When I was buying my Red Sox tickets for the year back in January, I had no real rhyme or reason to the dates I ended up picking. The priority was more for finding dates that were actually available. But I do remember, in considering dates for the Labor Day weekend, that I picked Friday on the chance that something – road trip with friends, etc. would be happening the rest of the weekend. Little did I know back then that in late August I would be looking forward to that weekend as a chance to be relatively low key, making that decision moot, and the reason why Willis and I attended that game instead of this one the following day.
Upon entering the park, I was deeply disappointed to learn that the batteries in my digital camera had died. It would turn out to be especially unfortunate since this would turn out to be one of the weirdest games I’ve been to. First, I had resigned myself to Wakefield pitching, not because I dislike him as player, but because Wakefield = no Tek. So I was surprised when the rosters were announced, and it featured neither Wakefield (Tavarez in his stead), and Kevin Cash was catching (who?).
The game started off, the Sox took the lead. Willis and I passed the time by playing “Guess the Shirt,” which is, whenever you see someone coming by with a Red Sox shirt or jersey, you guess by their appearance whose name they have on the back. Of course, the chances of getting it right are statistically pretty low: there are so many players on the roster; there are blank shirts/jerseys; people don’t even necessarily have current Red Sox players on their jerseys (I saw a couple of Yastrzemskis. It made me wonder if there were any Renterias out there.)
In the fourth inning, things got interesting; Dave Trembley got ejected from the game, and there was a marriage proposal. From what I could gather, the proposer was more successful than this guy. Also, pretty ballsy to do that pretty early in the game. I mean, if she said no and doesn’t storm off, then there could be all kinds of awkwardness, like in the seventh inning when you just want a hot dog, but that means you’d have to have the money and food pass through her…not a good scene for anyone.
Anyway, also in the fourth inning, the Orioles took the lead, which means the lone Orioles fans in the entire park started getting excited. It was all in good fun; they were high-spirited, their taunts were all in good fun. My favorite cheer of theirs was probably, “Oh-wee-oh….Orrrrr-i-oles…” Most of the people in our section were just amused after they overcame their shock that Orioles fans existed. The one unfortunate exception was a scary, one-toothed man who could not wrap his mind around the fact that they let non-Red Sox fans into Fenway Park and started to get in their faces about it. We other Sox fans were dismissive of him – one guy told the O’s fans that Scary One-Toothed Man needed to shut up, but Scary One-Toothed Man overheard that and words were exchanged. Fortunately, the least intimidating “security personnel” came into our area to make sure nothing more came of it.
Though the Sox were down 9-3 by the end of the sixth, they scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh (ah, I love pitcher’s duels), and when a fan charged onto left field in the eighth, I was reminded of the Mother’s Day game. Alas, though they made it quite interesting in the bottom of the ninth, Varitek ended any chance of a rally by grounding into a double play.