Daily Archives: April 12, 2011

I think we’re taking “All In” a little too literally. Or: Everyone gets a participation ribbon tonight.

So, I guess I can stand behind “All In” as general concept, and it certainly makes for a snazzy catch phrase, but I don’t think that the Sox really needed to adopt it as a permanent game strategy.

RIB1-PAR.jpgSeriously, both of the bullpens at The Cell tonight seemed to have automatic revolving doors on them and it seemed like people were in danger of getting crushed if they didn’t keep moving through them. It was one of those games that remind me of the games I played as an 8-year-old where the lineup changed every inning so everyone got a chance to play.

Thank you, Alexei Ramirez. Thank you for stopping me from biting my nails down to the quick, thank you for allowing my heart rate to finally go back to normal, and thank you for finally allowing me to get go to bed so I am not a zombie at work all day tomorrow.

Bottom of the 10th, walk off home run. And he knew it was out of there the second his bat made contact with the ball, tossing his bat behind him and just watching the ball fly over the fence.

MAGIC.

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Root for the (old) home team. Or: Why Toronto will always have a little piece of my heart.

It needs to be said:

I grew up with the Blue Jays. As in, we grew up together. I grew up running up and down the bleachers in the nosebleeds at Exhibition Stadium. When the seats were $1 and as long as it wasn’t pouring rain, sleeting, or the middle of a blizzard, it was the easiest way to kill an afternoon and entertain your hyperactive child.

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My mother will tell you many embarrassing stories of me standing on the bleachers, belting out “Take Me Out to The Ballgame”.

Just ask her.

Or, when I was too young to really understand what was going on, cheering very loudly for the opposing team’s successes and being stared at by every Jays fan in the venue.

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I remember the excitement while we were waiting for the SkyDome (“The Dome”) to be built and how incredibly exciting it was when we got to go to our first game in the big, bright, shiny new stadium. The first time rain didn’t mean stopping the game. The long (LONG) walk to the 500 section. The huge (at the time) JumboTron in all of the bright, shiny, full-colour glory.

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And, of course, the season opener where I was sitting in season tickets along the third base line that my father’s colleague had given us (and would continue to share with us for a few years) and spilled my chocolate milkshake all over the guy in the season ticket seats next to us. Not exactly an auspicious start to a friendship.

I remember the entire Cito Gaston era. I can still recite to you the entire line-up from 1990 through 1995.

I remember “Winfield Wants Noise” and his game-winning double to clinch the World Series in ’92. I remember feeling heartbroken when he left. I remember being so excited for Pat Borders when he won MVP. My aunt still makes a dish named after him (involving sweet potatoes and pecans) at major family functions. I remember Roberto Alomar in his prime, and John Olerud and his batting helmet while playing first and Joe Carter’s walk-off homer to win the ’93 World Series. I had a World Series championship jersey that I wore so much it finally fell apart in the wash and I definitely remember the whole school shutting down during both World Series visits so we could watch the game.

There were a lot of things (other than leaving the country) that led me away from baseball and from the Jays, most of which are a bit too complicated to go into. As are the reasons why my heart is firmly with the ChiSox these days.

But, for all the reasons I’ve listed above (as well as countless more). I still keep my ear to the ground and one eye on the Dome (which I will start calling “The Rogers Centre” on approximately the 12th of Never) for the Jays. And why, as long as they’re not playing Chicago, I still want them to pull it out and have a soft spot for them a mile wide.

They are the reason I got into baseball. The reason why I have a huge American League bias and why my view of MLB is shamefully AL-centric. (Though, I am currently taking applications for a National League team to support, so if anyone wants to pimp their NL team, I’m open to suggestions.) They are the reason why I love the DH and why, even to this day, pitchers still look out of place to me at home plate.

And, even though I will be wearing my ChiSox logo with pride when I take my brother to the Dome in May (still a die-hard Jays fan, bless his heart), the Jays were my childhood team and, lest anyone think I’m merely hopping on the bandwagon if they pull out a miracle this year, they will always have a little piece of my heart.

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Watching the entire 9th inning from behind my hands. Or: Can I get off this emotional rollercoaster now?

I know we’re approximately 5 minutes into the regular season, but if the Sox keep doing this to me, I’m going to need an extra-large container of Tums and a handful of valium if I’m ever going to make it past the 8th inning.

Tonight hurt, being so close in so many ways that you could practically taste it. I’ll commend the A’s on a job well done (to make particular mention of the save by Fuentes), but man, this one stung.

But, to digress from the Sox for a moment, what up with Tampa @ Boston tonight?

Fuld, who came to the Rays from the Cubs in the Matt Garza trade, hails from Durham, N.H., and grew up watching Red Sox baseball. By his own estimation, he figured he had seen 40 to 50 games at Fenway Park. Monday night’s game proved to be his first as a Major Leaguer at the historic field, and approximately 30 family members and friends were on hand to watch. They were treated to a performance in which he displayed why he has become an emerging force for the Rays.

… Fuld, who made an extraordinary diving catch Saturday against the White Sox, repeated the feat in the fifth when Dustin Pedroia hit a drive to the gap in left-center field. Fuld raced to the ball and dove at the last second to rob Pedroia of extra bases.

Fuld tripled to lead off the sixth, leaving him a single shy of the cycle. After he flew out in the seventh, he had one final at-bat in the ninth and he appeared to notch the final piece to the puzzle. He lined a ball into left field, but he didn’t stop at first and finished with a stand-up double.

Entire article: http://tampabay.rays.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2011_04_11_tbamlb_bosmlb_1&mode=recap&c_id=tb

This guy is trying really hard to stay on my radar right now and I have to say, my interest is piqued. It’s got to be an exciting night to be a Tampa Bay fan.

And, to make matters worse, I’m pretty sure my brother is going to be able to rub a Jays’ win in my face by the time morning rolls around.

(In reality, I’m only mildly kidding about that. I will have to discuss my historic love affair with the Jays some other time, but that doesn’t mean its any easier to swallow coming off the night at The Cell.)

Well, at least some of us are having a good night. I’m hoping tomorrow’s my turn!

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