Josh Kantor, Fenway’s organist, has added “And She Was” by the Talking Heads to his repertoire since I last visited. He played “Pleasant Valley Sunday” by the Monkees; I would pay extra to hear him play “Everyday is Like Sunday” by the Smiths. One of my favorites and I think his too is “Day After Day” by Badfinger. It always reminds me of the NBA commercial about Kevin Garnett’s trade to the Celtics. At random times throughout the game a “Beat L.A.!” chant would erupt in the stands.
I hadn’t been to Fenway yet in 2010, so I checked out the renovations. The new concession space behind home plate is a tremendous addition. I don’t think the new bathrooms downstairs from the concourse behind home plate are ideal, but I like how the bridge to get to them has a television as well as a view of the ground floor concourse and one of the exits. If the 2012 All-Star game isn’t held at Fenway it will be Bud Selig’s greatest failure since turning a blind eye to steroids.
I tried a chicken burrito from the third base deck, one of the new concession stand offerings. It was surprisingly well made: I got a whiff of cilantro from the rice and they didn’t skimp on the chicken. Bobby Flay wouldn’t claim credit for it but Taco Bell would be hard-pressed to do better.
Since the Red Sox did not have a game on Memorial Day, both teams wore their white hats. Several veterans were honored in the pre-game ceremony; the applause and ovation they received may not have been as loud as the cheers for on-field events but it was nonetheless heartfelt.
Kansas City starter Gil Meche was placed on the disabled list and journeyman Bruce Chen was tapped to make a spot start. I was also at the game where Bruce Chen started in Pedro Martinez’s place for the Red Sox in 2003 against the Yankees. Although the Red Sox won that game, I prefer having Chen opposing my team rather than on it. He kept the local nine at bay for most of the four innings he pitched, only allowing the tying run by David Ortiz’s sacrifice fly in the third.
Brad Thompson took the mound in the fifth and the offensive floodgates opened. Mike Cameron’s first double of the game came with the count full and Bill Hall on first. The liner didn’t get to the wall but Cameron still had enough speed to beat out Willie Bloomquist’s throw to second. Marco Scutaro grounded out to Thompson to plate the go-ahead run, an effective if understated way to drive in a run. Ortiz did his sac fly and Scutaro better with a two-run missile to dead center.
The Red Sox had another three-run inning in the sixth. I was momentarily distracted by the balloon hat that drifted from the State Street Pavilion right as the ball cracked off Cameron’s bat. I thought it might have been a homer but the shot caromed off the wall for a two-run double. Scutaro knocked a single into right to drive in Cameron and knocked Thompson out of the game.
Jason Varitek rudely welcomed Dusty Hughes to the game with a leadoff homer in the eighth. With eight runs to the home team’s credit the crowd relaxed, soaking in the glow of a victory and enjoying the ease that only comes on a Sunday before a holiday. Two guys in my section pretended to play a game of Marco Polo but revised it by using the Red Sox shortstop’s moniker.
|Game 52: May 30, 2010|
|1||L: Brad Thompson (0-4)|
|2B: Alberto Callaspo (14), Mitch Maier (4)|
|8||W: Clay Buchholz (6-2)|
|2B: Marco Scutaro – 2 (10), Mike Cameron – 2 (5)|
HR: David Ortiz (11), Jason Varitek (7)