Thursday, July 31, 2008

So Long, Manny!

Manny Ramirez is a Dodger. Jason Bay is coming to Boston. In a deal that involved three teams, the trade was done right before the deadline. Manny will play for Joe Torre. The Sox gave up a lot for this Bay guy. Including Brandon Moss and Craig Hansen. I'm not sure we can afford to give up bullpen, even as bad as it is, lately. I hope that we can recover from the drama. We'll see. In spite of all the stupid things he said over the last couple of days, I'll miss Manny. I'm sorry to see him go to the National League. That's like leaving the country as far as I'm concerned. I care less than zero about the National League. I'll never root for a NL team. Don't know why. Just the way it is.

TTFN, y'all!

Days 3-5, Rye, New Hampshire

With this entry, I get caught up on our vacation activites, so far. Also, I've added more pictures to the flickr site. So here's the update...

July 28, 2008

Monday morning we got up and packed up to check out. We were probably out of the hotel by 10am. All we had to do to check out was call a number on the phone and leave our key-cards in the room. We got the car and left the garage, paying our parking fee on the way out.

We had gotten directions from the concierge on how to get to the right freeway to get us out of Boston and on to New Hampshire. We had decided that we would wait to eat until we were on the road.

I need to insert a brief story here…it is funny now, but at the time, it was quite unnerving. Sunday night, while sleeping, I heard the door of the room slam shut. I jerked awake and said, “What was that?!” Christi, pretty much asleep, said that she thought Stephanie went to the bathroom. I said it sounded like the room door. Christi was up in a flash and ran to the door. She opened it and I could hear Steph crying from outside in the hall. She had sleepwalked, and went out of the room into the hall!!! Christi got her back in the room, and she was talking, saying that she didn’t know where she was. We got her calmed down, and back in bed. In the morning, she didn’t remember any of that. I guess we got her a bit too tired from the weekend. Just the night before, she had talked in her sleep and said, “Cash is coming.” Was she referring to Wakefield’s catcher?? Who knows?

There aren’t many places to stop on the highways up here, so we went ahead and found our house in Rye, New Hampshire. We got unloaded, checked out the place, took in the beautiful view for a few minutes, then headed out to find something to eat.

As is usually the case, there is a notebook of stuff in the house, including local restaurants, shopping, etc. So we chose “Ray’s Seafood” for our first meal here. Turned out to be quite good. Very good clam chowder. Christi and Stephanie had fish and chips and I had a haddock roll. It was ok, not great, but ok.

After lunch, we dropped Stephanie back at the house and went back to the grocery store that we passed on the way in to stock up on some stuff. It was kind of hard, because we were full from lunch and getting very tired. But we got that done, then came back to the house, where we just lounged for a few hours.

After that, we went back out to Ray’s for dinner, where we had more clam chowder (it was better than the first time), and this time, Stephanie had fried clam strips, Christi had a shrimp roll, and I had a tuna melt sandwich. It was all very good. The tuna melt was fantastic. The shrimp was delectable. I’m not a big fan of clams, but with tartar sauce, even they were pretty good.

After that, we took a brief drive on down the coast to see what we could see. It is a beautiful coastline and there are some really, REALLY nice houses along the way. We saw several sand beaches and also saw Rye Harbor, where we would eventually get on the boat for our fireworks cruise on Wednesday evening.

We went back to the house to spend the rest of the evening resting. And watched the Red Sox lose to the Angels.

July 29, 2008

Tuesday morning, I actually woke up kind of early. The sunrise over the ocean was very pretty (and quite bright, as well…very different from the sunset in California!). We basically just lounged most of the morning, and had frozen waffles for breakfast.

After breakfast, we got in the car and headed up to Maine, to go to Kennebunkport. We drove through Ogonquit on the way, a very picturesque little town with a beautiful coastline. We also drove through Kittery, the first town on the border, which seems to be mostly outlet malls.

We got to Kennebunkport and parked outside a small shopping area that included a restaurant called Federal Jack’s. So we decided to eat at Federal Jack’s. Last year, we came to Kennebunkport on a bus tour and ate at a place called The Landing. It was overpriced, and not very good. Federal Jack’s was pretty good. We got an order of nachos for an appetizer, and the were delicious. Christi and I both had a Pepperjack burger and Steph got Fish and Chips. It was all really good. I had to use a fork on the burger.

After lunch, we hit the shops. We didn’t get a lot of stuff there, but enjoyed walking around. Christi found a note pad to put on our refrigerator, and we got some fudge at the candy shop. Oh, and Christi got a chocolate-dipped strawberry and I got some chocolate covered cherries at this candy store. Yum, yum!!!

We drove on back to Rye and spent the evening resting, eating chips and guacamole and other snacks instead of a dinner out anywhere.

And we watched the Red Sox lose to the Angels. Also learned that the Braves have traded Mark Teixeira to the Angels. I’m thinking that the Angels are pretty much unstoppable this year.

July 30, 2008

Wednesday morning. Christi and I went to eat breakfast at a place we had seen by the grocery store called Hebert’s. Pronounced “ay-bare’s” maybe?? Anyway, it was pretty disappointing. Eggs were ok, but the potatoes were very bland and the service was only tolerable. Oh, well. Then we found a Radio Shack, where we got a car charger for Christi’s phone because she had left her charger in the hotel in Boston. At least that’s what we think, because we can’t find it. Oh, and Steph wasn’t with us, because she wanted to stay at the house.

