Red Sox Chick/Toeing the Rubber

Because you always need a backup plan

Unbefreakinglievable

All photos in this entry were taken by me on August 12, 2008

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Bill Lee! Right in front of me!

I woke up this morning almost convinced that last night was a dream.

The whole thing was surreal. I had a really good seat (about 8 rows off the field) and the weather was 100 times better than I expected. While KellyO (who had tickets for this game long before I did) and I stood watching the field and having a beer before the game, I was approached by a man asking “Are you Cyn?” (turns out he and I have mutual friends…I’m still not positive how he spotted me though!) And then a man asked me to take a picture of his son (first time at Fenway) and when I refused to let him “pay” me for it, he went and bought me a beer. Woot! Free beer! How much better could the night get?

I’ll tell you how much better…Bill Lee winked at me. 😆 He was walking around our section and ended up in the row ahead of me (and the the section next to me) for a few innings (he bolted when the rain, which only lasted about ten minutes, started).

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Obligatory shot of my man Mike!

I have pictures, but my card reader is acting up this morning so I’ll have to add them later (and I will!).

Photos are now added!

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August 13, 2008 Posted by | Games, Photos, Woo-Hoo! | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Good Luck, Charlie!!!!

Focusing on the positive!

Kick ass tonight!

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Charlie and my  hair…taken by Kelly Jefferson!

August 12, 2008 Posted by | Woo-Hoo! | | Leave a comment

Zink!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Yay Charlie!!!!!!!!! (Photo taken by Kelly Jefferson)

There are some guys you just have to root for (See Snyder, Kyle)…and Charlie Zink is one of them.

This article in the Boston Globe’s Sunday Magazine brought Charlie’s story to a large audience. But there were a few of us who had already been following his career prior to that (shout outs to both the Kellys here!).

Charlie did everything he was supposed to do. He listened to the team. He became a knuckleballer even though it wasn’t what he was trained to do (nor what he wanted to do). After years of toiling in the minors, he’s become one of the best pitchers in the International League (and those rat bastards didn’t even let him in the All Star Game, after he was chosen for the team, because they wanted a “fresh arm”. Fresh arm my ass…he threw onFriday and the freaking Boston Red Sox think his arm is good enough to have him throw on Tuesday. Fuck you, International League!).

Whoops, digressed a little there. Sorry.

The point being, it was looking like Zink was never going to get his shot in the majors. There was no place for him on the 25-man roster and he wasn’t even ON the 40-man roster. As good as he was pitching in AAA, other teams weren’t looking for him in a trade deal, scared off by the unknown elements of knuckle-ball pitching.

But no freaking matter now. Charlie’s going to The Show. Tomorrow night to fill in for Tim Wakefield while he’s on the disabled list. (And, yes, I went on to RedSox.com not too long ago and got myself a ticket to tomorrow night’s game.)

Hell, I’ve seen Charlie pitch 72 times in Pawtucket, so I wanted to be there for his first time in Fenway!

Again, how can you not root for this guy?

“This is everything I have ever dreamed of,” said Zink moments ago. “It has come true now and I’m going to the major leagues. It’s ridiculous. I’m at a loss for words. I really don’t know what to say about it. I’ll be smiling forever now. This is just awesome. Awesome.”

I am ridiculously happy for the guy. It’s taken 7 years, but he’s finally getting his shot. Good luck, Charlie!!!

August 11, 2008 Posted by | Players, Pride, Woo-Hoo! | , , | 8 Comments

There will be no “Bay” puns in this post.

Jason Bay (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
(AP Photo/Steven Senne)

 

I’m not a fan of bandwagon jumping just for the sake of doing so. But yesterday was a special circumstance. I wonder how many times (off the record and on) Jason Bay was asked how it felt to be replacing the “best right-handed hitter” the Sox have had in decades? How many times did they ask him if he was nervous about replacing a fan favorite. How many times did patrolling (or as Heidi Watney called it “trolling”) the Green Monster come up? How many different ways did he learn to say “I’m not Manny Ramirez and I’m not going to try to be him”?

I like the guy. I liked him in Pittsburgh and I’m excited at the prospect of what he’ll be able to do here. But I wasn’t going all gooey on him based on one entertaining and well-poised press conference.

And then I watched the game.

I think if I was there (and I had at least two friends who WERE there) I might have cried a little. Cried at the realization that Manny is gone and cried for the way the fans made sure Jason Bay wasn’t going to be held “responsible” for that.

