Tagged: shields

Opening Day (Part 2)

DSC_0364.JPGOpening Day (Part 2) went off without a hitch. Thick clouds swirled in the sky early but no rain soaked today. It wasn’t actually the beautiful day we all wished for. It was very windy and moderately cold. Was a great game.


I (again) drove to Boston with a dear, long-time friend, who also happens to be a Red Sox fan. He had never been to an Opening Day; alas, he gets to go to two. Another friend came along for the ride.


It was so good to see the crowd on Yawkey Way.


It was touching to see the lowering of the flag across the green monster.


It was emotional seeing Ted Kennedy throw out the first pitch to newly elected Hall-Of-Famer Jim Rice.


And the fly-over…WOW. Very cool.


The introduction of the players was a bit different than usual: instead of the players coming from the dugout, they came out from the grandstands. The person sitting next to me apparently was about to enter the elevator and out come the team to his surprise. He captured it on his cell phone. The dude was wearing a NY hat. Not my favorite seat-mate. This is the seat where my ‘friend’ was suppose to be sitting. I don’t even want to speculate how they got into the hands of this fan. I’m letting go. Oh, well.


Then the game began. Our 2008 MVP homered at first time up: second batter, first inning. How appripoe! The Beckett / Shields match-up was fun. Beckett pitched well with only a few hic-ups here and there. Varitek homered in the sixth. Great to see! They put in Okie for a few batters; not my favorite choice but when they took him out, Masterson cleaned up Okie’s mess in the eighth. Paps closed out the game for the save. Game ended 5 – 3 over the Rays. It was fun but, frankly, not worth all the BS that went along with it. Live and learn. Bring on the season and the competition of real baseball. That I love.






Opening Day 2009 (Part 1)

od.JPGHi, my name is Jackie. I am a Kaz-aholic. Yes, I am a Red Sox fan but in September 2004, I noticed this young pitcher, a lefty, pitch against Pedro and I was hooked. I just can’t get enough of watching this guy pitch. I don’t know what it is. I call it his dance; that fluid motion as he executes his wind-up and release. That leg; the way it always follows in the same manner, every pitch. I compare it to watching Mikhail Baryshnikov dance. I could watch this guy pitch every day.


Problem here is he’s a pitcher on the ‘Devil’ Rays. Yup. That team that went from worst to first. Yup. The one that beat the Red Sox in the ALCS in 2008 to go on to lose to the Phillies in last season’s World Series. So you are asking yourself, what on earth does this have to do with Opening Day? Well I will tell you.


At the end of last season we found out that the Red Sox would open the 2009 season at home against the Rays. Pretty much everyone I know knows how much I love to see the RS play that team. My friend and I made a pack that we would do the RS Destinations trip for the Opener at Fenway. This would alleviate us trying for decent OD tickets because we’d get the whole series from the Destinations package. Well, come to find out, the tickets that are offered in the package were, well let’s just say somewhat questionable. When you’re talking early April in Boston, weather equals comfort. So we hemmed-and-hawed, and apparently to the right person, because another one of our friends was able to get us beautiful seats for Opening Day when tickets went on sale. (Thanks again, Strat!).


Now, I usually don’t have any interest in Opening Day; been there, done that. Though I haven’t been for years, I could care less about being there. After the 2004 World Series, I tried to get tickets to the 2005 Opening Day Ring Ceremony and couldn’t so, just like a woman scorned; I usually don’t want anything to do with OD. But this year it was different. I made a pack with my friend, and besides, the RS are hosting those ‘Devils.’ All of the friends from LN see Opening Day as a holiday and have a ritual that goes along with it. This year I would go.


Opening Day in Fenway was scheduled for Monday, April 6, with Tuesday being an off-day. April 6 is pretty early to start baseball in Boston. The off-day was scheduled more like a rain date and for good reason.


As the ritual goes, LN meets before the game at BBT the last day of the season, and BBW on Opening Day. Our friends were coming from TN, NJ, NY, NH, RI, CT and of course, areas of MA. All week they were calling for rain, but we all know, it can’t rain on Opening Day. I had faith. Well, I was wrong, it can rain on Opening Day, and it did.


As everyone was meeting at BBW, I was driving through Natick, still on the highway on my way to Boston. This is when my phone began to ring; and ring; and ring, and ring. Everyone (and their brother) called to let me know the news: Larry Lucchino just announced that because of the dismal weather outlook for today, Opening Day was going to be played on Tuesday instead. Just as we heard the news, the sun began to break through the thick cloud cover over Natick. O.K., was this going to be like when they cancel school in town because there MIGHT be snow, and it ends up raining? I know the weather was questionable but it not only hadn’t started raining, it actually looked as though it would clear up.


We arrived in Boston (165 miles on Monday), and met up with LN at BBW. Everyone was there. It was wonderful to see everyone together. Though we had just seen each other in February, it still was nice to see everyone. In my less-than-humble-opinion, it was a terrible off-season. Baseball news seemed flat and dismal; there was a tumultuous period for me in the off-season, one (or two) which have been since ironed out. But overall, it was uneasy and problematic. Bottom-line: Baseball couldn’t come soon enough!


Of course, the topic of the day was who was going tomorrow and who wasn’t, and who wasn’t, what to do with their tickets. The irony was, the folks who looked so forward to attending Opening Day, were the ones who couldn’t work out coming back on Tuesday. As wonderful as it was to see everyone, it was a sad, dismal day.


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And then the rains came. When it rained, it rained hard. The Red Sox made the right decision this time. They made the call early enough for people to make alternate plans. I’ve been one to complain that they often hold you hostage at Fenway, not telling you what their plans are just to keep selling you beer and food. But not today.


Someday’s I like rain; other’s I don’t. Today I don’t. Opening Day 2009 will have to wait until tomorrow. The long-awaited Beckett / Shields match up will happen tomorrow. I’ll be there. I wouldn’t miss it.