After Radio Shack, we went into Portsmouth, a nearby town in New Hampshire. Portsmouth was absolutely charming! We loved it. Much better than Kennebunkport! Lots and lots of shops, along with some local color, a beautiful town square with a huge church in the middle. We had a blast. There was a Celtic store, along with some other places that we just had a great time shopping in. There was also a little store that had all kinds of sarcastic gifts and stuff…reminded us a bit of Spencer’s gifts, only more random. We got some gifts for relatives, etc., got a soda and headed back to the car (because our two hour parking was over). Right next to the car was a “chocolatier.” We bought some chocolate. It was divine!! We may find our way back there before we leave.

We headed on back to Rye to rest up for our evening cruise. Around 5, we went back to Ray’s for dinner. Another round of clam chowder, even better still (how do they do that??). Christi had the tuna melt, and Steph and I tried the lobster pie. It was ok, but I don’t think I liked the sherry sauce.

We got to the harbor with about 45 minutes to spare, so we just sat on a bench looking at boats and nearby houses.

Finally, it was time to board. We were a little concerned about the boat. It was smaller than I thought it would be (I seemed to think we were going on a kind of steamboat), but it didn’t go very fast, so Stephanie was ok on it. We went out about 9-10 miles off the coast of New Hampshire to the “Isles of Shoal.”

The Isles of Shoal consist of 9 small islands, some of which are in Maine, and some in New Hampshire. We got a nice narrative of history about the islands while cruising around them, including the wonderful tales of ghosts and murder involving the island known as “Smuttynose.” They never explained why it’s called “Smuttynose.” But legend has it that the ghost of Blackbeard’s 13th wife haunts the shores of Smuttynose, waiting for him to return. There is also a tale of two women who were murdered on the island and one who survived to tell the tale.

Then there is Star Island, where there is a huge conference center that is co-owned by a Universalist church and a congregational church. They host many conferences throughout the year there. That would be fun!

Another island had a nice lighthouse on it, called White Island. The lighthouse still works, but it is run by computer and has an LED lamp in it instead of the old style lamp. That’s kind of sad, but at least it’s still there. The house next to it is unused. They say that, during the Perfect Storm of 1991, the waves were actually going over the top of the lighthouse!

The other islands are mostly either privately owned or have nothing on them. One is run by a local marine organization (not the military marines, but, you know…oceanic studies), one is an experimental place that is attempting to recover a bird population. One is just a pile of rocks.

It was a very informative cruise and lots of fun. Also very pretty out there.

We went back towards the mainland and stopped about a half mile off of Hampton Beach to watch the weekly fireworks show that starts at 9pm. That was something we’ve never done before…watching fireworks from sea. It was pretty cool. The “booms” from the fireworks were surprisingly loud, and the echoes….wow! Water provides for some pretty amazing echoes.

Then we rode back to Rye Harbor, arriving around 10pm. We got in the car and headed back to the house.

And listened to the Red Sox lose to the Angels. This is depressing. I believe that this is the first time they have been swept at home since that dismal 5-game sweep against the Yankees in 2006. Well, we have Oakland in town tonight. Maybe we can recover some dignity.

Plus they have to decide what they are going to do with Manny. I think this may be it for him. He’s acting pretty badly now. Sigh.

Today, we are probably going to drive to Hampton Beach.

TTFN, y’all!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Day 3--Red Sox 9, Yankees 2!!!

July 27, 2008

Sunday, we slept in (until at least 8am) and got up to go have breakfast at the same Cheesecake factory that we ate at Saturday night, hopefully, with no disgruntled fans throwing cappuccinos. They have a nice outdoor area for dining, and it was cool outside, so we chose to eat out there. Christi and I both had a nice omelet with lots of stuff in it, like cheese, avocado, mushroom, tomatoes, onions, etc. Very tasty. Steph had French toast. After breakfast, our plan was to get tickets for the “Duck Tour.” Unfortunately, the next available tour was at 5:30! Ugh. So much for that. So we shopped around a little mall in the Prudential Center and wound up buying new tennis shoes for Steph and me, hers having the double sock emblem of the Sox and mine having the entire Red Sox logo on the side. Woot! Steph also got a Jon Lester t-shirt and I found a set of pint tumblers that were cheaper than the ones at the team store on Yawkey Way.

We went back towards our hotel, trying to decide what to do. Christi and I wanted to go find Faneuil Hall, so we discussed our options. We decided to get on the trolley tour, which takes you all around Boston, but you can get on and off anywhere. Steph didn’t want to do this, so she stayed in the room. When we got to the trolley booth (which was in the lobby of our hotel), we were told that they were currently not selling tickets because it was “full.” Well, phooey!