In his first at-bat as a Sox player, he walked and then scored the game’s first run. And I was happy. In his second at-bat, he was hit by a pitch and my reaction was less happy (“But at least he got on base!”). He then went on to strike out swinging…twice. But the baseball gods are funny and they turned this game into an extra-innings extravaganza…so Bay would have another shot at the plate. And he used it to walk…again. Those baseball gods are funny folks aren’t they?

It wasn’t until the 12th inning, as you all know, that Bay had his true, defining, introductory moment (at-bat anyway. He made one hell of a catch in the fifth that saved runs early on.) at Fenway Park. With two outs and one strike on him, he hit a triple off the Monster and started the rally that would lead to his scoring both runs and leading the team to a win they really needed.

So, yeah, I’m all over the Jason Bay bandwagon now. 🙂

August 2, 2008 Posted by | Woo-Hoo! | | 9 Comments

It might be snowing, but it’s Spring in my heart

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Being goofy on local tv
T0day I became a woman. 

A crazy woman who worked her way into Boston just to see an equipment truck get packed up and drive away.

It was a lot of fun, I have to admit.  Watching the press run around, desperate to bring back a story, was high entertainment in itself.  Add to that, Kelly O looking for different places for Steve to be photographed, well, that alone was worth making the trip.

I was interviewed by WBZ tv (you might have caught me on the 6pm news tonight) – Kelly O and I are the "older, more informed" Sox fans.  Lovely.  And, yes, they got my first name wrong – ah the press! 

Up until just a few minutes before the truck left, there were more members of the press there than there were members of Red Sox Nation.  I’d say in all there were probably about fifty of us, cheering on the truck and hoping everything gets to where it’s supposed to go.  "Steve the Ferret" became a media darling, although there was no proof of this anywhere to be seen tonight.  If you’d like to see the photos of Steve’s day in the sun, there are pictures here.  I took an awful lot of them, considering all there was to shoot was a truck, the media and Steve. 

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Here we are on boston.com – saying good bye!
I got to see Kelly J because she was there too!  She and a friend came in (and brought two brothers from out of town who they met at the train station with them!) to celebrate the day.  It was a first for Kelly J as well (Kelly O was the only one of the gang who had done this before!) and I’m pretty comfortable saying that she had a wonderful time.

Heck, we even got on boston.com! 

KellyO and I went to "Zaftig’s" for brunch today.  Most surreal moment of the day:  Eating with Kelly and noticing someone in line, waiting to get in.  It was Seth Justman (former keyboardist and song writer for The J. Geils Band).  Justman was pretty much a God to me when I was growing up.  So my being able to enjoy brunch while he had to wait for my ass to finish just to get a seat, well, that was pretty freaking sweet.

KellyO was interviewed by just about every media outlet that was there today.  She ended up on WCVB and WBZ television, if you’re flipping through the dials tonight around 11pm.

So the truck is off and pitchers and catchers report on Thursday.  It’s snowing out right now and I have to keep reminding myself, it’s coming soon…it’s almost here.

As we were leaving Fenway today, a woman I didn’t know grabbed by arm and said "I feel like I’m going to cry".  I didn’t cry, but I knew how she felt.  It’s silly to those who don’t get it, but today marked the beginning of baseball for those of us who really missed it.  What I said to her when she told me she might cry?

"I understand.  But don’t worry, it’s coming soon."

Soon, folks, very soon! 

February 10, 2008 Posted by | Spring Training, truck day, Woo-Hoo! | 7 Comments

CHB has nothing on me!

Okay, this will be a long one, so settle in!

(The photos are all taken by me and not necessarily connected to the paragraphs they’re in.  Also, they’re thumbnails.  Click on them for a better view.  They aren’t great, but the situation wasn’t set up to take great photos so don’t be picky and take what you get!)  🙂

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Screen grab of Clay Buchholz from the video of his speech
The evening started with a cab ride to the Westin Waterfront Hotel.  It took all of five minutes for us to get there, yet we kept leaning into the front seat asking the driver what he said.  Turns out, the driver was using a Blue Tooth headset to talk to someone on his cell phone.  Blue Tooth headsets were invented by the devil to annoy people like me.

We get to the hotel and I forget that there would be hundreds of people there for reasons not related to baseball.  We wade through these people and Kelly has the presence of mind to ask someone where we’re supposed to go.  After a short walk and a trip down an escalator, we find our brethren.  There’s a section for "VIP Ticket Holders" to go but, alas, neither of us are VIP ticket holders.  So we join the unwashed milling around the lobby area.

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Screen grab of Mike Lowell from the video of HIS speech
Alcohol.  Let us find the alcohol.  We do.  We approach the first bar we see, and there’s a handsome, friendly bartender named Jim.  Or Bob.  Could be either one (or neither one).  I tend to forget the names of nice people I meet, yet the asses stay in my mind forever.  Go figure.

