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Home » April 2006 Game CommentsApril 2006 » Lessen


Game 9: April 13, 2006
Blue Jays (5-4), 8
Red Sox (6-3), 6
W: Ted Lilly (1-0)
S: B.J. Ryan (3)
L: Matt Clement (1-1)

When people preface what they are about to say with, “Now, I’m not the [fill in adjective] type, but....” you know they are going to admit something that shows that they are, indeed the [fill in adjective] type. So, I’m not the competitive type, so I thought inviting someone against whom one of my fantasy teams is currently locked in an acrimonious battle to the death would be no problem. I was somewhat wrong.

NU50 (mundanely known as “Matt”) is a commissioner and owner in a keeper league comprised of posters from the Royal Rooters message board and a friend. Or, should I say, was a friend. Some folks get a little uppity when they’ve got Mark Loretta, David Ortiz, and Jason Varitek in their lineup. Upon further review of that list, he certainly does have a lot to crow about.

But fantasy baseball, much like the actual game, has its freakish vicissitudes. On Tuesday, my weak (as supported by 2005 production) infield of Justin Morneau, Jose Lopez, Ty Wigginton, and Khalil Greene hit 5 homers and produced 8 RBIs. To be sure, Morneau should be counted on to hit for some power, but had been pressing of late. For frame of reference, Matt’s starting shortstop, Miguel Tejada, hit 26 home runs in 2005, while last year Lopez, Wigginton, and Greene combined hit only 24 circuit clouts.

I understand my players will eventually fall back to earth, regression to the mean and all that, but I have that one of the simple pleasures of fantasy baseball is revelling in the unforeseen.

Given my competitive nature, it was with some trepidation that I watched “his” Red Sox players find themselves in situations that would aid him against “my” team. What kind of baseball fan am I? Am I really so wrapped in the fantasy that I would find myself not rooting the real Red Sox?

In the bottom of the ninth, as Ortiz stood in the box against B.J. Ryan, one of my relievers. The potential tying run was tantalizingly close to be launched from the designated hitter’s bat and plunged into the phalanx of fans in the right field boxes, which would spell certain doom for my team.

So, given those circumstances, how did I feel? Whom did I cheer?

Forget Ryan. Go Red Sox.

Things you missed if you weren’t hanging out with Matt and I at the park:

  • The Wooster High School Band performed “O, Canada!” and “The Star-Spangled Banner.” This is not a typo; they are from Wooster, Ohio. As they assembled behind home plate, the sound booth played “Teenage Wasteland.”
  • Matt got vanilla soft serve ice cream in a helmet cup. He tried to eat it without a spoon and the clump of frozen goodness slipped out and tumbled down the front of his light brown corduroy blazer. His professorial appearance showed that he did indeed have a degree in reflexology. It was as good a Web Gem as I had ever seen on Baseball Tonight.
  • Someone in an office right above the ramp from Gate A has a window facing the field. Perched in the sill of said window is a Lego Wally.

Pictures showing Fenway and Wally’s stunning transformations to follow.


Things you may have missed if you were there, but are forgetful like Joanna.

- The ball of vanilla ice cream actually glanced off my blazer and rolled down my new Papelbon player tee. I managed to catch it with my free hand about 8 inches from the dirty Fenway causeway, preserving it's tasty goodness. But what amused Joanna so much was not my defensive prowess, but that I took a bite out of the ball of ice cream like an apple before returning it to the helmet and retrieving some napkins.
- Dan Koppen, center for the New England Patriots, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. He walked right by us on his way out. Joanna missed him... all 300+ pounds of him.
- We went outside the park to player gawk at the cars leaving with all the screaming girls. Highlights included Schilling giving an embarrased wave to the chick shrieking "I LOVE YOU" at the top of her lungs, the look of elation on the little girl's face when she realized that it was Manny's car that had just drove by, and Wily Mo slowing to smile and wave and sign some autographs with a "this place is crazy" look on his face.
- David Ortiz drives a David Ortiz Signature Series H2.

That's all for now.

Brevity is the soul of wit.

I did want to recreate the entire "Wily Mo Peña breaks center fielders like the Looney Tunes Abominable Snowman" episode, but, as they say, you really had to be there.

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