We took a taxi to Faneuil Hall. (Keep in mind that, this whole weekend, we are paying $32/day for parking for a rental car that we never used until Monday morning!!) We walked around Faneuil Hall for about an hour, taking in the various sites, including a trio of pretty good performers doing some flexibility/balance tricks. One guy climbed to the top of a ladder while balancing it on it’s two legs, then jumped from the top of the ladder to a very tall unicycle and rode it around for a few minutes, ending his trick with juggling three bowling pins while on the unicycle. The finale had the girl standing on the other guy’s shoulders while he balanced on one of those large, inflated gym balls. Pretty impressive. Being street performers, they rely totally on audience contributions, so we gave them $5. Faneuil Hall had a few nice little shops in it, along with an old Post Office. It was closed, of course, because it was Sunday. Quincy Market was entirely food shops. From end to end, totally packed with people! It was very difficult to get through there. We stopped and got a couple of sodas with ice along the way, because we were very thirsty. We got out from there, and there were a lot of little carts lining the side, all pretty much selling touristy stuff. We never made into the other market building, but instead, walked down toward the wharf. There were a lot of retail shops on the way, including Gap and American Eagle Outfitters, nothing that we don’t see at home. There were more carts, though, some selling cute little signs that said stuff like “Whatever” and “All because two people fell in love.” We considered buying both of those for Stephanie’s room! Haha.

We got to the wharf and found a bench to sit on for a few minutes. I took a picture for a couple of ladies and some kids so they could have one all together. One of the ladies was from Albania. There were a couple of toddlers playing in a fountain across the sidewalk. The wharf was very picturesque, with lots of boats, both large and small. There was an “Airport taxi” boat, as well as a couple of tour boats. Across the harbor was a large building that appeared to be apartments or town homes, with a deck on the roof. It was all pretty. But we were getting tired, so we headed back to the hotel, this time via subway. It was a nice subway ride, not very crowded on Sunday afternoon.

After we got back to the hotel, we pretty much crashed until close to time for our last game. Stephanie wanted donuts from the Shaw’s across the street (they had a Dunkin Donuts shop inside), so Christi took her over there. They came back in before leaving though with a report that it was pouring down rain. That got me kind of depressed because we had already seen two losses, and now it’s raining? They got umbrellas and went across to the Shaw’s for the donuts. After they got back, we started getting ready to go to Fenway. We got jackets and umbrellas (I had to wear a dark blue windbreaker! Yankee colors???) and went down to the street to, once again, pile into a taxi. When we got to Fenway, it wasn’t raining very hard at all. We got up to our seating area, and decided to get some dogs and burgers before going up to sit.

It turned out to be a very nice night. There was no more rain, even though they delayed the game for an hour, because the forecast showed possibility of more coming through. The twilight sky was brilliantly colored!

They started rolling up the tarp at about 8:30 and got the field prepared for gametime. Game started at about 9:05-ish. We had already had the lineups and National Anthem. Hah. The National Anthem was sung by two of The Cowsills. I swear, I am not making this up. I don’t know how many people reading this will remember them. Popular family group in the 60s, predating the Partridge Family (I think). Their biggest hit was called “Indian Lake.” I have at least one of their vinyl albums.


Game on. Red Sox hit the ground running and never slowed down. It was glorious and made the whole night worth it. Big Papi hit a rocket to the right field bleachers, and as one lady who was coming back up to our row said, “That’s what we came to see!” The Sox scored in the first 4 innings and in the 6th, leaving only three innings blank. The Yankees didn’t do much at all. Sox win 7-2, exactly as bad as they lost the night before. Lester was pretty good. We got to see our new friend Manny Delcarmen pitch again, and Timlin closed it out.

It was a tremendously frenzied weekend, and we were totally exhausted. But it was one of the best weekends of my entire life. Even if the Sox did lose the series to the Evil Ones. I took one last picture of Gate C, as we left Fenway, being reduced to tears several times during that walk. We probably won’t be back for a long time, if ever. But, hey. How could any experience ever match this? Dear Lord, I’m starting to cry just from typing this!!

We once again availed ourselves of the “Pedicabs” back to the hotel for the last time. Oh, and by this time, I had absolutely no voice left. Lots of screaming and hollering, you know.

Tomorrow, I’ll be back with some highlights of our week so far in New Hampshire. It’s absolutely beautiful up here.

TTFN, y’all!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

PIcture update

I've uploaded some pictures to my flickr account. They can be seen at That should work for you. I don't think you have to have a password to look at them. They are all in public view. There are also pictures from previous vacations to Yellowstone/Grand Tetons, and the last time we went to Fenway, as well.

I'll be back tomorrow with the victory journal!!

TTFN, y'all!

Day Two--Um...Never Mind

Here's the journal entry I typed on my laptop for July 26. just dawned on me that I had the date wrong on the previous journal. I'm fixing it after this.

July 26, 2008

We got up pretty early and headed out to find breakfast somewhere. After asking the concierge for some suggestions, we decided on a place called Charlie’s Sandwich Shop. It was a fairly short walk from the hotel, on Columbus Street. It was an adorable little diner place, very small. We were seated at the end of a table, shared by a nice couple from France. The breakfast was very good, and reasonably priced. We learned from the waitress that it was a family owned place for over 80 years. Her father had worked for the original Charlie in 1927, and become his partner later. Her and her sons and brothers currently work there.

After breakfast, we walked back to the hotel and grabbed a taxi to take us to Fenway Park. He dropped us off right at Gate D (finally found it, heh), where we waited for the tour to start. We actually went around the corner to the Game On sports bar and had some sodas while we waited. By then, the Team Store was open on Yawkey way, so we went in there for some t-shirts. At which point I discovered that I had left my debit card at the sports bar. *doh* So Christi went back to get that. By that time, people were lining up outside Gate D for our tour. It started at 9:45.