Jim-Bob the bartender is good enough to make Kelly a gin and tonic and me a Cosmo (shout out to Hayes and Beck!), but wait!  There was someone in our midst who didn’t want us to imbibe.  And HIS name I remember.

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Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester
Paul.  Evil Paul.  Evil Paul is, seemingly, in charge of the bars and the bartenders and he’s none too happy that Jim-Bob decided to serve us.  They have a system at the Westin Waterfront and it is to open the bars at the end of the room first and wait until there are too many people in those lines before they open the bars closer to the entrance.  Jim-Bob did not know this and, while still mixing our drinks, apologizes profusely to Evil Paul who could not care less about sweet Jim-Bob’s apology.  Had the two drinks not cost Kelly $21 dollars (boy, I wish that was an exaggeration), Evil Paul would have been wearing my cosmopolitan.  But Kelly did pay $21 for our drinks (not including a tip for poor, put-upon, Jim-Bob), so I refrained from dousing Evil Paul. 

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Mike Lowell and Dustin Pedroia
We decided to take a walk past the silent auction items.  The usual fare for these kinds of things.  A signed Papelbon photo (taller than me), an unsigned photo of Jason Varitek smooshing his glove into ARod’s face (which I already own)…and then, there it was, an autographed photo of JD Drew at bat wearing the green jersey.  (From the Friday night game vs. the Yankees where the Sox honored Red Auerbach).  I told Kelly that I must have that photo, but quickly forgot about it when I overheard someone ask if "…this is the trophy line".

Trophy?  Trophy?  I didn’t even have to say anything and Kelly stepped from the auction items line into the trophy line.  Our spot in the line was fairly close to the beginning, but the line ended up being longer than some of the alcohol lines.  Waiting to get our pictures taken (for free!) was interesting.  Occasionally folks who had no interest in the trophy would walk past us, thinking we were in the ‘beer line’.  When they realized it was the line to get your picture taken with the trophy, we got some really strange looks.

But, at last, Cyn has her photo with the trophy.  (Which I haven’t seen yet since Kelly took it with her camera.  And which none of you will see if I end up hating the photo.  But, at least, I’ll still have it.!)

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Dave Magadan and Dustin Pedroia
Because the crowd had become a bit unwieldy, we didn’t make it back to the auction items.  Instead, we headed back to the bar.  Sweet, old, Jim-Bob’s line was longer than the guy working next to him, so we bypassed him for another bartender.  (Sorry, Jim-Bob!)  Stephen.  You’ll notice I remember his name as well.   Stephen was  nice enough, but he needed bartender lessons.  He made me a Cosmo with gin.  Yes, gin.

It was a very interesting Cosmo, to say the least.  And while I was drinking it, I noticed two men at a table next to the bar.  One was Jim Rice. (We had seen him briefly when we first came in.)  The other?  Bernie Carbo.

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Jed Lowrie and his tie
To say I was excited is a bit of an understatement.  I told Kelly she didn’t have to join me, but I was getting in whatever the line was because I was getting Bernie’s and Jim’s autographs.  So I did.  🙂  Kelly, being the good friend she is, joined me in line and took some pictures.  There’s no picture of me with Bernie, because when I approached Bernie, he smiled at me, looked over at Kelly and exclaimed, "WHOA!"  He also gave her a huge smile, told her he loved her hair, and encouraged her to take a picture of him.  I was too tickled to even think about asking for a picture!  Bernie Carbo totally  hit on her!  🙂  Not so with Jim Ed.  Hey, I’ve waited a long time to meet this man and I took advantage.  He signed a picture of himself for me and agreed to pose for a picture with me (also taken by Kelly.  Another case of, if I like it you all will see it.  If I don’t, you won’t.)   I stood next to him with my hand on his back, and he laughed at how ‘fast’ Kelly took pictures.  I had a few moments to gab with him and he was friendly and nice and I was absolutely taken with him.

I work with a guy who’s also a good friend.  It seems that whenever I end up at one of these things, he gets a random text message, sometimes fueled by alcohol, but usually just fueled by my excitement!  Tonight, the text message he received from me?  "I’m going to marry Jim Rice!"  (His response:  "DO IT!")  But I digress.

Kelly and I met up with Brita Meng Outzen (fabulous Red Sox photographer for redsox.com) and had a nice discussion about Bernie Carbo hitting on Kelly and Brita not traveling with the team for the Japan games.  Then it was time to go to dinner!

