Well, I don’t need to repeat what can be read or heard in the news. Just my thoughts:
- The Sox seem to be going through a seesaw on ups and downs, this being a huge up after being swept by Toronto.
- Emotionally, this is a high not just for the team but also for the fans who get a chance to watch the team play as we saw them play last fall.
- JD Drew is blazing hot… and continuing it. I hope this is a big year for him.
- What a surprise to see Buckner make a return to Fenway! I missed the festivities, but was vastly amused to read the reactions of fellow bloggers, Dan and Steve.
- I hope the team regains energy and momentum from today’s game and celebration. It still is a long season to come.
- Tigers… ouch. Now, that team’s fans have got to be beginning to worry.
- Personally, I’m enjoying this view, even from thousands of miles away:
I’ve travelled enough and am old enough to appreciate the sense of coming home after each trip. I revel in the sense of relief, the familiarity, of walking back into my house, a place I created my own roots, my own life, and my own career.
I can’t say I’m on the road nearly as much as baseball players to understand their life. But I believe each of them has some sense of coming home when they go back to the team’s home stadium. Especially with fans like the Red Sox Nation.
I am glad. I’m glad they are home. They must be tired. All the globe-trotting, all the excitement. They hadn’t even been home since spring training started. And they haven’t even had the chance to really have their real opener. The opener that should have happened at home, in Fenway. Where the city awaits to welcome them home with open arms and loud cheers.
So here’s to a new start to the 2008 season. Welcome home, Red Sox. Fenway and your fans await to give you the proper, familiar home, sweet home. We’ve missed you.
Speaking of finances.. here’s a topic that makes me apoplectic. Cost of Fenway tickets.
Yes, yes, laws of economics. When there’s limited supply and high demand, prices go up, etc etc. Here’s the deal, folks, prices do NOT have to go up that high. There is no competition, no alternative. There is enough demand that tickets will continue to be sold out.
I get the the owners have the right to make a profit and bring in revenue. I get that we have an expensive team payroll to bankroll. But all signs show the front office working towards the farm system with less costly young players. Yes, there will always be a few big ticket contracts, but there’s increasing pressure to make those big names work. Schilling, anybody? Lowell?
Then the Sox drops to number 4 in annual payroll. But the ticket prices go up?
I also believe in making baseball affordable. A little bit socialist, perhaps. But baseball starts as a backyard game for kids today. Most of the fans still root for the hometown team. How is it a hometown team if the hometown residents are being asked to pay a pretty penny?
I’ve been enjoying a lazy Sunday morning for once. Been watching the interviews on MLB. Here’s a huge theme: fan support. Quotes:
– I think he got a great ovation. One that he really deserves… and he didn’t stop there. He put together a complete day.
– No one likes when, you get the fans… no one likes when they are getting on you.
– He deserves to be applauded and appreciated.
– You gotta bring everything you have… even if I have to pitch, I will, man.
– It’s going to be crazy here tomorrow. craaaazy.
– I’m glad we’re playing at home… you don’t see 45,000 white towels waving around.
– How incredibly blessed I am. How, I mean, those are the moments you never forget… to play in this environment, in this stadium, in front of these people. I’ll argue you’ll never hear “homefield advantage” being poo-pooed again. They worked the crowd tonight.. it had an incredible effect on me.
– We’re very much channeling the fan base here. These fans are relentless, passionate and relentless. They don’t allow us to ever let up for a minute. And if we do, we hear about it and I think that’s part of it.
– The atmosphere was great.
– You hear [the cheering]. The effect is uplifting…. first priority is to play defense but it does kinda put an inward smile.
I’m curious… are these players required to get some public speaking coaching or training as part of their job? Some of them are very polical, respectful, and articulate.
Ellsbury is back on the line-up, playing center field, and batting 8th. Excellent. Give the kid a chance and give him time.
I shall be missing yet another game, at least the beginning. Bummer. Will be trying to tune in as soon as I free myself of social obligations.
For extending our fan season by at least two more days. We’ll have the comfort of know you are returning to Fenway. I don’t know if the concept of home field advantage is more hype or reality, but as a fan I have the assurance knowing that you have more fans cheering on you offering you the energy and the support. As well as the fact that you are on familiar turf. The concept is relative given how much time you spend on the road in the regular season but it still is the home for the team.
It was a good and needed win, not just to stay in the series but also to play well and remind all of us you have what it takes. Got started a little slow, though, leaving so many of your teammates stranded. You totally made up for it, though. Personally, I like how it was not all about homeruns. But just good basic base-hitting and base-running contributed all around the team. Now, that’s classic baseball teamwork.
So, another chance to another game. Please keep doing the good stuff again.
Beckett, you did it again. Not only did you keep the formidable Cleveland bats quiet, you pitched for a good eight innings. I know the postseason has no impact, but I really really hope you get the Cy Young. Your performance has proven that you are deserve it. And the fact that all the major contenders for that award are/were in the postseason offered us the opportunity to compare the performances, pretty much side-by-side. Hopefully, this isn’t the last we have seen of you this month.
I swear: I shall not mock my friends and colleagues who are O’s fans, for a very very very long time. Until next year’s season, when the fun starts all over again 🙂
Extra Innings: I am nervous about the competition against the Yankees in the play offs, if it reaches that point. Yankees have proven themselves a formidable opponent. They caught up on such a huge lead the past two months and they trounced the Sox in the last match-up series. A-rod has been hot at the batter’s box, as much as I hate to admit it. The fact that the Yankees have been falling to extra innings games and blowing run leads makes me wonder. Is it a sign of games to come? What’s going on over there?
Only in Fenway: I didn’t think to stay up to follow the Yankees-Os game. It seemed like they had such a dominant lead over the Os. Yet, I should not have been surprised and merely amused to hear that the fans watching the Twins-Sox game at Fenway stayed to await the end of the Yankees game. Those fans were there longer than the team captain!!
Definition: From my dictionary.
clinch verb 1 confirm or settle conclusively….
I can’t call this a “clinch”. The win of the title has been settled, no doubt, but it took a rush all the way to the end of the season to conclude and decide.
I repeat my assertion from an earlier post.. at least in the AL side the house, it’s going to be a lot of tough competition to make it through the pennant race. Red Sox and Red Sox fans alike, we’re in for a bumpy ride. I’m confident the Red Sox has what it takes; they didn’t win the division title by fluke. They just need to perform their best and nothing but the best.
In summary: Thank you, Red Sox for getting the division title. It’s been a while and I really really wanted you to win this badly. People keep saying the most important thing is that you make it to the play offs and play well. I’ll admit: I wanted you to make division title, and break a 10+ year drought. Winning the play offs would be icing on cake for me.
I’m listening to the WEEI broadcast, double-broadcasted through XM satellite radio. The cheering in the background has grown to a roar and I couldn’t quite figure out why. Until I checked “Extra Bases” where I go for a more personal account of the game when the basic facts on the box score listing doesn’t satisfy my. What I found:
September 25, 2007
D-Rays take the leadBy Daniel Malloy, Globe Correspondent
Down in Tampa, in case you’re interested: Jorge Vilandia took Brian Bruney deep for a grand slam in the sixth to take a 6-5 lead. The change in the out of town scoreboard at Fenway was greeted with a standing ovation and chants of “Yankees ****.” Eric Gagne looked a little confused on the mound.