Black Bird Steals Second

This just in: Jason Johnson still sucks.

So I attended tonight’s Sox game vs. the Tribe and the Sox dropped it 6-3 in the very sweltering heat. They couldn’t do much of anything against CC Sabathia who was throwing 98 mph heat himself and only gave up a Mark Lorretta homer off the Fisk foul pole in left. Not until the ninth did the Sox tack on two more runs with an Alex Gonzalez bomb into the Monstah Seats… or, maybe it was over them, but at that point it didn’t much matter unless we could make it to Papi, which they didn’t.

You may remember I posted about David Ortiz here and here back in June. Well, Big Papi has done it again with two walk-off hits, including a 3-run bomb last night, in his past three games prior to tonight. You think Indians manager Eric Wedge second guessed his decision to pitch to Ortiz? I’m guessing yes. I’d load the bases and take my chances with Manny. More often than not, Manny hits into the double-play to end the inning in that situation. Well, it seems that way lately, so no way I pitch to David until Manny beats me. Let me point out that Manny is still my favorite player on the Sox too and was almost as hot as Ortiz in July.

I dare you to find someone in baseball that would dare say they wouldn’t want David up with any game on the line in the late innings. He’s superhuman. He’s amazing. He’s Mr. Clutch. Never seen anything like it and we didn’t get to see more of it tonight.

Not to be all doom-and-gloom on you, but things aren’t looking real good right now. We lose Trot Nixon and Jason Varitek to the DL on consecutive days starting the day of the trading deadline. Luckily we have Wily Mo Pena to step in for Trot, but I’m not exactly hot-and-bothered by Mirabelli and Huckaby filling in for Tek. Can we bring back Josh Bard? Maybe the Orioles will put Javy Lopez on waivers and we can get him before the 8/31 deadline. Lowell also mashed a foul ball off his ankle in the 8th, so who knows what that did. He finished his at-bat, but still.

When they pinch-hit Kapler for Mirabelli in the ninth, I posited to Joe what would happen if we tied it and had to go extras. Who would do the catching (see at end of article)? Not sure if Huckaby was up yet, but turns out it would be Lowell, who was now out, or possibly Cora who was now in for Lowell. Move Cora to C, Youk to third, play Kapler in right and Wily Mo at first? Would have been interesting.

Blackbird on Fenway jumbotron
Enough about the actual game, there were two other events that were more entertaining. The first has to do with that horrible camera phone picture here. That black dot on the jumbotron is a little black bird that I tracked throughout the game as he sat or hopped around the field. I’m sure if you watched the game on NESN, you saw the little guy because at some point they must have gotten wise to him (we’ll go with that instead of “her” since he was playing baseball, which is not to say the ladies can’t play, it’s just we are talking MLB here).

He started near Wily Mo in right when the game started and stuck around the outfield for most of the first half of the game. At one point a ground crew member tried to capture him in a bucket, but the little guy got just enough wing power going to escape. He could barely get off the ground, so he obviously had at least one broken wing or some kind of issue there because he wasn’t flying away. Eventually he made his way to the infield where Youk tossed a couple pebbles his way during the top of the ninth to try and shoo him away. He made his way to second and the crowd started to cheer him on to steal that bag. Chants of “Let’s go Black Bird!” rose around the park from the Fenway Faithful that were left to watch the end of the then 6-1 game. When he finally took the bag, the crowd errupted and I’m guessing more than a few players had no idea why we were all going nuts.

Rudy Seanez eventually walked the batter he was facing, Casey Blake I think, and they then had a man on first and second. The little black bird started to take his lead of second and edged his way towards third. He was going to steal third too! He never quite made it before the end of the inning as Blake almost stomped him as he made his way to third during the last out, but the little guy got out of the way into the infield grass towards the mound.

At some point during all this, the Fenway entertainment staff picked up on the little guy and during the middle of the inning put him up on the jumbotron for the entire time, with multiple camera angles and serenaded with “Blackbird” by the Beatles:

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arive.

That was followed up with “Birdhouse In Your Soul” by They Might Be Giants. Now, you may remember that I bust on the musical choices made at Fenway, but tonight wasn’t all that bad. “Some Like It Hot” by Power Station — two members of Duran Duran which I noted to Joe and he blissfully named them and the other two band members… ugh! There was something else I can’t remember, but was fairly new and I like it (hey, it was all I could do to remember the other ones). The little bird montage made the night and I thought it was very clever and quick thinking on their part.

The little black bird took his time on the camera in stride. Didn’t seem to have an ego about him at all while everyone cheered him on. During the bottom of the ninth, the little guy made his way behind the plate and eventually towards the on-deck circle, so I thought he wanted to pinch hit. Last I saw him before the game ended, he was making his way back down the third base line, so hopefully someone took care of him after the game. Maybe there will be a story on him tomorrow!

Finally, and to echo They Might Be Giants and to “not put too fine a point on it,” Joe and I found ourselves getting busted on by two girls sitting in front of us. They started off the game nice enough, but towards the mid-to-late innings started getting a little more commenty. Anyway, to get to the point of it, one of them eventually turned to us and asked “are you two girls discussing wedding centerpieces?”

Yes, they overheard our conversation, which I started, about Amy’s (Mookie’s ex and Jenn’s friend) wedding a few weeks ago. I was asking how it was and who was the guy she bagged. Joe was telling me about him and how they were made for each other, blah, blah, blah and then he says they had books as favors for each attendee since each table was named for a particular book — Joe was at the Scarlet Letter (interesting book for a wedding BTW) — and I said oh, you mean you got the book as the centerpiece? I forget what he told me that actually was, but then I asked him what his and Jenn’s was when they did the deed as I thought it was something cool (I think I remember now it was a hurricane glass candle holder with a wreath… maybe? Who knows, I was in pain from breaking my freakin elbow that night), but he was saying the favors were chocolates.

It was at that point the girl turned to us and started in on us about that’s not something two guys should be discussing at a ball game (and rightly so BTW). Well, it snowballed from there, but it was a fun back-and-forth since at that point the game was pretty crappy. At the end of the game, I was making fun of some mullet kid’s hat. It was an all black New Era Sox cap with the “B” on a Mass state outline, but the whole hat also had sparkles on it. Well, my point was it was pretty fruity and our new friends picked up on that and said I wasn’t one to say such things given our earlier conversation. I said I was not the one wearing the fruity hat, to which she replied “it may not be on your head, but you are wearing it in your heart.”


Thankfully it was game over and I got out of there. If this was there idea of flirting, it didn’t go well for them and I wasn’t interested anyway. I didn’t want to stick around to find out.

Oh yeah, I never got my iced coffee today. Damn.