This was an amazing tour of Fenway Park. Much better than the standard tour, which we took last year. Keep in mind that this tour was part of our Red Sox Destinations package. We started where last year’s tour ended, in the blue seats behind home plate. These are the oldest seats still in use in Major League Baseball. According to our tour guide, Jessica, they are also the most uncomfortable. I agree. They are the really old style wooden seats. Five inches smaller than the newer seats. Jessica gave us a brief, but enthusiastic history of Fenway Park and the Boston Red Sox while we were seated there.

After that, the unthinkable happened. The unimaginable. The impossible.

WE GOT TO GO ON THE FIELD!!!!!!!!!!!!!

On the field! At Fenway Park! The hallowed ground!!

I almost cried.

We walked around the warning track (they wouldn’t let us on the grass) to where we stood right in front of the scoreboard. We took pictures, looked at the on-field memorial to Tom Yawkey and his wife (this consists of two vertical lines that have Morse Code which spells out their initials), and then…

We got to go where Manny goes. Inside the scoreboard. Wow. We got lots of pictures in there. Hundreds of people have written their names inside the Fenway Park scoreboard (including the Bickleys…) and some of the scorekeepers even memorialized themselves. We looked through the holes that the scorekeepers use to watch the games. We had a picture taken looking out of the hole, by one of the tour people. Incidentally, eventually all of the photos that they took will be posted on line and we can select ours, and they will send us a photo disc of them. Included in the package.

After we left the scoreboard, we wandered around in front of the scoreboard a little more, and then it was up to the Monstah! Yes, we got to go sit on top of the Green Monster. We had a nice view from up there while Jessica told us about broken noses and broken hands that people suffer while sitting up there. She said that during batting practice, balls come up there at an average of every 45 seconds. At about 90 mph. It’s pretty important to be paying attention.

Then we went to the press box and got to sit in there for a few minutes. She explained to use the hierarchy of seating in the box.

All of this took about an hour and a half, after which it was time for our pre-game reception.

We went to a big banquet room on the EMC level (Fenway’s version of luxury suites). After we all got seated, our guest of honor was introduced to us. Manny Delcarmen. Ok. That was cool. At least it wasn’t Lugo. They sent us all around in a line to get his autograph first. Stephanie and I had him autograph our baseballs from our package (game-used, complete with grass smudges), and Christi had him autograph her “credentials.” (That would be the VIP badge.) Then we got to go back through the line for our photo op. We chose to get a picture with all three of us instead of three individual pictures. Manny was very friendly.

Then he answered some questions. The only complaint about the whole thing was that we couldn’t hear most of the questions that were asked. They should have someone with a microphone repeating the questions.

Then it was lunch. The buffet consisted of Fenway Franks (heh), pulled pork, BBQ chicken and other stuff. Potato salad, corn on the cob, and some fairly icky brownies (shoulda got the cookie). Overall, it was pretty good. Then they gave away seven autographed items, including a ball autographed by Pedroia. We didn’t win anything. *sad face*

We still had about 20 minutes in the room, so we were allowed to stay up there if we wanted. Some people, who wanted to leave, were allowed to leave with an escort out. But there was a surprise. Since we were already in the park, if we wanted to, we were allowed to leave the room, go down to the stands and watch batting practice.

WOOT!! We got to watch Red Sox BP, right from beside home plate, just between the dugout and home. That was a treat. Some of the players even waved at us.

We wound up never having to leave the field until after the game. Actually, I’m kind of wondering if it skewed their attendance figures, because quite a few of our tickets were never scanned in. But anyway, it was an amazing day.

Then there was the game.


Wake started out good. We score first. That was pretty much it. Masterson gave up, what five runs??

Final score, 10-3, Evil ones.

We took bicycle rickshaws back to the hotel, and went to the pool for a little while. Then we went to the Cheesecake Factory for a bite to eat, and the most amazing Key Lime cheesecake that I’ve ever had.

Something interesting happened there while we were waiting. There was a group of people standing by the front door behind us. Suddenly, we heard the sound of something dropping and a small commotion. There was a puddle of what appeared to be Starbucks cappuccino on the floor, which had splashed all over the group of people. The person who had been holding the coffee had left. Then it occurred to us that the group there were Yankee fans. If what I think happened is what really happened, that’s pretty shameful. The rivalry is all in good fun. But if a Sox fan deliberately threw down his coffee drink just to splash those Yankee fans, that’s pretty much over the line, at least in my opinion. Oh, well. I’m a “foreigner” to these parts, but still…

We pretty much came back to the hotel and collapsed after that. Slept until after 8 the next morning.

One more game. One more chance. If we lose this one, I’m asking for a refund.


TTFN, y’all!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Day 1--Yankees 1, Sox 0

We're currently in Rye, New Hampshire, and I finally have internet access again. I'm three days behind, but I'll post what I have already written for the first day of our vacation. I'll get caught up as I go, and will eventually post some pictures on Flickr. I'll let you know when those are up. So here goes...

