Thursday, September 28, 2006

My Trip to Fenway

I got to go to Fenway for last night's game against the Devil Rays. We had great seats, courtesy of my friend Matt. Beckett pitched great through the first 6 innings, keeping his pitch count low and strikeouts high, but imploded in the 7th. I had a little bit of a fan's dilemma: I am currently in the finals of my fantasy baseball league, playing against a guy who sabotaged his team halfway through the season because he got fired from the company I work for, then came begging back to me to let him back in and I relented. So now he's got a sizeable lead on me in the finals and he had Beckett starting for his team last night. Now, I would normally NEVER root against the Sox or one of their pitchers. I have never let fantasy baseball get in the way of my real allegiances. But a couple of things were going against that last night: the Sox are waaaaaaay out of the race for the playoffs and I didn't want Beckett padding his stats so his season looked better than it really was. I know this is mean and cynical, but if he had pitched well last night and dropped his ERA to say 4.60 and finished the year 17-10, that looks a hell of a lot better than 16-11 with an ERA above 5, right? And the latter is more a more accurate portrayal of how his season went.

I know, I'll get e-mails from fans (or Paul Hughes - see my last post) telling me I'm a fair weather fan. I'm not. I watched every single game for 3 straight summers during their bad years at the beginning of this century. I still watch them now on NESN at night. I love the Sox, good or bad.

As for the rest of the game, some notes:
  • I enjoyed seeing David Murphy and I hope he is our 4th outfielder in 2007.
  • The stands were packed, even for a meaningless game on a Wednesday night at the end of the season.
  • Wily Mo Pena looked AWFUL. I think he struck out in every at-bat. Same goes for Varitek.
  • Big Papi is the only draw for this team right now. Even when the team was down 11-0, the fans stayed, knowing he'd be leading off the bottom of the 8th. He got a huge standing ovation here, even though he can't hit an eleven run homer, and chants of "MVP" filled the stadium. Great times.
  • Sweet Caroline is still sweet after all these years. If you haven't been to Fenway, this is a late-in-the-game staple and the fans join in and sing along. It never gets old.

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