Sunday, August 17, 2008

71-52

Paul Byrd acquired from the Indians lost to the Blue Jays last night 4-1. Since trading Manny Ramirez the Sox are 10-4 and are 3.5 games behind the Tampa Bay Rays who I guess are for real. I have been listening to what games I can while we are up in Vermont looking for a home and while we are at NOFA. The Sox swept Oakland, took 2 of 3 from the Royals and split a 4 game series with the White Sox before sweeping the Rangers at Fenway. I was there with Gaelen and Gammy and Ya for the 1st game of that series as part of Gaelen's...

Red Sox Youth Fantasy Camp

...which was held last week in Melrose, Massachusetts. We drove in from NOFA on Rt. 2 right to Gamma's in Copley Square where Gaelen already was with Gamma having gone to the Aquarium with John on Saturday. We all met Wally, saw the Championship Trophy and had a great time. It was 250 some kids, mostly 8 and 9 year olds and some Holy Cross and NorthEastern college players and coaches. They did an hour of drills and an hour long game in the AM and the same after lunch (pizza for Gaelen and some kind of #5 Blue juice) panless quesadilla's for Colleen, Ambiana, me and Gramma who came with us both days.

Gaelen was in the 6-7 age group and it seemed like a long t-ball practice as the emphasis is on getting the kids to throw and catch or is supposed to be. There were some kids who were way more into than most, who actually were trying to play baseball Gaelen among them. It seemed a lot of the kids were there because their parents wanted to be there as well (me included). Three kids came from Japan, one of whom was in Gaelen's group, Mom was wearing his 6 month old sister. Ambiana made lots of friends.

Lunch it was photo time with Wally and the World Series trophy which some old guy picked up off the bleacher between each group of kids having their picture taken with it and kept it covered with a cloth to keep the rain that might fall off of it. Each kid got a 5x7 group picture with Wally, all the other pictures, like the one above and of Gaelen wearing the World Series Ring and Alex Cora signing an autograph for him will cost me $15 for a 4x6. There's one of Colleen and Ambiana too, when he took it I thought cool but then he handed me his business card and I thought $$$. Funny...

...cause this guy named Chuck who was warming up the crowd the first day with his playful Melrose baseball flavor gave Gammy the #18 DAMON 2004 World Series Jersey off his back just because she told him she liked it and now she was lovin' it. Gamma had the most fun of any of us at the Camp. The 2nd day we saw Chuck in the parking lot in the rain re-directing every single car to the rain spot at the Melrose Middle School Gym.

In the Afternoon when the rain stopped we were back at the fields and SS Alex Cora showed up to sign autographs. Gaelen got the ball that he had brought signed and saw that Cora was signing and giving a picture to those kids with no object to sign ( I saw one kid give Cora a candy bar to sign ) Gaelen got back in line at my suggestion and got one of those too. I then rolled Momma up with her c-leg on her lap and positioned her where Chuck could see her and soon he was crossing over and asking "if we wanted to he could get that..." when she shouted "I WANT YOUR AUTOGRAPH!" Chuck smiles, finds a Sharpie and signs her leg as Gamma points out Terry Francona's autograph she got in Spring Training. Soon Chuck is at the end of the line with her c-leg in hand. Cora doesn't blink, it's as if he signs c-legs all the time, he looks up, finds her and gives her a thumb up! (no camera but a lady next to me said she got one and asked for her email so she could send her one. I gave her mine.)

Camp ends when the Camp as a whole is introduced on the field at Fenway. Molly drove in and met us and we had gotten Gamma an access seat in the same bleatcher section as Gaelen and us. Ambiana came into Fenway with me for the 1st time and after dropping gaelen off with his campmates we sat above the infield and made a video of Gaelen on the field (it will be out this fall)

When the game began it started to sprinkle and Ambiana was done & wanted to see Momma. We agreed at the end of the 1st inning we would...then Big Papi hits 2 3 run homers in the bottom half and the Sox score 10 runs. Ya is tremendous good luck becasue after she leaves Fenway the Sox blow the lead and actually trail in the bottom of the 8th until Youk sends a 3 run blast into deep monster seats in center.

Gamma's seat is right above the dugout and she told me afterwards she spent more time watching the picthers warm up...that is what is great about being at a game, checking out what you want to look at as opposed to the images TV and Radio supply. SHe watched Papelbon's warm up and strut out to the mound in the 9th. I had joined her by then, Molly and Gaelen and Eden having departed, and got a kick out of the rockin' bleacher mayhem as the Dropkick Murphys accompany Pap to the mound. It was sweet. He gave up a run but got 3 outs and the Red Sox won 19-17.

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