Saturday, May 14, 2005

Game 35

Final Score:

Boston Red Sox 7, Seattle Mariners 14

I have a simple explanation for what happened yesterday, all of it: it was Friday the 13th. No, I'm serious, if for no other reason than that I didn't realize it was the thirteenth yesterday until Joe Castiglione mentioned it at the end of his broadcast. But things were going so poorly for the Sox and for us three adventurers, attempting to watch the game, that clearly something cosmic was up. The story:

I decide after writing my blog post yesterday that I was going to do a tour of Red Sox bars.* I then go out with my coworkers after work and have a few beers at Flight 151, a bar that features popcorn and tableclothes you can draw on. I tell the coworkers about the bar tour, they approve. Everything is good.

I go home, make dinner, prepare to meet Robin so we can go to the Hairy Monk in time for the 10:05 start. We pre-party a beer each (just like college!) and head out. On the way, we let Nikki (who's meeting us, at least for part of the game) know what's what and where to go. Nikki's had a tough day; at work until 8:30 doing billing, so she's psyched to get out and do something. We get to the Hairy Monk at 9:30...and the problems start.

As we approach the bar, we notice they've got the Mets on the projection TV. A bit perterbed, we cross 3rd avenue to go in...and discover they're carding tonight. Nikki lost her wallet at some point last weekend, so she's without ID and Robin left his at home, because he's useless. Clearly we're not going to the Hairy Monk this evening. Thinking quickly, I suggest the ESPN Zone in Times Square as a possibility. With the hour drawing late and the subways not terribly convenient to where we're going, we take a cab up to 44th street and stream our way through the crowds to ESPN Zone.

They're showing the game, but only in the upstairs section. The good news: the players are just taking the field when we're seated. The bad news: they're so full tonight with people watching the NBA playoffs on the big screen that they've instituted some policy with a clever name that I've forgotten, where you have to spend ten dollars per person, per hour. Yes, you read that right. With baseball games running between three and four hours, we're talking between thirty and forty dollars a person for the night. I've eaten already because of the late start and I don't do a lot of quick drinking, especially when I'm watching baseball. Nikki can't drink, because she's on antibiotics. Clearly this isn't going to work out well. The TV was close, though, which made it easy to watch and Nikki was happy that the Yankee game was on the other big screen.

The game starts and Jeremi Gonzalez (who I've picked up on my fantasy team for this game) does not have a good night. By the end of the first inning it's already 3 - 0 Seattle and it gets worse from there. Manny makes a base running mistake in the top of the first (or maybe Dale Sveum made it for him; Fox Sport Net, which was broadcasting the game, had a great time showing slow-motion replays with odd camera angles, but did not show the third base coach on the play. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, it is Fox after all). Varitek gets thrown out at home in a weird play where he tried to dance around the catcher. Scoring opportunities were wasted.

We decide to head back home at the middle of the fourth inning, with the Sox up 6 - 5, with the hopes that the Sox will hold it together until we get back and we can listen to the rest of the game and drink for free. We hop on board the subway and get back at around 12:30... discover that all is chaos. Jeremi "Gonzo" Gonzalez gave up two additional runs and then the Mariners tee-ed off on Halama for five more runs, making the score 12 - 6 in favor of the Mariners. Cla Meredith, who pretty clearly is not ready for the Big Time and is probably despressed as hell that he's had so many problems, gives up a run in each of the two innings he works. The Sox get an additional run in the eighth, but don't rally and go on to lose in their worst beating this season. All the fault of Friday the 13th.

The Sox are back tonight with another late start of Wade Miller versus
Ryan Franklin and hopefully they pick up the pieces a little better than they've been doing so far this season. Runners left on base are a bad thing, guys. Just remember that and start being clutch and we won't have to rely entirely on the pitching staff to get the job done. GO SOX!!!

* - Robin told me later he decided this was a good idea as well and that we should do it. Clearly, I'm a genius.