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Fenway Parking

Monday, May 1, 2017 – Fenway Park, Section 32

Orioles 5, Red Sox 2

As a season ticket holder, I earn rewards points by checking in to games and watching for code words, and there are items we can buy and raffles we can enter with the points.  This year, I entered and won a raffle to “park in the players’ parking lot” at the corner of Yawkey Way and Van Ness St., near the Gate D entrance, for the May 1st game.  I’ve spent many hours over the years standing across the street from the parking lot before and after big games to watch the players pull in.  They have metal barriers blocking off half of that block of the street, with only the far sidewalk available for pedestrians.  I remember having seen Curt Schilling’s Hummer, David Ortiz’s Lamborghini, Trot Nixon climbing comically out of a Mini Cooper one time, and even Jonathan Papelbon’s dog.  The lot itself is such a small wedge-shaped area that they often park the extra cars on the near sidewalk and along the side of the road in the section that’s blocked off.  I laughed at the thought of my dusty ten-year-old compact car among the players’ fancy rides, and wondered which player would end up with his car parked on the street because they had promised a spot to a fan.

The players' parking lot. They could have squuezed my little car in there!

The players' parking lot. They could have squeezed my little car in there!

The Red Sox mailed me a special permit, and I showed it to the cops and parking lot attendants, who moved the barriers so I could drive in.  I had been imagining posing for some pictures with my car after they drove it into the lot, so I was surprised when the guy parked it along the street in the blocked off area.  Alrighty then.  Well, it was still a good close spot right next to the ballpark that I didn’t have to pay for.  (Of course, I normally park a few miles away and then take the T, so it really only saved me the cost of a round-trip Charlie ticket.)  Since the main gates hadn’t opened yet, I went in the early entrance line at Gate C, which is available for season ticket holders and Red Sox Nation members.

Before the game I had a chance to do some reflecting on the current state of the Sox.

Before the game I had a chance to do some reflecting on the current state of the Sox.

My seat was in the left field grandstand, and a pole blocked the plate.  Luckily the person in the seat next to me never showed, and I was able to move over and see everything.  Despite the calendar now saying May, it was cold enough that I could see my breath, and a little drizzly.

It was May, but this was the coldest game I had been to so far.

Ben Taylor and Chris Young are dressed for a lovely May evening in New England.

It was cold enough that I could see my breath - and the players, including Marco Hernandez, were no exception.

It was cold enough that I could see my breath - and the players, including Marco Hernandez, were no exception.

In the series with the Orioles the previous week in Baltimore, Manny Machado had initiated some bad blood when he slid into second with his feet high, spiking Dustin Pedroia in the knee that he had had surgery on over the winter and knocking him out of the lineup for a few days.  When Matt Barnes threw near Machado’s head later in the series, he was suspended for four games.  Machado, however, was never brought to justice for his role in starting the whole thing, and he was getting soundly booed all night long at Fenway.

As most of his starts have gone this year, Rick Porcello pitched well but didn't get any run support. He gave up 2 runs in 6 innings of work.

As most of his starts have gone this year, Rick Porcello pitched well but didn't get any run support. He gave up 2 runs in 6 innings of work.

Sandy Leon singled in the fifth, but he was stranded.

Sandy Leon singled in the fifth, but he was stranded.

Mitch Moreland was 0-for-3 with a walk.

Mitch Moreland was 0-for-3 with a walk.

Heath Hembree pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning, but then ran into trouble in the eighth.

Heath Hembree pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning, but then ran into trouble in the eighth.

The first six innings were frustrating enough with the lack of offense and the fact that public enemy #1 Machado had clubbed a homer way over the Monster.  It got worse when Orioles pitcher Dylan Bundy drilled Mookie Betts in obviously intentional fashion, yet somehow avoided any kind of warning or ejection.  And then in the eighth, the Red Sox completely imploded.  With one out and a runner on, the next three plays all resulted in errors.  There was a throwing error by Hembree, a fielding error by Marco Hernandez at third, and a bad throw by Andrew Benintendi in left.  That was followed by a single and a sacrifice fly, and the Red Sox found themselves down 5-0.

Xander Bogaerts crosses the plate in the bottom of the eighth, scoring the first Red Sox run of the game.

Xander Bogaerts crosses the plate in the bottom of the eighth.

They finally got something going in the bottom of the eighth, when Hernandez and Bogaerts opened the inning with hits.  Marco scored the first Red Sox run on Benintendi’s single.  Then one out later, Hanley Ramirez lined a hit into left, and I turned toward home to capture a shot of the runner(s) crossing the plate.  Bogaerts made it safely across, but when I looked back to the basepaths, Benintendi and Hanley had both wound up on second base.  Oops!  Beni was ruled out, and the chance for a rally was quickly extinguished.  Just to really add insult to injury, Hernandez made another error in the ninth – his second, and the team’s fourth, of the game.

I moved down to a closer seat in the ninth, as a light rain started up.

I moved down to a closer seat in the ninth, as a light rain started up.

I had moved down to a close seat behind third base, so when the game was over it took a few minutes to get through the stream of exiting fans and over to the ladies’ room.  Even with that detour, the advantage to my special parking space came quickly into play.  I took one step out the Gate D doors and saw my car.  I got in and a cop was there motioning me to the left onto Yawkey Way, and when I got to Boylston St. there was another cop waving me on to make that left turn.  Even with cars double parked on Comm. Ave. and having to pull over for an ambulance, I made it to the Mass. Pike headed for home within ten minutes.  It’s sad when the best part of the game is being able to get out of there in a hurry, but I was definitely glad I could.

May 1, 2017 • Posted in: 2017 Games • Share on Facebook

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