October 19, 2004
Okay, kids — gather ’round, now.
Come on, closer. My voice is pretty much shot today, so you’ll have to sit close to hear me. Closer. Seriously, closer. I won’t bite.
Hey, hey. Not that close. Damn. That’s a printer port, not a finger hole.
And you, there, skippy — those aren’t pillows. And christ, you’ve got cold hands. Step away, scooter.
Okay, now. Everybody comfy? First, I want to talk a bit about the Red Sox. So, if you’re not a baseball fan, then you might want to skip this whole damned post, and just move on to the next one.
(Which I haven’t written yet, so — if you’re reading top-to-bottom — it either doesn’t exist yet, or it’s the last post, above this one, rather than the ‘next’ post. You know what I mean, dammit.)
On the other hand, I already know what the next post is gonna be about, and it involves my penis. At least a little bit. So you might be safer just reading this crap, no matter how you feel about baseball. I’m not sure there are any good options, frankly. But it’s your call.
Anyway, I think I’d have probably been compelled to comment, sooner or later, on the hometown Sox at some point this October, but my hand was forced this morning by this comment from our good friend Steph over at Finally a Winner:
‘Uh, hello???? TWO (BACK TO BACK) RED SOX OVER YANKEES NIGHTS AND
NUTHIN FROM YOU? What’s UP!?‘
Nice. Nice talk, Steph. There’s nothing quite like than waking up to a bit of gentle wheedling first thing in the morning.
(Nah, I’m kidding. Actually, I like any kind of feedback, and plus, I have been pretty lax lately in the Sox department.
Plus, I don’t really know what ‘wheedling’ means for sure. I think it might have something to do with goats. Or peanut butter. But for the love of god, not both. Please don’t let it be both.)
Meanwhile, of course, I’ve got a fairly good — from where I’m sitting, anyway — excuse for not writing about the Sox-Yankees series before tonight. Or writing at all, for that matter. See, here’s the thing — as I mentioned a couple of days ago, I was supposed to go to the Sox game at Fenway on Friday night, but it got rained out. Fine. All the hometown heroes had to do was win one freaking game at home, and I’d get to go to the Monday game.
(That’s Game 5, for those of you keeping track of such things. But damn — if you’re depending on me to help you keep track of this shit, you’re pissing on the wrong fence, baby. I’m making most of this shit up, and mangling most of the rest. Who am I supposed to be, StatBoy all of a sudden?)
That brings us to Sunday night — the epic Game 4 battle. Twelve innings. Late heroics. Fireworks and drama and all that crazy stuff that gets fans’ pantses all sweatied up. Personally, though, I couldn’t say much about the game because A) I was performing at the Comedy Studio that night, so I missed the first seven innings or so, and 2) the fricking game didn’t end until after one in the morning, and I was damned tired after staying up that long to see whether there’d be a Game 5 to go to on Monday.
But I did. And there was. And I went. And it was good.
(What? You want more detail than that? What the hell do I look like, a handycam? Sheesh.
All right. I’ll see what I can do.)
I went to the game in a group of six guys — me, two friends, one friend’s brother, and two of the friend’s brother’s friends.
(We almost asked a friend’s brother’s friend’s brother, but we thought that might be a bit much. But I digress. What else is new?)
We hit the bars (that’s Cask ‘n’ Flagon and Tequila Rain, both in the shadow of Fenway Park — just in case you’re looking for someone to live vicariously through) around three in the afternoon. We hit our seats (about thirty rows up in right field, with a great view of the field, the JumboTron, and Pesky’s Pole) just around game time. And it was on. Game Five. Thirty-five thousand asses wiggling in their seats. Sox-Yankees in mid-October. Oh, baby. I think I just peed a little.
Now, to keep the word count in this opus to a dull roar, I’ll list just a few of the impressions that I remember of the game, without trying to link them together or comment at length. Or fact-check any of this for accuracy, because I’m a lazy damned bastard. It might not weave itself into a story, exactly, but it’ll be a pretty accurate account of what made a lasting impression on me.
(Hey, you want ‘facts’ about the game, go watch SportsCenter. But if you want a gripping, eloquent first-hand recollection of a fan’s experience at a sporting event… um, well, I dunno… go read Peter King or something.
But if you’re looking for a rambling, barely coherent account of a half-drunken smartass’ trip to a ball game — hey, you’re in the right place, baby. Who’s your Papi now?)
Anyway, here goes — chronologically, as best I can remember:
- Second inning or so, before our butts had even frozen to our seats, Bernie Williams hits a ball our way. Too far our way, dammit, and it lands about six rows deep in the stands. Some guy in a gray (Yankees? Maybe.) hat catches it, and for the next thirty seconds or so, the fans around him scream at him to throw it back, but it’s obvious he’s got no intention of letting it go. So, a few seconds later, another fan — clearly five or six seats away, from our vantage point — tosses a ball onto the field. Hey, it wasn’t the ball that got homered on us, but at least we kept up appearances on TV. That counts for something, right?
- Almost from the start of the game, one of my friends begins calling (Yankeees catcher) Jorge Posada a ‘little bitch’. No reference to Posada or play involving him goes by without him asking, ‘Who was that? The little bitch?‘ or ‘What’s that little bitch doing now?‘ And it was way more fun that something that silly seems like it ought to be.
- In the fourth or so, the Sox have Manny Ramirez (painfully slow) on second, and David Ortiz (excruciatingly slow) on first with one out, and a full count on the Kevin Millar at the plate. I said, send those puppies. Millar doesn’t strike out that often (at least in my head — I still haven’t looked it up), and you’d stay out of the groundball double play that way. My friends look at me like I have penises hanging out of my ears. Maybe I’m over-aggressive; I don’t know. I still think it’s a good, aggressive move. Millar walked. It’s a wash.