July 25, 2008

I’m typing this entry here because this stupid hotel doesn’t have free wireless in the rooms. $400 a night rack rate and you have to PAY for wireless access, but only available on the 2nd floor and the lobby! Sheesh.

Yesterday was a pretty awesome day, in spite of that really horrible call by the ump in the bottom of the ninth. (Please see my rule about umps being thrown out of the ballpark…if I’m John Henry, that ump never works in my ballpark again.)

We got up at 4am, and I really didn’t sleep well at all. Anybody surprised?? We got ready to go and left the house by 5:15 to go meet the shuttle bus to the airport. The company my wife works for provides free parking and bus to the terminal! Woot!! We arrived and the bus was on time, so we made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare, got through the security checkpoint with no issues and sat down to wait for the plane.

Plane departed at approximately 7:45 central time. The first leg took us to Laguardia in NYC. Ugh. It’s a pretty long flight and those planes are pretty cramped. But we landed on time and our connecting terminal was only a few hundred fee up the way. We got one of their “pretzel dogs” on the way, and, man was it delicious!! We were really hungry, but that thing was just incredible!

Our second flight was on a regional jet (only three seats across) and lasted about 35 minutes (including a scenic detour over Providence, RI, because of flight volumes at Logan Airport, Boston.

Had a bit of a rough landing in Boston, and the pilot almost didn’t make the turn to his taxiing runway. Heh.

We got off the plane, and by the time we got to the baggage claim, our stuff was waiting for us! Hah!! Um…except for one bag? There’s one bag missing, and one left behind by someone that looks a lot like ours. Except that it was a totally different color and had this bright pink combination lock on it?

So we consult the “Baggage Claim Expert.” Turns out that the left behind bag has a connecting flight to San Juan, Puerto Rico.




All my Red Sox clothes, heck ALL my clothes are in the missing bag. And our camera. And maybe my CPAP machine, without which nobody on the same floor will sleep because of my snoring.

The “Baggage Claim Expert” makes a call. In the meantime, another flight arrives. They turn on the belt.

Guess what.

The first bag through the curtain is ours. It was probably sitting just on the other side of that curtain the whole time.

Thank you, Jesus!

We gathered up everything and headed out to catch a rental car bus. Heh. “Rental car bus.” That just sounds funny. We used Budget this time, and their bus showed up right after we stepped outside. We had a nice bus driver who had a great story about a friend who gave him some tickets for a game earlier this year. Then the friend had to leave town because a relative was in the hospital. The friend called to say he couldn’t make the game, but they were free to go or sell the tickets or whatever. After talking it over with his wife, they decided not to go without the friend. The guy said he couldn’t sell the tickets to anyone! (I don’t get that…) It was just the KC Royals, and it was a Monday night, though. So that made the draw a little less popular. The date was May 19.

He finally sold two of the tickets to a fellow Budget driver. That left him with one. Then his friend came back into town, so he called him and the friend took the other ticket back.

The punch line? Jon Lester pitched that night.

Need I say more?

I guess so, if anyone reading this is not a Sox fan. Jon Lester pitched a no-hitter that night.

Many people that he tried to sell those tickets to were crying afterwards.

Well, anyway, we got to Budget, and the line inside was very long. But it didn’t take as long as we though it would. Christi started out in the line, because she had made the arrangements. There was a really nice guy going down the line and offering directions to people for wherever they wanted to go. He gave Christi directions to the hotel and then to Fenway from the hotel. There were two ladies behind her that were staying at the same hotel, but they were in town for a Kenny Chesney concert. I stepped over to listen to his directions, too.

Right when Christi go to the front of the line, she called me over and said that she had just realized that she had signed me up as the driver, so I should do this. So I got in line. The transaction went very smoothly, and we had our car assignment. A Hyundai Sonata. That’s ok.

So we go to collect our things and walk to this car, when the “directions” guy comes over and says, “Can I do some Red Sox fans a favor?” Then he finds out that we have the Destinations package with all three Yankees games, and he insists on it. The favor? He went and got our car for us, then did the once over for damage check for us, too. Wow.

What a day this has been, so far.

Then we kind of got lost trying to follow his directions to the hotel. We made it, though, and got parked and checked in. We got our bags with the jerseys and game balls at the checkout counter, and made our way to the room.

By this time, it was almost 5pm. So we hurried, changed clothes, put on our jerseys (Steph and Christi got Ellsbury road jerseys, I got a Varitek home jersey), and went out in search of food.

We ate at a picturesque little place called Sola’s Irish Pub. It was expensive (I have a feeling everything is), but pretty good. Then we started the rest of our trek to Fenway.

It says it’s only .8 mile from hotel to Fenway. That’s a longer walk than it sounds. But we made it.

Our tickets said to go in Gate “D.” I still haven’t found any Gate “D.” We went in Gate C. We walked all the way around the place and still couldn’t figure out how to get to our seats. They are in the new Coca Cola pavilion. So we finally found someone who helped us find them. Later we think we realized that we entered a few feet away from where we needed to be and walked all the way around in the other direction. Heheheh…

Game time. LeAnne Rimes sings the National Anthem. Somebody with ALS comes out and has a Doctor from Harvard throw out a first pitch on their behalf (Timlin and Schilling and wives work a lot with ALS charities). Kenny Chesney throws out a first pitch.


