Sunday, May 04, 2008

I had a fabulous night at Fenway yesterday with the kids.

It started out looking iffy. The weather was rainy and cold all day. I kept an eye on both the weather and all day to see if the game was going to be canceled, but I knew the Sox would want to get the game in if at all possible. Heck, the waited through a two-hour plus rain delay on Friday. So J. and I left the house, picked up R., who was at a birthday party, and headed for Boston.

Given that it was a night game and the kids had to get up for Sunday school the next morning, I decided to bite the bullet and park near the ballpark. So, $35 later I had a space in the Ipswich St. Garage across the street from Gate B. It was still drizzling a bit, so instead of going into the ballpark the three of us walked over to Uburger in Kenmore Square.

Allow me to go off on a bit of a tangent here. If you are looking for dinner before a ballgame near Fenway and don't care about drinking alcohol, Uburger is the place. It's fast food, but everything is totally fresh made. The three of us had burgers and fries, and everything was excellent. Try it sometime.

After dinner we headed back over to Fenway and got to our bleacher seats just as the first inning was starting. Beckett and James Shields hooked up in a rematch of last weeks game in Tampa, in which Shields pitched a complete game shutout. It was hard to believe this was the same guy. Shields only lasted 3.2 innings, giving up seven runs on 10 hits. The Sox offense finally woke up this weekend after a slump in which they only scored four runs in five games. Jason Varitek led the way with 3 RBI. Papi, Manny and J.D. Drew had two each. Manny also threw out my fellow Northeastern alum Carlos Pena trying to tag up and score. The crowd, including me, just went nuts on that one.

Beckett wasn't dominating, but was more than good enough to win with all the offensive support he got. He pitched eight innings in the 12-4 win.

It's been a long time since I sat out in the bleachers. We had a decent view. I actually find the bleachers to be a better spot than many of the right field seats, since you don't have to deal with poles and you are looking toward home plate. I was a regular out in the bleachers in my college years. Two big differences between then and now: first, it's a lot more crowded. Most nights the bleachers were only about half full. Second, tickets back then were $3. Today, $26.

The kids had a blast. We scored the game, cheered for the Sox, sung and danced to Sweet Caroline and ate the worlds most expensive Cracker Jack. A woman sitting behind us chatted with the kids and told J. that he had to "protect" her with his glove in case one of the Sox big power hitters blasted a home run our way.

The best part of the night may have been that we didn't see a drop of rain once we got into the ballpark. It was a bit chilly, but not windy so it wasn't hard to take.

We have two more games out there this season, and I think we're all looking forward to our next Fenway visit against the Cardinals next month.


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