So while waiting for the festivities to begin, Kelly treks off to get us drinks.  I’m sitting at our table and notice Amalie Benjamin is walking by me with a boyfriend as diminutive as she.   Red could take him. 🙂

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Hey, you aren’t Justin Masterson!
Kelly returns, drinkless, and I remember that I wanted to bid on the JD Drew autographed photo.  (Kelly has no drinks because they told her they shut down until 7:15.  By my cell phone, it was 7:19.  Off to kill 2 birds with one stone!)  I make my way to the photo and see that two people have bid on it.  I don’t look at anything but the amount that’s been bid, and I up it, sign my name and go back to see Jim-Bob for a Cosmo that DOESN’T have gin in it.  (Jim-Bob to me:  "Who would put gin in a Cosmo?"  I point to Stephen and Jim-Bob laughs.)

 I return to Sean McAdam introducing folks.  (It was a nice evening.  I saw Sean McAdam, Gordon Edes and Amalie Benjamin.  All Boston sports writers who I don’t want to punch.)  When he introduces Mike Lowell, it sounds like it’s 1964 and he just introduced the Beatles.  Grown men are screaming and women are swooning.  Mike Lowell looks to be genuinely touched (and amused) by the ovation.

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Jon Lester
We have a perfectly nice dinner and then it’s time for the autographs.  At this dinner, they allow children ages 16 and under to get autographs from everyone at the head table.  Those of us over 16 go up as well to take photos.  (Sean McAdam told us we could do this…keep that in mind.)  The barrier they’ve placed to keep the autograph seekers roped off from the rest of us is quite narrow.  Which means the kids getting autographs and the adults taking pictures are melding into one.  Security (some I recognized from Fenway and some I didn’t recognize at all) start getting snippy and suddenly the photo Nazis come out and start yelling at anyone not getting an autograph to "get back to your seats".  Yeah.  That worked out well.

 
Sadly, because of the number of people, Kelly and I didn’t get too many ‘good’ photos.  But no matter.  We were up there, looking them over.  And they all looked quite happy.  (For the record, current players up at the head table were Mike Lowell, Dustin Pedroia, Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester.)  There was this one woman who asked me where the autograph line was.  She was my age, maybe a little younger.  When I told her the autographs were only for kids, she whips out a picture of a baby and says to me "I have a four month old baby at home.  She couldn’t make it" and walks away.  As Kelly said, "And we wonder why some hate Red Sox fans".  Yeesh.

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Mike Lowell, baby!
We begrudgingly make our way back to our table (Kelly and I ordered our tickets separately and without even knowing the other was doing it, yet we ended up at the same table.  We were quite happy about that!) but not before checking out the rookies sitting at a table in front of the head table.  The rookies have had a long week but they looked like they were having a lot of fun.  Once back at the table, we enjoyed a tasty chocolate dessert.  Halfway through it, I realize I should go check on my JD Drew photo.

I get to the silent auction area and most of the items are already gone.  Two photos remain and one of them is JD Drew.  I approach the table and see that my name is still the last one on the bidding list.  Victory is mine!  Score one for the Wonder Twins!!!!

I’m waiting for someone to ask me why I’m standing there, when I glance at the bidding sheet and notice the name above mine.

Let me interject something here.  I don’t have one friend who has been to a game with me who doesn’t worry that I might chuck something at Dan Shaughnessy if ever I have the chance.  I’ve had the chance to throw a shoe at him and I didn’t.  I had a chance to trip him at Fenway and I didn’t.  My friends seem to think that third time will be the charm and are hoping the opportunity doesn’t arise.

Back to JD Drew.  The name above mine?  The person I outbid for the autographed photo of JD Drew?

You guessed it.  Dan Shaughnessy.

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My proof!
When the friendly man (whose name I, of course, don’t remember) approached me and I told him I was there for JD, I took the opportunity to ask  him if I could keep the bidding sheet.  He told me they like to keep the sheets and asked my why I wanted it.  I showed him the name.  Before I could say something smarmy, he says to me "Dan’s a friend of mine!!! Of COURSE you can have the sheet!".

So, betraying every natural instinct I have to say something nasty, I just smile and say ‘thank you’ to the nice man who is letting me keep the sheet.

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More Mike!
I won the JD Drew photo and I beat CHB’s ass doing it.  It’s a win-win situation.  I didn’t need to muddy it by bashing he guy’s friend in front of him. 🙂

It was, truly, quite the enjoyable evening.  I’m leaving things out  (Joe Morgan – OUR Joe Morgan not THAT Joe Morgan, Larry Whiteside’s son, Dick Berardino…some lovely speeches, for starters) but that’s only because there was so much to enjoy.