JACK NICKLAUS throws out a first pitch. I’m not a huge golfer, but JACK NICKLAUS!! I was seriously almost in tears by this point…I’m already emotional, because, here I am in the next best place to heaven, and you know…

So here we go.

I wish I could say the rest of the night went as well. But as you know, if you are a Sox fan, it didn’t. It was, at least, a decent game. But, as I said way up top, that ump made that call on Mike Lowell in the bottom of the ninth, when we had Youk on first base and were poised to tie the game. The ball was, I swear at least 6 inches if not a foot inside. And Lowell got thrown out of the game. People around me were saying he never does that. To cap things off, J.D. Drew struck out looking at two pitches in a row! C’mon, DREW!! You don’t watch the last strike of the game go by!! I don’t care where it is, if it’s anywhere close to the plate, SWING AT IT!! GAH!!!

So that’s it. We found one of those bicycle rickshaw people and got a ride back to the hotel. And, Ted, you know the atmosphere after a game, now. It’s a madhouse down there. You can’t stir the people, it’s so thick. Wow. It’s really cool, in a way, the whole ambience both before and after a game at Fenway. Nothing like it anywhere else I have ever seen.

Ok. I’m done with this one. I’m sitting on the toilet lid in the bathroom of our hotel because I woke up before anyone else. My behind is sore.

TTFN, y’all!

Friday, July 25, 2008

It Starts...

Just a quickie, here.

It's Friday morning and we are getting ready to leave in about 30 minutes!

See you all in Boston!! I'll update and probably post some pictures along the way.

TTFN, y'all!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

OMG, the Rangers Are In Second Place!!!

Unfortunately, the Sunbeams had to beat Oakland in order for that to happen. That causes me great conflict.

But the Sox fared well against the Marginals, so at least they held their ground. And the Injuns beat the Halos, so the Rangers even gained a game on them.

The Evil Empire is too close to us. I'm planning on that changing this weekend. I like what you call them, Ted. I just can't put that here because some of my church members read this.

(Hi, Kathy!!)

Looks like we will get to see the Mighty Beckett pitch, followed by Wakey and Lestah.

Dear God, please let the Red Sox sweep the Yankees. And please let us see a no-no. I'm not asking for much...
When I'm King of the World...

>>the Yankees will not be allowed to have any players under 50...

>>The Red Sox will always get the number one draft pick...

>>Bud Selig will be exiled for crimes against humanity and impersonating a baseball commissioner...

>>The Tampa Bay team will have to put "Devil" back in their name....

>>Ozzie Guillen will have to stand in the batter's box and be pummelled by every pitcher on every other team in the majors...

>>The strike zone will be returned to its original position, that is, from the armpits to the knees...

>>All players will be required to sign autographs before every game. The game needs to be about the fans again...

>>All owners will be required to lower concession prices at the ballparks. There is no excuse for a coke to cost $4.50 or a beer to cost $6.00...

>>No more promotions given to "the first 20,000 fans." Everyone who attends will get the promotion...This would not apply at Fenway Park, as they don't need promotions to encourage attendance.

>>Instant replay will be instituted in baseball for disputed calls...there will be no discussion about it "making a game too long." I do not understand what that phrase, "making a game too long" means. How can a baseball game be "too long??"

>>Owners will be allowed to eject umpires from their ballparks for really bad calls...if the above-mentioned instant replay shows the call to be wrong, ejection will be automatic. They'd better have plenty of back-up umpires.

>>Every throw to first base by a pitcher to try to keep a runner on first will be counted as a ball.

>>Both leagues will have the same rules. Either both will have designated hitters, or both will not. I don't really care, let's just make it the same. And the umpires will not look at different places over the catcher. How can there be a consistent strike zone when one league's umpires are looking over the catcher's shoulder and the other league's are looking over his head???

>>There will be NO MORE FREAKIN' MAPLE BATS!! Enough, already!

>>Scott Boras will be sent to,, Uranus. He will NOT be given a space suit...

>>Jason Giambi will be (CENSORED)(CENSORED)(CENSORED)...

>>A-Rod will be left alone. He doesn't need any help at all screwing up his own life...

>>Opening Day will be a national holiday. Of course, it will have to be a local holiday, too, since "Opening Day" happens at different times in different cities...however, the official Opening Day of the season will be a holiday for everyone. Not counting that silly Sunday night game, of course. Or any ridiculous games in Japan, either.

>>There will be no more MLB games in Japan. That was just silly. Unless of course, the Japanese decide to join the MLB, then they can participate in what will truly be a "World Series."

>>Basketball season will be drastically shortened. The season will consist only of the playoffs, which will include all the teams, since only 4 of them don't get in anyway. Each team will be given 100 points and two minutes. The season will be required to be over before Opening Day of baseball season.

>>Football will not be allowed to start training camp before baseball season is over. Baseball will have its own exclusive seven months. All the other sports can share the rest of the year.

>>ESPN will not be allowed to show reruns of football games when there is a baseball game to air. Who on earth wants to watch reruns of football games, anyway???

I will gladly take suggestions from fellow Red Sox fans. I had another really good one, but it went away...I kept getting interrupted by work. *grumble*

Obviously, I'm having some great fun with this, but some of those ideas are actually serious. Especially the one about Scott Boras...


