I was out late last night and got up early today to tour Fenway, so I'll combine yesterday and today into one post.
The game yesterday was a blast! Fenway is everything AT&T wishes it was. The atmosphere is unreal, the fans are IN to the games and the whole experience is amazing.
We got to the park early for BP and walked right down next to the Giants dugout. As batting practice went on, some local TV crew started asking gathered fans what they plan to do when Barry comes up. The Sox fan next to me got all up in arms..."I'm gonna boo him! He's a cheater, a bum...a disgrace to the game of baseball!!" About 30 seconds after his little diatribe, Barry came out of the dugout for BP and the very same guy starts snapping pictures of Barry like crazy. I ask the guy, "If you're gonna boo this disgrace...why are you taking so many pictures?!" He got all pissy and we started arguing. His point of contention is that ONLY SF fans like and cheer Barry. I said, "You ever see the reception Schilling gets on the road?" Apparently that didn't equal the hatred for Bonds. At this point, Barry was signing autographs for kids...what a jerk. I was laughing.
The guy next to the picture taker decides to regale me with a story with the point being, Barry has no class. In this guys story, his brother in law is at the Red Sox/Brewers game when Aaron was with them. In the middle of the game, Aaron came into the stands to sign an autograph for this guys brother in law. After this well drawn story that really did have the conclusion that Bonds had no class, the following exchange occured...
Me: Soooo...Hank Aaron who got death threats because he was black and broke the Babes record walked OFF the field in the game,...in BOSTON...the last team to integrate in baseball...went into the stands and signed an autograph for your brother in law.
Fat Guy: That's right.
Me: That seems a little far fetched.
Fat Guy: You callin' me a liar?
Me:..............uhh......well, not a liar...but it seems fishy.
Then Barry got in the cage and bailed me out. Having really only seen barry on the road in Oakland and L.A. (who's fans are lame) I really had no grasp on how truly HATED he is. Sure, you hear the boos on TV, but being in the actual environment is really kind of hostile and uncomfortable. There's a true, deep, visceral hatred for Barry Bonds and it's really kind of scary to me. It's one thing to boo a player, but I felt like the boos and taunts Barry got had no sense of fun or joy behind them as they do with A-Rod or Damon. In fact last night at the game the guy behind me said the response to Bonds seemed more brutal than the one the Yankees get.
The game last night, as you saw, was horrendous. Who knew Julian Tavarez could channel Cy Young. This team is AWFUL. Simply terrible. I was surprised I didn't take much flak from fans, hardly any at all. The people around me booed Bonds but didn't really like...boo me. It was the way it should be done. All the fans I met were extremely, extremely cool. Asking questions about our park, our teams chances (hahahah!) and the whole Bonds thing. It was very social. In fact the scuzziest fams I met all weekend were Giants fans. A bunch of frigging sailors on shore leave embarrassing me and my team. During a moment of silence for a departed Boston sports writer, some jackass yelled "Go Giants!" Granted, I met a bunch of COOL Giants fans here but there's some bad apples in town and that was annoying.
Fenway park is incredible. The seats we had were brutal for both days-wooden with NO leg room. I'm 6"4 so I'm used to little leg room, but it was rough today on my booty and legs. Again, the whole atmosphere around the park is electric. Today, the fans were on their feet for every 2 strike count...cheering their team on. It felt like the game was big and mattered and it did, to Red Sox fans. They LOVE their team and they should. They're solid all the way around and have 2 GREAT young farm players (Pedroia and Youklis) who are going to be around for a while The Red Sox are the anti-Giants. I also LOVED the classic "Sweet Caroline" singalong that happens in the 8th. I don't know if they showed it on TV, but it's pretty funny.
I'm contemplating going to the game tomorrow, but might just hang out at a pub near the park. That's as much fun as being IN the park, and beers cheaper. Plus, I really think I hate this Giants team. I know hates a strong word, but that's why I use it.
p.s. Go Boston!