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Bitter About the Rivals

Sunday, August 23, 2009 – Fenway Park, Section 43

Yankees 8, Red Sox 4

After spending Saturday in Maine for the Sea Dogs game, I stayed over at my parents’ house, and then drove back to Boston on Sunday afternoon. The game wasn’t until 8:05, but I wanted to get there early enough to try for a parking space at a meter. Not only would it be free, but with the late start and the chance of rain, it was possible that this game would go later than the last T train out of Kenmore at 12:35. Due to some traffic, I wasn’t as early as I thought I would be, but I was still able to find a spot on Comm. Ave. near the BU Central T stop, about 1/2 mile down the street from Kenmore Square, and hike to the park in time to get in the Red Sox Nation line to go in early for batting practice. It started to rain right as it was time to enter. I’ve been up on the Green Monster before and they weren’t even taking B.P., so I decided to stay dry and wait in the concourse. After about 10 minutes, the rain stopped, and they let us go out into the bleachers. The grounds crew was just finishing putting the tarp on the field, when the sun came back out.

The sky in this picture pretty much sums up the weather for the whole weekend.

The sky in this picture pretty much sums up the weather for the whole weekend.

Before the game, I saw a new adaptation of a Damon shirt. A lot of people have gotten creative over the years with the #18 shirts they no longer can wear since the traitorous outfielder they represent defected to New York. Today I saw a guy with a Damon shirt and a laminated sign safety-pinned to his back just below the name. It read, “For Sale – One Owner – Low Mileage.”

The matchup was Josh Beckett against C.C. Sabathia. I remembered these two facing off in Games 1 and 5 of the 2007 ALCS when Sabathia was with the Indians – both of which ended up as blowouts in favor of the Red Sox – and hoped tonight’s game would follow suit. But Beckett’s first pitch of the night was hit for a home run, although he was able to get quickly through the rest of the inning. In the bottom of the first, Jacoby Ellsbury reached on an error by Robinson Cano. Earlier in the week, he had stolen his 54th base of the year, which tied him for the all-time franchise lead with Tommy Harper, who set the mark in 1973. His next theft would give him sole possession of the record. So when he reached base, even with a lefty on the mound, we all knew he was going to try. Unfortunately, so did Sabathia, because he picked him off for the caught stealing.

Jacoby is thrown out before he can set the franchise stolen base record. Plus he probably has cooties after being touched by the Yankees shortstop.

Jacoby is thrown out before he can set the franchise stolen base record. Plus he probably has cooties after being touched by the Yankees shortstop.

Beckett gave up another solo homer in the second. This wasn’t how I planned it. But there was still time. In the second, Mike Lowell doubled down the line in left. (When Johnny Damon’s throw was late getting back to the infield, I yelled, “Nice throw, Mary!” in reference to the “Looks like Jesus, acts like Judas, throws like Mary” t-shirts people wore after he left.) Rocco Baldelli singled Mikey in, and then Jason Varitek doubled to drive in Rocco with the tying run. The problem was that Beckett gave up a run on three hits in the third and another solo homer in the fourth.

Nick Swisher grounds out to Victor Martinez at first base in the sixth inning.

Nick Swisher grounds out to Victor Martinez at first base in the sixth inning.

One thing I really hate is getting stuck sitting near a Yankees fan. It seemed like there were more of them skulking around the park tonight then there had been when we played them here in April and June.  But at least this time I was in my Tenth Man Plan seats, where it’s always the same people around us. Or at least it should have been. Apparently a few of the people in the row in front of us sold their seats to Yankees fans. (I tried my best to represent Red Sox Nation, as the Red Sox scored a run on Cano’s second error of the game in the fourth. When Cano finally caught a popup to end the inning, a guy in a Yankees shirt in the row in front of me stood up and started cheering. I said, “Wow, he actually fielded one! Let’s send that ball straight to the Hall of Fame!” which got a laugh.) But even more annoying than the Yankees fans are casual fans. Of the four girls in front of us, two had Yankees shirts and two had Red Sox shirts. All four of them spent the whole game taking pictures of each other and texting on their phones. When one of the girls in a Matsui shirt stood up to cheer Mariano Rivera, a guy behind us yelled, “Hey Matsui, sit down!” (And that’s all he said – nothing rude or profane.) She answered with what I find to be quite possibly the most offensive thing I’ve ever heard at Fenway: “Oh calm down, it’s only a game.” Think I could have gotten security to throw her out for saying such a thing? I mean, there were children present! That and the fact that the so-called Red Sox fans with her didn’t find anything wrong with the statement annoyed me more than anything that went on on the field.

And what did go on on the field was not good. Beckett pitched deep into the game, but he gave up five homers and eight total runs. It wasn’t pretty at all.

Quote o' the day: As Nick Swisher stood in right field on a patch of grass that was a different shade of green, a guy behind me yelled, "Hey Swishah, that's a trap door! Look out!"

Quote o' the day: As Nick Swisher stood in right field on a patch of grass that was a different shade of green, a guy behind me yelled, "Hey Swishah, that's a trap door! Look out!"

The only good thing was how easy it was to get home. If I have to ride the T, it usually takes me close to two hours to get home. But the game ended at 11:30, and with my car parked on the street, it was a 15 minute walk to the car. From there, it only took me 15 minutes to get on the highway, and with no traffic or construction in my way, I was home by 12:35.

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