The night ended with my saying good night to Kelly and jumping in a cab.  A cab that ran three red lights (again, I wish that was an exaggeration) to get me home, yet drove through a city it didn’t need to in getting to my own.

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Bubba Bell
I’m home now.  It’s taken me two hours to get this all down.  Kelly has sent me photos (which I haven’t decided yet if I’ll share) and everyone I know is probably asleep.  So it’s time for me to stop rambling.

I took video of various speeches, including Clay’s, Jon’s and Mike’s.  I’m not sure how any of them came out, but if there are any good ones, I’ll post them and let you all know. 🙂

Thanks for indulging me!  I had a wonderful time.  Can’t wait to do it next year!!!! 

(My apologies for any typos or spelling errors…it’s late and I’m tired!) 

January 18, 2008 Posted by | Woo-Hoo! | 8 Comments

Fangirl mode: ON

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I’ll see Bronson tonight!!  (Along with thousands of others, including Kelly O and Cindy!)

So, as you might imagine, it’s difficult for me to type a sentence this morning without interjecting a junior high girl’s ‘SQUEEEEEE’ in the middle of it.

(For those of you new to the blog, forgive my teenage ramblings and give me a break.  I have one, or two, girlish moments in baseball…getting to see Bronson is one!)

Getting to see Mike Timlin is another.  There’s a 50/50 chance I’ll be doing THAT as well today.  My squee cup runneth over.

Man, that didn’t sound right. 🙂

I’ll be back tomorrow with more righteous indignation about Youk and his slump buster and Roger Clemens and his ass.   Today, I’m a fangirl.  Hold me back.  😉

(Incidentally, I’ll be at the Hot Stove, Cool Music concert tonight while the Fat Unctuous Toad is lying on national television.  It’s just as well.  I’m not up for watching Mike Wallace wash Clemens’ balls the way Katie Couric did Alex Rodriguez.)

I’m off folks!  Check the comments of my last post for a couple of good ideas on how to get your voice heard regarding Youk’s slump buster!

Have a great day! 

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January 6, 2008 Posted by | Bronson Arroyo, Happiness, Hot Stove, Cool Music, Mike Timlin, One of "The 25", Tall Pitchers, Woo-Hoo!, Yes, I know I'm a goof | 2 Comments

To cleanse the palate

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December 15, 2007 Posted by | Eye Candy, Mike Lowell, Woo-Hoo! | 5 Comments

We interrupt this baseball blog to talk about hockey

Naked Bobby Orr!

That is all. 

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NON-naked Bobby Orr photo lifted from Boston.com 

November 29, 2007 Posted by | Woo-Hoo! | 2 Comments

Oh Happy Day!

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So all reports are that Mike Lowell will be signing a 3 year deal worth $37.5 million.  How great is this?

The majority of the Red Sox fans I’m in contact with are absolutely thrilled about it.  I know people who have cried over the news, cheered and danced.  We love our Mike Lowell and we wanted him back in Boston.

The Sox made him a better than fair offer and he took it.  No fool he, Mike knows that Fenway is a park built for him and Red Sox Nation is a fan base poised to continue with their adoration of him.  Buster Olney is reporting that there was a 4-year, $50 million deal on the table from the Phillies, yet Mike chose the offer from Boston.

If that story is true, how amazing is that?  A player took a fair offer from his current team instead of chasing after something else.  Amazing since I keep hearing how NO ONE would do something like that.  Especially from Yankees fans.

Oh, as an aside, congrats to ARod on his MVP award.  True to form, every Yankee fan I’ve heard from or read is complaining that he didn’t win unanimously.  Give it a break, people.  He won the award.  Isn’t that good enough?  Incidentally, kudos to the two writers who didn’t put ARod first on their ballots.  Magglio Ordonez was no slouch this season and he deserved some respect.  Everyone knew who was going to win the MVP, so no harm done.  I approve. 🙂

But back to Mikey Doubles.  The Globe is reporting that some minor details need to be ironed out and I keep hearing that the Sox and Mike will announce the deal on Thursday.  (Theo loves to do these things around the holidays, doesn’t he?)  I can’t wait.  I want it all finalized.  I’ve already done my happy dance and shed a few tears myself but I have a few moves left that I’ll hold onto until we get the "official" word.

Way to get things done, both Mike and Theo.  The Sox got the right man and I’ll only be happier as soon as it’s etched in stone.

November 20, 2007 Posted by | Happiness, Hi Ma!, Hot Stove, Mike Lowell, Now THAT'S what I'm talking about!, Way to go!, What a fabulous idea!, Woo-Hoo! | 33 Comments