*whew* That was close! While I was up doing work stuff, my computer decided to reboot itself. Thank goodness for the auto-save feature in Blogspot!! I wouldn't have been able to remember all of that stuff...

TTFN, y'all!!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Bored Now


Ok, I got that out of my system.

Yes, Ted, I got to see our boy go wild in the Home Run Derby. I had tears in my eyes watching him. It was amazing. Did you see him HIT THE FREAKIN' WALL??? MAN!

And that brings me to an opinion. They need to change their stupid rules on the derby. How in the world does a guy who hit 35 home runs in the derby lose to a guy who hits 13 less??? The third round was a total anticlimax. Both guys were spent. I mean, c'mon. The winner of the home run derby wins with a whopping FIVE home runs. Oooh! Hamilton should have won that thing, hands down.

At any rate, I couldn't be more proud of him. As a matter of fact, I will go on record and say that between Monday and Tuesday nights, I have never been more proud to be a fan of the Texas Rangers! Michael Young and Ian Kinsler turned a game-saving double play while Rivera was trying to lose the game.

And while we're talking about trying to lose the game, let's talk about booing Papelbon. Ok, I understand. It's Yankee-World. So they hate Papelbon. But you know what??? Papalbon DIDN'T THROW THE FREAKIN' BALL OUT INTO CENTERFIELD WHILE THE NL PLAYER WAS STEALING SECOND BASE, ALLOWING HIM TO GET TO THIRD AND SUBSEQUENTLY SCORE ON A SAC FLY!!! Who, you might ask, was guilty of that???


Ok. I'll stop shouting now.

J.D. Drew gets MVP honors, that's cool. And Michael Young drives in the winning run for the second time in 5 years (maybe 3 years??). And, once again, the AL proves who really runs the show in the MLB. 12 years since the poor NL has won the All-Star game.

I have a big question. During the introduction of all those HoF players, where was Yaz?? That was disappointing. But Yogi. Man, I cried when they introduced Yogi Berra. I know. He was a Yankee. But, man. What a legend. I really didn't even know the guy was still alive. He may be the last one of that bunch left. Not sure.

And I'm getting so excited, I can hardly stand it. A week from right now, I will be trying to sleep, so we can get up early for our flight to Boston on Friday morning. We got our tickets and itineraries (boy, that's a hard word to type) last week. All in a nice Red Sox folder, with a map from the airport to the hotel we will be staying in.

Our pre-game reception and tour are both on Saturday, which will be a very busy day, turns out.

Friday, we arrive, and will have time to get to the hotel, where we will find our packages with our jerseys. Stephanie and Christi are getting Ellsbury road jerseys and I'm getting a Varitek home jersey--that was a very hard decision for me; I really wanted a Schilling jersey, but it turns out he wasn't going to be on the roster, and I think it had to be a roster player. I love Ellsbury, too, and other players, but I probably have more respect for El Capitan than anyone on the team.

We will also receive a game-used ball for each of us, and I'm not sure what else. Then we have the first game Friday night.

Saturday starts early, with our tour of the park at 9:30am. Hopefully, we will get to go on the Green Monster this time. Then, our reception is at 11:00 or 11:30, right after the tour. They haven't told us which player we will get to meet. I really really really really hope it's not, you know, Lugo. But whoever, it is, it will be a Red Sox player, so that's ok. Then we have the afternoon game on Saturday. I figure after the game, we will head back to the hotel and collapse. Maybe hit the pool for a while.

Sunday's game is a late one. 8pm. So we will probably use Sunday for some sightseeing, try to catch as much of the history in Boston as we can. And maybe get to Fanueil Hall. We keep hearing that it's a really cool place.

We booked an extra night at the hotel since the game was so late on Sunday, so Monday morning, we will pack up and leave Boston for our rental house in Rye, NH. Right on the beach! Ahhhh....five nights of pure relaxation. Nothing to do. Except whatever we want to do. After the frenzied weekend, I think we will need it.

Just a few player notes. I hear the Yankees are making a deal with Richie Sexson. Hah. Good!!! They deserve each other. And there are also rumors that they are thinking about signing Bonds?? I tell you the truth, nothing could make me happier. Let's let all of the players with massive amounts of baggage go to New York. With A-Roid, Bonds, and Sexson, they are sure to wind up in the cellar!!

I also heard a very nasty rumor that the Sox were considering trading Youk for Teixeira. I really hope that there was no truth at all in that. As much as I would like to see Tex in a Sox uniform, that would be a very, very stupid move. Tex will be a free agent at the end of this season, and there is no way El Diablo will let him stay with the same team.

Oh, yeah, and Papi is scheduled to return next Friday night!! Yeehaaaaa!!!

There will be pictures. Lots of them.

TTFN, y'all!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

What A Day

First of all, I offer my sincere, humble apologies to anyone who might have been offended by yesterday's entry. I don't know what came over me. I am, however, glad that the Sunbeams lost. I'll just ignore who it was that beat them. I hope that no one will shun me.

Moving on.

What a pleasant surprise was awaiting me when I woke up from my daily sleep yesterday to find my daughter happily announcing that the Red Sox defrelnicated the Twins 18-5! Who's the hottest team in baseball, again?? The bats came alive, eh? Cash hits one into the parking lot and Youk follows suit soon afterwards. Even El Capitan got 2 hits! Could this be the turnaround that we've been looking for? Just in time to take a week off?

