|Okajima making his way down the stairs. One of the very few pictures I took as the players entered.|
Well that didn’t suck, did it?
No pre-gaming for me yesterday. We ended up at the park around 3pm and that turned out to be perfect timing. Had enough time to take a few pictures, try the new Fenway Frank (which, also, doesn’t suck. The difference in taste is very subtle.) and get a $7.50 Bud Light (I thought prices didn’t go up this year? No way I paid $7.50 for a weak water – hi Ted! – at Fenway last year did I?) before we were told to get in our seats.
I didn’t bring a “smaller” camera with me and the lenses on the new camera aren’t the best for taking photos as close as the players were to us. Yes, the seats we were in were aisle seats in Section 15. Which meant that Saito, Ramirez, Delcarmen, Okajima, Ortiz, Drew, Lowell and Ellsbury walked right by us. The guys looked, well let’s just say hesitant to be going down the stairs and I was torn between thinking it was terribly cool and wondering if some random fan trying to hug Jacoby (which actually happened) might knock them all down the stairs. Luckily, that didn’t happen. I did get high fives from Okajima and Drew which, I geekily admit, was pretty damn cool. (I also thought it was geekily cool that the three guys in my banner, chosen randomly by Jesse, the fabulous guy who designed the blog, were all in my aisle!)
Everything seemed to work out well. The weather was so much better than Monday (and really wasn’t that terrible. We were in the lower Grandstand. Under cover and a little more than midway up from the field and the wind was minimal compared to going higher up into the Grandstand). We had a perfect view of the field and got to see Senator Kennedy and Jim Rice with the first pitch and a touching ride around Fenway and were in the perfect spot to view the flyover.
Joshua Patrick and the rest of the team didn’t disappoint either. Hell, Jacoby Ellsbury was the only Sox player to not have a hit. So much for “Big Game James”, huh? Big Game Josh pitched 7 innings and only gave up 2 hits and 1 run to the American League Champions. Meanwhile, Dustin Pedroia started his season off with a home run, essentially giving the finger to those experts who wondered how much he’d regress this year and even Mike Lowell got into the action with a double. I cringed at Hideki Okajima struggling but loved the ovation the fans gave him when he left the mound. Also of note a double steal off of Justin Masterson and Jason Varitek. Much like the walked-in run, I only like double steals when the team I’m rooting for pulls it off. When the opposing team does it my stomach starts to hurt. But with the final score being 5-3, it’s all good, right?
Scott Kazmir goes up against Crabcakes tonight and, once again, I’ll be at Fenway. I think, after tonight, I’m not at the park again until Patriots Day. That might give me enough time to go through all the pictures I took on Opening Day – but in the meantime you can find a few that I took here.