Play Ball!!

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Opening day of Triple-A baseball: Rochester Red Wings vs. Pawtucket Red Sox.

Beautiful day and a great game!

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The Lambies go to Fenway!

Baseball has always been a part of my life.  Papi used to take us to the Hiram Birthorn for the MLB exhibition games and we always hoped Puerto Rico would get an MLB team.  In the meantime we would be die hard fans of the Puerto Rican winter league Cangrejeros de Santurce!

On the MLB we as a family were die-hard Altlanta Braves fan. Yes I know Ted is a commie and so is his wife.  But we lived in PR and really didn’t know much about Ted.  All we knew is that we had three teams to choose from: WGN Chicago Cubs, WOR New York Mets (I had the biggest crush on Keith Hernandez) and WTBS Atlanta Braves (my crush on Dale Murphy and subsequently Damon Berryhill were bigger).   And so we liked and loved America’s team, the Braves.  As fans we wetn to Atlanta a couple of times to see them play, and I once drove from Maryland to Pittsburgh to see a 1992 playoff game (Avery was pitching and it was a bad game).

But I digress; the point is I, as any Cuban-American, have always loved baseball and loved going to games at the park.  However, Boston Red Sox tickets are HARD to come by; I mean, two weeks ago they celebrated 500 consecutive SOLD OUT games.  Here you have no choice but to watch the games on TV (Yes Marta, I’m talking to you!).  And Alan, as the newly minted American Citizen that he is (1.5 years) LOVES baseball and is a DIE HARD fan of the Boston Red Sox (and so am I).

So the other day the Marlins were in town, and my curious nature got the best of me….breaking from my dissertation work I decided to check if there were tickets available.

OMG Alan, there are tickets available for the game!

“Buy them!”  Notice there was no hesitation in his answer and we really are in la prángana.

We didn’t even care where we were seating; I mean tickets available and for $30?? @ Fenway Park?  what is there to think?  So off we went on a not so great day for baseball for our Fenway adventure – our first time at a RedSox game in Fenway Park.  It wasn’t really cold, but it was drizzling and damp, so taking pictures was a challenge.

Alan @ Fenway

Alan @ Fenway

As you can see Alan was decked out in New England gear and happy as a little kid to be there!  As you can also see everything was very VERY wet.  I have to admit that walking into Fenway was a bit intimidating.  Why not big, it has a lot of stores, food places, and kiosks…people, lots and LOTS of people…..but nothing really compares to the feeling of walking out to the seats and seeing the Green Monster for the first time.  What???  You don’t know what the Green Monster is?  Let me show you….

The Green "Monstah"

The Green "Monstah"

Doesn’t it look beautiful?  There are seats on top of the Monster, and of course home runs get batted either to it or through it.  It looks small in the picture, but it’s quite impressive in person.  Fenway is a special park, and as such other parks such as Camdem Yards have been designed/remodeled after it.  The field also looked beautiful although it still had the tarp on.  Remember, it was raining.

Alan @Fenway Green

Alan @Fenway Green

Doesn’t he, I mean it, look beautiful?  After a while they took of the tarp and the players took to the field to practice; that’s always been my favorite part of watching baseball in person – getting to see the players warm up and of course, take pictures with Alan’s new camera.  Like this one of team Catcher and Captain Jason Varitek, who is currently having a pretty decent season and rebounding from a bad 2008.

Captain Tek

Captain Tek

Needless to say, I was the one taking pictures; Alan was filming and I don’t have the upgrade here to show you video just yet.  And as you can see we weren’t the only ones either taking pictures, video or even trying for autographs.  Alan missed Beckett by a matter of seconds.

In the end the RedSox lost 2-1 to the Marlins, after a 3.5 hour rain delay after the 5th inning.  The umpires chose to call the game and give the win to the Marlins.  We were VERY disappointed.  Not because they lost, but because we couldn’t really see a game.

So, since we are moving to Rochester, NY, which is about an hour away from Toronto (as in home of the Toronto Blue Jays, division rivals of the Red Sox), we found it completely appropriate to buy two tickets for the August 18th game.  And this time we’ll be sitting by Third Base, right behind the dugout!  How to I feel about this?  Well I’ll be there with my RedSox jersey on, and the Gaelic Red Sox Hat.

Let's Go Red Sox!

Let's Go Red Sox!

It may not be Fenway Park, but it’s a dome (no rain) and we have better seats (actually we have seats whenever we want since regular games are not sold out), and it will be our new way of watching the Red Sox L-I-V-E!!!!!!!

Take me out to the ballgame…

Yes folks, I’m alive.  You see after being cooked up in the house for 3 months, we needed some air.

So I turned in the first draft of the first manuscript (there are two) of my dissertation; and I also ran the data for the second manuscript.  Guess what?  The data did what I predicted it would do!!!! Yipppeeee!  If you have no clue what I’m saying, just now that THIS is a GOOD thing!

Of course, with such good news we went out for the air we needed so much.  We are BIG baseball fans, and BIG RedSox fans (especially Alan) so it was only natural that when we heard Dice-K would be doing rehab starts at Pawtucket PawSox (AAA RedSox) well we bought tickets of course!  Dice who? Daisuke Matzusaka, the Japanese pitcher who helped his team win two World Baseball Classics.  Why not see him at a RedSox game?  Yeah, good luck getting two tickets.

It wasn’t a good day for baseball. It was COOL. It was DAMP.  It was WINDY.  It was DRIZZLING.  How did we fare?  Well just look at me:

Me COLD!

Me COLD!

You think I look funny?  You should’ve seen the people with blankets.  And all the Japanese media that left after Dice-K completed his three innings.  Of course we also took some pictures of Dice-K while he was warming up at the bullpen.  This one is my favorite:

Dice-KWe are sort of a tag team.  Alan takes the pictures; I edit them online.  I don’t have very good editors, only iPhoto and Acorn, the latter of which I’m still getting around.  Once I buy something decent, Photoshop or Aperture, they will be better I promise.  Originally the picture was in color, but I like how the BW treatment gives the picture a sort of ajada look, and fits with Dice-K’s pose.

The game was actually good.  We each had a Smithwicks and a hot dog…..and after bearing the cold, we finally broke down and had some hot chocolate with fried dough.  We only made it to the 7th inning, but we also saw Rocco Baldelli play, which for us was an added plus.  And being AAA we had great seats right behind home plate, which sucks for pictures because the net is in the middle but the view is SPECTACULAR!

McCoy Stadium

As you can see, we’ve also been making use of Alan’s gift.  He literally does not leave the house without it, so I have many pictures of the area to post, so you can get to know this little state that we will be leaving and will be missing dearly.

Yes, yes, recipes to come too.  I have a couple in particular I believe you will like.

For now, PLAY BALL!

Waiting for Opening Day!

Even for some of my passions like baseball, life is on hold.  But that one I don’t control.  However, I’m 100% ready for our home opener against Tampa Bay.  Yes folks I’m a proud card carrying citizen of Red Sox Nation.  See how ready I am?  As ready as Lowell, Beckett, Pedroia, Youkilis and BIG PAPI are!

Me Baseball Ready!

Me Baseball Ready!

In the words of Big Papi “Papi says, there is a secret to hitting home runs.  Shhhhhhh, it’s a secret“.  Let’s Go Red Sox!

Take me out to the ballgame! (and why it’s on the NIH server beats the heck out of me!)

Who’s your team?