You know, I really wish that baseball would have their All-Star game like football does. AFTER the season. I say that because I live in Rangers-land, where we are notorious for the "aftertheallstargame collapse." I just think that a week without games is too long. The pitchers get off their schedule, everybody gets cold, etc.

Anyway. On to the night game. Rangers vs Halos. So far, they are 1-1 in the series. When I left for work, the California Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim were ahead 4-2, after Frankie Francisco had given up two runs. I listened on the way to work, as two innings progressed quite rapidly. When I pulled into the parking lot, it was the bottom of the 9th, K-Rod was pitching, one out, Cat had 2 strikes on him. I went into the building, went back to put my lunch up, make coffee, etc. Went to the restroom. My cell phone rings while I'm washing my hands. It's my daughter. "Josh Hamilton hit a home run. THEY WON!! I'm shaking so hard!!"

So here, for your viewing pleasure is a video of this year's story of the year hitting the walk-off.


What a finish. So the Rangers are now up on the Angels 2-1 in this series with one game left. And they are 4 over .500 for the first time this season, first time since Noah's ark landed, I think.

Ok. That was an exaggeration. But it's been a very long time.

So it was a good day. And the Sox gained another game on the Sunbeams because they lost again. To somebody. Who shall remain nameless.

And I'm supposed to get my tickets and itinerary for our Red Sox Destinations weekend today! EEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!

TTFN, y'all!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Gotta Bad Taste In Mah Mouth!

Does anyone else have this awful feeling because we just rooted for the *shudder* Yankees???

Ok, so you all know how hard that was.

But we had to do it, didn't we?

I hope to God that this is the only series in which I EVER have to root for the Evil Ones.

I have to go take another bath. I feel dirty.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Thank You, Kansas City!!!


The Royals have snapped the winning streak. As I sit here watching the Sox fail to bring any runs home with the bases loaded, I get the alert that the Kansas City Royals have beaten the Sunbeams. Finally.

Papi, we need you!!! Please come back!!!

On a humorous note, I saw the commercial where this big guy is in a Japanese airport, wearing a traditional Boston cap, and everybody thinks he's Big Papi. His face gets broadcast all over, there are reporters all around him, then one of the mics knocks his hat off. All the hubub stops and someone says, "Hey. He no Big Papi." And they all go away. Hahahaha....funny. It's a commercial for New Era caps, I think.

TTFN, y'all.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

F for Francona

So the Globe gives Masterson a C for yesterday's game and the Red Sox hitters a D+. I definitely agree with the grade for the hitters. I don't think Masterson deserves a C though.

I think the globe should rank the manager, too. Francona deserves an F. A big fat one. Why? Dawn knows!! For putting in LUGO to pinch hit with the bases loaded in the top of the ninth!! That's why!! What was he THINKING??? I know he wasn't thinking "bunt" because there were already two out. So the great and marvelous Lugo strikes out swinging. There is no joy in Beantown today, the mighty Lugo has struck out.

And what was with the umpires just letting Yankees pitchers pummel our batters??? Manny gets hit THREE TIMES???? And there were NO WARNINGS??? Gaaaaahhhh!!!!


*deep breath*

Ok. I'm better now.

There were some very bad calls, yesterday, and the strike zone seemed to be extremely mobile. But it seemed to be moving for both teams, so I guess that's "fair."

Honestly, though, I have to say that if Peewee hadn't gotten greedy on that very first AB, this game might have turned out entirely differently. I'm really not sure why he thought he could make second on that hit. And he might have scored on Drew's double. Ah, well. We have another shot today.

At least the Rangers beat Baltimore. But, seriously, folks...somebody has to do something about these Sunbeams! This is getting ridiculous. DAWN, GO GET THAT UNIFORM!!!!!!
TTFN, y'all!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Time to Watch the Game

I'm actually getting a chance to sit down and watch the game today.

I saw a clip of the ball that Youk hit that sat on top of the wall yesterday. That was too funny.

We had to go out and buy a new refigerator yesterday afternoon. While we were at it, we got a new gas grill, which we are going to put together in a bit. Actually, my wife just asked if I mind if she puts it together in here. So, we might cook out tonight.

We saw a very nice fireworks display last night in Haltom City. Good times.

Well, I'm going to shut up and watch the game, now. Second inning just ended with the Evil Ones up 1-0.

TTFN, y'all!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Big Sigh of Relief

Yes!! Lester was brilliant tonight! A complete game, 5 hit shutout. Boy, did we need this game!

And so did the Yankees after that blowout against Texas last night.

While I'm on that subject, I would really like to know what Ron Washington was THINKING last night when he put in a bullpen pitcher who had never pitched in the majors with a one run lead against the bloody YANKEES!!! Grrr. 12 runs later...and the Yankees have averted a sweep.

Anyway, the Sox were great tonight.

I wonder if that will be enough for the stupid Boston Globe to give Lester an "A?" Somehow, I started getting these email alerts from the Globe after the games. Ever since they started, I have wondered what in the heck it would take for them to give a pitcher an "A!" Geez!!

The Sumbeams didn't play tonight, so we gained a half game on them.

TTFN, y'all!