. My brother was at the parade, getting a few pics.
  • 2:30pm: Meet my brother at his company's hospitality gathering. Tasty beef-on-a-stick. Got to meet Gaylord Perry, Fergie Jenkins, George Foster, Mitch Williams and Jim Bouton. All autographed an all-star game ball, which looks great.
  • 4:30pm: Get on 4 train to head back to the Bronx. Same experience, everyone was friendly, happy to be on the "Iron Horse". A/C was working, which was nice, too.
  • 5:00-6:30pm: Walking around the outside of the Stadium, oogling the new Stadium. The freaks were out, too. As well as many Baby Ruth reps, handing out many Baby Ruth samples. And they were refridgerated, which was a nice touch.
  • 6:30-8:00pm: Got shut out (by about 3 minutes) for a Monument Park tour. Bummer. Took our seats, enjoyed dinner as the shadows settled in over us. Watched BP. Hung out.
  • 8:00pm: Pre-game ceremonies. You saw it better than we did, but it was still chilling. The ARod and Jeter chants were great. The Mariano chants were even more impressive. You could tell that the fans wanted to stick it to Papelbon. [Side note: Shysterball noted that he expected the fans to be more savvy than what the media wants to shove in our face. I think everyone knows that but sometimes, it's just too much fun to pick a villian and beat it to a pulp. Papelbon was the perfect villian for the night, the yang to Mo's yin.]
  • 8:50pm-ish: AL takes the field. Bleachers call roll-call for Jeter and ARod, as is tradition. For those not aware, the Bleachers call roll-call for every position player during the bottom of the first. They will keep chanting until the player turns and waves. A fun little tradition. After roll-call, they called roll for Bobby Murcer. Awesome. Simply awesome. Of course, as soon as that stopped, the "Boston Sucks" chants began. And loud.
  • Every time a Boston player came up, the "Boston Sucks" rained down. Every time Corey Hart came up, they played the intro to "Sunglasses at Night". Lame.
  • Jim Hall, Bob Sheppard's replacement, had a very rough night. Too many mistakes. So many, in fact, that there was a Bob Sheppard chant after another "Correction..."
  • The singing of "God Bless America" should have been done by Ronan Tynan, not whomever was being promoted by some record label. It sounded like an over-done auction tape. Blech.
  • The dragged out the Village People to help the grounds crew do their usual YMCA while grooming the field. Except there was a new Village Person, a soldier? Since when?
  • Papelbon enters. The place erupts. Yes, everyone knew that the hubbub about him thinking he should close over Mo was totally overblown, but no one cared one iota. It's too much fun to boo sometimes. When he let in a run, the "Boston Sucks" chants were deafening.
  • Mo enters. Pandemonium. From our vantage point, it looks like Tito handed him the ball and said "go get 'em" and that's about it. The strike-'em-out-throw-'em-out to end the inning was incredible. The inning ending double play the next inning was also great. We just KNEW the AL would score in the bottom of the 10th to get Mo the win and possible the MVP (sentimental win).
  • Poor Uggla, a horrible inning/game. Hurdle intentionally loaded the bases. Took a minute to see that he was playing for the force at home. A master stroke. We still KNEW the AL would win. We knew it. Everyone knew it. Mo would get the win. Ground ball force out at home. Ditto. Ground ball 6-3 out. Stunned silence. You felt the air, adrenaline, energy leave the stadium.
  • 12:45am-ish: Leave the ballpark. Yes, it lasted another 45 minutes but damn, it's late, I'm keeling over. That $10 spent for primo parking; useless.
Let me just thank my brother for not only flying cross-country to spend a fun-filled 2 days with me, but for landing the tickets. Truly wonderful. He lives 3,000 miles from me and we don't get to see each other or spend enough time with one another as we'd like. But it's times like the last two nights when I'm thankful that we do get to hang out every so often. Just wish it was more often.

Pictures to come, later. I'm buried at work, folks.


UPDATE: First batch of pictures, unedited, can be viewed here. I will post some directly on the site later/tonite, once I can edit and touch them up.

7 comments:

tadthebad said...

Jason,

I understand your passion to "boo the villian", but you have to know that the run scored on Papelbon was not a reflection of his performance. Right?

Jason said...

Tad,

You know the answer to that, I know you do. I might be a Yanks fan, but I am not blind to their faults, my fellow fans' faults, or the success of our competition.

Papelbon simply wore the black hat for the night.

tadthebad said...

Okey dokey. Just checking.

How was the crowd, Jason? On TV it didn't seem like Big Stein got much of a greeting. Lastly, what were the your feelings about Terry replacing ARod and Jeter during the middle of an inning (and bringing in Rivera during the middle of the ninth)?

Jason said...

Ya know, Tad, the ovation wasn't what I would have expected. I was caught off guard, as I suspect many others were. For all his bad, George has been darn successful as a steward of the franchise. Six titles in 35 years is pretty solid. And from our vantage point, we really couldn't see his emotion. I suspect if more folks could see it, it would have brought a bigger ovation. If he spoke, the place would have gone nuts.

Regarding Tito's moves, all I can say is that he's a class act. It's nice to see a guy who "gets it", even if he's playing in the belly of the beast. He knows getting boo'd is SOP. I think he'd be disappointed if he weren't boo'd. So the fact that he'd pull Jeter and ARod, mid-inning, so they could get another round of applause was a great thing. I should have written more about this and maybe I will.

The 9th inning started tied, with KRod coming out. We looked at one another, surprised it wasn't Mo. Then we said "He'll come in with 2 outs just in case the AL wins it in the bottom of the 9th" so he'd get in the game. Once KRod put a man on with 1 out and Mo came in, we realized it had to happen that way as a DP could mean Mo wouldn't get in the game. Again, kudos to Tito for having his brain wrapped around this.

There's playing to win but he also had a firm grasp on the history and the players involved.

The Sox and Yanks are bitter rivals and always will be, but it's nice to see respect amongst the parties. I know I have enormous respect for the entire Sox organization, despite rooting against them daily.

tadthebad said...

I agree with everyting you wrote. You may have more respect for Terry Francona than many Red Sox fans!

Jason said...

koombaya

tadthebad said...

You're not getting my Bud Light, Jason.