- Also around the fourth inning, the Yankees score three on a Derek Jeter single. I see the play from the beer line inside the stadium. (You always get beer when the other team is hitting — that’s just the way it’s done.) There’s a play at the plate on the guy scoring from first, and dammit, he was out! I saw the replay standing thirty feet away from a tiny, grimy little monitor, and he was fucking out! (Today at work, I learned that he was safe, if only baaaarely. Fine. In the rest of the world, he was safe. But on that monitor, inside Fenway? That mother fucker was out. I’m tellin’ ya.
- Around the seventh or so, Tony Clark comes up with a chance to drive in a run, somehow or other. (This was just after the beer stands had closed, so this is the fuzziest time of the game for me, you understand.) My friends are nervous. I say, nah — Tony Clark does not beat us. See, Tony Clark used to play for the Tigers, and he was very good. He got injured a couple of times, his contract ran out, and it looked like he might be slowing down. Fine. The Sox picked him up for a year, just to see if he had anything left. Apparently, he didn’t. Dude sucked while he was here. Sucked and blew and chewed, all at once. Forget hitting his weight — Clark didn’t bat his frigging shoe size. And then he went to the Mets — and sucked some more. Fine. He’s done, right? It happens to everyone, eventually. No shame in that. Except then he goes to the damned Yankees… and hits .270 with power. Mother. Flying Fucker. I hate when that happens. But I said it then, and I’ll say it again to you people now — Tony Clark does not beat the Red Sox. That son of a bitch cost us enough runs when he was wearing a Sox uni; there’s no way in hell he’s gonna come into Fenway and beat us in someone else’s, goddammit. No. Fucking. Way. Clark did nothing. My world is still intact. Booyah.
- Somewhere around this time, the Sox were pitching around one of the Yankees. I — in my inebriated state, mind you — got it into my head that we should hit the guy, rather than wasting all those pitches to walk him. (This sort of thing comes up a lot, especially when the Yankees are involved. Some people might call it ‘mean’ or ‘unsportsmanlike’; I just think it’s more efficient. This time, though, I got a little rowdy — I looked at my buddy and said, ‘Let’s hit him! Just hit him — right in the head!‘ At that point, the guy in the couple behind us — nice folks; we chatted with them throughout — gave me a sad look and said, ‘Tsk. You don’t really mean that.‘ And I decided he was right. I don’t wanna hurt nobody; not really. But I was quick on my feet — ‘Yeah… I guess not. But there’s still the ribs! That won’t kill him! HIT HIM! HIT ‘IM IN THE DAMNED RIIIIIIIIBS!!!‘ Much better. Oh, yeah. It didn’t happen, but it’s a much better plan. Very humane.
- In the eighth inning, Mariano Rivera (otherwise ‘lights-out’ Yankees closer, with a recent history of succumbing to the Sox) was warming up in the bullpen just a few dozen yards below us: ‘Bring him in! I want Rivera, dammit! He is our bitch, in our house! Let’s rumble, baby — yeeeaahhhh!‘ They brought him in. We scored. I love it when a plan comes together. Mother-fucking woot.
- Way late in the game, with the Sox trying to end the game with a run, David Ortiz (even slower so late at night, if that’s humanly possible) made it to first base. Absolutely nobody wants him to steal second. Not me, not my friends, not the couple behind us — nobody. So, of course, he takes off for second. (To be fair, it was a planned bunt-and-run that went awry, but still — I could roll a dead moose from first to second faster than ‘Big Papi’ can get from point A to point B. Honestly. And yet — yet, dammit! — the big guy was safe! Posada (‘Little bitch! Little bitch!‘) threw high, and dammit, Ortiz slid in under the tag. But the umpire called him out! Bitches! There was no way that tag gets down before his foot hits the bag. Not. Fucking. Possible. (And this time, folks who’ve super-slo-slo-mo’ed the slo-mo replay have told me that yes, undeniably, Ortiz was safe. At the time, though, I spent the rest of the game just praying that it wouldn’t matter.)
- In the top of the fourteenth(!) inning, Tony Clark came to bat. I was still foaming and cursing, just fucking adamant that Tony Clark was not going to walk into Fenway Park and beat this damned team. On about the fifth pitch of his at-bat, he smacked a rocket of a shot screaming in our direction, just inside the Pesky Pole to give the Yankees the lead. That lousy… no-fucking-good… sandbagging… fucking — oh. Foul ball. Just missed the pole. Phew. Never mind. Play ball. (Hee!)
- In the home half of the fourteenth, Johnny Damon (quite fast) was on first with two outs and Manny Ramirez (wicked good) at the plate. My friends immediately wanted to send the runner stealing. No. No, no, no, no, no. Ramirez is more than capable of doubling him home, or even homering him in — you don’t risk making the third out getting into scoring position with a huge power hitter at the plate. Do you? I mean, honestly — either they or I have completely the wrong idea about when to be aggressive on the basepaths. And I don’t think it’s me, dammit. It just can’t be me. Damon stayed put. Manny walked. And Ortiz singled next to win the game. How’s that for a good decision, folks?
All right. I think that’s more than enough to hear about, even for Steph. But let this be a lesson for you dear readers out there — I absolutely do take requests (and donations, and gifts, and for that matter, racy piccies of thexy ladies via email — hey, I’m just saying). But remember — I can drop a couple of thousand words at the drop of a hat, so if I know I have an audience? Well, that only encourages me. So be careful what you wish for, folks. I’ll write it, but will you have time to read it? We’ll see.
And now… I’m gonna finish watching tonight’s Sox game. Only six outs away from forcing a Game Seven. Oh, yeah. I definitely peed a little just then. Ay, chihuahua!
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